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Do you have a plant you just can’t grow?

Published on October 1st 2018

That one plant...

Does anyone else have a plant they can’t grow? I mean that one plant that you always try to grow, but have never succeeded. Selfishly, I want you to have one because I don’t want to feel alone in this. Mine is the blue passionflower, Passiflora caerulea.
A close up of the white and purple flower of Passiflora caerulea.

Blue Passion Flower

Passiflora caerulea

I’m no gardening professional, but over the years I’ve grown some pretty tricky subjects – citrus, carnivores, voodoo lilies, glory lilies – so why have I failed time after time to grow what is a relatively simple climber?
Passiflora’s demands aren’t exceptional: well-drained soil, watering, feeding, a sheltered, sunny spot. In fact, passionflowers can go rampant. I used to pass one which had scrambled up someone’s drainpipe and taken to the telephone lines, laden with fruit and flowers – until the council cut it down to size. I bought my first plant the following spring. It grew stunted and didn’t last the winter. That was 20 years ago and to this day I have still never had any luck.
Is it just that some plants suit us better than others? Maybe I cope better with high maintenance plants like gardenias; what does that then say about me?
Anyway, next March I will buy yet another and try all over again. I’m beginning to feel like they see me coming over and know they’re heading to their doom. But one thing you must always be in gardening is optimistic, so try I will nonetheless.
Am I alone in this? Calling all lost souls who have that one plant that haunts their compost heap...

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