Surprising Technique for Growing Passion Fruit Vines from Seed: GIVE UP!

I’ve got two very vigorous banana passion vines which I got from a nursery–they’re so fast growing they could make anyone feel like they have a green thumb, and the yellow fruit is plentiful and yummy. So I’d saved seeds to try to sprout some seedlings for my sister back in January. I did EVERYTHING exactly as I was instructed–kept the seedling mix moist and covered, etc… (oh, except for soaking the seeds in black tea). But after a several months with no sprouts I gave up on them. I even let them dry out completely for several weeks, out of laziness. Since it was still perfectly good seedling mix I recently used it again to plant some hybrid nasturtium seeds in hanging pots. I guess you can guess the rest–it’s six months after my attempt to grow passion vines, but mixed in with the baby nasturtiums are a BUNCH of baby passion vines! I thought they were weeds at first, but hadn’t bothered to pull them yet. Now that I recognize them I am delighted! Perhaps I should have been more patient with my first try, but on the other hand, they are notoriously hard to sprout, and maybe there was something about the sequence of moisture in relative darkness, then dryness, and then moisture again with eventual full sun that finally cracked the code! Who knows?

1 Like

Congratulations, Mama!

I’ve never heard of Banana Passion vine. I planted a passiflora Incense quite a few years ago that “naturalized” in my yard. It comes up all over in unexpected places every year now. The flowers look nice and smell good, but the fruit is very sour. I pull or cut back many of the vines to keep them from strangling other plants. Now, if it were actually yummy, I might let it go crazy.

I’ve found one of the best things for cracking the code is my big compost pile. Right now it looks like I might have planned to grow all those melons or squash on one end, tomatoes in the front, and a bunch of peach seedlings lining the back.


Gifts from the compost pile! I love volunteer plants that you didn’t intend!

Banana passion fruits look like bananas, only about half the size and no curve to them. The flesh is pink and very easy to scoop out. The flowers are very big and pink, and I suppose quite pretty against the lush, glossy green foliage. I’m just not a huge fan of big pink flowers, I prefer the reds and purples of the ornamental passion vines…but I’m happy with the fruit! Now I guess I have to sacrifice my nasturtiums. Nasturtiums are generally easy to grow here in California, but these little variegated ones of different colors are not all that easy to get going. Sigh. I wish gardening didn’t involve so much killing…bugs, weeds, etc… not exactly the peaceable kingdom :anguished:

1 Like