The purple Passionfruit is a native from Brazil to northern Argentina, the origin of its name, the passion flower, are bizarre. Early missionaries thought the flowers symbolised the crucifixion, and that God placed it amongst the heathens to help their conversion. In the 1500s the vine was introduced to the warmer areas of Europe and proceeded to spread its arms across the rest of the warmer subtropical areas of the world.
Stunning on a pergola where the large green leaves can provide shade all year, with the added bonus of a vibrant flower display in summer and tasty fruit in autumn. Plant over a fence, against a sheltered wall or deck.
Offers good amounts of Vitamin A, B, C, protein, carbohydrates, iron & flavonoids.
How to Eat
This juicy tangy fragrant fruit is excellent scooped out and enjoyed fresh straight from the skin, or add a new dimension to fruit salad, ice-cream, yogurts, pie and cake fillings, cocktails or juice.
3.5 - 7 kg of fruit per plant but depends on growing conditions.
Generic Fruiting Time
Full sun or partial shade.
They are not wind hardy so need protection from cold winds and do not grow well in salty maritime locations.
Plants like warm climates, and are, relatively frost tender but will grow back from the base if burnt lightly from frost. Vines need adequate moisture particular while young and when fruits are maturing.
Passionfruit need a light well drained soil. Any water logging will rot these plants. If you do have a heavy soil plant in a mound to make sure there is good drainage. Passionfruits like slightly acid soil (pH5.5 - 7).
For quick establishment, plant in spring, 3 metres apart in a sunny spot with excellent drainage. Provide support as passionfruit are climbers and it needs to be strong enough to take weight when fully grown. Mulch to retain moisture, keep roots cool and suppress weeds. Make sure the mulch is kept away from the stem.
Passionfruit are heavy feeders. Apply approximately 2 handfuls of nitrogen based NPK fertiliser such as citrus feed in three equal amounts during the growing season - early spring, summer and early autumn.
As fruit is formed on current seasons wood prune in early spring to encourage new growth. Prune hard one lateral annually. Train the vine up a fence or wall removing all laterals until it reaches the height you require then pinch out the top. Pruning establishes framework of leaders from which laterals can grow. Cutting out some of the denser growth allows better air circulation and fruit development the following season.
Root rot and nematodes are partially responsible for short life of vines. Young nematodes burrow into plant roots; their feeding stimulates the production of tumour like growths and these inhibit the plant's ability to take up water and nutrients. The result is a weak plant, reduced growth and productivity. Nematodes are less of a problem in heavier or alkaline soils.
The symptoms of root rot are large patches of straw-coloured foliage, almost a burn. Then the vine collapse. Make sure the soil does not over wet and become waterlogged.
Leafhoppers, stink bugs are minor problems of the passionfruit vines. They are sap sucking insects that will feed on the plants producing honeydew that can encourage sooty mould. Spray with Maldison or Natures Way Pyrethrum.
Snails can eat away young plants. Protect with Blitzem Slug bait or ground coffee beans.
Fungal problems can be a problem in warm and humid areas. Grease Spot is one fungi that appears as the name describes a greasy spot on the fruit. Spray with copper if warm humid conditions are expected following the instructions on the container.
Stink Beetles can also be a problem and one of our home gardeners suggest you use Yates Copper, 1tbsp to 1 litre of water and spray the plant. The Stink Beetles will not go near.
0 C, very frost tender so need protection until established.