Do you have a passion for tropical treats and funky flowers? If so, passion fruit vine is the perfect choice for you! This is a fast growing climber that will add fascination to your garden and give your dining table taste.
Passion fruit vines are not for the faint of heart. These are vigorous plants that climb to the top of the tree and explode in bright flowers and abundant fruits. Although easy to grow, these plants require a lot of water, nutrients, and pruning. But the harvest is worth it!
You might think the name comes from the gardener's love for fruit, but these plants actually have a religious history. In the 1700s, Spanish settlers considered the flower a symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. They called it based on the Latin meaning of Passio: suffering.
However, there is no real suffering here, because passion fruit is a joy to grow! With a little time and energy, this plant quickly becomes the MVP of your garden and kitchen.
Good products for the success of passion fruit:
Brief instructions on care
Passion fruit vine not only produces beautiful leaves and flowers, but also delicious fruits. Source: Sarowen
|Common Name (s)||Passion fruit, purple granadilla, purple passion fruit, water lemon, passion fruit vine|
|Scientific name||Passiflora edulis|
|Days to harvest||80 days|
|ground||Well drained, loamy and fertile|
|fertilizer||A lot of potassium 2-4 times a year|
|pests||Caterpillars, nodules, snails|
|Diseases||Woodiness virus, fusarium wilting|
All about passion fruit vine
Passion fruit originally comes from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. In the United States, it is common in Southern California and Florida. Since it is a tropical plant, it thrives in zones 10-12. The warmer the climate, the easier it will grow. These plants very rarely tolerate light frost.
The vine spreads up to 3 to 5 feet wide and can climb 10 to 15 feet high – or higher! It has evergreen leaves that are 3-lobed and shiny dark green. Flowering begins in early spring and produces fruit in about 80 days.
Passion fruit is a medium-sized, round fruit with a reddish-purple or yellow color. When the bowl is cut in half, it looks like two bowls of lumpy jelly. It's also full of vitamins that benefit your immunity, thyroid, and red blood cells. You will find that the fruit is well stored and works in many delicious recipes.
Eating passion fruit is not the only benefit of this plant. You'll find it hard to find a plant with flowers as spectacular as this. The white and purple flowers have long petals, wavy filaments, and chunky petals and stamens. It looks so bizarre that you have to see it to believe it.
The disadvantage of passion fruit vines is that they don't live long. Most only make it up to five or seven years. Fruit production slows down after three years, which is why commercial producers replace it so often.
Passion fruit varieties
A bee on a passion fruit flower. Source: DrPhotoMoto
When choosing your vine, be sure to choose a Passiflora edulis variety. This species is edible, unlike many other species in the Passiflora genus. However, you have many options as there are over 50 varieties of Passiflora edulis. Here are some of our favorites:
Passiflora edulis, purple passion fruit
This is the basic type. It has a reddish-purple color and is one of the sweetest passion fruits. It grows well in cooler climates. If you don't live in the tropics, you want to.
Passiflora edulis f. Flavicarpa, yellow passion fruit, golden passion fruit, tropical passion fruit
You can find these strains in the true tropics. It has yellow fruits that are slightly more acidic and therefore less sweet than its purple counterpart. The benefits of this strain include larger fruits and pests, and disease resistance. The Flavicarpa variety includes most other yellow varieties that have similar characteristics.
P. edulis f. Flavircarpa "Panama Red" and "Panama Gold"
Both types of Panama are tropical passion fruits that come from the yellow variety. Nevertheless, the Panama Red is still red-purple. This variety is usually found in Australia.
P. edulis "Nellie Kelly"
This is a vine that is highly recommended for cooler temperatures. It is also very pest and disease resistant. This is achieved by grafting a variety – usually black passion fruit – with a blue passion fruit rhizome.
P. edulis "Black Knight"
If you limit yourself to growing containers, this is the perfect fruit for you. The Black Knight Hybrid is a dwarf plant that is completely happy to be included. It has a deep purple color and a spicy-sweet taste. Because it is a red passion fruit, Black Knight grows well in cooler climates.
