Category Archives: Passion Fruit Planting Guide

How to Grow Your Passion Fruit Yourself

Want to grow your passion fruit yourself? Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:-

The Position of Your Passion Fruit Plants

Passion fruits are a subtropical plant so it is necessary that they are planted in a position where they receive full sun. The plants should also be sheltered from frost and winds. The soil where the passion fruits are planted should be light and properly drained. In case you live in area with heavy soils, consider planting your passion fruit plants in containers. We advise adding in an excellent quality potting mix that has been formulated well for the containers where you plan on planting your passion fruits.

Planting Your Passion Fruit

Plant your passion fruit when all the frost has subsided. If you are living in temperate climates, the best time to plant your passion fruit would be during spring. Before you plant the passion fruit, add a slow dripping citrus fertiliser in the bottom of the hole. Make sure you firm the soil well and also water the soils well.

Passionfruit Plantation
Passionfruit Plantation

Watering Passion Fruit Plant

Passion fruit is a vigorous tropical plant that will develop an extensive network of root system but they won’t go very deep. The roots will be fairly shallow. Make sure you carry out frequent watering but without flooding the soil. Too much water is not advised for your passion fruit. Add a little water and to help in retaining the moisture, add some mulching at the root system. The watering should be done during the flowering and fruiting phase. When watering, keep the water from getting to the foliage so as to prevent the formation of fungal problems.

Adding fertilisers

Passion fruit plants, being vigorous, are also heavy feeders. Feed them sparingly with a slow release Citrus fertiliser. During their fruiting phase, you can also feed them with a liquid fertiliser.

Training and Pruning Your Passion Fruit

The passion fruit plants should be trained early on. This will allow them to create a strong framework upon which other lateral branches will sprout and bear the fruit. After planting the passion fruit vine, it is advisable to get rid of the side shoots so that you can train the main shoot or the leader towards the trellis so as to ensure excellent support.

After the growing tip has sprouted a bit, pinch out the growing tip so as to allow the sprouting of the laterals. If you live in a temperate climate, never prune during the winter. In much of South East Asia and even Australia, the best time to prune your passion fruit plants would be around October or November.

During the early pruning, you are going to lose a few flowers and possibly fruits but the passion fruit plants have a very vigorous growth so they will more than make up for any losses.

Fruits

The passion fruit plants generally bear fruits in a very short period of time, on average 8 to 9 months. Your passion fruit plants will ripen from around mid summer. The passion fruit plants will be ripe when their skins turn to purple or yellow depending on the variety of the passion fruit plant. During the summers, consistent watering is also necessary so as to prevent the passion fruits from dropping off the plant prematurely. Less water for the plant will also lead to wrinkled fruits.

Passion fruit plants are fairly easy to grow if you follow the right procedures. Check out our Passion Fruit Farming Guide for comprehensive guidance on how to grow your passion fruit plants. You can order your copy via PayPal by paying $10 to freerangefarming.info@gmail.com.

Passion Fruit Farming in Uganda: Quick Tips for Success

Looking for some quick tips for passion fruit farming success in Uganda? Here we go. A 2 minute read of simple tips that will make your passion fruit farming venture more profitable:-

  • Plough the proposed deeply and thoroughly. This will open up the soil and allow it to be aerated which is ideal for passion fruit planting. Opening up the soil also allows for water filtration.
  • Open the passion fruit planting holes several weeks in advance.
  • Mix the top soil of the farm with the compost or manure and then put it back into the planting hole.
  • Transplant your passion fruit seedlings as soon as the rains begin. If there are no rains, water before and after planting your passion fruit.
  • You should do the transplanting of the passion fruits during the early mornings or late evenings. This will minimise the likelihood of plant failure or withering due to excess heat.

 

Planting from Seeds

  • If you are starting with seeds, soak these seeds in warm water so as to facilitate their quick germination.
  • Leave the passion fruit seeds in the open air to dry before you plant.
  • Place the passion fruit seeds 1cm deep in polythene containers
  • Thinly cover the seeds with top soil and then pour water to facilitate germination.
  • After the seedlings have grown to a height of 20cm to 25cm, transplant them to the prepared site. Make sure you remove and dispose of the polythene containers.
  • Harvest your passion fruits when they ripen and change colour to either yellow or purple depending on the passion fruit variety.

Different Stages in the Growth of Passion Fruit

Passion fruit is ideally grown in subtropical and tropical regions and need plenty of sunlight for a healthy growth. However, it can be grown in many other parts too with controlled soil and climatic conditions.

Panama Red Passionfruit Harvest
Panama Red Passionfruit Harvest

Passion fruit can be cultivated by two methods – first being through germination of seeds and the other being grafting of plant.

