How to Grow a Passion Fruit Plant

Gardenerdy Staff Dec 1, 2018
The deep purple or soft yellow-colored passion fruit grows on vines and is cultivated for its refreshing taste. Let's know about the ideal way to grow the fruit by yourself.
Native to Brazil, Paraguay, and northeastern Argentina, the passion fruit is a vigorous climber cultivated for its round to oval, yellow, or purple juicy fruits full of seeds. This plant, known as P. edulis, belongs to the genus Passiflora, in the family Passifloraceae.
There are two distinct varieties in this species, the yellow and the purple-colored fruit. Being a subtropical plant, it is an easy-to-grow climber, as long as it has a frost-free environment. It will not only give you a juicy fruit, but also large passion flowers that are unique and quite exotic to look at.
Being a tropical fruit, it needs warm and temperate climates, not too hot and not too cold. A popular fruit, mostly used to make juices than eaten as a fruit, it has an extremely refreshing taste and flavor. The vine is not a fussy climber with plenty of bright green, three-lobed leaves.

Planting

This plant is grown from a small, pear-shaped seed. If you plan to harvest and grow your own seeds, allow the fruit to shrivel in storage for a couple of weeks, and sow them immediately after taking them out from it. Immediate sowing will ensure a better survival rate.
A light rub on the seed before sowing them deep in the ground, about half an inch in most fertile soils, increases the seed germination process, in two to three weeks. Seeds can be directly sowed, or thinned out when plants become 10 inches tall. It can also be grown from hardwood cuttings which are from a year old cane with minimum four to six leaf nodes.
Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone to facilitate rooting. Grafting is another technique that can be employed to propagate passion fruit vines.

Plant Care

This plant grows in full sun, but not in a heat intensive climate. They will grow in most soils, but prefer light to heavy sandy loams, and a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Prepare the location by tilling deep and adding plenty of organic compost.
Passion fruit vines grow very fast and spread quite a bit, so one vine for one location is more than enough, else plant the vine saplings 5-6 feet apart.
The plant requires regular watering to flower and fruit. Dry soil causes the flowers and immature fruits to drop. Being vigorous growers, the plant needs regular fertilizing especially when new flower buds appear and the vine begins to fruit.
Avoid fertilizers that use too much nitrogen, as nitrogen promotes excess foliage growth at the expense of flowering. Passion fruit responds better to liquid fertilizer than granulated or powder forms.
Once the vine is planted, stake it. These plants grow well when pruned and shaped to have a central leader. In this technique, except a single main (central) cane, lateral shoots are discouraged. Lateral shoots are allowed about two feet from ground on the stem. Prune the vine after harvest to keep the plants productive by maintaining vigorous growth.
Prune away all weak, and diseased growth. If the vine gets infected heavily, a hard prune right till the base, will not make a major difference to the vine, it will shoot back in warm season.
Vines are prone to pest attacks, its fruit is constantly attacked by birds, nematodes, and snails. Diseases like fungus are also a problem. Most of them are taken care of with pest control spray, except the birds. Build a net around to protect them. Pick the fruits when you see them changing color and enjoy.