Passionfruit
6:14 am | June 16, 2017

Passionfruit is a well-known and loved vine in Australia. It is very ornamental in leaf and flower and will improve the appearance of fences, stark walls, tanks, etc. They can be grown practically anywhere and require little attention for the bountiful crops of fruit they offer. The black or purple passionfruit is native of Brazil. Most varieties will bear fruit after just 12 months. The black magic variety will bear a large crop in mid-summer with a small crop in winter. A larger winter crop can be achieved by thinning the summer crop heavily.
Position
Passionfruit are extremely versatile and can be grown almost everywhere. For best results full sun is recommended. Good drainage is also essential- If the subsoil drainage is poor then a bed may have to be raised up. The vine needs somewhere to run such as a trellis, arbour, or fence. The idea trellis would be a single or double wire six feet above the ground well supported by posts approximately four metres apart with a strainer posts at each end of trellis.
The black magic variety is the hardiest and will tolerate frost and temperatures of ¬¬-2 degrees Celsius when established. In very frosty areas it is advisable to grow the vine on the north side or a building so that is can benefit from the shelter.
Variety and Planting Grafted or Seedlings
Grafted passion vines are superior to seedlings because seedling passions are susceptible to root rot diseases that cause them to die suddenly in their prime. Seedlings are more unreliable in surviving and producing crops. Vines that are grafted onto the correct rootstock will last many years and they will also grow more vigorously.
We recommend the black magic variety- they are extremely hardy and are heavy cropping. If you are interested in a larger fruit variety, Panama Red is an option.
Planting
1. Water well before planting
2. Put plenty of cow manure, compost or rotted animal manure in and around the hole but not against stem of plant
3. Plant it close to an upright of your trellis or stake
4. Water in well
5. Spread 1kg of Dolomite on ground around plant
6. Mulch well but do not let mulch rest against stem of plant.
7. It is very important to check for any growth below the graft union if you have a grafted passionfruit. This growth must be removed immediately. If it is allowed to grow, the main vine will lose strength and the wild vine root stock will take over resulting with a non-fruiting plant.
Avoid
1. Plant in heavy clay
2. Disturbing the roots
3. Plant it deeper than it was in the pot
4. Put stake through root system
Maintenance
Train your vine to the very top of the trellis before letting it spread. This can be achieved by tying the tip in a vertical position. This will need to be done various times until it reaches the top. For tying, a soft material such as budding type or plastic coated twisties (just wrapped not tied) are recommended. Fertilise in spring and then again three times more during summer with poultry, animal or artificial manures.
Keep mulched and apply 500 grams Dolomite once a year- preferably in winter. It is very important to keep your vine well watered when it is filling out a crop of fruit. If you get too many fruit at once, simply scoop out pulp of excess fruit and freeze in small lots for later use.
Pruning is essential if passionfruit vines get thick and overgrown. If you let this happen, they will be more susceptible to fungal spotting diseases. It is advisable to keep the skirt trimmed up to 2 feet off the ground to allow for ventilation. Major thinning of the vine may be necessary every two years for the same reason and also to encourage new fruiting wood. This must only be done in spring when vines are starting to become active.
Regular spraying isn’t essential however if your vine contracts a fungal spotting disease due to poor ventilation, it can be easily controlled with regular spraying of fungicide.
Passionfruit vines need to be tied until they reach the top of their trellis. From them on the vine will grow into a unique arrangement. If it grows in a direction that you dislike, you can simply tip prune by pinching the growing tips off.