Growing Passionfruit Vines in Canberra
(6 March 2014)
Passionfruit vines are readily available as both seedlings and grafted specimens during the warmer months and can be grown in the Canberra climate, providing a suitable planting site and variety are selected. They are relatively short-lived plants, so in order to harvest a continual crop, plant a replacement vine around every four years. The common black Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis), and also the banana Passionfruit (Passiflora mollisima), are more tolerant of our cool climate than other species. Generally, you are better off selecting non-grafted plants as the rootstock used on grafted specimens is often from cold sensitive varieties.
Ideally, Passionfruit vines should be planted against a trellis or wall with supporting structure in a sunny location, which is protected from frost and strong winds. Plant during spring after danger of frost has passed to give the vine a full growing season to establish before the cooler weather arrives.
Passionfruit vines need good quality soil high in organic matter and excellent drainage to do well. A thick layer of mulch such as Lucerne or straw is recommended as these plants have shallow root systems and resent root disturbance. A seasonal application of homegrown compost and/or manure is beneficial, as Passionfruit vines are heavy feeders. Regular applications of liquid fertiliser and compost teas during the growing season will further compliment this regime, promoting larger fruit size and quality. And in order to produce high yields and prevent vines from dropping fruit prematurely, ensure the soil is kept reliably moist, particularly during hot, dry weather.