Category Archives: Passion Fruit Grafting

Which are the Most Popular Passion Fruit Varieties?

Success in passionfruit cultivation rests in choosing the right varieties to cultivate. While there are numerous individual varieties of passionfruits that are grown in various locations, they can be split in two main strains of passionfruits. These are the yellow passionfruits and the fleshed passionfruits.

The Yellow Passionfruit Varieties

The yellow passion fruit varieties are generally more vigorous and produce larger fruits than the purple passionfruit varieties. However, they have a more acidic pulp. The purple passionfruit varieties have a less acidic pulp. The yellow passionfruit varieties also have a rich aroma and flavor the proportion of juice in the fruits is higher at 35% to 38%.

Panama Gold Passion Fruit Variety
Yellow Passion Fruit Variety

The yellow passionfruit varieties are generally better suited for lower altitudes such as the coastal lowlands. The yellow passionfruit varieties are also hardier and more vigorous compared to the purple passionfruit varieties. They produce bigger fruits with diameters typically in the range of 5cm to 7cm. They are relatively more acidic and are used for juice extraction. They are a great passionfruit choice if you are planning to plant your passionfruit for commercial juice extraction.

Other characteristics of the yellow passionfruit varieties include the following:-

  • They will give higher fruit yields in low elevations that have relatively warmer temperatures.
  • The yellow passionfruit varieties are bigger in size than the purple passionfruit varieties. Typically, they weigh 60 to 65 grams per fruit. These fruits are generally round-shaped and have yellow spots. When ripen, they will change colour from green to golden yellow.
  • The yellow passionfruit variey is less susceptible to diseases and pests. It has a high level of tolerance for diseases and that is why it is often used as a rootstock for various other passionfruit varieties.
  • Within the yellow passionfruit variety, there are various other varieties that are grown globally such as the Panama Gold passionfruit variety.

Below is a list of some of the common yellow passionfruit varieties:-

  • Yee Selection: This is a round yellow passionfruit variety that also has very good disease resistance. Has a thick rind and gives low yield of juice.
  • University Round Selection: This is a Hawaiian cross of the Yee fruit and the Waimanalo variety which gives 10% more juice. Also has a very good flavor.

 

The Purple Passion Fruit Varieties

There are also numerous types of the purple passionfruit varieties. The main characteristics of the purple passionfruit varieties include the following:-

  • The purple passiofruit varieties give better yields in higher altitudes or in cooler temperatures. The purple passionfruit variety is best suited for areas that have altitudes of 1100 to 2500m above the sea level. The purple passionfruit variety also has a sweet aromatic flavor. They are smaller in size with diameters of 4cm to 5cm.
  • The purple passionfruit varieties weigh anywhere between 35grams to 50 grams and have a round shape.
  • When ripe, they will change colour from green to deep purple.
  • They have an average juice content of between 30% to 35%.
  • The purple passionfruit varieties also has a strong aromatic scent. The taste and juice content varies.
  • It is the best known passionfruit variety, loved for its nutrients and flavor.
Panama Red Passionfruit
Purple  Passionfruit Variety

Some of the Purple Passionfruit Variants Include the Following:-

Mysty Gems: The Mysty Gems are the sweetest of passionfruit varieties. The passionfruit pulp can vary in colour ranging from bright yellow to a pumpkin colour. This passionfruit variety also has numerous small, hard and b;ack seeds. The inside of its walls in white in colour. It has a very refreshingly sweet taste that is tangy and guava-like.

Sweethearts: The sweethearts passionfruits are blackish in colour and also have a very sweet taste.

Panamas: The Panamas are a hybrid passionfruit variety that are also quite vigorous. They are a more tropical passionfruit variety.

Australian Purple: Also called the Nelly Kelly passionfruit, this is a purple passionfruit variety that has a very sweet flavor. It is grown in both Hawaii and Australia.

Common Purple: This is a thick-skinned Hawaiian passionfruit with a smaller seed cavity. However, it has a great flavor and is low in acidity.

Waimanalo Selection: There are four strains of this Hawaiian passionfruit variety. These include the C-54, the C-77, the C-80 and the C-39 which is the pollinator. It is a very nice colour, flavor and has a low acid content.

Pratt Hybrid: The Pratt hybrid variety of passionfruit is a cross between the yellow strain and the Common Purple passionfruit variety.

Banana Passionfruit Variety

As the name suggests, the banana passionfruit varieties look straight, just like bananas but they have rounded ends. They perform best in higher altitudes of above 1500m. The banana passionfruit variety is most commonly used as a rootstock the grafting of other passionfruit varieties, especially in cooler climates. While their pulp is edible, they are used in grafting some of the more popular and delicious varieties of passionfruits.

Banana Passionfruit Varieties
Banana Passionfruit Varieties

 

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.

How to Make Your Passion Fruit Yield More Fruit

The yield from your passion fruit plants will gradually drop with time. If the vines have been standing for at least three years, you are likely to see a drastic drop in the yield of your passion fruit plants and it is therefore advisable to replant them after this duration.

You Can Make Your Passion Fruit Plants to Yield More Fruits
You Can Make Your Passion Fruit Plants to Yield More Fruits

This drastic drop in the yield will most likely occur in the regions with punishing climates or where there is a high incidence of the diseases and pests that affect passionfruit plants. Over time, that vigorous growth and harvest is stunted and the plant is unable to hit its previous yields even if you apply fertilisers.

If you are not ready to replant, you can also apply some good crop husbandry in order to boost the yield of passion fruit vines. For example, make sure that you prune off the old and unproductive dead wood and shoots on the passion fruit vines. Remove all the secondary shoots that touch the ground and make sure you offer the passion fruit plant’s laterals excellent support through the trellis. It is these parts that bear the fruit and if they are not adequately supported, your yield is going to suffer.

When pruning your passion fruit vines, wash your hands with a disinfectant and make sure that the equipment or tools that you are using to prune off the plant is also disinfected. This will prevent the spread of diseases through all your passion fruit plants.

It is also advisable to apply fertilizers on a regular basis but don’t overdo. Add some compost at the root of the passion fruit plants. These not only retain the moisture but the organic matter also nourishes the passion fruit plant. You can also apply the foliar feed sprays every month after you have planted the passion fruit plant. Continue applying this for at least three months.

Finally, apply some fungicides on your passion fruit plants to kill off most of the fungal diseases that are likely to stunt the growth of your passion fruit plants and your yields. This will also forestall any future fungal disease outbreaks.

Get more passion fruit farming tips via our Passion Fruit Farming Handbook.

