Yellow passion fruits do really well in the lowlands and mid-altitude locations. They are also growing increasingly popular due to their delicious juices and flavor.
The yellow passion fruits are in high demand both locally and globally. Some of the biggest markets for yellow passion fruits are the EU and the Middle East. However, in spite of the high current demand, production of yellow passion fruits still remains low and this is usually due to the limited access that many farmers have to high quality passion fruit planting materials. The yellow passion fruit orchards also have a shorter lifespan compared to the purple passion fruit varieties as a result of the woodiness viral disease and poor agronomic practices by passion fruit farmers.
In locations with good rainy seasons, it is generally advisable to plant the yellow passion fruit varieties. The varieties to be planted generally vary from country to country. In Uganda, the best yellow passion fruit varieties to plant include the KPF4, KPF11, KPF11 and the KPF12 yellow passion fruit varieties. The KPF4 variety of yellow passion fruits generally has light green leaves and vines as well as oval fruits and a pulp that is deep yellow in colour. On the other hand, the KPF12 variety has darker green leaves and vines, rounder fruits and heavy flowering and fruiting. The KPF12 yellow passion fruit variety grown in Uganda also produces round fruits.
Preparing the Yellow Passion Fruit Seeds
To extract the seedlings, you should cut the fruit into two in order to extract the pulp. Use clean water in order to separate the passion fruit pulp from the seeds. The seeds should be rinsed at least thrice before you dry them in order to prevent them from sticking onto the drying surface. The washed seeds should be put in a cloth and dried at room temperature away from the sunshine in order to retain their viability.
The passion fruit seeds should be planted immediately or within 30 days of extraction so as to retain their viability. Plant the passion fruit seedlings directly into biodegradable planting bags by placing them 1cm into the soil. Doing this will help reduce the shock of transplantation.
The passion fruit seedlings should not be planted close to adult vines in order to avoid infection from some of the common passion fruit diseases such as the woodiness virus. Planting them away from grown plants will also ensure that the passion fruit plants get sufficient sunshine.
Preparing Land for Yellow Passion Fruit Transplanting
Dig the planting holes in a way that the orchards will be in an east-west orientation. The holes dug should be at least 0.6m or 60cm deep. Have a spacing of 4m.
The spacing between the posts shouldn’t be too large as this might lead to the collapse of the trellising system used in supporting the passion fruit plants. The post used in the trellising should have a length of 2.5m and 15cm in diameter and the total height above the soil should be 1.9m.
The passion fruit vines should be transplanted when they are at the height of 25cm to 30cm. However, the time it takes for the passion fruit seedlings to attain this height will vary depending on the region. In some regions, it takes 2 months while in others, it can take 3 months. If you plant the passion fruit vines at a spacing of 1.5 x 2.5m, you will have a total vine population of 1064 vines per acre. With a spacing of 3m x 2m, your total vine density will be 740 vines per acre.
The Management of Passion Fruit Vines
The shoots and the tendrils of the passion fruits should be removed on a weekly basis until the vines reach the trellising wire. The tendrils should be removed up to about 50cm from the trellising wire. You should use your hands to prune the shoots and the tendrils of the passion fruit vines as this will minimize the spread of diseases. Good pruning will also ensure that the plant provides less resistance to the winds. The secondary laterals should be pruned at least 10cm to 40cm from the ground in order to avoid diseases and pests. This will also help simplify the passion fruit harvest process.
Effective water management in passion fruit farming will help boost flowering in the vines and prevent flower abortion. It is advisable to put in place effective water management practices as well as systems that will help boost water retention and minimize water stress in the crops.
You can adopt hand pollination in order to increase the rate of fruit formation. Do this regularly as the emerging flowers in the vines bloom. This will help boost the passion fruit yield by 30%.
Ensure that you continuously prune the passion fruit crop. Pruning, irrigation and the addition of manure should be done every three months.
For more tips on passion fruit farming, check out our passion fruit farming handbook.