Passion fruit is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. The vines are usually grown from seeds, cuttings and through tissue culture. The yellow passion is used as a rootstock, because it is more tolerant to frost, nematodes and fusarium wilt compared to purple passion-fruit; and the purple passion as scion.
For grafted vines, the scion should have grown about 25 cm and hardened. Seedlings are ready for transplanting 3 months after sowing. They normally will be around 25 – 50 cm in height and should be hardened in full sunlight for 2 months. If taller (up to 3 feet), the tops should be cut back and the plants heavily watered. The planting hole should be prepared 2 weeks before planting.
planting information provided by JKUAT Enterprises
You will need nails, barbed wire and poles to construct the support to suspend the vines and immediately after transplanting. The poles are placed in 60 cm deep holes at a spacing of 6m. The wire is fixed tightly on top of each post in the row.
Training passion fruit
Pruning is necessary to keep the vines within bounds, to make harvest easier and to keep the plants productive by maintaining vigorous growth. Prune off all shoots that develop below the wire. Prune all tertiary shoots in excess of what is required for fruit production. The tertiary shoots, which bear fruits, must be allowed to hang down freely.
Apply plant nutrients depending on demand and as guided by soil and plant analysis results. Organic fertilizer is good for soil amendments and nutrient supply and should always be incorporated into the soil during planting. Phosphate fertilizer is good for proper root development and should be put depending on the fertility of the soil. CAN is an excellent source for nitrogen which is readily available to plants due to its solubility and therefore should be used to sustain vegetative and reproductive growth.
Regular watering will keep a vine flowering and fruiting almost continuously. Water requirement is high when fruits are approaching maturity. If the soil is dry, fruits may shrivel and fall prematurely. Adequate moisture is required to sustain vegetative growth and production. Irrigation is very necessary where and when rainfall is insufficient.
Harvesting and yields
Passion fruit vines start to flower 5 – 6 months after transplanting. Harvesting commences about 8 months after transplanting. Fruits should never be plucked from the vines. They will quickly turn from green to deep purple (or yellow) when ripe and then fall to the ground within a few days. They can either be picked when they change color or gathered from the ground each day. Fruit collection should be done at least 2 times a week. To store passion fruit, wash and dry them gently and place them in bags. It takes around 2-3 months for the second harvest to take place and the life span of the plant varies from between 3-6 years. Annual average yield is about 13-20 tonnes
provided by JKUAT Enterprises
Pests and Diseases
Purple passion fruit is particularly susceptible to nematodes, while the yellow passion fruit is more nematode resistant. Passions are also affected by Fusarium and other diseases that thrive in cool soils. Nematodes are partially responsible for the short life of many passion fruit vines.