Harvesting Passion Fruit

Passion fruit vine is a tropical to sub-tropical plant that thrives in warm climate and cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. There are two kinds of passion fruit – purple and yellow. The purple kind ripens earlier than its yellow counterpart. Actually, the ripening time for passion fruits depends upon the species, climatic conditions and the time of its planting.

How to decide the best time for picking the fruit

Passion fruit has variable ripening time. The purple variety is more tolerant to cooler climate and ripens much later than the yellow passion fruit. Crops growing in warmer areas have a quicker ripening period.

Panama Red Passionfruit Harvest
Panama Red Passionfruit Harvest

Fruits start to grow on vines that are around a year old or in some cases three years. However, warmer regions may see an early crop. The yellow passion fruit blooms from April to November and the purple species from March through April. The fruit bearing and ripening is after 70-80 days after pollination. This technically implies that the purple variety is ready for picking by end of summer and early fall. The yellow passion fruit is ready for harvesting in winter.

Harvesting passion fruit

Passion fruit is one that does not need monitoring for harvesting, as the fruit is seldom plucked from the vine. It is a clear indication that the passion fruit is ready for harvesting when it falls off the vine on its own after totally ripe. So as such, passion fruit is collected from the ground and then consumed or processed. Falling from the vine has no major impact on the fruit and it does not get damaged. One just needs to pick it up soon enough so that it does not get shriveled up by heat.

You know the time has come to harvest the fruit from the vine when it turns plump and has a wonderful shade of golden yellow or deep purple. Initially the raw passion fruits are green in color. Slightly wrinkled fruits are over ripe and are much sweeter in taste and rich in aroma.

In order to detect the fallen fruit, it is advisable to keep the area under the vines clear at all times. While picking ripe fruits from the vine, a gentle twist is all that is needed to separate the fruit from the vine. Green passion fruits will not ripen well after picking. However, the ripe ones get sweeter and have deeper flavor if left untouched for long time.

Storage and usage of passion fruit

The fruit that has been harvested needs to be stored well for prolonged use. After picking, the fruit can remain in the refrigerator for more than a week. However, it needs to be placed in a box or crate for the air to circulate freely and keep the fruits fresh. Storing the fruits in bags may hamper aeration and thus mold can form on the fruits making them inedible.

For long time storage, it is better to wash and dry the fruits and then put them in mesh bags and store in the crisper compartment in the refrigerator. Commercial growers need to preserve fruit for marketing or export and thus they coat the fruit with paraffin wax so that it remains fresh and undamaged while shipping. The fruit remains fresh for around 30 days in the coated condition.

Passion fruit tastes best when fully ripe and for this you can leave the ripe, picked fruit on the kitchen counter and allow maturing it a bit more. It will be noticed that the fruit is sweeter and has more balanced taste.

Being an aromatic fruit, passion fruit has many uses in culinary art. The most common being juice or squash. Nonetheless, the fruit adds great flavor to desserts, ice-creams and variety of dishes.

Get more tips on our Passion Fruit Farming Guide.

Passion Fruit Farming Guide

The passion fruit or passionfruit as it is called in Australia and New Zealand is one of the most common backyard fruits. It is sweet and has excellent nutritional value that will contribute vastly to the good health of your family. Passion fruit farming, as a result, is one of the most profitable horticultural ventures that one can engage in.

Passion Fruit Farming Tips

There are various ways in which you can grow your passion fruit. There are people who will grow it from a seed but most farmers rather prefer growing them grafted plants or transplants. Passion fruit not only gives it sweet passion fruits but it can also be a nice ornamental plant when it is grown in your backyard. Its large purple and white flowers will contribute to the aesthetics of your outdoor areas or gardens and it also produces its much beloved purple black fruits.

How to Get Started With Passion Fruit Farming

In order to ensure good growth as well as bountiful harvest for your passion fruit, it is important to plant them in a sunny and frost-free area and then give them lots of tender loving care. In order to grow lavishly and produce lots of fruits, passion fruits will need to develop an extensive root network so you need to give them lots of space for the root development.

Passionfruit has great nutritional value
Passionfruit has great nutritional value

Additionally, the surrounding area where you are doing passion fruit farming should be kept free of weeds and various other competing plants that might deplete the soil of important nutrients. Give the passion fruit vines enough space to climb. A single passion fruit can reach a length of up to 2.5m across and will be several meters high.

Some of the most ideal places where you can grow your passion fruits include along wire fences or even across a balcony. You can also grow them over a pergola so that they can offer you shade throughout the year.

Growing Passion Fruit Along a Sunny Wall or Fence

In case you are planning to grow your passion fruit along a sunny wall or fencing, then it is important to install the wire, trellis or mesh that will provide support for the tendrils. Take into account the root system of the passion fruits knowing that will require deep soils in order to support the extensive network of root system for your passion fruits.

The fertilizer much should be spread over the entire root system of the passion fruit plant. Passion fruit plants can adequately survive on organic fertilizers such as the pelletised chicken manure. You can also use any other kinds of fertilizers which are designed to promote the flowering as well as the fruiting of the passion fruits. The fertilizers should be applied during spring and then after every four weeks during the summers. When applying fertilizers to the passion fruit plants, make sure that you water the plant well.

In order for a newly planted passion fruit plant to hit its full fruiting size, you are likely to wait for between 12 and 18 months.

Watering and Pruning Your Passion Fruit

The passionfruit vines generally do very well where they are well-watered. Water is especially important when they have been newly planted as well as when the passion fruit is flowering and beginning to form the passion fruit.

Unlike other vines with extensive stem network, passion fruit plants do not require any unique pruning techniques in order for them to begin producing the passion fruit. The pruning can be performed in order to control their spread as well as their size. The pruning also allows sunlight to filter through the passion fruit vines so as to help in ripening the passion fruit.

When the passion fruits are pruned, they will begin experiencing a strong new growth that will help in the production of fruit. Where the passion fruit plants are fairly well established and have also fruited, it is important to have them pruned before flowering. This will get rid of excessive growth and prevent the huge tangling of the stems when they are developing naturally.

Before cutting any stem, follow it carefully in order to ensure you are not getting rid of a major stem that is likely to produce fruit. If there is excessive growth, you can tie this to the support or trellis. Alternatively, you can simply cut off the branches that are wayward.

Growing Passion Fruit: Tips and Information

Passion fruit is a fast growing tropical plant that is fairly easy to grow. Once you have fertile and well aerated soils as well as excellent access to water supply, you can expect to see your passion fruit plants doing very well.

Passionfruit has great nutritional value
Passionfruit has great nutritional value

Passion fruit is a climbing vine and growing passion fruit will need some tender loving care and support for healthy growth and yields in your backyard. Passion fruit is generally a very vigorous plant that grows very fast. Within a very short time, it will have bloomed quickly and created numerous stems and leaves.

