The common edible passion fruit. Grown around the world, produces egg sized fruit filled with wonderfully tart, bright orange pulp. See also information on the lilikoi, a yellow variety of the fruit.
A vigorous vine, especially in the tropics, the passion fruit can grow over 20ft in a single year.
Passion fruit vines are hardy to 32F, so protect from any frosts. They can withstand short drops below 32F but foliage may die back.
Pruning is a must to keep the vine healthy. Prune off less vigorous growth and occasionally prune back vigorous growth to promote flowering. The long tendrils need lots of support for climbing. When established, and without care, the passion fruit can easily overtake other garden plants, shading them from sun. Flowering occurs from April-November but may occasionally continue year-round if conditions are right. Individual flowers bloom for just 12-24 hours before closing. Flowers will self-pollinate and are followed by green fruit, turning purple when ripe. Fruits usually ripen from flowering in 80 days. The vines love full sun except in climates where the temperature frequently surpasses 100F, vines should be given shade. Water frequently and provide good drainage. Plants are short-lived, usually maintaining good productivity for 4-6 years. Harvest fruits when fruit falls from plant. Fruits are best eaten when wrinkles appear on their surface.
General propagated from seeds which show widely variable germination rates, from a few weeks to months. Longer germination times are seen particularly if conditions are not ideal. Seeds like bottom heat of 70-80F for faster germination. Some people soak seeds in warm to hot water overnight before planting. Giberrelic acid treatment is also recommended. Once sprouted, the vines usually produce by the first year.
It is recommended to pretreat Passiflora seeds before planting. They contain a hard seed coat and are very slow to sprout. There are various pretreatment methods, but the simplest is to soak the seeds for 24-48 hours in warm to the touch water, just prior to planting. Optionally, seeds can be lightly scarified with sand paper to provide some permeation on the seed coat.
Once pretreated, plant seeds 1/2-1" deep in moist, sterile soil. Keep soil temperature consistent at 70-85F, with some day/variation in this range. Cool soils will significantly delay seed germination time if not inhibit germination altogether. Standard room temperature can be too cool for proper germination.
Estimated germination time under optimal conditions: 6 weeks to 6 months.
Pulp is often eaten fresh, seeds are edible. Used as a flavoring in drinks, desserts, sauces, and many other foods. Seeds can be extracted from pulp by putting pulp in a blender on low speed. Run mixture through a strainer to retain pulp and juice.
Native to South America, from Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. The passion fruit is now grown around the world, and sizable feral populations now occur in Asia, Australia, and Hawaii. The passion fruit is subtropical and is found at higher elevations in the tropics. In Hawaii, the passion fruit tends to grow wild above 1000ft. Despite being an important commercial crop, both types of passion fruits have become pest species in some tropical regions, particularly Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.