Food ForestsFood Plants - Perennial

Plant Profile: Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis)

This passionfruit was growing in a family vegetable garden setting in Coonamble (western NSW, Australia), in a hot and dry climate with low rainfall, but the garden beds were irrigated by creek water. The vine is growing over a farm fence which has three horizontal wires. Surrounding the vine in the understorey is sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) which has provided a good green mulch and soil cultivator for the surrounding area. The images are taken at the end of Autumn and the crop looks to be coming along nicely.

Plant family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Passiflora
Species: edulis
Common name: Passion Fruit, Passionfruit, Purple Granadilla.

How and where to plant it: Full sun against a trellis or structure where there are no competing roots. Iron, in the form of chook manure around the roots, is beneficial to establishment. Well-drained soil. Mulch around the root system to stop it drying out.

Height: 2 metres
Width/Spacing: 3 metres
Flowers: Fruits 18 months from planting preceded by white/purple and yellow ‘passion’ flowers comprised of supportive bracts, 2.5cm petals and corona 1.5cm long.
Scents: Flesh of the fruit has a sweet aroma and taste.
Animal Attraction: Fruits attract rats and white cockatoos.
Hardiness: Frost sensitive
Appearance: Evergreen vine with curly tendrils. Fruit is round/oval (obovoid) 4-5cm diameter and generally dark purple when ripe. Leaf blades 3-lobed with 2-5cm petioles. Leaf margins toothed. Stipules linear.

Uses: Edible flesh of the fruit eaten uncooked, juiced or decorative. Wine, juice, jams, decoration. May reduce blood pressure. High in vitamin C
Culture: Vigorous climber with strong spring-like tendrils that grip onto structures. Prune the tips when growing to promote lateral growth. Requires good watering.
Pest and disease: Scale, collar-rot.
Maintenance: Prune in later winter or early spring by about 30 centimetres. Fertilise with chicken manure every 6 months.
Harvest and post harvest: Harvest when fruit turns purple and outside can be pushed in. Generally used uncooked and can be stored in a cool place.
Origin: South America


  1. The flowers, leaf, and vine are a high value medicine (sedative, relaxant, calming herb) too. We grow this in a greenhouse at Naropa University in Colorado and harvest the flower, leaf, and vine and sell at a premium to a local herbal apothecary who tictures it.

  2. I have a vine with a stem of 80mm diameter after 6 years of growth, height 6m, spread 12m, planted behind a 2.4m high wall as protection against wind and frost, south (cold) side of house in Kempton Park South Africa. It produces up to 2000 berries per year ripening from November to July with the odd late comers still dropping in August. This specific plant withstands mild frost and dry winters. My question is how old would it become? how does one prune it to not stimulate uncontrolled growth.

  3. fertilise with chicken manure? Do you mean chicken poop that’s been composted? Or (which I’m a little worried about) with fresh chicken poop? Wouldn’t the chicken poop be too hot?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Back to top button