Like sweet potatoes, the passion fruit vines will create very large and lobed leaves that sprout out of little tendrils. These tendrils will wrap themselves around whatever form of support that they can find. You will need to provide very good support for these tendrils using various techniques in order to allow them to bloom as naturally as possible.

Passionfruit tendrils
Passionfruit tendrils

Depending on the variety that you have chosen to plant, the fruit can either be purple or yellow and is round in shape. It has a smooth and thick rind and inside, it is filled with an aromatic pulp, seeds and juice. Check the passion fruit above.

Once you have provided a form of support, the passion fruit tendrils will climb up fast and readily and fill up whatever form of support that you have provided them with whether it is walls or fencing.  They will climb high as they can although for practical purposes, it is advised that you nip off the birds so that they can expand 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

Passion Fruit Varieties

There are various varieties of passion fruit that you can plant in your geographical location. In our passion fruit farming handbook, we have covered the various varieties of passion fruit that you can grow in various locations including what variety to plant in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Kenya, East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, the United States and South America.

In the cooler climates, commercial passion fruit farmers generally use hybrid varieties of the golden and purple passion fruits. These plants are generally better at tolerating the older climatic conditions. However, passion fruit performs best in the tropical climates.

Some of the hybrid passion fruit varieties that you can grow in Australia include Lacey, PurpleGold, Panama and SuperSweet amongst others. Check out our passion fruit guide PDF copy for your country for information on the right variety of passion fruit to grow in your country along with information on their characteristics.

Yellow Passion Fruit Variety
Yellow Passion Fruit Variety

You will notice that there are certain varieties that are better suited for the tropical climates such as the flavicarpa passion fruit varieties. For cooler climates, you will be better off with the purple passion fruits or some of the hybrid cultivars varieties. All these varieties and their characteristics are covered in our passion fruit farming handbook.

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Growing Passion Fruit

They need lots of nutrients: Passion fruit plants grow very fast and, therefore, need an abundant supply of nutrients in order to support that growth. You will notice that your passion fruit plants have a very lush foliage within a very short time and that must come from somewhere. Without adequate water and nutrients supply, your passion fruit plants might reach maturity and still not produce any fruit. Growing passion fruit vines will require fertile soils and additional fertilizers, preferably the compost manure type. However, don’t overuse the fertilizers otherwise you might prevent or delay the formation of the fruits.

Passion fruits require lots of sunshine: For the best performance, growing passion fruit requires lots of access to sunshine, a warm climate as well as adequate protection from windy conditions. An ideal planting area for your passion fruit is a sunny and sheltered site that is also free from frosty conditions. Some purple varieties of passion fruit can handle mildly frosty conditions. While frost may kill the top of the vines, the roots generally reshoot but passion fruits grow excellently in warmer conditions.

Support: Because the passion fruit tendrils are very long and thin, they will need something that they can climb over. This can be a wall, fence or even poles.

Support System for Giant Passion Fruits in the Philippines
Support System for Giant Passion Fruits in the Philippines

The root systems are vulnerable: The root network of passion fruit is generally quite vulnerable. The best soil for growing passion fruits is generally a healthy soil with lots of worms, microbes as well as various organic matter.  If you grow passion fruit in poor soils, they are likely to wilt, experience root rot or be susceptible to nematodes. Heavy clay soils, for example, are generally not ideal for passion fruit growing.

Watering passion fruit: When growing passion fruit, it is important to ensure that the plants are well watered. Passion fruit is a large plant and is supported by a very small root system. The roots will not dig deeper like those of the other trees. You, therefore, need to supplement their water requirements by making sure that the plant is well watered. Water is especially important when the plants are fruiting. While passion fruit plants need plenty of water, they cannot handle soils that are waterlogged so water them sparingly like you would water your vegetable gardens. The site where you are growing passion fruit should also be one that drains easily.

How to Grow the Passion Fruit Seeds

Buying passion fruit vines is generally costly so some farmers prefer to grow the passion  fruit plants from the seeds in order to cut down on costs. However, when you are growing from the seeds, it is important to ensure that the seeds are fresh. You can purchase seeds from the store you can harvest seeds from the fruit itself and plant them as soon as possible. The seeds will generally take anywhere from 10 to 20 days in order to germinate. On the other hand, the older passion fruit seeds generally take a little longer in order to germinate.

Disadvantages of Planting Passion Fruit Seeds

Even though it is a cheaper option of growing passion fruit, there are many disadvantages associated with planting your passion fruit from the seeds. It is not an efficient way to grow your passion fruits because many of the seeds will not even germinate in the first place.

If you are planting seeds for hybrid passion fruit varieties, they not even grow to type as you would expect. In many cases, you will be planting the passion fruit seeds and you will not even be sure about the kind of outcome that you will get.

Another good reason not to grow passion fruit seeds yourself is that some of the passion fruit varieties are highly susceptible to various forms of root diseases such as the Fusarium wilt. If this is a problem in your kind of soil and you live in a cool climate, then you will be better off with the grafted passion fruit plants. If you live in the tropics, then you are likely safer as the tropical passion fruit plants are generally less susceptible to the Fusarium wilt and are also fairly well resistant to the nematodes.

The Simple Guide to Passion Fruit Farming in Uganda

Passion fruit is a fairly popular fruit grown in Uganda, especially in the districts of Kasese and Masaka. There is low barrier to entry for passion fruit farming. It is easy to grow and manage in general if you follow the right steps. Within 8 to 12 months and with the right varieties, you should be able to begin harvesting your fruits. Here is a simplified guide on passion fruit farming in Uganda:-

Passion Fruit Varieties to Grow in Uganda

There is the traditional purple skinned passion fruit variety as well as modern hybrid purple variety of passion fruit. Here is a look at the main passion fruit varieties that you can grow in Uganda:-

  • The purple Grandilla passion fruit variety:b This variety of passion fruit is known for its sweet scent and flavours. It is also known as Kasese passion fruit, Masaka passion fruit or simply the Kenyan passion fruit variety.
  • Kawanda Hybrid passion fruit variety: This is a highly resistant hybrid passion fruit variety that is a cross between the yellow passion fruit variety and the local purple passion fruit variety.
  • Yellow passion fruit variety: The yellow passion fruit variety is highly popular, especially in Kenya where it is rapidly growing in popularity. It is very aromatic but also more acidic.

 

What are the Soil Requirements for Passion Fruit Farming?

Passion fruits need to be planted in sandy loams that are fairly fertile with lots of mineral supply for you to attain the best yields from your farm. If these conditions do not exist naturally, you can create them artificially using a mixture of sand, compost and artificial fertilizers. The suitable soil PH range should be in the region of 6.0 to 6.5.

