There are a couple of misconceptions about passionfruit that we always love having a chat about.
Firstly - that the plant itself is a ‘fruit tree’ and that secondly the fruit is a ‘drupe’ or of a similar class to mango, coconut or some types of raspberries.
Passionfruit is actually a type of passion flower and grows as a vine. It produces a ‘pepo’ or berry - which is traditionally enjoyed as either the flesh itself or juiced for both taste and aroma benefits.
Outside of Australia, the passionfruit has myriad uses including as a flavour in ice cream, mousses, ceviches, pastries and a number of different liqueurs. Back here, the passionfruit still finds its way into cocktails, but if you are growing at home you may find yourself adding it to fruit salads, creating dessert sauces or topping off the Christmas pavlova.
Passionfruit is a staple here at the nursery due to its high vitamin C and riboflavin content and relative ease of growing conditions. It is well suited to Queensland’s sub-tropical environment but doesn’t like frost so do watch out on any particularly cold mornings.
Passionfruit is a heavy feeder, so ensure that you provide it plenty of water, a high quality fertiliser and well drained soil. You will want to avoid any competing root structures and give the vine every chance of generating up to its full 10m annual growth potential.
You should be looking at an 18 month window before the vine will fruit - and when you notice fruit coming to maturity make sure to increase the water supply to stave off premature fruit fall.
Once the skin of the fruit starts to wrinkle you are fine to harvest.
The nursery has a variety of different passionfruit varieties throughout the year and a full growing guide so come in and see us if you would like to get started growing your own.
For more information on setting up for passionfruit - check out our video here.