I’ve been looking at different passion fruits and I noticed different websites have zone 8-11 and some have a zone 10-11? Has anyone had success growing passion fruit in zone 8 I was looking into buying a Granadilla passion fruit since what I read online they are the sweetest.
Passiflora edulis, the classic passionfruit, will not survive a freeze.
Passiflora incarnata, or maypop, is much more cold hardy. While they may die down to the ground in a freeze, they will come back up in the spring.
Other Passiflora tend not to be very hardy.
Somewhere in Tennessee or one of the Carolinas I’ve seen a whole hedge/fence covered in passion fruit…at the moment can’t recall. Maybe a Botanical Gardens, like in Gastonia NC or Cheekwood in Nashville? I have forgotten.
Of course, we have the native wild ones growing in Kentucky in abandoned fields.
You can grow passion fruit in zone 8, I have. We had a freak winter this year so i suspect that my Maypop will come back, but my others will have died completely. The Maypop is hardy to Zone 5, and does not die to the ground just from a freeze, our winter lows are usually around 20, generally we get a couple 24-48 hour spells below freezing. With you being in Florida and 8b, you probably have much warmer winters than I do.
Passion vines are also very invasive, the roots run underground and send up new shoot everywhere. So this could be a problem for you. Maypops don’t seem to have this issue. They are also pretty good, though not as good as some passion fruits that i have had from fresh markets overseas. I would say the non invasive aspect more than makes up for the lower ranking on the flavor chart. Flowers are just as beautiful as well and mine usually blooms all summer long.
i have been dreaming/planning to grow passionfruits for a few years now.
Im a full zone lower than you.
Unfortunatly if had no sucses yet with tasty fruits. If had plenty of flowers and untasty/inedible fruits though.
Ill post some flower pictures as proof at the end of the post.
There are 4 problems for me getting tasty passion fruits so far.
1- not all fruits are edible.
And not all edible ones tasty good.
Caerulea (-15c or 5 F) for example fruits well for me. Gets sweet and ripe. But has a “dusty” aroma to it.
2- Frost hardines. but especially tolerance of waterlogging/cold wind of mosty tasty edible species is low.
I have overwintered non frost hardy passiflora outisde sucsefully. even though we had freezes.
The trick is the microclimate. Plant them in well draining soil, out of direct wind. Ideally against a warm wall.
Also putting an upside down terracotta pot near the base like they do with climatis helps. (climatis to protect base against sun). Planting them on a slight hill if the soil isen’t well draining might also help.
Mulching well is usful to ofcourse, Also during growing season. Since passiflora has a shallow root system
3-length of growing season. Even some of the edible passiflora species that consistently survive your winters will never ripen fruit if the growing season is not long enough.
Mature plants usualy flower earlier and thus ripen earlier. On the other hand frost damaged plants usualy flower later. Depending on growing climate length, there is thus a difference between frost hardines for survival and frost hardynes for fruit production.
4 pollination. Although the flowers are attractive to both humans hummingbirds insects and basicly every one.
They do need cross polination. And most passiflora sold are clones (cuttings).
So usualy your gonna depend on another species or a hybrid to pollinate your edible vine.
Keep in mind tetraploid vines need a tetraploid pollinator.
Or you could grow a few from the same species from seed. Try and get a “pure seed source though” since some species (and the resulting hybrids) can be toxic. I would not eat the fruit from a hybrid passionvine without knowing that both parrents are off and edible species.
Things i want to try out
-grafting on P. Caerulea to increase hardynes. But mostly tolerance to soil moistnes in winter.
-growing on the ground or low trellis.
-growing in a low (1-2 foot tunnel)
-burring the vine in winter to keep more of it’s branches frost fee.
-try the things from this link https://www.passionflow.co.uk/hardy-passiflora/
-use this link to find approximate frost hardynes https://www.passionflow.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Rusticite-Hardiness-Passiflora-.pdf
-only eat ripe fruits from known edible species. Some(most) of the 500+ passiflora species are toxic https://www.passionflow.co.uk/edible-passion-fruit/
-growing them in a greenhouse if all else fails.
-conside triploid / tetraploid plants. https://www.passionflow.co.uk/passiflora-polyploids/
Some of the plants im going to try out for fruits. (if i can find em)
-passiflora Byron Beauty (tetraploid) . P. incarnata
x P. edulis bred by Robert Knight of
the USDA in 1979. I think specificaly to get a frost hardier fruit producing vine. Both parants are good for eating.
