How to Grow Passionfruit
How to Grow Passionfruit
Passionfruit is a perennial vine that produces stunning, fragrant flowers that develop into delicious tropical-flavoured fruit. With our guide, you’ll soon be picking passionfruit from your very own vine!
When to Plant:
- Plant new passionfruit specimens in mid-spring, preferably in late October or early November through until early summer (December).
- It is worthwhile planting more than one plant if you particularly like the taste of the fruit or are unsure of where to position a new plant.
- New plants fruit around 18 months after planting.
- Passionfruit plants generally last about three to five years. For continuous fruiting, plant new specimens every two to three years.
- You can also grow this lush vine for privacy or to screen any unsightly views in the garden.
Purple passionfruit Passiflora edulis (a popular, main variety).
- White and purple flowers emerge on the current season's growth in the very first year.
- The fruit is deep purple and egg-shaped, with a luscious yellow-orange pulp and small black seeds.
- Named varieties to try include are ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Robinsons Black’.
Golden Passionfruit Passiflora edulis flavicarpa.
- White flowers on the current season's growth in the first year.
- The fruit is larger than purple passionfruit.
- Produces round, green to yellow fruit, bursting with a delicious yellow-orange pulp. Named variety to try: ‘Golden Passion’.
Vanilla Passionfruit Passiflora antioquiensis (Related to banana passion fruit but not invasive)
- Large scarlet flowers on the current season's growth in the first year.
- The fruit is long with a yellow skin when ripe and a very sweet, rich aromatic pulp.
Banana Passionfruit - The variety has been declared a noxious weed and it is illegal to propagate.
Choosing the Right Location:
Passionfruit can be a little tricky to grow - plants will either thrive or grow poorly, and a lot of this has to do with where they are grown - they are very site-specific. Two key things that can kill passionfruit are frost and having ‘wet feet’ which means not enough drainage.
Climate - Tropical fruit like passionfruit does best in regions with hot and humid summers, and mild winters. For those in cooler areas, be aware that fruit production may be less.
To give your passionfruit the best chance, plant it in a sheltered location, ideally on the northern side of your building or garden and provide support for growth. During the winter months protect the plant from frosts (use frost cloth from your local garden centre).
Site - Passionfruit thrives when planted in a sunny, north-facing, sheltered spot, ideally with a wall or structure for the vine to grow up against. They will also grow well in a semi-shaded area, or where half-day sun is received. The more shelter you can provide, the greater your chances of success. If your chosen site is prone to strong prevailing winds, be prepared for potential challenges as these conditions may hinder your vine's growth and fruit production.
For successful passionfruit growth ensure your soil is well-drained, as these vines don’t tolerate waterlogged conditions.
Passionfruit thrives in compost-rich soil, so thorough soil preparation is a must before planting. Add in plenty of Daltons Garden Time Compost and mix it with your existing soil, reaching down to a spade's depth.
After planting, add a good layer of Daltons Mulch & Grow on top to help protect the plant, reduce water evaporation, and maintain soil health.
Passionfruit typically fruits from February through April.
Harvest passion fruit when they are fully coloured, wrinkled and have fallen to the ground (purple passionfruit varieties). Golden and vanilla passionfruit is ready to harvest when the fruit turns yellow.
Pruning - Wait until late frosts are no longer a threat before pruning your vine, usually around late winter or early spring. Prune your passionfruit vine, thinning out any overcrowded side shoots or laterals and removing any dead growth, ideally reducing its growth by approximately one-third. Tie the main leaders to a fence or wires, as next season's passion fruit will emerge from these
Fertilising - Add Garden Time Compost around existing plants as the soil begins to warm in spring. Apply a light side dressing of Garden Time Complete Garden Fertiliser each month from late October until mid-December, recommencing in early March to mid-April.
Watering: Keep the plant well-watered as the fruit develops. Don’t let the vine become excessively dry over summer as this weakens the plant and can lead to, leaf fall, fruit fall, yellowing of leaves and infestations of pests.
Pests and Diseases - When passionfruit plants die, it's often due to their natural lifespan ending overwatering or lack of nutrients and not typically caused by diseases or insect infections.
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