WHAT TEMPERATURE ZONE IS GOOD TO GROW PASSION FRUIT?
There are two main passion fruit varieties.
Passiflora edulis is the purple passion fruit.
Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa is the golden passion fruit/yellow passion, also called tropical passion fruit.
Commercial growers in cooler climates often use hybrid varieties of the purple and golden passion fruit. That way they get a plant with large fruit that tolerates cooler weather.
Passion fruits must be grown in full sun to truly thrive. Passion fruits do best when planted in a location with well-draining, moist soil and protection from strong winds.
Passion fruit plant thrives in deep well drained soils with a PH range of 6.0-7.0. The soil should also be rich in organic matter. A healthy soil, teeming with worms and microbes and lots of organic matter is your best bet. If your soil is poor you will get problems with wilt diseases, root rot and nematodes. Heavy clay soils also cause problems with rot diseases. .The crop does well in an altitude range of between 1200-2000M ASL.
The root system of a passion fruit vine is small for the size of the plant it has to sustain. Especially while a passion fruit is fruiting it needs a lot of water. It needs a very regular water supply at all times.
However, passion fruit can’t handle waterlogged soil. Make sure your site is free draining. An annual rainfall of about 900-2000mm is suitable for an optimal production of this crop. Excess rainfall leads to poor fruit sett and also encourages diseases.
For optimal production, a temperature range of between 18-28 degrees centigrade is sufficient.
SUITABLE GROWING AREAS
In Kenya, Purple passion fruit can be grown in
- Nandi and
- Uasin gishu.
REASONS NOT TO GROW PASSION FRUIT FROM SEED
Seeds of hybrid varieties do not grow true to type. If you live in a cooler climate the passion fruit you buy may be a hybrid variety. If you grow that seed you don’t know what kind of fruit you will get. It will be nothing like the parent plant and probably not very nice.
Buy your seedlings from a nursery or a reputable company.
If Fusarium wilt is a problem in your soil, and if you need to grow susceptible varieties because of your cool climate, then you may want to invest in a grafted plant from a nursery.