The 8 Passion Fruit Growing Stages: A Complete Guide

What You Need to Grow Passion Fruit:

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Passion fruit is one of the easiest exotic fruits to grow in your garden. 

Passion fruit vines need support and will generally climb on a trellis or some other sturdy structure, so it’s important to plan ahead when choosing where to site them. 

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There are 8 crucial stages of growth for passion fruit vines that you should be aware of if you want a flourishing vine.

Read on to learn how to grow a passion fruit vine from seed or from a cutting so that you can enjoy these tender subtropical fruits year round.

Passion fruit table summary

Common Name(s)Passionfruit, purple granadilla, purple passion fruit, water lemon, passionfruit vine
Scientific NamePassiflora edulis
Days to Harvest80 days
LightFull sun
WaterConsistently
SoilWell-draining, loamy, and fertile
Fertilizer2-4 times a year, high potassium
PestsCaterpillars, root knot nematodes, snails

Stage 1: Choosing a Site

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Period: Between 1 to 7 days

Passion fruit vines will grow to be fairly tall and may need support for best results. The ideal place for passion fruit vine growing consists of at least 8 hours of sunlight each day with loose fertile soil.

This soil should contain lots of organic matter for good drainage as well as strong root development. 

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A southern exposure or dappled shade are preferred sites but the vines will tolerate full sun if protected from the wind. However, passion fruit vine growing should be avoided in extremely hot areas as this may harm the vines. 

The ideal diagonal distance between plants is 10 feet but they have been known to grow up to 12 inches apart without trouble.

Stage 2: Container Growing

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Period: Between 8–14 days

Passion fruit may also be grown in containers if provided with ample sunlight and a root room. A 3-5 gallon container is recommended for starting out with at least 8 hours of daily lighting being ideal for vine growth if possible. 

When planting a seedling, it is important that all soil surrounding the roots is used to avoid trauma to the fragile vine’s roots during transplanting which can cause undue stress or kill it entirely. This can be avoided by taking care to loosen the roots before transplant.

Stage 3: Soil Preparation

Period: Between 15 to 22 days

Passion fruit vines are heavy feeders that require rich, fertile soils full of organic matter in order to thrive. 

As with many types of plants, good soil drainage is crucial for healthy root development and overall plant health so it is important to prepare well-fertilized, moist but not wet soil which should be free from rocks or other debris. 

Amending the soil with composted manure or other forms of fertilizer several months prior to planting will give the vines plenty of time to take up these added nutrients which will help them get off to a good start. 

If you are using lighter soil containing less organic material, .5-.75 cups worth of 10-10-10 fertilizer per plant, the root ball should suffice. 

Read Also:- 5 Tomato Growing Stages (+ Simple Ways To Care For It)

You also need to determine available soil moisture using a soil probe or auger.

However, it is always best to ask a local nursery or experienced gardener what works best in your area as many conditions vary depending on your climate and other factors that can affect your results.

Stage 4: Planting

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Period: 4-6 weeks

Once the proper site has been selected for planting, fill soil around any existing vegetation keeping out weeds and ensuring that there are no rocks as these will injure the vines’ roots as they take hold of your soil. 

Transplanting carefully to avoid damaging the vine’s roots will ensure that the plant doesn’t go into transplant shock and possibly die from this stress. 

Passion fruit vines prefer their root balls to be just slightly smaller than themselves so if you’re using a larger container than what is suggested for your climate, reduce the amount of soil used around the plant’s roots.

Leaves appear when there is 1,500 mm of rainfall or irrigation applied during the growing season (November–April). Apply 15-20 mm of irrigation once leaves have emerged.

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Adjust daily irrigation by 12-15% of the current measured transpiration rate per day if the plant is in a water deficit, or by 6-7% of the transpiration rate per day if the plant is not in a deficit.

Stage 5: Fertilizing

Period: 6 weeks

Passion fruit vines are heavy feeders which means they require plenty of fertilizer throughout their growing season to ensure healthy growth. 

Unfortunately, it is also very easy to over-fertilize this plant so frequent small doses work best instead of large infrequent ones which can easily burn or kill your vines. 

A balanced 10-10-10 or similar all-purpose formula applied every 3rd week should do the trick but again, use caution when fertilizing as passion fruit vines are particularly sensitive to salt build-up in their soil. 

Measure transpiration (evapotranspiration) rate with an evapotranspiration bucket.

It is important that you read the label of any fertilizer you use and follow the instructions in regards to how often and how much they recommend feeding your vines.

Read Also:- Can You Fertilize Tomatoes Too Much? (complete guide)

pH

For proper vine development and flower production, soil pH should fall between 5.5-6.8 which is slightly acidic to neutral respectively. 

