Passion fruit

La passion fruit It is a very useful tropical-looking climber: it produces beautiful flowers and its fruits are also edible. The growth rate is fast, so having it covering, for example, a pergola is a very interesting option 😉.

But How to have it well cared for? If you are wondering this, it is because you have probably just purchased a copy or are planning to do so, so below I am going to answer your question.

Origin and characteristics

Passiflora edulis is a climbing plant

It is an evergreen climbing plant native to South and Central America whose scientific name is Passiflora edulis. It is popularly known as passionflower, fruit of passion or passion fruit, and can reach 20 meters in length as long as it has support to climb on. Its stem is woody and rigid, and alternate, evergreen, dark green leaves sprout from it.

The flowers can measure between 5 and 10cm in diameter, the largest being those produced by cultivars. These are aromatic, white, intense red or pale blue. And the fruit is an oval or round berry with edible pulp, about 4-10cm in diameter, with a thick rind and not suitable for consumption. The seeds are small.

Cultivars

There are many, such as:

  • Muico: purple fruits
  • Little: yellow
  • Wow: yellow
  • Yee: yellow
  • Passion fruit: yellow

What are their cares?

View of Passiflora edulis grown in a vegetable garden

Image – Flickr / John Ocampo

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you take care of it as follows:

Location

It is a plant that must be outside, in a very bright area (it can be direct sun).

Indoors it does not adapt well, although if winter is very cold it can be kept in a room with good light and protected from drafts.

Earth

  • the garden: grows in soils rich in organic matter and with very good drainage.
  • Flower pot: use universal growing medium mixed with 20% perlite, pumice or similar.

Irrigation

The frequency of irrigation will change throughout the year, but it must always be borne in mind that passion fruit is of tropical origin, from a warm and rainy forest. This means that it will only grow during the months that have a mild temperature, between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius; the rest, its rhythm slows down and the land also takes longer to dry out.

Therefore, depending on the climate in our area, we will water more, or less. For example, supposing that we live in a place where in summer it is very hot and rains little, and in winter the temperatures are mild, We will water it an average of 4 times a week in warm season and an average of 2 times a week the rest.

Even so, to avoid problems it is highly recommended to check the humidity of the soil before watering, either with a digital humidity meter or with a thin wooden stick.

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Pile of horse manure

En spring and summer, with Organic fertilizers since its fruits are suitable for consumption. In case of having it in a pot, we will pay using liquid fertilizers, following the instructions specified on the container.

Multiplication

Passion fruit multiplies by seeds and cuttings in spring. Let’s know what is the step by step:

Seeds

  1. First, we will fill a pot with universal growing substrate and water.
  2. Then, we will throw the seeds on the surface, ensuring that they are separated from each other.
  3. Later, we will cover them with a thin layer of substrate.
  4. Then we will water again.
  5. Finally, we place the pot outside, in semi-shade.

Thus they will germinate in 2-3 weeks at a temperature of 18-22ºC.

Cuttings

To multiply the passion fruit by cuttings you have to cut a stem of about 30cm, impregnate its base with for example cinnamon is a homemade rooting agent, and plant it in a pot with vermiculite previously moistened with water. In this way, it will root in 3-4 weeks.

Pests

It is very resistant, but it can be attacked by:

  • Mites: like the red spider. They feed on the sap of the leaves, and depending on the species they weave cobwebs between them to be able to move around. 
  • Mealybugs: mostly cottony, but they can be limpet type. They love to adhere to the leaves and young fruits to feed.
  • Aphids: they can be brown, yellow, green or even red, and they measure about 0,5cm. They feed on the sap of leaves and flowers. 

These three pests are well controlled with ecological insecticides, such as potassium soap, The neem oil nor diatomaceous earth 

Pruning

After flowering, 2 or a maximum of 3 buds must be cut from the stems that have already flowered.

Planting or transplanting time

En spring, when the risk of frost has passed. If it is potted, move it to a larger one every two or three years.

Rusticity

It does not resist frost and it does not like cold much either. The minimum temperature that it holds is 0º.

What are its uses?

Passion fruit is an edible fruit

Ornamental

The passion fruit is a very decorative plant, ideal for warm pergolas, lattices or walls of gardens (or terraces 😉).

Edible

The pulp of the fruit is edible; in fact, It is used in confectionery and pastry. Juices, syrups and cocktails are also made. In addition, it can be consumed fresh.

Its nutritional value per 100 grams is as follows:

  • Carbohydrates: 23,38g
    • Sugars: 11,20g
    • Fiber: 10,4g
  • Fat: 0,70g
  • Proteins: 2,20g
  • Water: 72,93g
  • Vitamin A: 64 μg
  • Vitamin B1: 0mg
  • Vitamin B2: 0,130mg
  • Vitamin B3: 1,500mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0,100mg
  • Vitamin C; 30mg
  • Vitamin E: 0,02mg
  • Vitamin K: 0.7 μg
  • Calcium: 12mg
  • Iron: 1,60mg
  • Magnesium: 29mg
  • Phosphorus: 68mg
  • Potassium: 348mg
  • Sodium: 28mg
  • Zinc: 0,10mg

Medicinal. What are the health benefits of passion fruit?

All these:

  • Relieves muscle pain and upside down.
  • Reduces cough. It also helps with asthma and other respiratory problems.
  • Strengthens the immune system, due to its content in vitamins, especially A and C.
  • Regulates digestion, so it is interesting to include it in the diet if you have constipation problems.
  • Es diuretic, so it serves as a food that helps to lose weight.

View of the Passiflora edulis 'Flavicarpa' plant

Image – Wikimedia / Claudemir Brundani

What did you think of the passion flower?

Passion fruit

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