Propagation of Passion Fruits in Uganda

Passion fruits should be propagated using stem cuttings, seeds or they can simply be grafted onto prop gules.

Planting the Passion Fruit

Here are some tips to keep in mind when planting your passion fruit in Uganda:-

  • Dig a hole with a depth of at least 1 feet and a width of 2 feet.
  • Make sure the holes where you will be planting the passion fruits is well fertilized.
  • It is advisable to prepare the land and open the planting holes a few months in advance so as to kill off the pests and diseases.
  • The mix the top soil with the compost and put it back.
  • Add the relevant fertilizers such as NPK and CAN to further boost the soil fertility.
  • Trellis the plants. The poles should be placed at least 6m apart in the spaces between the passion fruit plants.
  • Do some companion planting or intercropping with some “light” vegetables such as strawberries, carrots or green pepper. Avoid heavy feeders such as maize, and bananas.

 

Harvesting Your Passion Fruits

Your passion fruits will be ready for harvesting after eight to twelve months. This is especially so for the purple variety of passion fruits. Start picking the fruits as soon as they turn from green to purple when the calyx has dried leaving a small stalk to which the fruit is attached. During this time, shaking the tree will be sufficient to get the fruits falling to the ground.

If you are harvesting for processing, it is advisable to let the passion fruits fall on a soft mulch on the ground. Don’t pluck them up as you may end up plucking unripe ones for immediate processing.

You can collect the dropped fruits at least once or twice every week. In hot weather, pick the fruits early in the morning. Make sure you shake the tendrils so as to release all the passion fruit which may have been stuck in the foliage.

In rainy weather, pick your passion fruits on a daily basis and store them in a cool and dry place.

Marketing Your Passion Fruit

Uganda already has a large local market for passion fruits. If you are looking for a larger and more lucrative market, you can take your passion fruits to Nairobi, Kenya. Look for buyers through Facebook groups and ship the passion fruits to them via transport options such as Easy Coach. Other markets include Tanzania, Rwanda and the UAE.

How to Graft Passion Fruit For Better Productivity

Yellow passionfruit does not have to be grafted. It can grow on its own roots without significant infection by Fusarium.  It can be planted directly into the commercial fruit orchard.

If purple passionfruit is being grown for the fresh market, it needs to be grafted onto the yellow rootstock before planting out.  The two seedlings to be grafted together need to have the same thickness of stem to make the grafting easier.  This means they may not be the same age, as the yellow seedlings are usually more vigorous growers and may be bigger than the purple passionfruit seedling of the same age.  Choose the same size of seedlings, each with stems about a ‘pencil thick’ to graft together.

The pink-flowered banana passionfruit (Passiflora millissima), appears to be resistant to root rot and, when used as a rootstock, also induced a measure of resistance in the purple passionfruit to grease spot (Pseudomonas passiflorae) a serious bacterial disease.

Grafting is an important means of perpetuating hybrids and reducing nematode damage and diseases by utilizing the resistant yellow passion fruit rootstock.

For grafting, you will need the yellow passion fruit rootstock and the purple passion fruit scion. The scion refers to a part of the stem that has been snipped from the parent plant. The scion will be attached to the stem section of the second plant so as to form a grafted union.

This grafted union will callus over gradually and morph into a single plant that grows normally. The new grafted plant will have the qualities of both its parent plants.

Here is a guide to grafting your purple passion fruit:-

  • Make sure the rootstocks and the scions are well irrigated up to 2 hours before the grafting is done.
  • Soak the blade of the grafting knife in a mixture of water and bleach for up to 10 minutes and allow it to dry before you begin using it to cut or splice the scions and rootstocks.
  • Make a wide angled cut into the main stem of the yellow passion fruit rootstock using the utility knife. The cut should be 1 ½ inches long and should be made 10 to 12 inches above the soil.  After making the cut, wipe the blade of your utility knife with a cloth dipped in a disinfectant such as isopropyl alcohol.
  • Remove a three to four inches of the main stem of your purple passion fruit seedlings. Make sure every seedling or scion has at least two leaf nodes. Make a wide angled 1 ½ inch cut on the stem of the seedling using your utility knife.
  • Position the cut surface of your purple passion fruit scion against the cut surface of the yellow passion fruit rootstock to make a union. Wrap this union tightly using a grafting tape.

Cleft Grafting for Passion Fruits

  • Put an opaque plastic bag over the grafted plant. Secure this plastic bag on the rootstock just below the graft union. You can do this by tying it up with a piece of twine.
  • Put the passion fruit grafted union in a shaded area with temperatures not exceeding 65F.
  • The graft union will fully form after 10 to 14 days. Remove the twine after this graft union has occurred.  Open the bag to allow the flow of air. After the buds have started forming on the purple passion fruit scion, get rid of the plastic bag entirely.

Tools to Use

  • Utility Knife
  • Grafting Tape
  • Twine
  • An Opaque Plastic Bag
  • Household bleach such as Jik or Clorox
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Images of Passion Fruit Grafting Process

Grafting of Passion Fruit Using the Top Cleft Method
Grafting of Passion Fruit Using the Top Cleft Method

 

Grafted Passion Fruit Seedlings
Grafted Passion Fruit Seedlings
Passion Fruit Grafting for Better Productivity
Passion Fruit Grafting for Better Productivity

 

 

Passion Fruit Farming Guide

Once the passion fruit has matured, it generally needs to be stored or transported to the markets. The tough outer skin makes transportation easier as it does not break easily. This also means that with the right conditions, passion fruits can be stored for a relatively longer duration of time.

For the purple passion fruits, the ideal stage for transportation to the markets is when the skins are still light purple in colour. This is the period when the passion fruit has begun to ripen but the skin is still relatively tough and unlikely to be compromised.

Know the Right Time to Harvest to Avoid Ruining the Flavour!

The respiration on the passion fruit during the ripening stage occurs when the passion fruit is still stuck on the vine. If you harvest the passion fruit earlier when the fruits are still green or just about to turn purple, it is going to have an unripe flavour and it is also not going to have the desired sweet natural aroma.

Generally, once the passion fruits have ripen, they can be harvested by lightly shaking off the vines and they will fall off easily on the ground. There are cases where farmers leave fully coloured passion fruit to abscise and fall on their own and be picked on the ground.

This is, however, not the ideal situation as it might lead to losses to the birds and some may even get spoilt if they are not picked just as they mature and are ripe. The passion fruit that is picked on the ground may have certain risks. It can have impact injury on the skin as well as scarring damage that may accelerate the rot. It will lead to rapid water loss in the passion fruit and there is a higher chance of it acquiring disease or fungal infections making it unfit for human consumption.