Plant the passion fruit
Immature passion fruit on the vine. It turns red, yellow or purple when it is ripe. Source: beautifulcataya
Passion fruit needs a little more preparation than other plants before planting. Once in the ground, you will agree that these are easy to care for vines.
When to plant
Passion fruit starts should be planted in the spring to bear fruit quickly (in about six months). It can also be planted in the fall, but it takes longer to bear fruit.
If you grow from seeds, start them about a month before planting. This time frame depends on how old the seeds are. Fresh seeds germinate in a few weeks, while older months can last.
Where to plant
Passion fruit plants are ambitious breeders, so that once they have been established, they can no longer perform a transplant. Therefore, take special care to choose the perfect location for growing your vine (literally!). These plants need full sun to really thrive. However, they should be protected from extreme heat and strong wind. Remember that the roots take up a lot of space and can easily climb over neighboring plants.
You need to give these plants something to climb on, whether it's a grid, an arch, a fence, or a pergola. Some gardeners even let the plants climb trees (this will damage the tree). If you're concerned about possible frost, plant the vines next to a wall or fence for protection.
In cold climates, passion fruits can grow indoors in containers. You need a fairly large container to handle the extensive roots. You also have to help the vines climb. If you can, put the container in full sun after the frost and put it back in before the cold comes.
How to plant
Passion fruit is best when grown from seeds, but only from the right seeds. If the variety is a hybrid, it is unlikely to grow and / or bear fruit. Choose your seed from a reliable seed supplier to make it viable. You can take the seeds from a fruit bought in the store, but only if it is not a hybrid. Plant the seeds immediately while they are still fresh.
As already mentioned, fresh seeds germinate faster than old ones. If you took them out of the fruit yourself, germination only takes 10 to 20 days. Store-bought seeds are usually older and take a few months to germinate.
Plant the seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep in a well-drained potting soil. When they're 8-10 inches tall, you can transplant them into their permanent home. The seedlings must be small so that water is saved while the roots settle. If you've waited too long to plant, cut back the stem a little.
Prepare the soil with organic fertilizer before planting your seedlings or buying them in the shop. These plants need a lot of nutrients to maintain their rapid growth. Next, dig a hole that corresponds to the depth of the root ball and is twice as wide. When the roots are compacted, gently massage them out before planting.
Mulch is a must. Apply a thick layer around the plants, but don't put them right next to the stem. Now you can give your baby plants a good drink of water and let them settle down. You may need to tie the vines to the carrier until they come up with the idea. You also need to refill the mulch as often as necessary.
After following these instructions, you can expect a harvest in six months. Tropical passion fruits usually bear fruit faster than the purple variety.
Care for passion fruit vine
Passion fruit flowers are incredibly beautiful. Source: GHR2009
Like most tropical plants, passifloras have special care requirements. Follow these guidelines for success so your plants can reach their full potential.
Sun and temperature
As a light lover, this vine must get the full sun to produce the best flowers and fruits. However, it tolerates some shade, especially in extreme heat. Zones 10-12 are best for keeping it outdoors all year round. If you are growing indoors, place the container in the south-facing window of the sun. The temperature must be well above freezing – especially with yellow varieties.
Irrigation & humidity
These vines grow quickly and produce juicy fruit, so they need a lot of water. Water them evenly so that the soil doesn't dry out. You may need to give extra water when the plants are bearing fruit, and less in the fall and winter. However, be careful not to go over water as this can lead to root problems. Do not let the water collect on the floor or soak it completely.
You can set up an irrigation system to meet irrigation needs. However, keep an eye on it to ensure that it is not under or over-watered.
Not surprisingly, these tropical plants rely on high humidity. If you live outside of the tropics and zones 10-12, you can add a humidifier. Not sure how damp your house is? Check out our top 10 hygrometers!
Because you will water so much, well-drained soil is very important. Without them, the growth medium can quickly become compacted, soaked and uninhabitable for subtropical plants. Treat it with sand, pearlite or pumice as needed.
The soil also needs a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 for good fruit production and disease resistance. You can test it with a home soil test kit or contact your local agricultural department or university for help.
