What Is your experience? Is passion fruit easy to grow? Thanks.
I just planted some passion fruit today here in Northern Virginia (7a). I used to grow tropical passion fruit in Hawaii and loved the taste. I did some research to see what might work for me here. Most of the different passion fruit varieties don’t seem to be hardy enough to survive the winters. I settled on a variety called Incense Passion Fruit that I know people have successfully grown in North Carolina. It’s supposed to taste good. This variety requires pollination however, so I also planted some maypop passion fruit, which are supposed to be effective pollinators of the incense variety.
The common Maypop works reasonably well in-ground in Richmond on the line between 7a & 7b. I’ve got it planted on a little strip of land bordered by the road, my driveway, and a concrete insert lining a drainage ditch. It’s extremely hot compared to the rest of the yard, so the maypop likes it while the grass always grows in and then dies off.
It grows without any problems for me, and pretty quickly too, but it dies to the ground every winter. It also spreads, but just yanking the new shoots isn’t too hard. It does climb, so you want to give it something to climb.
It’s not exactly that great to eat, though. If you try something less hardy be sure to put it somewhere you can mulch pretty deeply. I have no idea how well passionfruit does in a container.
I have killed three, all in the first month after transplanting. From what I hear they are great once established but…they appear to be a bit tender when first planted, so…umm… don’t forget to water them…
Passiflora incarnata (maypop) should grow just fine for you. It’s a great fruit If you allow it to ripen properly, which is to say, allow it to drop on its own.
I’ve been growing these in TN (it’s the state wildflower) for many years and they are wonderful.
Like you, I started growing them as a substitute for Passiflora edulis, which I fell in love with on a trip to Taiwan
I have some hybrid vines and have raised seedlings from the best fruits. As a result, the fruits on my vines are very tasty.
I will say - they do not really taste like a tropical passion fruit (P edulis). But they’re awesome anyway
Thanks for everyone’s input!!
I have some videos of my planting on my YouTube channel
I’ve got incarnata growing well here in Mi (zone 6b). In fact my vines have just erupted this past week. My fruit form well, but ripening is poor many years (though having them up so early is a good sign for this year).
Passiflora do well in pots. At one point I had 8 different varieties but I’m down to just 3 potted ones now. (though 3 more are on my list for re-acquisition).
Incarnata doesn’t stay in one place well for me. I am never quite sure where it is going to make its appearance and it spreads via underground runners. Removal of unwanted plants is easy, though.
Yes, incarnata will spread all over the place. But as you said, easy to just pull it up.
I have actually not had good vigor with these in pots. On another forum on which I post, many others have said the same. For us they just are not happy in pots. You go!
I’ve found that P Caerulea (hardy in your zone) is perfectly happy in a pot. I have 2 in 5 gal pots and they bloom for months for me.
P. capsularis (small yellow flowers) loves being in a pot for me. Its fruit explode open to spread seed when ripe (not palatable). I’ve got a pot that I’ve had it growing in for almost a decade. A couple times I thought I had lost it, but the potting mix in that pot is full of seeds…
What kind of potting mix do you use?
I got the feeling that the incarnata did not like high moisture in the root zone.
In fact I’ve come to the conclusion that they generally just don’t like wet soil, even in the ground.
In the wild here they are almost always in sunny open fields, not in damp areas.
In my garden I have mulched mine pretty heavily but I feel like it has been too much.
Pine bark fines, oil dry (clay looks like kitty litter, does not break down) and coir or commertial peat potting mix in a 3-1-2 mix. drainage is quite good, though it does hold some moisture.
I am interested in growing passion fruit as well here in Northern VA zone 7A as well. Found a link here:
Has anyone tried this variety? Seems very promising!!
This seem to be the variety I have. Someone gave it to me and had no idea what variety. They told me it was cold hardy. Thanks for helping me ID it.
This one is mine… Seriously I traded him a couple years ago and its a keeper…
Hi Chills, mine is currently in a grow bag and might plant it in grounds next year. Does it need winter protection like figs?
Passiflora Incarnata, Passiflora Lutea (only the 1st has palatable fruit) should both easily survive for you. I do no protection for these at all. The white flowered variety of P. Incarnata seems less hardy (or maybe mine just didn’t establish well enough). There also exists a varigated P. Incarnata called Lemon Chiffon and it has been on my MUST buy list for the past 5 years, but it is impossible to source. (let me know if you find one!! )
Passiflora Caerulea and Passiflora Incense should also survive, though not as easily (put them in a sheltered area against a wall). I believe Caerulea has edible fruit as well
There are a couple other hybrids you may find work as well.
The varieties best known for fruit quality are all zones 8 and higher.
I have all the previously mentioned varieties (Caerulea and Incense in pots) as well as P. Capsularis and P. Lavender Lady. I’ve had P. Vitifolia and P. Lady Margaret. All in pots. I am also growing seedlings from the largest store bought passionfruit I’ve ever seen. These are only about a foot tall at this point.
I’ve sent some cuttings of my seedling Passiflora to brushwood to have him evaluate and possibly propagate.
Nice guy down there.
What kind is it?
(please say Lemon Chiffon…lol)
My new seedlings have started pushing tri-lobed leaves and little tendrils.
My incarnata frequently pushes 5 and 6 lobed leaves. It is mighty vigorous.
Wasn’t sure if you were asking me but what I sent was a white flowered seedling and another seedling that’s setting large fruits.
I have all seedlings and select purely for fruit quality.
They are open pollinated though. I’m not a breeder.
Yes it’s cool to see the weird “mutant” leaves sometimes! I also see tendrils with baby flower buds on the tips. Some have gotten big!