Preparation for planting

Any plant that you wish to grow needs planting in pot or ground. In the case of passion fruit, the seeds from a ripe, harvested fruit can be used after removing them from the pulp, washing and drying them for 3-4 days.

The freshly picked seeds germinate faster and better than the dried stored ones. A pot with mixture of coarse sand, manure and topsoil should be made ready for the seeds to be planted. The pot should be approximately half filled with the soil.

Digging furrows in the soil for plantation also ensure that the seeds are not drenched in water and there is sufficient scope for seepage. Sow the seeds at higher level in soil at least 1 cm apart from each other and then cover them gently with a thin layer of soil. This is necessary so that the seeds get good supply of warmth of sunlight for germination. Water the seeds immediately, taking care to see that the seeds are just moistened and not totally soaked in water. Keep an eye on the pot in next few days and as you see top layer dried, sprinkle some water to wet it.

This will enable the seeds to germinate quickly within 10-20 days. Since they are planted at higher level, there is scope for the roots to grow firmly in the soil. When you see that the seedlings have grown 8 to 10 inches tall, you can safely transplant them in the ground where you wish to cultivate them.

As far as planting through grafting is concerned, prepare a pot with three parts fertile soil with a part of topsoil. After mixing them thoroughly, plant the cutting in it. The cutting does not have roots and thus absorbs moisture from atmosphere for its growth. Hence, there is no need to water the cutting excessively nor does the soil have to retain the moisture.

For a good crop, it is essential that the cutting is from a healthy plant. Select the new, young portion of a mature vine and snip it with at least three buds intact. The cut should be directly below the lowest bud, as this is from where the roots will grow in the soil. Plant the cutting in the prepared sand bed immediately after cutting to prevent drying up.

After this stage, it is of prime importance to keep the cutting under humid condition by covering the pot with a plastic sheet and keeping it in sunlight. The roots are formed within 1-2 weeks and then it is ready for transplanting in solid ground.

Choose the right place

For a healthy plant growth, the space utilized for planting should be ideal to suit the particular plant growth. In case of Passion fruit, the plant in consideration is a vine and thus needs sufficient place to spread. The spot chosen for planting should be away from heavy root trees and weeds. It is necessary to clear the weeds from the portion before planting. There should be full sunlight (6 hours a day) and a support nearby for the vine to climb on. You can have it close to fencing or erect a trellis for the purpose.

Care and harvesting

It is essential to put fertilizers from time to time, remove the weeds and water the plants daily for a good crop. Spray the leaves with pesticides to protect from diseases. Soil check for pH balance of 6.5-7.5 is necessary too. Roots need to breathe easily for a healthy growth, so loosen the soil periodically and add coarse sand for aeration.

The vine starts bearing fruits in a year or one and half year, depending upon the quality. Both the varieties, purple and yellow, are green in color in initial stages and as they ripen they change the color. Once you see some wrinkles on the fruit it is ready for harvesting and consumption.

How to Tell If Your Passion Fruit is Ripe

Ordinarily, the passion fruit should be considered ripe once it has changed its colour from green to yellow or purple depending on the variety of the passion fruit. However, the colour change can be quite deceptive. Seemingly ripe passion fruit may not be as ripe inside. Here are some ways in which you can determine if your passion fruit is fully ripen:-

Recognise Ripe Passion Fruit by the Change in Colour

This is the primary mode of determining if your passion fruit is ripe. If it is the purple passion fruit, it will change colour from green to purple with some white specs on the skin of the passion fruit. Generally, the greener the passion fruit, the less ripe it is and this applies for all varieties of passion fruit. If it is the yellow variety, it will change its colour from green to a rich yellow skin colour.

Passionfruit
Passionfruit

In some rare cases, there are passion fruits that will ripen without necessarily changing their colours. In that case, they are likely to drop off from the vines holding them.

Look at the texture of the passion fruit skin

Passion fruits that are not yet ripened generally have a very smooth skin. On the other hand, passion fruit that has ripened will have “dimples” or wrinkled skin. However, it is advisable to go for skin that is moderately wrinkled as opposed to one that is excessively wrinkled as these are likely to be unfit for consumption. Excessively wrinkled skin generally shows the passion fruit has passed its freshness date.

Look at the fruit for any signs of damage

If the fruit has fallen on the ground, inspect of any signs of bruising. Bruises are likely to lead to the growth of mould on the surface of the skin. If the skin looks normal, then the passion fruit could still be edible.

Let the passion fruit fall on its own

Generally, passion fruit that has fallen on its own is generally ripe. Ripe passion fruit will generally fall on its own due to its own weight. However, some un-ripened may still fall down due to weather or if the tree is weak due to dehydration.

The weight of the fruit

Unripe fruit is generally light in weight. Ripened fruit are generally heavier than you would expect for a particular size.

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.