The Grading, Sizes and Packing of Your Passion Fruit Harvest

The ideal diameter for your purple passion fruits should 5cm to 8cm or 2 inches to 3 inches. For the yellow passion fruits, the ideal diameter should be 6cm to 8cm or 2.5 inches to 3 inches.

If the fruits are smaller in size, they should be classified under a lower grade and labelled so. Depending on the variety of the passion fruit, the ideal passion fruit skin colour should be full yellow or full purple. The skin colour for the hybrid passion fruit variety will vary.

Clean the Passion Fruit

Before storing your passion fruit, make sure that fruit is cleaned to get rid of dirt, surface stains or any adhering calyx as well as other tissue on the passion fruit skin surface.

Remove the dried calyx from the passion fruit as it is generally one of the main sources of decay of the passion fruit. For export or retail customers, the passion fruit is generally packed in 6Kg and 4.5Kg fibreboard cartons. There are cases when the passion fruit can be packed in one-layer or two-layer trays or cell packs.

In case the stem is attached to the passion fruit to the fruit, take extra care precaution so that the stem does not rub against the skin of the other passion fruits in the carton and cause bruising on the skin.

The Pre-Cooling Conditions for Passion Fruits

You can room cool or forced air cool at a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius.

Optimal Storage Conditions for Passion Fruits

Store your yellow passion fruits at a temperature of 7 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius or 45degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 90% to 95%. In this condition, the passion fruits can have a storage life of two weeks.

The purple passion fruits on the other hand are quite tolerant to chilled conditions and can thus be stored at temperatures of 3°C to 5°C or 37°F to 45°F for a duration of three to five weeks. So the purple passion fruits can stay fresh for close to two months when stored in the right conditions.

Controlled Packing Practices

There are techniques that farmers and retailers generally use to further extend the lifespan of the passion fruits. For example, film bagging and adding various coatings will significantly reduce water loss in the purple and yellow passion fruits.

Some retailers use a paraffin-based or a carnauba-based coating or even a wax coating on purple passion fruit before they are packed for storage or shipping. Doing this not only improves the passion fruit gloss which makes it more attractive to customers but it also helps in reducing the water loss in the passion fruit and also significantly extends the post-harvest life span of the passion fruit.

You can apply wax on the skin of the passion fruit it on the skin, applying the wax with a brush or simply rubbing it gently on the skin of the purple passion fruits.

Passion Fruit Retail and Display

On the shelves of the supermarkets, the passion fruits should be displayed at the room temperature. Avoid icing or misting the passion fruit on the display.

How to Grow Passion Fruit

There are many crops that yield good income to the farmer and Passion Fruit is definitely one of them. This vine bears delicious fruits that are either yellow or purple in color. Since it is a lucrative business to grow passion fruits for domestic as well as export market, let us understand some basics about growing this fruit.

Know about Passion Fruit

Passion fruit is a roundish fruit that grows on vines and is available in yellow and purple variety. Both the varieties are acidic in nature and excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as carotene. The fruit is best eaten in fresh form or after extracting the pulp and making delicious juice. There are many uses of the pulp and juice alike, in cosmetic and food industry. The addition of the fruit gives unique taste to dishes and many food flavors are obtained from this wonderful fruit.

Yellow Passion Fruit Variety
Yellow Passion Fruit Variety

Its utility in food and cosmetic commercial industry has prompted many farmers to take up passion fruit farming and there is a growing demand in domestic and export market for this versatile crop.

Panama Red Passionfruit
Panama Red Passionfruit

The purple variety grows better at higher altitude. They are acidic with variable taste and juice capacity. Initially green in color, they are round and once ripe have an intense aroma. On the other hand, the yellow variety is bigger, rounder, more acidic and less aromatic. Both the varieties are pretty similar in taste. The yellow type gives higher yield and is more capable of fighting plant diseases.

Ideal conditions for growing Passion fruit

Passion fruit grows well in wide range of altitudes ranging from 1200 to 2000 meters above sea level, depending upon the geographical location. The ideal temperature range for purple passion fruits is 18⁰C to 25⁰C and for yellow fruits it is 25⁰C to 30⁰C.

Large Scale Passion Fruit Farming
Large Scale Passion Fruit Farming

The fruit requires evenly distributed rainfall of 900 mm to 2000 mm through the year. Excess rainfall damages the crop. Thus, in regions with heavy rainfall, care should be taken to see that the soil is well drained and there is no water logging. Heavy rains can decay the leaves and fruits and reduce the yield.

For a good crop, there needs to be balanced soil with adequate nutrients and fertility with a pH count of 6.0 to 6.5. Lesser pH means acidic soil and that indicates easy wilting of the vine and destruction of the crop. In order to protect this, it is essential to put manure and lime at the plant roots as well as the entire field, so that the soil acidity is reduced considerably.

Planting and caring

Passion fruit can either be cultivated from seeds or by grafting method. However, grafting method cultivation has better results. After being removed from pulp and dried, the seeds take about 4 weeks to germinate and they are initially planted in plastic bags with approximately three seeds per bag. After germination, they are thinned out to only one plant. The young plant needs four months to reach the transplanting stage.  From seven weeks after the transplanting is completed, the plant should have around four healthy side stems.

Planting Passion Fruit Seedlings
Planting Passion Fruit Seedlings

The most suitable time for transplanting is just at the onset of rainy season. The plants should be planted in well tilled soil, since the roots of passion fruit go very deep down. The field should have posts with wire trellises ready to support the growing vines with fruits. The vines should have sufficient place to grow in both directions.

Since passion fruit grows on vines, it needs ample space to spread out for a healthy growth. For this reason, the plants are spaced out at 3 meters from each other and there is a distance of 2 meters between each row. Horizontal and vertical trellises help in supporting the growing vines and thus should be of proper thickness like 9 to 10 gauge of galvanized steel. The posts on which the trellis is raised should be stout and deep rooted in soil so that they can easily withstand strong winds and the weight of vines and fruits. Ideally, the posts are 45 to 75 cm deep in ground and raise the trellis up to a height of minimum 1.5 meters.

A north-south orientation of trellis ensures that the plants get sufficient sunlight and proximity to other vines encourages cross-pollination.

Precautions for getting a better yield

Mixing about 20 kg of manure with 175 grams of TSP (Triple Super Phosphate) and spreading it around the field at the time of plantation assures a healthy crop. Two applications of 150 grams each per year (Total 300 gm) of CAN (Calcium Ammonium Nitrate) during rainy season protect the plants from decay and disease.  Spraying of pesticides on leaves is also recommended for added protection.

Panama Red Passionfruit Harvest
Panama Red Passionfruit Harvest

When the plants are first transplanted, it is necessary to weed the ground. Since the crop does not last for more than three years, it is advisable to plant other plants in rotation so that the soil remains enriched and disease free.

