Category Archives: Passion Fruit Production 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.

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.

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.

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

 

 

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.

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.