If you’re growing your vines in containers, keep this in mind when fertilizing as many of these formulas will affect soil pH causing it to rise which can cause problems for the plant such as a nutrient lockout or developing flowers that dry out before opening fully. 

To adjust soil pH, add about 1/4 cup of elemental sulfur per 10 gallons of soil and mix well with a long-handled tool such as a garden cultivator to ensure even coverage and avoid harming nearby vines or other vegetation. 

Be sure to test your vine’s soil after fertilizing to ensure pH levels are correct.

Read Also:- Do Tomatoes Like Alkaline or Acidic Soil? (explained)

Stage 6: Pruning

Period: After 8 months

Passion fruit vines should be trained on a strong trellis or fence that is capable of holding the vine’s weight without bending too far which may break branches and possibly harm the plant in some way. 

As with most plants, it is important to prune passion fruit vines on a regular basis in order to promote growth and prevent overcrowding or other problems such as crossing branches or lack of air circulation around the foliage. 

Remove any dead wood on the lower half of the vine immediately after it has wilted and dried out while removing any diseased wood near these areas as well. 

Prune each existing branch back to no more than 6-8 buds after flowering has ceased in order to encourage new growth and more flowers next year.

Stage 7: Disease Prevention and Insect Problems

Period: After 6 months

Since passion fruit is tropical plants they are at high risk of infection by many different disease-causing pathogens that can often be spread simply by water or insects moving between vines. 

These include fusarium wilt, powdery mildew, honey fungus, viruses, and others which can have a devastatingly detrimental effect on these crops if left untreated. 

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It is important to keep your growing area as free from weeds as possible while also avoiding overhead watering when possible to prevent the spread of certain airborne pathogens such as powdery mildew. 

Be sure that you only buy healthy well-developed plants that have no wounds or signs of disease but if problems do occur, it is best to cut your losses and remove the affected plant from the area immediately in order to prevent spread to other vines. 

If you suspect a certain vine may be infected with a serious pathogen, contact your local county extension office for specific control options available in your region.

Insect Problems

Passion fruit vines are sometimes susceptible to damage by various insects such as aphids, caterpillars, whiteflies, and others which can cause leaves yellowing and curling among other issues that can reduce yields substantially if not dealt with in a timely manner. 

Aphids cause discoloration on flowers and young fruits while also spreading certain viruses when they feed so these should be removed from your vines when possible. 

Caterpillars can be removed from vines by hand while also checking for eggs and removing these in order to prevent them from hatching. 

Whiteflies can remain near the bottom of foliage where it is harder to see them so a good magnifying glass or hand lens may be required when hunting down these pests in order to remove them properly. 

Since diseases such as powdery mildew are often spread by insect vectors, it is important to treat any infected areas with a high-pressure water spray, in addition, to control measures mentioned above if you wish to avoid further spread once they have been located within the growing area.

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Stage 8: Harvesting

passion fruit

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Period: After 18 months

Passion fruit vines can produce all year long as long as temperatures remain warm enough but most crops reach their peak during the height of summer through early fall months when growing conditions are at their best. 

It takes around 9-10 months after flowering for these fruits to fully ripen and become ready for harvest which is usually signaled by a deep purple color change throughout the flesh. Some varieties may also have some seeds visible from beneath ripe fruits while some types such as ‘Passiflora edulis’ don’t always form them until they’re very close to being fully mature. 

In order to pick your fruit, simply cut it from the vine and enjoy it once it has reached peak ripeness as this will help direct more energy to future crops. 

Although passion fruit vines can produce many fruits all at one time if conditions are right, most people usually harvest no more than a few on each trip. This is due to too much sun exposure which can lead to bitterness in some fruits.

This may also expose them to further pest or disease issues. This is why they’re best harvested just before consuming unless of course, you plan to use them for certain recipes that call for such added flavor enhancement.

Passion Fruit water requirement

Passion Fruit requires 1,500 mm of water to grow fruit. Passion fruits are sensitive to both lacks of rainfall and excess rainfall. 

If there is an excess amount of rainfall greater than 1,500 mm per growing season, growers will need to irrigate their plants with either surface irrigation (sprinklers) or subsurface drip irrigation (water seeping into the ground). 

Read Also:- Do Tomatoes Like Alkaline or Acidic Soil? (explained)

If there isn’t enough water for the passion fruit plant, meaning less than 1,500 mm falls during one growing season (November–April), then the plant will start showing signs such as yellow leaves and low yield. 

The soil in which the passion fruit is grown must maintain a constant level of moisture and the pH balance must be between 5.0 and 6.5. Even if there hasn’t been rainfall or irrigation applied, the soil should not completely dry out.

Is Passion fruit an annual or perennial plant?

