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When to Plant Passion Fruit in Australia

If you plant your vine in spring, it will have plenty of time to become established before the cooler weather comes around again.

Passionfruit vines have been popular with Australian gardeners for many years. They’re relatively easy to grow when given the right conditions and are great for covering a fence or other structure. 

If you’re keen to grow your own passion fruit, you’ll want to know when the best time is to plant a vine in your garden.

When is the ideal time to plant a passionfruit vine in Australia?

Ideally, you’ll want to plant a new passionfruit vine in spring. These vines are usually dormant over winter in the cooler parts of the country.

This means that if you plant your vine in spring, it will have plenty of time to become established before the cooler weather comes around again.

Choose your variety carefully to ensure that it will grow in your climatic zone. For cooler regions in the southern part of the country, ‘Nellie Kelly’ is your best bet because it will withstand cooler temperatures. 

In more sub-tropical parts of the country, select purple varieties while those in tropical regions can successfully grow the Panama varieties.

passionfruit panama | Fruit & Vegetables

Where should you plant your passionfruit vine?

You want to select a sunny spot in your garden to grow your passionfruit vine. Make sure that you enrich the soil with plenty of compost and other organic matter because passionfruit vines are heavy feeders.

Many experienced and commercial passionfruit growers recommend that you plant your vine so that it runs from north to south. This is to ensure that the vine receives sunlight on both sides. 

Passionfruit | Fruit & Vegetables

When planting, make sure that you don’t bury the graft. This needs to sit above the soil, otherwise, your plant will send up suckers from the rootstock and these won’t produce any fruit.

Tips for getting your passionfruit vine to produce fruit

If you find that your passionfruit vine is producing lots of flowers but no or very little fruit, it might be because the flowers are not being pollinated.

Try to grow other flowering plants near your passionfruit, such as lavender, in order to encourage bees into your garden. If there are plenty of bees around, they should pollinate the passionfruit flowers for you.

passionfruit and bee | Fruit & Vegetables

However, if you have a lack of bees, you can hand-pollinate the flower yourself. Use a small, soft paintbrush or cotton bud and transfer the pollen from the stamens onto the stigma of each flower.

Each passionfruit flower will have five stamens and three stigmas. You should be able to identify the stamen as they’ll have pollen on them. The stigmas are at the very tip of the flower and this is where the pollen needs to be placed in order to fertilise each flower.

On the other hand, if your passionfruit plant is not producing very many flowers, you’re not providing enough of the needed nutrients that will encourage flowering.

This can happen if you’re giving your plant a fertiliser that is high in nitrogen. This will produce lots of green growth but very few flowers.

Lawn Fertilizer 4 1 | Fruit & Vegetables

In this case, you want to switch to a fertiliser that is high in potassium as this will encourage flowering. Select a fertiliser that is specifically intended for flowering and fruiting plants. 

It’s also important to remember that passionfruit vines might take around 18 months before they start to flower and fruit.

And, after around 5 or 6 years, the fruiting will start to decline because the vine is getting too old. At this stage, it’s a good idea to remove the old vine and replace it with a new one.

FAQ

Do you need 2 plants for passion fruit?

No, most passionfruit vines are self-fertile which means that you only need one plant to produce fruits. Passionfruit flowers have both male and female parts but they do need to be pollinated in order to produce fruit.

Where is the best place to plant passionfruit?

There are different varieties suitable for different parts of the country. Passionfruit vines will do best when planted in a sunny spot in the garden that is protected from frost.

Does passion fruit need lots of water?

Yes, during the warmer weather, you want to keep your passionfruit vine well-watered. Make sure the vine is growing in well-drained soil but water at least once a week or more during dry spells.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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