Be vigilant and prune any decaying part to maintain the plant healthy and high yielding. Timely spraying and application of insecticides ensure that there is no infection and the crop is well maintained.

For local market use, the fruit s harvested when it changes color. From raw green it turns to either yellow or deep purple. The pulp is bright yellow and has small black seeds. As far as fruit harvesting for processing is concerned, it is allowed to fall to the ground and then collected very alternate day after it shrivels up a bit. This does not hinder its efficiency for processing.

Passion fruit vines give a good, healthy yield for almost three years, after which the strength of the plant diminishes and so does the harvest.  These vines have a capacity of giving yield of 15 to 20 tonnes per hectare and thus generate good income for the farmer.

As we can see, passion fruit farming is a very good income source for the farmer and with simple precautions and proper planning he can get excellent crop for domestic and export markets.

Management of Passion Fruits

Passion fruit farming is a very lucrative business that can earn very handsome income to the farmer. Nonetheless, it is possible only if good care is taken of the plant to enable healthy crop.

Passionfruit Plantation
Passionfruit Plantation

Weeding

Passion fruit farming can give good yield if the vines are well cared for. The plant thrives well if there are no weeds around it. Thus, weeding from time to time is essential so that the soil moisture is reserved for the vine and not used up by the weeds.

While weeding or loosening the soil for aeration, care should be taken to keep the roots and basal stem intact and not damage them by hoe; else, the vine gets weak and rots, destroying the crop.

Pruning

Good crop is obtained by periodically pruning the plant. Dead leaves or rotten vine parts can destroy the health of the plant. It is also essential to prune some live parts in order to cut down the overall growth and get good nourishment for the plant. This ensures that the vine bears good yield and lasts longer.

Pruning has another advantage too. It exposes the leaves and fruits to bright sunshine that helps in controlling plant diseases and gives rich color to fruit and sufficient scope for photosynthesis for healthy foliage.

Pruning is necessary to free the vines from entangling and the tendrils twining into other plant thus retarding the growth of both the vines. The pruning process helps to expose the fruit for harvesting.

Since the vine is trimmed to give space for new growth, the flowers and fruits are of good quality.

Fertilizers

For a healthy growth of plant there needs to be proper nourishment. This is only possible if the soil is fertile and rich in minerals. However, if there is lack of natural nutrients in the soil, it is advisable to supplement the nourishment by adding good quality chemical fertilizers. Some natural manure like farm rot manure or poultry manure can be equally effective.

The addition of fertilizer to soil is needed at planting stage if the soil is not of good quality. However, in case of fertile land, the process can be undertaken after a year or so, but later needs to be a continued process after the soil loses its bulk of natural nutrients.

A recommended dose of ½ lb of single super-phosphate applied per plant is good at planting stage.

Inter-planting

Passion fruit is a vine and thus planted in rows with trellis support or that of fencing.  Thus there is enough open space to plant other varieties of plants and vegetables to get a continuous yield. Actually, this inter-planting process should be carried out in the first year, when the passion fruit vine is just settling in the soil. Some plants that can be considered are annual crops like egg plants, carrots, onions or even a few short term growing vegetables that do not interfere with overall growth of the passion fruit vine.

Inter-planting help the farmer earn additional income, prevents wastage of space and after the crop is harvested, the remains of the plant and roots add as manure after decaying. The only care needed is not planting crops that have a tendency of sucking the nutrients from the soil.

Pest control

Insects are beneficial for pollination. However, all insects are not good for the crop and some can pose danger in the healthy growth of passion fruit plant. Some of them are Mealy Bugs, Aphids, Fruit Flies and Passion Fruit Mite. These can cause severe damage to the vine or the fruit and should be treated in timely manner.

Passion fruit vine can suffer from diseases like Brown Spots, Fusariam Wilt and Woodiness Disease. Brown spots cause the vine to dry and rot. The tissues that carry the food get damaged and thus the plant does not get proper nutrition. Pruning and spraying with mixture of 30 gm Dithane M45 in 10 liters water helps to control the disease.

Woodiness disease destroys the quality of fruit and the best remedy is to uproot the vine and burn it.

Fusariam Wilt is soil-borne disease and affects the plant root upwards and gradually since the roots are affected and the plant is devoid of nutrition, it withers and dies. This disease affects purple variety of passion fruit and the yellow barely gets affected.

Harvesting, packing & marketing

Passion fruit matures within 70 days after setting. The mature fruit falls off to the ground and can be collected. It is essential to shake the vine while plucking the fruit to free the entangled fruit from foliage. The best time to harvest is morning when the scorching sun heat is not out. A good yield of passion fruit is considered as 15000 to 18000 kg per hectare.

The packing should be ideally done after drying the wet fruit after picking. The crop has good potential in local as well as export market.

How to Graft Passion Fruit For Better Productivity

Yellow passionfruit does not have to be grafted. It can grow on its own roots without significant infection by Fusarium.  It can be planted directly into the commercial fruit orchard.

If purple passionfruit is being grown for the fresh market, it needs to be grafted onto the yellow rootstock before planting out.  The two seedlings to be grafted together need to have the same thickness of stem to make the grafting easier.  This means they may not be the same age, as the yellow seedlings are usually more vigorous growers and may be bigger than the purple passionfruit seedling of the same age.  Choose the same size of seedlings, each with stems about a ‘pencil thick’ to graft together.

The pink-flowered banana passionfruit (Passiflora millissima), appears to be resistant to root rot and, when used as a rootstock, also induced a measure of resistance in the purple passionfruit to grease spot (Pseudomonas passiflorae) a serious bacterial disease.

Grafting is an important means of perpetuating hybrids and reducing nematode damage and diseases by utilizing the resistant yellow passion fruit rootstock.

For grafting, you will need the yellow passion fruit rootstock and the purple passion fruit scion. The scion refers to a part of the stem that has been snipped from the parent plant. The scion will be attached to the stem section of the second plant so as to form a grafted union.

This grafted union will callus over gradually and morph into a single plant that grows normally. The new grafted plant will have the qualities of both its parent plants.

