Passionfruit - Vanilla
There are about 500 species of Passifolia. They are evergreen, have beautiful flowers and are vigorous climbers. Most of the Passiflora species are native to South America, 50 species have tasty fruit.
Sometimes referred to as the "Red Banana Passionfruit", Passiflora antioquiensis is closely related to the Banana passionfruit but is by no means as vigorous, therefore it is more suited to small gardens. Stunning rose-pink to red pendulous flowers are followed by long ovoid yellow fruit, considered by some to be the best flavoured of all the passionfruit species. Because the pendulous stem supporting the flower is so long, this species is best grown on a wire frame over a pergola or arch so the flowers can be seen hanging freely in mid air. This plant will also grow well under shade cloth by attaching itself to the cloth with the tendrils. The leaves will tend to press flat up to the cloth and the flowers and fruit will hang like mobiles.
High vitamin C & A, some magnesium, iron, fibre, B vitamins & niacin.
How to Eat
Scoop out and enjoy fresh from the skin or add to ice-cream, pavlova, yogurt, pies, cakes, icing, juices or cocktails.
Generic Fruiting Time
Full Sun or partial shade.
Protect from high or cold winds as the tendrils may be damaged and do not grow well in salty maritime conditions.
Adverse weather conditions during flowering may affect fruit set. Temperature also affects fertility of the flowers and although the flowers may be forming and opening, fruit set will be affected by low night temperatures in the autumn or spring. Red Banana Passionfruit is more sensitive to the cold than most other species.
Grow best in sandy soil and need a light, well-drained soil as water logged soils will damage the roots.
Plant in a sunny place with excellent drainage and plenty of organic matter.
Passionfruit are heavy feeders so during the growing season apply a high nitrogen based NPK fertiliser, such as citrus feed. Apply approximately 100 grams per square metre three times during the growing season.
As fruit is formed on current season wood, prune to a base framework in spring to encourage new growth.
Root rot and nematodes are partially responsible for short life of vines. Make sure the soil does not over wet and waterlogged. Leafhoppers, stink bugs are minor problems of the passionfruit vines.