When it comes to passion fruit farming in Kenya, you probably have one of the widest array of passion fruit varieties that you can choose from. The Kenyan passion fruit farming market is highly developed s farmers have much choice. The main varieties of passion fruits that you can grow in Kenya include the purple passion fruit, the yellow passion fruit, sweet passion fruit, giant passion fruit and banana passion fruit.
Here is a description of the main passion fruit varieties that you would find in Kenya:-
The Purple Passion Fruit Variety
This is the most common passion fruit variety in Kenya. It is mainly used in the local fruit industry in Kenya and a large part of it is also exported to various foreign markets, particularly in the Middle East.
The purple passion fruit variety will do well in cooler climates with an elevation of between 1200m to 1800m towards the east of the Rift Valley and an elevation of 2000m to the west of the Great Rift Valley. The shape of the purple passion fruit can either be round or oval and when ripe, it will change its colour from light green to purple. Once the fruits are ripe, they will drop off from the passion fruit vines. For processing, it can be canned, frozen or processed into passion fruit juice.
Yellow Passion Fruit Variety
The yellow passion fruit variety is the latest craze in Kenya among passionate passion fruit farmers. It is a more vigorous passion fruit variety and is widely planted in the tropical lowlands where it does quite well compared to the purple passion fruit varieties. It has a very aromatic pulp although it tends to be more acidic than the purple passion fruit pulp.
The average fruit from the yellow passion fruit variety is also larger than the purple passion fruit varieties and will turn from green colour to yellow when it is ripe. Once ripen, the fruits will drop from the vines. The yellow passion fruit variety is generally used mainly as a rootstock onto which the purple passion fruit variety will be grafted. This is because the yellow passion fruit variety has better resistance against the many soil-borne pathogens.
Sweet Passion Fruit or Sweet Granadilla Variety in Kenya
The sweet passion is ideal for cooler climates with elevations of over 1500m. These are the optimal conditions under which you would get great yield from your passion fruit plants. It has great flavour and when ripen, it will change colour from blue to orange-brown. The aromatic pulp has a whitish colour and is enclosed by a hard shell so you can transport it easily without damage.
Giant Passion Fruit Variety in Kenya
The banana passion fruit variety is better suited for elevations of above 1700m and in a tropical environment. It is a vigorous vine and will grow to lengths of up to 30m and when ripen, the fruits will change colour from green to yellow. The fruits should be eaten fresh. It is not a commercial variety.
The Banana Fashion Fruit Variety
The banana variety is better suited for cooler conditions and higher elevations of over 1500m above sea level. It is not a commercial variety.