Here is a guide to grafting your purple passion fruit:-

  • Make sure the rootstocks and the scions are well irrigated up to 2 hours before the grafting is done.
  • Soak the blade of the grafting knife in a mixture of water and bleach for up to 10 minutes and allow it to dry before you begin using it to cut or splice the scions and rootstocks.
  • Make a wide angled cut into the main stem of the yellow passion fruit rootstock using the utility knife. The cut should be 1 ½ inches long and should be made 10 to 12 inches above the soil.  After making the cut, wipe the blade of your utility knife with a cloth dipped in a disinfectant such as isopropyl alcohol.
  • Remove a three to four inches of the main stem of your purple passion fruit seedlings. Make sure every seedling or scion has at least two leaf nodes. Make a wide angled 1 ½ inch cut on the stem of the seedling using your utility knife.
  • Position the cut surface of your purple passion fruit scion against the cut surface of the yellow passion fruit rootstock to make a union. Wrap this union tightly using a grafting tape.
  • Put an opaque plastic bag over the grafted plant. Secure this plastic bag on the rootstock just below the graft union. You can do this by tying it up with a piece of twine.
  • Put the passion fruit grafted union in a shaded area with temperatures not exceeding 65F.
  • The graft union will fully form after 10 to 14 days. Remove the twine after this graft union has occurred.  Open the bag to allow the flow of air. After the buds have started forming on the purple passion fruit scion, get rid of the plastic bag entirely.

Tools to Use

  • Utility Knife
  • Grafting Tape
  • Twine
  • An Opaque Plastic Bag
  • Household bleach such as Jik or Clorox
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Passion Fruit Growing: Important Facts That You Need to Know

Each year, passion fruits attract very high prices in the market, particularly towards the end of the year in the months of October-November. The global market for passion fruits has also expanded in the recent years. These factors have attracted lots of growers into passion fruit farming.

While investing in passion fruit farming is a smart decision for those venturing into agribusiness, do not be blinded by the high prices and forget to factor in what it takes to get a good harvest for your passion fruits.

There are many challenges and pitfalls associated with passion fruit farming. A lot of farmers often face ups and downs especially if they plunge deep into the venture without doing their homework and learning what it takes to get a bountiful harvest of passion fruits. These include factors such as the seed selection, proper preparation of land, watering, fertilising, managing the plant and many other critical factors.

Some of the challenges farmers may face include drop in prices due to a supply glut, pests and diseases and lack of knowledge in managing the passion fruit plant for optimal yields.

Here is a look at some of the important factors that you need to consider in order to ensure your passion fruit farming agribusiness venture is a success:-

  • Make sure the land is frost-free and faces a north-east direction. The land on which you are planning to plant your passion fruits should also be well sheltered from strong winds.
  • Have a constant water supply or an irrigation system. You will need to irrigate the plant for the first five to six months unless your region has good rainfall.
  • Before venturing into passion fruit farming, make sure you fully understand the pests and diseases that you will grapple with as well as the control measures that you will need to put in place to control them.
  • Buy the right equipment that you will use to spray your passion fruit plants. For young vines, you can use a boom spray or a power spray to accomplish the job. Due to their vigorous growth, the passion fruit vines will inevitably thicken up. When that happens, you will need a more powerful sprayer such as the airblast sprayer.
  • You need the commitment to maintain the vines until maturity. Passion fruit plants need some tender loving care and if you don’t have the time and commitment for proper plant husbandry, you are likely to fail. Some of the tasks that you need to carry out on a regular basis include regular watering, spraying, fertilising, pruning etc.  Without these, the production as well as the quality of your passion fruit will be reduced significantly.
  • If you will be doing large scale passion fruit farming, you will need regular labour supply for managing the vines, harvesting, picking and packing up the vines.

The Location

As repeatedly emphasised on this website, the location will be an important success factor when it comes to passion fruit farming. In subtropical conditions, the hybrid varieties of passion fruits which are a cross between the common fruit and the tropical passion fruit will generally do well. The hybrid varieties are, however, very sensitive to cold and frost.

The passion fruit should be planted in a sheltered area that is also frost free. Tropical weather is generally the most ideal for growing passion fruit. If you grow the passion fruit in a less than ideal weather condition, you are likely going to experience lower productivity and lower performance.

The Labour Requirements

Large scale production of passion fruit can be quite labour intensive so in areas with cheap labour such as much of Africa and South East Asia, you can look forward to better margins for your passion fruit plantations.

When it comes to growing passion fruit, you are going to need intensive labour supply throughout the year. You need labour for all aspects of your passion fruit growing including controlling the pests and diseases, fertilising the plant, managing the plant, harvesting, collecting and packing the passion fruits in cartons ready for transportation.

The passion fruit vines will bear fruits for an extended period of time. They will carry crops for summer, autumn and winter. In the summers or in places with hot sun and higher temperatures, the fruits should be picked early in the morning so as to minimise the instance of sunburn in the course of the day.

There have been developments in passion fruit harvesting and there are machines that you can now use to mechanically harvest your passion fruit while on the ground. If you are doing large scale passion fruit cultivation, it is advisable to design your farm such that it is friendly for mechanical passion fruit harvesting. This can be done by ensuring proper row spacing as well as a degree of slope for turning.

Cost of Planting Passion Fruits

Excluding the cost of land and other infrastructure such as a dam, pump, trellis and fencing, the labour costs will vary from country to country. In countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania or India, the labour costs is generally very low so you can expect great margins. However, labour costs in countries such as Australia and New Zealand tend to be quite high.  The biggest costs are going to be in trellising the passion fruit, irrigating, planting and training the passion fruits.

Passion Fruits Diseases and Pests

Don’t venture into passion fruit farming if you are unsure what you will be up against. Take your time to read about the various passion fruits pests and diseases and the management practices that you will incorporate to control them. Because the pests and diseases can have a devastating effect on your crop, you will have to use the fungicides and insecticides extensively.

Simple Tips on Growing Your Own Passion Fruit in Your Backyard

Passion fruits have lots of medicinal qualities not to forget their deliciousness. There is an increasing number of homesteaders who are willing to try out their green itchy fingers on passion fruit farming.

Growing passion fruits is always a labour of love but one that is very rewarding. The plants generally sprout fairly quickly and can even serve a decorative purpose on your premises. They are fast and evergreen climbers that will quickly transform your premises into marvellous greenery. The plants have long stems/tendrils that quickly wrap themselves around everything they come into contact with such as trees, verandah, pergolas or screens although, it is generally advisable to construct a support system such as a trellis that will provide optimal support for the plants.

The best position for planting your passion fruit plants is generally in the north-facing direction. This is the position that they prefer. They may still grow in an easterly or westerly position but generally, they will be north-seeking. Why not make things easier for them by planting them in a northerly direction?

Typical passion fruit plants that are well nourished and with access to adequate sunshine, support and watering will generally grow a distance ranging from 5m to 7m every year. That is a lot of growth and it is the reason they need excellent support system. A well tendered passion fruit plant will grow for a duration of up to years before they hit their limits of vigorous growth and need replanting. The best climes for growing your passion fruit plants is generally in the tropical areas but they can also do well in cooler climes if you choose the right variety of passion fruits. Passion fruit plants can also do well indoors. A lot of urban farmers will grow their passion fruits indoors.

