Grow your own – Passionfruit

Bill O'Sullivan checks the passionfruit vines
Bill O'Sullivan checks the passionfruit vines

When you consider you now pay $2 to $3 for a large ripe passionfruit, it is a no brainer to be growing them yourself. 

They will generally produce well for six to seven years and can start producing from about 12 months of age. 

In South East Queensland, two main types of Passion fruit dominate:  the Panama Red and the Panama Gold.  We grow the Panama Red and really enjoy the flavor. We plant out a couple of new vines every two years and always have them during the season which is close to starting.

Passionfruit thrives in subtropical climates, making our local region an ideal location. Most of our local soils are ideal as they like a slightly acidic to neutral pH.  Adequate sunlight is important for strong growth and bountiful yields.

It is best to plant them during the warmer months and now is ideal, after all this rain.  Allow sufficient space between plants, as passionfruit vines tend to spread.  Planting near a trellis or fence provides the necessary support for the vines to climb and ensures good air circulation.

Water your passionfruit deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions.  Mulching around the base of the plant helps retain moisture, suppress weeds and maintain a stable soil temperature.

Passionfruit are strong feeders, and a well-balanced fertiliser can significantly boost their growth.  We mainly just add our compost twice a year.  

Regular pruning helps keep passionfruit vines in check and promotes vigorous growth. 

Passion fruit flowers are self-pollinating, but bees and other pollinators can also contribute, so encourage biodiversity in your garden. Passionfruit typically takes around 70 to 80 days from flowering to harvest.  Wait until the fruit falls naturally from the vine or gently pluck it when the skin wrinkles and turns color. 

Once harvested, passionfruit can be enjoyed fresh, added to desserts, or transformed into refreshing drinks.  Got a spot or two where they can add another level of self sufficiency for you?

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