Information on Growing Passion Fruit
Let us learn today about basics of “Growing Passion Fruit“.
Introduction to Passion Fruit:
This plant belongs to one of the vine species, it blooms a flower called passion flower as this will set into Passion Fruit after the pollination. The Passion Fruit is native to Southern Brazil through Pararaguy, India and Northern Argentina. The common names of this fruit are Granadilla, Purple Granadilla, or Yellow Passion Fruit. The Passion fruit is originated from the genus of Passiflora. Passion Fruit belongs to the Passifloraceae family. Passion Fruit is scientifically named as Passiflora edulis. As per estimation, there are 500 species of Passion Fruit.
In India, these Passion Fruits are grown in Western Ghats like Nilgiris, Coorg, Shevroys, Wynad, Malabar, and Kodaikanal. These are also grown in some states like Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur. These Passion fruits can used as an ingredient in the preparation of pies, creams, cakes and ice creams. This fruit can be consumed in a juice form as it can’t be consumed directly as a table fruit. The leaves and tendrils of this plant are used in preparation of medicines.
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Characteristics of Passion Fruit:
Plant: The plant grows vigorously, the plant can trellis fencings or walls, but the tendrils need a support for trellising. It can grow up to a height of 15 – 20 ft. The support which is given to the plant should be strong enough. It is believed that the plant life has a short life, i.e. 5 – 7 years.
Leaves or Foliage: When the leaves are mature, they are deeply lobed and finely toothed. They are 3 – 8 inches long, deep green in color, and also the leaf has a glossy appearance. When they are young and when they just inform to the tendrils the leaves are tinged red or purple in colour.
Flowers: The flower bloom single to the tendrils, these are fragmented flowers, leaves are 2 – 3 inches in width, these flowers are born at each new node of the plant. The flower is clasped by 3 large green in colour brackets, the flower contains 5 greenish – white sepals, the flower has 5 white petals. The fringe like corona is straight, with white tipped rays, at the base it has a rich purple colour. It contains 5 stamens with large anthers. These flowers are self fruiting flowers. These flowers can be pollinated by the hand also.
Fruit: The inner part of the fruit is completely filled with flesh, the fruit is spherical in shape. The outer colour of the fruit is based on the varieties, it might be purple, yellow, or dark – purple. The diameter of the fruit will be 4 – 7.5 cm. The fruit weighs 35 – 40 grams. The skin of the fruit will be 9 – 13 mm in thickness. The flavour of the fruit juice will be musk and also slightly acidic.
Seed: The fruit contains 250 seeds in it which are black in colour.The seed is 2.4 mm in length.
Properties of Passion Fruit:
Nutrients that are present in Passion Fruit are
- Fat: 0.7 g
- Energy: 97 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 22.4 g
- Proteins: 2.2 g
- Minerals: Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Sodium.
- Vitamins: Vitamins (C, K)
Cultivars/varieties of Passion fruits:
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These are the popular varieties Passion Fruit:
- Black Knight
- Golden Giant
- Red Rover
- Paul Ecke
- Purple giant
- Brazilian Golden
Soil and Climate requirements for Growing Passion Fruit:
This wonderful fruit can be grown in any types of soil, i.e. from light to heavy sandy loamy soils. But they thrive well in medium type of soil. The soil pH, which should be is 6.5 – 7.5. If the soil is more acidic, lime should be added to the soil. It is essential to have well-drained soil.
The passion fruit plants can grow in tropical as well as in subtropical climates. In India, altitudes that are required for Growing Passion Fruits are 650 – 1,300 m. The rainfall, which is required for Growing Passion Fruits should be in between 100 – 250 cm.
Land preparation and Planting for Growing Passion Fruit:
All the weeds and unwanted material should be removed and the land should be ploughed several times as the soil attains fine tilth and smooth texture. Followed by the ploughing levelling and harrowing should be done to the soil.
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Nursery Planting: For easy penetrations of water also the ploughing will help and some nutrients like farmyard manure should be added to the holes before planting. The pits or holes should be 60 cm * 60 cm.
