Category Archives: Growing Passion Fruit

How to Get a Good Passionfruit Yield

Passionfruit is one of the most popular horticultural crops. It is fairly easy to grow and manage and gives good yields within a period of 8 to 12 months. There are different yellow and purple passion fruit varieties that you can also grow depending on your elevation and local climate.

To get the best passion fruit yields, it is advisable to follow certain best practices in passion fruit planting. The propagation can be achieved through prop grafted prop gules, cloning or even seeds. Grafting is generally the most preferred option for growing your passion fruits.

By following the best practices in passionfruit farming, it is possible to harvest as much as 10 tons of passion fruits in a single season and this can fetch lots of money in the market.

Here are some of the best practices that you should keep in mind if you are looking for optimal passionfruit yield:-

Seed Extraction

To extract the seeds, collect healthy and mature fruits from the parent passionfruit plant and scoop the seeds from the ripe fruits. Put the extracted seeds in water for about 3 days so as to separate the seeds from the pulp. Dry the seeds under a shade and store them in a cool and dry dark place. This will ensure there is no loss in the viability of the seeds.

The passionfruit seeds can either be planted in a prepared seed bed or wide bags measuring 6cm that are filled with sterilized soil. The soil sterilization can be achieved by passing steam through the soil. This will kill off the parasitic nematodes and other soil-borne pathogens that cause diseases.

Land Preparation

You can prepare the land by slashing way the shrubs and tall grasses. Alternatively, you can use herbicides in order to get rid of the weeds. Then dig 30cm by 30cm holes on the garden. The soil that is scooped from the hole should be mixed with some manure and then poured back into the hole.

The spacing for the holes should be 3cm by 3cm apart. With this, an acre of land will accommodate anywhere from 550 to 600 passionfruit plants.

When you are planting the passionfruit seedlings, open a small hole in each of the holes and add 5 grams of fertilizer such as a diammonium phosphate fertilizer and cover this slightly. Then plant your passionfruit seedlings on the hole.

The passion fruit seedlings should be planted at the onset of rains and the planting should be done early in the morning or late in the evening. This will help reduce the heat stress on the plants. Plant the passion fruit seedlings in an area that receives sufficient sunlight.

Fertilizing the Gardens

A month after planting, you can apply a nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilizer. This should be applied in a ring that is dug around the plant. The application should be done every two months until the passion fruits reach the flowering point.

After the passion fruit plants have started flowering, apply only the potassium fertilizers as these will help in the flower formation.

Best Farm Practices When Growing Passion Fruits

There are certain farm practices that you will need to incorporate for the optimal growth of your passionfruit plants.  These include trellising the plants and running plastic ropes around the poles and sideway trellising systems. The ropes should be running horizontally while the passion fruit plants should spread sideways.

Passionfruit Vine Trellis Will Provide a Form of Support for Passion fruit plants
Passionfruit Vine Trellis Will Provide a Form of Support for Passion fruit plants

There is advantage with using sideways trellising. It will allow the passionfruit plants to spread optimally and this will allow room for the plants to be exposed to sufficient sunlight. While trellising is a must, don’t make it too elaborate as this will lead to an accumulation of shed which may end up inhibiting exposure to sunshine thus affecting the plant growth.

You should also spray the passion fruit plants with pesticides so as to stop a pest infestation.

Overall, passion fruit plants generally require dedication, care supervision. You have to be on the lookout for any anomalies and correct them to ensure the optimal growth of your passion fruit plants right from the nursery stage to the harvesting stage.

Growing Passion Fruit: Factors to Keep in Mind

Whatever the variety of passion fruit that you are planning to grow, there are various common guidelines that you will need to keep in mind. These include the following:-

The Selection of Site: Proper site selection must be carried out when you are planning to grow your passion fruit. It is important to choose a site which has well-drained, fertile as well loamy soil. It is also important to choose a site that is well-protected by effective windbreaks. Where the soil is not fertile, you can use manure such as organic or chook manure. If you are using commercial fertilizers, these should be well balanced.

Passionfruit Vine Trellis Will Provide a Form of Support for Passion fruit plants
Passionfruit Vine Trellis Will Provide a Form of Support for Passion fruit plants

Preparation of the ground: In order to increase the depth of the soil, it is important to mound the rows where you will be planting the passion fruit. Good drainage of the planting area is also essential. Once you have prepared the soil, you can add organic matter or compost manure in order to further nourish the soil.

As part of the site preparation, you can also erect a vertical T-trellis on the site. Make sure that the spacing between each row is at least 3m so as to allow vehicle access when you will be harvesting the passion fruit. The spacing between each of the passion plants should be between 4-6m. When planting, add a thick layer of organic mulch in order to minimize the growth of weeds and prevent water loss. The mulch should be replaced on a regular basis in order to maintain optimal soil structure for the growth of the passion fruit.

Planting material: You can plant either seeds or true type. Whether you are planting seeds or grafting, it is important to ensure that these are selected from a good fruit. For additional information on how to plant any of these, please check our Passion Fruit Farming Handbook PDF copy.

Irrigation: To ensure optimal moisture supply during the dry seasons, you will need to irrigate your passion fruit plants sparingly.  Use either drip irrigation system or micro-jets. As we have repeatedly stressed, it is important to keep the soil moist but never wet. You can observe the soil profile in order to determine if there is the right amount of moisture in the soil. It only needs to be moist but not wet.  Add water daily. Mature vines generally require a large amount of water. It is very important that the passion fruit tendrils do not suffer water stress as this will cut down on the yield. The water should be fresh as passion fruit plants are intolerant to salt.

Nutrition: Before planting your passion fruit plants, it is important to have soil analysis carried out on the site. This should be done at least 6 months before you plant so that you can adjust the soil conditions accordingly. For example, the soil PH should be somewhere between 5.5 to 6.5. If the soil is too acidic, you can add little amounts of base fertilizers as well as compost manure in order to raise the soil PH.

Pests: Check out a comprehensive list of passion fruit pests and control measures on our Passion Fruit Farming Handbook.

Diseases: There are various kinds of diseases that can affect your passion fruit plants such as scab, passion fruit woodiness virus, fusarium wilt, brown spot and many others. Check out the various passion fruit diseases as well as the prevention and management measures on our Passion Fruit Farming PDF handbook.

Pruning your passion fruit: Pruning your passion fruit plants is an important plant management measure that you must take as early as possible in order to ensure optimal plant growth. It is important to begin training the passion fruit vines as early on as possible. Train them to the top of the trellis or fencing wire and then remove the vertical shoots so as to allow the lateral shoots to begin sprouting vigorously.

It is also important to ensure that you remove the dead foliage or diseased foliage from the passion fruit plant. All lateral shoots that touch the ground should be pruned off. You can also replant your passion fruit after every two to three years.