Finally, the growth medium must be fertile. Passiflora edulis needs many nutrients that the soil cannot normally provide on its own. This is one of the reasons why mulch is so important for this species. You also want to add fertilizer if necessary.
Fertilize your passion fruit 2-4 times a year from spring. Commercial growers typically use fertilizers with an NPK of 10-5-20. Overall, however, gardeners are advised to use potassium-rich fertilizers.
If your soil is already rich in nitrogen, choose a fertilizer with very little of it. Too much nitrogen only promotes leaf growth, which affects fruit and flower growth. The same can happen with over-fertilization.
Pruning / training
Passion fruit grows quickly, so you have to keep up. Pruning is important to keep the size in check and avoid growing problems and pests. Prune in cooler climates at the beginning of the growing season. The new growth from which you have trimmed brings forth abundant flowers. Wait in the tropics until the fruits have faded.
When trimming, remove any dead or dying stems. If you have particularly lush vines, thin the middle so that air circulation is still good. Cut back at most a third of the plant to keep the size in check.
You can train the vines to climb on an overhead support like an arbor or a T-post. Simply tie the vines to the support and the tendrils will find it. We recommend using a fiber-based thread to secure it as wire can damage the stems. If they can't be diverted, cut back any stems that are growing in the wrong direction.
Seeds are the main method of propagation for passion fruits. However, this isn't always the best choice as hybrid seeds are not viable and purple passion fruit seedlings are more prone to fusarium wilting. Because of these problems, many gardener cuttings turn to.
The method of spreading stem cutting is very standard. Choose a healthy, ripe branch and cut 3-4 leaf knots with a clean knife. Remove the bottom leaves so there are only 2-3 on top. Dip the cut end in root hormone and stick it upright in a well-drained potting soil. Keep it moist but don't soak it. In about 90 days, the roots should be established and the new growth will be large enough to be transplanted (8-10 ”).
Passion fruit pollen is particularly sticky, which is great for pollinating insects, but not for the wind. If you don't have enough bees in your garden, you just won't get fruit. Encourage the bees to examine your passion fruit tree by luring them with other bee-attracting plants. You will find that your passion fruit vine is better pollinated in warm and humid weather than in dry or extreme weather.
If necessary, you can pollinate the flowers by hand. However, these are so large and abundant plants that it is much easier to promote the bee population. In contrast to the purple variety, the yellow passion fruit must be cross-pollinated with another variety. Choose another yellow variety and plant it nearby.
Harvest and store
As soon as it gets a little soft and wrinkled, passion fruit is ready to be harvested. Source: Sunchild57
The flowers are pretty, but harvesting is certainly the most popular reason to grow these vines. All the hard work you put into your garden will pay off as soon as these delicious fruits appear.
When the passion fruit is ripe, it is fully colored, heavy and easily detaches from the stem. When it ripens more, the skin folds slightly and the fruits taste sweeter. It falls ripe from the vine, which is much better than pulling out the ladder. If they fall, squeeze, rot or don't easily attract pests, you can collect them as you please (within reason). Optionally, you can pick it from the tree when it is a bit immature, but not when the fruit is still green.
And now we're the best – food! When you cut the fruit open, you get two bowls filled with lumpy, jelly-like delicacies. Ignore the inedible peel and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. The seeds are edible but can be easily removed.
Purple fruits are best eaten fresh because they are so sweet. On the other hand, yellow fruits are usually processed into canned goods or juice. Both types keep whole and uncooled for a few weeks and keep in the fridge even longer. If they were picked a bit unripe, just leave them on the counter for a few days and they will catch up. The skin becomes wrinkled with age, but the pulp inside will still be tasty.
You can freeze the whole passion fruit, just the pulp or the juice. Make it desserts, dressings and even butter! You can also passionately process canned fruit with a water bath or a pressure scanner.
Fortunately, there are not many serious problems when it comes to passion fruit – especially if you planted the yellow varieties. Just in case, here's what to look for.
A common complaint from passion fruit growers is that the Grapevines do not bear fruit, If you have flowers but no fruits, it is likely due to pollination problems. Did you see bees floating around? Do you have a second variety for cross-pollination if necessary? These problems are solved by planting bee-loving flowers, buying a second variety, and first pollinating them by hand.