Passion fruit is a perennial plant that can live for many years if taken care of properly. It is recommended to grow passion fruit from cuttings since the original root system often dies after fruiting once, which can lead to decreased growth rates if one tries to propagate it by seed. 

There are several methods of propagating passionfruit, however. Passion bears fruit seasonally in zones 10 and 11 with warm winter conditions when the temperatures range between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night with 80 degrees Fahrenheit days.

What you need to remember while growing passion fruit vines:

1). When planting a new vine in a garden or yard, use a shovel or spade and dig a hole with depths equal to twice the size of the root ball to support cane-type plants. 

For non-propagated types, use one-gallon pots as these already have strong roots so there is no need for extra deep holes deeper than 12 inches as these can break easily.

2). It is a good idea to plant a passion fruit in a location that receives six hours of direct sunlight. This allows the vine to grow well and ripen fruits faster. 

Passion fruit vines, just like other perennial plants, need time to adapt to their surroundings so changes should be done gradually so as not to shock them.

3). In planting the new vines, avoid planting near any existing ones even if they are from different varieties because they can transfer diseases from one another which will eventually affect the whole yard. 

The roots of these vines have active feeding zones which allow them to absorb nutrients easily without competing with each other for nutrients, water, and sunlight.

4). When caring for passion fruit plants during growing stages, fertilizers high in phosphorus are needed to strengthen the vines. Most of these fertilizers can be bought at garden centers or even hardware stores. 

Follow the instructions on the label before applying it to your plants so you do not damage them with excess nutrients.

5). Maintain good soil drainage by mixing in one part peat moss, composted leaves, or spent mushroom compost for every 9 parts of the existing soil. 

This is very important as passion fruit vines need soil that drains well but retains moisture during its growth stages. 

Adding organic matter will keep soils loose and porous to allow air circulation which keeps roots healthy. Thus, it should help avoid root rot disease from occurring too frequently.

6). Passion fruits should receive water regularly but make sure not to over-water them because soggy soil will cause roots to rot. Passion fruit vines need about an inch of water a week, but if the weather is extremely dry then they should be watered more often.

7). To help enhance flower bud production, remove any branches that are shaded, diseased, or crossing each other. 

8). Continue to weed your garden regularly so there’s no competition for nutrients and sunlight coming from weeds growing in their surroundings which can affect their ability to produce fruits. 

9). If you want bigger fruits, pinch off new growth after it reaches 6 inches long. By doing this, it allows energy to divert into existing size flowers so they produce more buds than before while at the same time promoting bushier growth.

10). You can also grow passion fruits from cuttings from a friend’s vine, but make sure that it comes from healthy plants to ensure disease-free vines. 

Passion fruit vines that are growing well can be propagated by rooting 2-inch long side shoots into moist potting soil. 

Cutting them at an angle helps with the formation of roots. Place in a shaded area for about 3 weeks until they produce new leaves and roots before transplanting them in their permanent location.

Raw or Cooked Passion fruitFoodEnergy(Calories / %Daily Value*)Carbohydrates(g / %DV)Fat(g / %DV)Protein(g / %DV)Calcium(g / %DV)Phosphorus(mg / %DV)Iron(mg / %DV)Potassium(mg / %DV)Vitamin A(I.U)Vitamin C(I.U)Vitamin B 6(I.U)Vitamin B 12(I.U)Thiamine(mg / %DV)Riboflavin(mg / %DV)Ash(g / %DV)
Purple Passion fruit raw97.0 / 5%23.4 / 8%0.7 / 1%2.2 / 4%12.0 / 1%68.0 / 7%1.6 / 9%348 / 10%1272 IU / 25%30.0 / 50%0.1 / 5%0.0 / 0%0.0 / 0%0.1 / 8%0.8
Purple Passion Fruit Juice raw51.0 / 3%13.6 / 5%0.1 / 0%0.4 / 1%4.0 / 0%13.0 / 1%0.2 / 1%278 / 8%717 IU / 14%29.8 / 50%0.1 / 3%0.0 / 0%0.0 / 0%0.1 / 8%0.3
Yellow Passion Fruit Juice raw60.0 / 3%14.5 / 5%0.2 / 0%0.7 / 1%4.0 / 0%25.0 / 2%0.4 / 2%278 / 8%943 IU / 19%18.2 / 30%0.1 / 3%0.0 / 0%0.0 / 0%0.1 / 6%0.5

Summary

Passion fruits are tropical plants that provide both ornamental value and taste when consumed. If you’re growing passion fruits for ornamental purposes, flowers can be harvested when blooming while fruit should only be harvested after it’s ripe. 

When caring for the vines, prune away dead or dying portions of vines while they’re dormant in late winter and fertilize once every three weeks if they grow in full sun.

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  • Modern design
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