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How To Grow Passionfruit From Seed and Cuttings

Read below the details on how to grow passion fruit from seeds and cuttings including passionfruit vine problems, flower pollination and harvesting.

The passionfruit, Passiflora edulis is a very vigorous and fast growing climbing vine. It is a tropical and subtropical plant originally from South America. There are two main passionfruit varieties, purple passionfruit, Passiflora edulis and the golden passionfruit, Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa. The purple passionfruit is the sweeter than the golden one, which is slightly bigger and more acidic. There are some hybrid varieties, SuperSweet, Lacey, Purple Gold etc. of the purple and golden passionfruit that tolerates cooler weather. 
Passionfruit
Passion Fruit

Growing Passionfruit From Seeds

The passion fruit can be propagated from seeds taken from store bought fruits easily. 
  1. Buy a ripe passionfruit, take out its its seeds and plant about 10 seeds as soon as possible. 
  2. Sow seeds about 1 inch deep. keep the soil damp.
  3. They will germinate in about ten to twenty days. Older seeds would take longer to germinate, more than a month. Seeds of passionfruit hybrid varieties do not grow true to the parent plant and may not good to taste.
  4. Transplant your seedlings when they are about eight to ten inch high. Do not disturb its roots.
    Passionfruit Seeds
    Passionfruit Seeds

Passion Fruit From Cuttings
Passionfruit grown from cutting
Passionfruit grown from cutting

Take cuttings for propagation during the spring or summer growing season to root them quickly. The purple passionfruit cuttings can be rooted in water, but they may rot in water and propagating them in soil is better.

Planting Passionfruit Vine

  1. The best time to plant a passionfruit vine is in the spring season.
  2. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball.
  3. Add compost and chicken manure in the soil in the hole and around one metre around.
  4. Gently take out the plant, tease the roots, and plant the vine. Mulch and water well.

Position

Passionfruit plant needs a sunny and sheltered place. The frost will kill the top of the vine, but the roots will reshoot. 

Soil

Passionfruit grows best in a healthy nutrition rich free-draining soil having worms and microbes. Heavy clay soil can cause root rot disease and wilt diseases.

Trellis
Passionfruit vine on Trellis
Passion fruit vine on Trellis

Passion fruit vine grows vigorously to 30 to 40 feet, it needs something to climb over. It is essential to train vines on strong trellis that will make fruit harvest easier. You may make a strong trellis for your vine, otherwise it will take over a nearby fence, a water tank, tree or anything it finds and it would become difficult to harvest.

Watering Passionfruit Vine

Water regularly at all times. Give more water while it is fruiting.
 

Passionfruit Flowers
Passionfruit Flower
Passionfruit Flower

The passionfruit flowers have a male part (stamen) and female part (pistil), so you need only single vine to produce fruits.

The passionfruit vine flowers in spring to autumn. The flowers quickly produce fruits, first of green color, which ripen to black, purple, golden brown or red, depending on the variety. The plant may take 12 to18 months to produce fruits after planting, depending on its variety. 

No Flowers

The most common cause of lack of flowers is too much nitrogen in soil. Nitrogen will promote only green growth. A weekly watering with Give liquid seaweed or liquid potash every 10 days in the growing peropd.

Flowers but no fruit

Pollination

  1. If there are flowers, but no fruit, then it means that the flowers are not being pollinated due to lack of bees. No bees, no fruit.
  2. Passionfruit flowers are not pollinated with wind.
  3. Try hand pollinating the blooms using a small dry paint brush or a cotton bud in the morning. You may plant flowers like lavender or marigold near your vine to attract more bees to help pollination.
  4. The flowers bloom for only one day, do not need to be deadheaded.
  5. Direct sun is important, so run your vine from north to south to ensure maximum sunlight.
  6. Excessive feed of high nitrogen fertiliser can cause flowers to drop.
  7. Rain, wind and cold can delay fruit formation. 

Passion Fruit Harvesting

  1. How Long Passionfruit Plant Takes To Fruit? It can take from 12 to 18 months to produce fruits. In warmer climate, it will reach maturity sooner.
  2. The tropical varieties fruit quicker than the purple passionfruit. 
  3. The passionfruit vine produces fruits from summer to winter, depending on its variety.
  4. The green passion fruit once off the vine will not ripen fully. The skin of the ripe fruit becomes wrinkled.
  5. The ripe fruits will drop on the ground. The fallen fruits will not rot and also they are not eaten by insects and birds.
  6. The taste of unripe passion fruit would be very tart. 

Fruits with no pulp inside

This may be due to ineffective pollination. 

Fertilizer For Passionfruit

  1. Passionfruit is a fairly hungry plant. 
  2. Feed your passionfruit vine from spring to autumn.
  3. Fertilise with citrus foods, chicken manure, compost, aged cow manure, blood and bone and potash. Spread around the base of the stem, 10 inch away from the main stem. 
  4. Water plants before and after fertilization.
  5. You can even put used teabags at the base of established vines.
  6. Too much nitrogen will produce lots of leaves, but little fruit.
  7. Lack of iron and nitrogen in the soil will result in yellowing of the leaves on a passionfruit vine, add blood and bone or aged chicken manure to the soil.

Pests

Passion fruit vine hopper can attack passionfruit vines and may drop fruits or flowers. These  can be treated with a spray of pyrethrum-based insecticide. The scale may also attack the vines, use a horticultural spray oil to control scale. The grafted passionfruit vines on a hard rootstock are less susceptible to disease and pests.

Pruning of Passionfruit Vines

  1. You may need to remove overgrown growth from your passionfruit vine or keep the vine under control. 
  2. Hard pruning the vine by about a third will encourage vigorous growth.
  3. The best time to prune is in late winter to early spring.
  4. The best time to prune a passionfruit vine is in late winter or early spring. 
  5. Passion fruit vines may die back in winter or the colder months but will regrow in spring, however, in tropical climates, it will not die.

Replanting

Replant new vines every few years to ensure they get optimal fruit from a crop.

Remove Suckers

The grafted passionfruit plant produces suckers from time to time from the understock. Remove these suckers to avoid damage to the root system.