Achieving Decent Growth and Fruiting For Your Passion Fruit Plants

For the best growth and fruiting, plant the passion fruit plants in a sunny and frost free area and then give them some tender loving care including regular pruning, watering, support, adding manure or compost and spraying fungicides every few months to keep them in the healthiest of conditions.

The passion fruit plants will develop an extensive root system to support the vigorous growth of the plants so it is important to make sure that you have provided adequate room for root development. The roots, however, may not go deep enough so you will need to cover the root area with compost and other organic matter to protect and nourish them. The surrounding area where you are growing your passion fruit plants should also be kept free of weeds such as grass and blackjack among others.

Growing Your Passion Fruit

Here are some of the requirements that you will need when growing your passion fruit:-

  • Prepare plenty of room to grow your passionfruit
  • Keep the soil free of any competing plants and weeds
  • Give the passionfruit plants the space to climb
  • Ensure the spot is sunny and space-free
  • Keep the soil moist but well-drained
  • Prune the passionfruit plant back in the early spring
  • Water the passionfruit plants at least once a week during the spring and summers

Your passionfruit plants should have adequate space to climb. The best place to grow your passionfruit plants is along the wire fence of your compound or even across the balcony. You can also grow your passionfruit plants over the pergola where they can also provide shade in addition to the delicious fruits that they produce.

In case you are planning to grow your passionfruit plants along a sunny fence or wall, you can build a trellis that will serve as support for the long tendrils that will soon sprout.

Do not use too much water!

Remember, the emphasis is on moist but not wet or flooded soil. In fact, passionfruit plants do very badly in water-clogged soils. They don’t like “wet feet”. Too much water will lead to the rot of the passion  fruit roots followed by quick wilting. Add a little water in a well drained and sloping soil and keep the soil moist by adding organic matter or compost at the roots of the passionfruit plants. The organic matter should be added before planting and then you can also use them to cover the roots afterwards. You can also add a little lime on the soil.

Proper husbandry for your passionfruit plant

The fruits will begin sprouting in the current season so it is advisable that you prune back in early spring or after the last frost. Prune the passionfruit back by about 30%. All the dieback and weak growth on the plant should be removed so as to boost its ventilations. Every few years, the plant should be thinned out so as to boost ventilation and healthy growth of your passion. Passionfruit plants are generally quite hungry because they produce a lot of flowers and fruit.

Flowering of your passionfruit plant

Apply the fruit tree fertiliser as well as some potash on your passionfruit. You can also do some side dressing which will be beneficial for the nourishment of the plant. Keep in mind that fertilisers that are very rich in nitrogen will promote the growth of leaves at the expense of flowers and fruit and that can be counterproductive for your yields: you will have very healthy plants producing very few fruits or no fruits at all.

As already stated, water your passionfruit plants sparingly. You can water them deeply at least once a week during the summer months and in the spring. The mulch and fertiliser should be spread out throughout the passionfruit plant’s entire root system. Don’t just apply the fertiliser at the base of the passionfruit plant’s stem.

The best fertilisers for your passionfruit plants are once that will encourage the flowering and fruiting of the plant. You can apply fertiliser to the soil during the spring and then after every month during the summers.

Whenever you apply fertiliser to your passion fruit plant, make sure the soil is well watered. Depending on the passionfruit variety and growing conditions, it will take anywhere from 12 months to 18 months for your newly planted passionfruit plant to begin producing fruits. In the tropical areas, however, it is possible for you to get continuous cropping and multiple harvests for your passionfruit while in the cooler climes, you are likely to get a single crop in the summer and in the autumn. When the skin are wrinkled or begin changing colour to yellow, purple or purple brown depending on the fruit variety, the fruits will be ripe for picking. Do not wait until they drop for you to begin picking the passion fruits.

Establishing and Grafting Your Passion Fruit Seedlings

Passion fruit plants are affected by a variety of insects and diseases that can have an adverse impact on the yield and profitability of your farm. Before venturing into passion fruit production, it is therefore important for you to have the proper knowledge and expertise on the management of your passion fruit vines so as to maximize on the production. Optimal yields are achieved through proper management and plant husbandry.

Passion Fruit Grafting
Passion Fruit Grafting

Before you venture into passion fruit farming, it is necessary to know some basics about the passion fruit crop you are going to plant.

Passion fruit seed extraction, planting and grafting

The seed extraction

The first step to establishing your passion fruit crop is seed extraction. In this process, the healthy and mature fruits of the passion fruits that have a history of excellent performance are extracted from the parent plant.

The extracted seeds are then put in water for at least three days which will allow them to ferment and make it easier to separate the passion fruit seeds from the pulp.

After extraction, the passion fruit seeds are then dried under shade. If you don’t store the passion fruit seeds in a cool, dark and dry place, they are going to lose the viability and that means the rate at which they will germinate and thrive will be quite low.

Planting your passion fruit seeds

The passion fruit seeds should be planted into a pre-prepared seed bed. Alternatively, you can also use polythene bags in planting the seedlings which will make the transplantation a lot easier. Typically, the polythene bags should be at least 6cm wide and 22.5cm high.

When planting the seeds, use soil that is sterilized so as to get rid of the nematodes that are like to afflict the passion fruit roots and kill the plants or lower their yields. Sterilised soils also eliminate the various soil borne diseases and various other harmful micro-organisms.

There are various ways in which you can carry out soil sterilisation. For example, you can use hot steam or simply expose the soil to sun for several days before planting the seeds. The germination of the passion fruit seeds will begin at least 17 days after the planting has been done.

Grafting Your Passion Fruit

The rootstock of the yellow passion fruit variety is generally used because it has excellent resistance to the nematodes and various other passion fruit diseases. The purple passion fruit varieties are generally more vulnerable to these pests and diseases. Using the yellow passion fruit rootstocks will increase the survivability of the plant.  The rootstocks should be at least 50cm high and 3 or mm thick.

After the germination, choose healthy seedlings with dark green leaves for grafting. The scions of healthy looking high yielding purple passion fruits will be used for the grafting. These should be collected when the plant has flowered. The mother plants from which you will collect the scions should be raised in an area where there is sufficient protection from insects so as to reduce the occurrences of diseases.

Make sure that the grafting equipment is sterilised so as to prevent the spread of diseases. A simple home based solution that you can use to sterilise your passion fruit grafting equipment is Clorox.

You can graft the passion fruit using the cleft technique or by splicing.

Post Grafting

After the grafting, make sure that the seedlings are watered and a hardened by exposing them to sunshine gradually.

One month after grafting, you can remove the grafting tape from the union and then transplant your seedlings in the field.