Main Field: The soil should be manured before 2 weeks of planting. Then the plant should be transplanted in rainy season to the main field the pits in the main filled should be dug in the dimensions if 3 m * 2 m.
Propagation methods for Growing Passion Fruit:
Seed Propagation: These can be grown from the seeds. Yellow form of the seedling variation provides the cross-pollination and it will overcome the problem of self sterility. The seeds should be planted as soon as it is removed from the plant. Then germination will be done within 10- 20 days. When the seeds are cleaned and stored, then the germination rate will become slower in seeds. The seeds should be planted ½ – 1 inch deep inside the soil beds and when the seedling reaches a height of 10 inches of height then the seedling can be transplanted to the main field.
Cutting or Layer Propagation: Passion fruit plants can be propagated through layers or by cuttings of mature wood which has 3 -4 nodes. This will as speed up the hormone treatment. While rooting they should be rooted well and they will be ready for setting the fruits in 90 days.
Manure and Fertilization method in Growing Passion Fruit:
These plants should be manured with farmyard manure and also with nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. These nutrients should be given to the plant in the first month and in second month triple super phosphate or single super phosphate. If recommended we can also use the organic and inorganic fertilizers. If required micro and macro nutrients should be added.
Irrigation methods in Growing Passion Fruit:
The plants should be watered regularly, which will keep the vine flowering and fruiting almost frequently. As this plant water requirement is very high when the fruits are approaching the maturity stage. When the soil is dry, then the fruit gets shrivel and fall prematurely.
Flowering Pollination and Fruiting in Growing Passion Fruit:
The vine starts the production after 1 year of planting. The flowers will appear in the month of April and they will continue till the month of November. The matured fruit appears in the month of July – January. The fruit reaches to maximum size and attains maturity in 25 days. After pollination the fruit gets matured within 90 days.
The pollination is an important process and also a serious problem and this will influence the field strongly. Some varieties of the Passion Fruits are compatible of self pollination or these should be pollinated by hand. Some varieties perform cross pollination, carpenter bees, bumble bees, honey bees, hummingbirds, wasps and nocturnal moths, help the flower to perform the cross – pollination.
Intercultural methods in Growing Passion Fruit:
- Weeding: Regularly the weeding should be done or else the soil will start losing its fertility. The unwanted weeds can be removed by using chemical methods or manually. Light herbicides should be used as it won’t affect the crop
- Pruning: Pruning is needed to keep the vines within bounds; it will also help with the harvest to make it easier. The growth will be more when we maintain the layers and leaves. In warm winter climates prune should be done after the harvest. In climates like winter pruning should be done in early spring.
- Training: The plant should be trained from the stage of seedling itself. And the plant should be supported by the string as this support will encourage the plant to grow vigorously.
- Mulching: The plant needs high irrigation and also the soil should be moisture most of the time. Mulching will help the soil to conserve the moisture or hold the moisture well.
- Frost protection: In winter seasons, the crop should not be pruned so that the outer branches that are unwanted will secure the inner branches. This will protect the plant from the frost.
Pest and Diseases control measures in Growing Passion Fruit:
The pests that affect the Passion Fruit plants are:
- Stick bugs
The diseases that affect the plant are;
- Septoria diseases
- Nursery diseases
- Anthracnose diseases
- Brown spot diseases
These pests and diseases can be controlled by applying natural methods and chemical solutions.
Harvesting techniques in Growing Passion Fruit:
When the fruit attains complete maturity and also when the fruit colour is green turns to deep purple it indicates that the fruit is ripe and it is ready to fall on the ground within a few days. These can be plucked directly from the tree or these can be collected from the ground daily.
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Post harvesting techniques in Growing Passion Fruit:
- After harvesting the Passion fruits they should be washed and they should be dried in a shade.
- The storage can cause more loss to the fruits and also the fruit weight.
- These Passion fruits should be packed in bags.
- They can be stored at least for 2 – 3 weeks at a temperature of 10˚C.
- When the fruit is slightly shrivelled then the taste of the fruit will be sweeter.
Yield of Passion Fruits:
The average yield of the passion fruit plants are 9,000 – 15,000 kg per hectare of land.