Friday, February 22, 2013

Growing Passion Fruit

This is my passion fruit plant in September last year.


Here it is around a month ago 

Due to the hard clay soil at my backyard, I decided to grow it in a large rectangular polystyrene pot, with the base cut off. For the next 2.5 months, the vines grew and multiplied quite aggressively with no sign of flowers. I applied some fruiting fertiliser and in its third month, and 3 weeks later, countless number of flowers started to bloom. I was elated!!

I learned from this You Tube video below on how to hand pollinate the flowers if there is an absence of buzzing bees.  Use a small brush or your fingers. The flowers usually bloom only in the afternoon till late evening for a day only, so if you missed this one day chance, you'll missed pollinating it. Good news is, once it flowers, it will normally produce many continuously for 2 weeks or so.

Fruits start to form within the next few days at successful pollination. Within a few weeks, the shiny apple green fruit will grow in size.

However, sadly some suddenly stopped growing and shriveled. About 20 of them!! I have no idea why!!  What a waste!!!


So I removed them and in the compost they went. 

Anyway, I'm utterly delighted that the rest, almost 30+ fruits, continue to grow and glisten under the sunshine! <wide happy grin>

Fruit flies and ants started to attack a few of the fruits as I noticed holes on them and so I wrapped each fruit with expandable foam wrapper I collected from a fruit vendor.

It takes almost 3 mths from fruit formation right up to ripening when the color of the fruit turns maroon-ish. Once ripened, the fruit will fall off by itself, or they can be also be harvested by hand with a kitchen scissors.


Here's my third and most recent harvest. I made them into juice for my family at our Chinese New Year dinner at home. Yummy!!

Some growing points and observations:

Soil - needs fertile soil, best mixed with compost, soil should not be water-logged.

Fertiliser - i used nitrogen rich chicken and goat manure during the early stages of growing, and in the 3rd month, i applied fruiting fertiliser.

Weather - needs warm sunny weather. best to plant it in the east side where morning sun shines.

Diseases - the plant has strong resistance to common diseases. watch out for fruit flies and ants trying to penetrate the fruit.

 Happy gardening!!