Passion fruit does well in areas with the following ecological requirements.

Both yellow and purple types exist. The purple varieties do better at higher elevations than the yellow varieties, which however have a higher yield and are more disease resistant. The purple variety is very sour, variable in taste and juicy with an intense aromatic fragrance and round in shape. The yellow variety is larger, with a similar taste but perhaps less aromatic, more acidic and round in shape.

Both varieties are green before maturity. Yellow passion fruits are the most widely grown for commercial purposes in the world.

Passion fruit can be grown from seed, but grafting often produces improved stock. Yellow passion fruit is best for rootstock production due to its superior disease resistance. The seed is germinated after removing the pulp and drying. Germination takes up to four weeks. Producing seedlings in plastic bags is the most common method of growing young crops.

Up to three seeds are planted in each bag, then thinned to one after emergence.

Seedlings will need four months to reach a suitable growth stage for transplanting. After about seven weeks of growth after transplanting, each plant should have up to four healthy side stems. Transplanting should be done at the beginning of the rainy season. Passion fruit has deep roots, so the soil should be plowed well.

Transplanting is often done along a fence to provide support or a wire mesh must be constructed. The vines are usually directed so that growth is in both directions along the supporting wires.

Yields are highest after a regular fertilization regimen. Old or dead shoots should be pruned. Intercropping with vegetables or other annuals is recommended.

Ideally, young passion vines should be planted in the field early in the growing season once the danger of drought has passed. The passion vines are planted two meters apart between the plants and three meters between the rows. Horizontal trellises have crosspieces at the top of each post with two to four wires spaced 60cm apart along the top of each crosspiece.

The vertical trellises consist of heavy poles without crosspieces, with two to three wires strung along the row like barbed wire fences, attached to the poles from top to bottom at intervals of about 30 to 40 cm.

Trellis wires should be size 9 or 10 galvanized steel. Posts should be strong enough to support the weight of the vines throughout a season that normally includes the blowing of strong winds. Ideally they should be long enough to provide a trellis height of 1.5m, with 45-75cm in the ground. The rows of trellises should be oriented north-south for maximum exposure to the sun.

At planting, apply 175g of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) and a ‘debe’ (about 20kg) of farmyard manure and mix well.

To obtain high yields, regular fertilization is necessary. Apply 300g of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) per plant per year in two applications of 150g each during the rainy season.

Weeding is essential during the first transplanting of the seedlings. Diseases are usually sufficiently controlled by crop rotation because plantations are not kept for more than three years. Infected plant material should be pruned and destroyed and vines should be kept as open as possible to allow full application of sprays. Diseases can also be controlled through a combination of good management, good orchard hygiene and a suitable spray program.

At harvest time, the skin of the fruit is dark purple/yellow in color. Its pulpy interior is bright yellow, filled with small black seeds. For fresh market or use, the fruit is picked when color changes occur. For processing, the fruit is dropped to the ground and then picked at least every other day. At this stage, the fruit is shriveled but quite suitable for processing. Yields decrease each year until harvests are no longer sufficient in the fourth year.

Demand for passion fruit exceeds supply in local and international markets. Therefore, you cannot miss a passion fruit market. Yields of over 15-20 tons/ha are achievable.

They have a ready market in supermarkets, open-air markets, hotels and restaurants, especially in major cities.

You can also export your passion fruits to neighboring countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda as there is a good market there.

Yellow passion fruit is best for rootstock production due to its superior disease resistance. Seedlings will need four months to reach a suitable growth stage for transplanting. After about seven weeks of growth after transplanting, each plant should have up to four healthy side stems.

About The Author

Related Posts