Passiflora 'Byron Beauty' | 'Byron Beauty' Passionflower Pas… | Flickr
-P. incarnata / P. cincinnata based tetraploids. like P. inspiration P. Temptation and P. Byte
-P. Tucumanensis (used to be known as P. Naviculata. Somtimes is also a tetraploid version available of) can handle some frost and might have a earlyer ripening. Is supposed to be really tasty. Might be harder to get a good pollinator.
-P. Guglielmo Betto (incarnata X Tucumanensis). Could not find info. But expect it to be edible/tasty. And have some frost tolerance.
-P. Fata Confetto (Guglielmo Betto x cincinnata Dark Pollen. Has really nice flowers and could be edible/tasty. Will be careful though.
Some reports of cincinnata being edible. And i asume gugliemo betto is also. Lot of assumptions though.
-P. Actinia. Can handle some frost ans is supposed to have tasty fruits.https://www.passionflow.co.uk/passiflora-actinia/
-P. Elegans. Is verry similair to Actinia. Should be able to cros pollinate eachother
P. sidifolia is also similair to P actinia and elegans. But is supposed to be less frost hardy.
-P. Jutta is supposed to be frost hardy to some degree and has tasty fruits. Could never find someone with a plant for sale/trade though.
-P. Incense (incarnata x cincinnata) . Might have tasty edible fruit. (careful though)
pictures. First 2 can handle some frost (~-8 Celcius)
second 2 are for flowers and need to be overwintered inside.
We grow the native ones where I work. I haven’t tried the fruit, but the vines die back to the ground yearly and shoot up again after our mild winters. We do get fruit on ours, but mostly we grow it as a caterpillar host plant (gulf fritillary) so it looks pretty sad most of the time.
Just adding a note here. I discovered that the “passion fruit” I love so much is Sweet Granadilla. This only grows in cool, tropical highland climates. It does not tolerate heat or frost. It’s my favorite fruit when I go to Baguio in the Philippines. I have also had it at a hotel in Cancun. Those are the only places I’ve seen it and judging by the prices of the sour passion fruit that you find in stores here, it’s not likely to be something I’d buy a lot of even if it became available here. There’s going to be a few highland places in Hawaii and maybe Puerto Rico where this can grow.
This is something worth planning a trip around. I usually go to the Philippines in January or February and always get quite a lot of passion fruit from Baguio when I go there. The time I had it in Cancun was in early December. Most of the hotel workers in Cancun had no idea what this fruit was and the hotel labeled it “Chinese Dragonfruit”. They actually had Dragonfruit there, .I have no idea why they gave the passion fruit that label. The stuff I get in the Philippines was more consistently good than the Cancun stuff. There’s going to be different places in Latin America where this grows. Just figure out when it’s in season and plan your trip accordingly.
Was the fruit orange/yellow with loads of lighter spots? And round/oval shaped? Larger than the “normal” passionfruit in the store? Did it also have a brittle outside shell?
If so it’s likely passiflora ligularis, it’s known as one of the tastiest passiflora. If tested it to. It’s still aromatic but sweet. Opposed to the “normal” passiflora edulis. For a time i thought i had tasted Passiflora edulis flavicarpa. (also has large yellowish fruits) But that one is supposed to be less sweet.
I bought 2 Maypops and now looking into which kiwi to buy.
It’s the Sweet Granadilla and it’s very good. A google image search for Sweet Granadilla Baguio comes up with images like this:
In Baguio they just call it “Passion Fruit” and they don’t have the inferior type of passion fruit. They only have this stuff.
im pretty sure it’s passiflora ligularis than.
I have somewhat successfully grown tropical passion fruit in zone 8 in Oregon. My trick was to grow it as an annual kind of. It will put out a ton of flowers in one year from a start in a 4 inch pot. So I take cuttings at the end of one season, root them, over winter them in a cool place so they stay dormant, plant when frost risk is over. Unfortunately when I did it I only had one variety and set very little fruit, but I did get to eat a few and they were tasty. It was supposedly self fertile, but maybe I would have better success with multiple varieties? I managed to fill up an entire 6 foot high trellis on a 70 foot row in one season from doing that with 10 plants. I think with a high tunnel it would be even more successful and could maybe even overwinter.
Oh last year I managed to start seeds indoors in January and grow large enough plants to do this too, but I didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. Also, I believe purple P. Edulis is day length dependent for flowering but yellow is day neutral, I could be wrong though. So yellow may be a better option, but it is more frost tender.
I have a blue passion flower in zone 8 for 20 years or so. It makes orange fruits that are hollow, no edible pulp the flowers are beautiful though.
Ironically, the maypop I tried to grow died.