9 tips to growing some passion
Passionfruit is a warm-climate plant, but with protection from wind and cold, plants can be grown in cooler areas too. Overseas they’re often grown as indoor plants, but a warm greenhouse will do the trick too.
T he common purple passionfruit ( Passiflora edulis) is what you typically find in garden centres, although the giant granadilla ( Passiflora
quadrangularis) is available too. The latter is vigorous, growing up to 15m in one season, and the fruit are as supersized as the plant. •
For either species, choose a warm, sunny spot that’s sheltered from wind and frost. Passionfruit will tolerate a slight frost of minus 1-2°C for brief periods, but prolonged or more severe frosts will kill the growing shoots. The giant granadilla is less hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about +1°C. • Both require excellent drainage. A free-draining, friable, sandy loam is best. If your soil is soggy, plants are likely to succumb to disease. • Dig compost and slow-release fertiliser into the soil before planting. •
Passionfruit have a shallow but extensive root system, so they need constant moisture. Water regularly while plants are establishing, and especially during flowering and fruiting. Lack of water may cause fruit to shrivel and drop. Consistent watering, on the other hand, ensures almost constant flowering and fruiting. • Use mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture, but keep it away from the stem or rot may set in. • Passionfruit are vigorous plants, so feed regularly from spring through autumn with a citrus fertiliser.