Plant of the Week – Blue Crown Passion Vine (Butterfly Magnet)

Blue Crown has exotic blue and white flowers which appear spring to summer. The vine can reach up to 20 feet, likes lots of sun, and is one of the hardiest varieties of passion vine. Its tendrils easily wind around arbors, fences, and trellises, and the vine can quickly create a green screen with beautiful lightly scented flowers. Passion vines are easy to grow in containers too.

Passion vines are a favorite for butterflies; in fact this plant is both a nectar and host plant to the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. The adult Fritillary will feed on the flower nectar, and then will lay eggs on the plant. Eggs will hatch in to tiny caterpillars that will eat the leaves. You can watch the caterpillars grow day by day until they are ready to form in to chrysalis. Within the chrysalis, the caterpillar transforms itself in to a butterfly. If you check the plant often, you will have the awesome experience of watching butterflies emerge!

It’s very exciting to see, and what an amazing lesson in science and nature it is for the kids too! If you want to experience the life cycle of the Fritillary, do not use insecticides on or around your passion vine. Read our article “Butterfly Garden for North Texas” to learn more about raising butterflies.

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