Growing Passion fruit in your garden is possible and nothing is more satisfying than to see your Passionfruit vine bloom and bear fruit.
Growing passion fruit in your garden is not too hard. I personally love the look of hanging passion fruit ready to be plucked! If you take certain things into account and follow a few good practices with soil, watering, and plant protection, it can be quite rewarding. I will briefly explain the qualities of the fruit and what the passion fruit plant likes.
1. Identify if your climate matches the Passionfruit vine
Passion fruit vines thrive in subtropical and temperate climates. It needs protection from frost when it’s young. So passionfruit is not recommended for very cold areas. If you still plant to plant it, find a spot that has sun and an arrangement to cover the vines with sheets. The sheets could be jute or plastic, the purpose is to save from direct snow and frost in winters. You could integrate such a protection system with the structure you build, which we talk about next.
2. Identify the structure for vine creep
The Passion fruit vines will need to grow with rooting everywhere. Ideally, one plant will need 12 square meters of space. So you could build a structure suiting your garden or let it crawl on a structure unclaimed by any other vines or creepers. For example your garden fence, awning structures of your barn, gazebos and patio roofing structure, etc. I personally prefer old umbrella frames that can serve as a good decoration for these beautiful fruits.
You would also want to protect your passionfruit vines from strong winds and other weeds. You would want to choose a spot where watering is not an issue as it will require regular watering.
3. Prepare the Soil and plant the Passionfruit Vines
You should prepare the soil with a PH of 5.5 to 6.5 and the soil should be not rich in clay. The Passionfruit vines love well-drained soil. If you need to know, here is our soil preparation guide. If you want to know how to prepare planters, here it is. In fact, if you want to know what type of planters to use, here is our planter selection guide. You can adjust your soil’s PH by either adding more fertilizer, like compost (making it more acidic) or by adding dolomite to make it more alkaline.
After you have prepared the soil, make holes bigger than the nursery root retainer of the plant and a little deeper and plant the vines then cover it with soil, topped with mulch. You can let the first few inches of the vines touch the ground to gain more roots. The best season to sow the vines is spring.
4. Watering your beautiful passionfruit vines
Passionfruit vines require a regular water supply. So water them every day when young and skip any rainy days. Do not overwater or rot will set in. You can water them a couple of times a week once they are grown up. They will again need regular watering when fruiting. While flowering, water when the upper soil layer dries out slightly or the vines seem drooped.
As the vines of passionfruit will develop roots all over, do sprinkle water all over the creeper. This will help ample supply of water and a well-balanced plant that creeps up everywhere. Otherwise, the plant will limit itself close to the main roots.
5. Fertilizing when flowering or fruiting
When the vines flower they need extra nutrition. While some farmers or gardeners will recommend Epsom salt. I personally avoid it and use NPK mix instead. Dissolve a tablespoon of NPK in your watering can and sprinkle it once a week when flowering and till fruits mature. NPK is better balanced and provides instant soluble nutrition when the plant is in real need. It can also be used for other plants and flowers at flowering and fruiting times.
Avoid overwatering or over-fertilization. Do not use pure nitrogen fertilizers which can increase acidity. You can use chicken manure every 6 months. Always spread the fertilizer evenly.
6. Pruning and propagation
The best season to prune your passionfruit vines is late in winter and early in spring. You can cut a full-grown crop by 30-40% and you can use these cutting to grown new vines. As vines already have roots everywhere, it’s quite easy to propagate. You can also use seeds to grow more vines other than cuttings.
7. Harvesting the passion fruit crop
In mid-spring, the vines will begin to flower, which would develop into fruits in early summer. The plant will need to be around 6 months old before it can bear fruit. If it’s grown from a vine cutting, it may grow flowers in season irrespective of sowing age. The vines perform best when 18 months old and well spread. The fruit needs to riper completely on the vines before you can pluck them. So be patient and enjoy the harvest!
More about this lovely fruit:
Passionfruit has over 50 varieties, and they can have different tolerance for cold. Pick one that suits your climate. Some resist pests more than others, for example, Nellie kelly is a decent pick for this purpose. If you are in hot regions, you can choose Panamas gold or equivalent. The edulis variety has a small size, a little smaller than regular lemons with a rich aroma and flavor. If you prefer less acidic fruit, this one is the right choice as its less acidic than the yellow Passionfruit.
Problems and issues:
- Yellow leaves: Woodiness virus, low magnesium or nitrogen in soil. Too cold a season, winds.
- Fruit dropping: Irregular watering, fruit flies (do not confuse with bees) Fungal disease.
- No fruits: Poor flower pollination, over-fertilization.
- Spotting on leaves and fruits: Fungal diseases like brown spots, etc.
So here is wishing you planting a great garden, an edible garden is always a great way to plant more and get rewarded on the dinner table at the same time. I am a big fan of planting fruits and vegetables in my garden. Do leave your comments!