Passion Fruit

Tonielle Christensen Land & Nature Stewardship, Plant Nursery Leave a Comment

Passion Fruit


Common Name:  Passion Fruit, Granadilla, Purple Granadilla, Yellow Passion Fruit.

Latin Name:  Passiflora edulis.

Origin:  South America.

Description (what it looks like):  A shallow-rooted, woody, perennial vine, climbing by means of tendrils; little curly spring-like things.  Passion fruit are vigorous growing to a height between 2-5 metres, provided there is a suitable trellis to support its growth.  Leaves have 3 deep lobes, alternatively spaced, being glossy green on top and slightly dull and pale green underneath.  The vine produces a single striking flower 5–7.5 cm wide at each node.  The passion fruit is a type of berry, round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity (depending on the variety), with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds.  In Australia, the purple passion fruit was flourishing and partially naturalised in coastal areas of Queensland before 1900.

Uses (function):  Plant many seedlings in a long row to form an edible fence/screen/shade barrier to the house for hot afternoon sun or cover over chicken coop.  The vines make good container plants, however require maintenance to keep them happy and fruiting.  Prune back old growth in early spring; use trimmings and spent leaves as mulch.  Empty passionfruit shells also make great mulch and disintegrate quickly.

Nutritional value:  Raw passion fruit is 73% water, 22% carbohydrates, 2% protein and 0.7% fat.  Nutritionally, it contains good amounts of vitamins B and C, dietary fiber, niacin, iron and phosphorus.

Growing details (propagation, seed etc):  Vines can be easily grown from the seeds within the fruit.  Plant seeds straight away and seedlings are likely within 10-20 days.  More than one vine is needed for pollination.  Usually returns a crop within 18 months of planting.  Harvest throughout May to December.  The fruit 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.  The fruit is sweetest when slightly shriveled.  Requires protection from winds.  A vine has a typical lifespan of 5-7 years.  It is regarded as an environmental weed in New South Wales and Queensland, so please keep contained within your property to avoid it spreading into neighbouring properties or National Parks.

Best time to grow:  Plant out in spring, once the soil starts to warm up.

Soil:  Fertile, well drained, light to heavy loam.  Spread pelletised chook manure twice yearly around the base of the vine.  Mulch well to protect shallow roots.

Sun:   Plant in full sun to part shade.

Water:  Keep moist and give regular moisture during the growing season.

How to eat it:  Eaten by spooning directly from the shell, the pulp can be used on pavlovas, cheesecakes, fruit flans and icings.

Often made into jams and jellies.  Freeze excess into ice cube trays and add at your convenience to smoothies, juices or cocktails.  Squeeze juice from seeds to enjoy the passion fruit juice without crunchy seeds.   Bake into cakes or thicken juice with sugar syrup for a delicious drizzle over desserts.


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