Fruit of passion...

09 March, 2013

I have had my passionfruit vine for three or four years now. I can't quite remember exactly, but it was one of the first things I planted. It was originally around where some of my espaliered apples are, but now resides in the back yard where I have been attempting to train it to cover the ugly-old-half-falling-down timber fence. Of three plants that I bought this is the only one that has survived.


This passionfruit is a grafted one (a panama red or yellow from memory, but I'm not sure which this is). Now in all of those years the passionfruit has not lived up to its name and even come close to fruit. Lots of passion-leaves and more than a few passion-rootstocks cropping up about the place. In fact, I had been thinking about poisoning the whole thing and then ripping it out, but it was nice and green and covered the fence so I left it.

Maybe the plant had sensed my sentiments and knew it didn't have long to prove the worth of its existance, as for the first time it has flowered.


And lo and behold from those flowers (around 8 or 9 all up) there has formed precisely one fruit.


Yay!

Between you and me I might have been inclined to keep the plant purely for the flowers as they are gorgeous! But the plant doesn't need to know that, let it produce its fruit in the hope that it may be saved.

But, having never has a passionfruit before, do I need to protect it from wildlife? Given all the hard work the plant is doing I wouldn't want it to be lost to a marauding possum or bird. If so, any suggestions for protection strategies used by those growing passionfruit would be very much appreciated.

6 comments:

  1. I am a passionfruit growing failure so I can't give you any advice. I have planted 5 plants in the last few years and they all died. And then I discovered that the root stock had grown up all over the wall and I got all excited (not realising that it was rootstock and wouldn't grow fruit). But it does flower a lot and I am hopeful that maybe I will get a passionfruit anyway? Or I was thinking I would try and graft something onto it? Although that all sounds a bit complicated.
    I do hope your fruit survives. I think the fruit drops to the ground when it is ready. I can't imagine too many pests getting through the thick skin to bother it.

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    1. I can imagine how quickly the rootstock can take over as I pull up little ones pretty regularly. I have no idea on grafting but it wouldn't hurt to try it!

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  2. Passion fruit failures here n Melbourne also. Slugs ate all the leaves off my fledgling plants. The established one that was here when we moved in is doing poorly. No fruit at all this year. Something ate the green fruit last year before they ripened. I found them munched into and discarded on the ground. I would say it was possums as they eat everything else here.
    Good luck.

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    1. Oh, I feel better about my one out of three surviving now, though I feel sorry for your passionfruit losses. Given your fruit tale I will go and protect my single fruit asap!

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  3. After reading the start of your post- I thought based on my experience- (the same as veggiegobbler) it was all going to end very badly! Lucky for you not.... Are you having any issues with rats and mice this year? I a sure the rats would love passionfruit. I can't imagine possums tucking in through the thick skin.

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    1. Whew! I'm glad mine has a happy ending (or I hope it will!) Rats and mice are not a problem for me, but I have a cat which does a very good mouse patrol for food, so I think they keep away from my yard. Thankfully!

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