Over-fertilization is the other main cause of the absence of fruit. Too much nitrogen flows directly into green growth and takes away the fruits you should be eating. If your plants climb and spread quickly but have little to no flowers, you need to reduce the fertilizer.
Unripe fruits fall from the tree is another problem. While it is perfectly normal for ripened fruit to fall, green fruit should remain. This is typically caused by inconsistent irrigation, pests, or diseases. Make a good irrigation plan and stick to it. They also want to examine the vines for pest and disease symptoms.
If your vines have yellowed leavesIt may be a lack of magnesium or nitrogen. This can be easily remedied by adding more fertilizer. However, if the yellowing occurs in freckles, you may have a wood virus on your hands (see below).
When growing a purple passion fruit vine, you need to be vigilant when it comes to pests. These varieties are much more susceptible to the following pests than yellow passion fruits – although yellow varieties can also be affected.
Many types of tracked likes to gnaw passion fruit leaves. Their feasts reduce the surface of the leaf, thereby reducing photosynthesis. The liquid they secrete leaves the leaves to dry out and the whole plant loses its strength. Caterpillars can also feed on stems, flowers and fruits.
If you see a caterpillar on your plant, pluck it off and search the vine for eggs. Remove them by hand and throw them in soapy water to destroy them. Large infestations can be controlled with an organic insecticide (we recommend Bacillus thurigiensis, also known as BT). Interestingly, many types of passion flowers have developed caterpillar defense mechanisms, including poison, sticky hair, and ant attractants (the ants kill the caterpillars).
Root-knot nematodes are an often overlooked garden pest. They are tiny worms that attack the roots of your purple passion fruit. They cause deformities in the roots, including bumps, hair, and root nodes. For this reason, the roots are prevented from supplying water and nutrients to the rest of the plant, which inhibits growth.
Pay attention to the growth medium to prevent nematodes from attacking your plants. Until it is 2-3 times every fall and remove all dead roots. Add a lot of organic material and use crop rotation methods (marigolds work great!). If the nematodes are not in your hand, you can use organic nematicides like EcoClear. Unfortunately, nematicide also kills useful nematodes, so the best method is prevention.
If you live in California, snails can be a problem in your garden. When it comes to passion fruit, snails destroy the leaves and bark. This can kill or seriously weaken young plants. Not to mention that they leave slime behind – yuck! Snails like to hide under debris, so keep your vine and the environment clean. Since they are nocturnal, find them at night and give them a bucket of soapy water. Snails can be further prevented by using copper locks or an organic snail and snail bait.
Do the leaves of your vines look as if they were sprinkled with yellow confetti? The Passion fruit woodiness virus is most likely to blame. Together with spotty discoloration, this virus crumples the leaves and the fruits grow small and deformed. The woodiness virus is spread by aphids and occasionally garden tools.
Herbicides do not eliminate this virus, so prevention is crucial. Buy only disease-free plants and use a sterile potting soil. Keep weeds away as it can spread the virus. The virus is not kept away by eliminating existing aphid populations, as it is already widespread. However, you can take precautions to prevent aphids from appearing at all.
Perhaps the deadliest threat to passion fruit, Fusarium will lead to death within two weeks. The first symptom is partial wilting, followed by root rot, yellowing, darkness at the base of the plant, and finally full wilting. The best way to fight this disease is to use resistant strains. If the virus appears anyway, try a biofungicide. MycoStop is a good choice.
frequently asked Questions
Q: Why is my passion fruit not fruitful?
A: If the vines are otherwise healthy, it is likely due to over-fertilization or pollination problems. Put the fertilizer down, plant some bee-friendly flowers and first pollinate the flowers by hand.
Q: Do you need two passion fruit vines to get fruit?
A: If you grow a red / purple passion fruit, no. Yellow varieties must be cross-pollinated, so a second plant is required. Choose another yellow variety that you want to place after the original.
Q: How can you tell if a passion fruit is ripe?
A: The fruit is fully colored, heavy and slightly soft to the touch. If the skin is wrinkled, the fruit is in its best shape. When the fruits are ripe, they naturally fall off the vine.
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