Growing passion fruits from seed is easy to do and it’s very satisfying to watch a seed grown passion fruit plant grow into a large fruiting vine.
In this article I’ll show you how to plant and care for seed grown passion fruit plants in your garden.
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HOW TO GROW PASSION FRUIT PLANTS FROM SEED
Collecting the seeds
To extract passion fruit seeds, place a scoop of passion fruit pulp and seeds into a strainer or mesh colander and wash away the pulp with running water.
Place the seeds on a piece of paper towel to dry.
Plant the seeds straight away or store them in an envelope in a cool dry place until you’re ready to plant them.
Purchasing passion fruit seeds
You can also purchase a wide variety of passion fruit seeds online including purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis), tropical passion fruit (Passiflora flavicarpa) or banana passion fruit (Passiflora mollissima).
It’s also possible to purchase passion fruit plants from nurseries or speciality gardening centres if you don’t have the patience to grow them from seed.
Planting passion fruit seeds
If you live outside the tropics, it’s best to start your passion fruit seeds inside, about six weeks before the last frost of the season.
Passion fruit seeds have a hard coating which can delay germination, so it’s a good idea to pre-germinate the seeds first by soaking them in warm water overnight before planting.
The following day, fill a container with seed raising mix, sow the seeds and lightly cover them with soil.
Gently water the soil and place the container in a warm spot, away from direct sun until the seeds germinate.
It usually takes about two to three weeks for fresh passion fruit seeds to germinate, depending on the warmth of the soil.
Older seeds can take two months or more to germinate, so it’s best to use fresh seeds if possible.
Growing passion fruits from seed will give you a large number of plants, so you can give some of the plants away to friends and family or thin them out so you’re left with only the strongest plants.
Raising passion fruit seedlings
Transplant the seedlings to individual pots when they have developed sturdy stems and about three sets of true leaves.
Place the pots in a warm spot and keep the soil moist until the plants develop several sets of true leaves.
You can transplant the plants to their final position in the garden once they are well established.
Caring for seed grown passion fruit plants
Passion fruit plants that are grown from seeds can be highly productive, providing they’re given the right care.
Passion fruit vines grow best in full sun, so pick a sunny spot in the garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
The vines are fast growing and need plenty of nutrients to support their growth so dig in some aged compost or manure before planting your seedlings out in the garden.
Space the plants out about 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) apart next to the trellis or climbing support.
Water the plants every few days, and more often during the summer months, but take care to ensure that the soil doesn’t become waterlogged.
Passion fruit plants should be fertilized in early spring, and again in late spring or early summer for an abundant crop.
Harvesting passion fruits
Passion fruit plants grown in tropical climates can produce fruit in as little as six months, but it may take up to 12 months in cooler climates.
Passion fruits are ready to harvest when they turn from green to their distinctive purple colour.
The fruits will drop to the ground when they’re ripe, so you can just pick them up as you need them.
Passion fruit vines can bear fruit throughout the summer and well into fall so check the vines regularly for ripe passion fruits.
Storing passion fruits
Passion fruits can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week after harvesting.
Place the fruits in the crisper section loose so the air can circulate around them.
If you put them in a plastic bag they’ll turn moldy.
How to eat passion fruit
There are many ways to enjoy fresh passion fruit including using it in baked treats, making jams and preserves or using the pulp in desserts.
Passion fruit is also great for drinks. You can add the pulp to sparkling water, smoothies or cocktails.
How long do passion fruit vines live?
Passion fruit vines can live for around five years but the fruit production will decrease after the third year.
Pruning passion fruit vines
Passion fruit vines set fruit on new growth so they’ll produce more fruit if you cut them back at the start of spring.
If the vine starts outgrowing the trellis you’ll need to trim it back to keep it looking tidy and so the branches don’t become tangled.
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So there are my tips for growing passion fruit vines from seed.
With a bit of patience and care, you’ll be able to harvest your own fresh passion fruits right from your backyard.