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Passionfruit, or passionflower, are a climbing vine with edible fruit making it a welcome addition to the home garden. There are over 400 species of passiflora species cultivated for their intricate flowers and wonderful fruit with flower colours ranging from white and pink through to red and purple.
Passionfruit (P. edulis) is a very hardy vine and will grow well in a warm, sunny or partially shaded site sheltered from the wind. They are fast growing with showy flowers producing large numbers of black or purple fruit. Passionfruit climb by tendrils and need the support of a trellis, wires or fence.
Hawaiian or Golden Passionfruit (P. edulis var. flavicarpa) is a must for tropical fruit growers. A vigorous, fast growing tropical vine that produces loads of sweet fragrant flowers, followed by large, golden passiflora fruits with a delicious sweet/tart taste. This variety of Passionfruit produces more and larger fruit than Passiflora edulis.
Banana Passionfruit (P. mollisima) is a hardy variety but the fruit is not as flavoursome as P. edulis or P. flavicarpa.
Passionfruit will tolerate most soil types. Grow in well drained soil to prevent problems with root rot. Soil can be enriched by adding compost and/or manure as well as some complete fertiliser.
Plant in moist soil and keep well watered until established. Water well during the growing season and protect from frosts when young.
Mulch annually with animal manure or compost, being careful to keep the stem area free. This will help conserve water and help with flower and fruit production. Ammonium Sulphate may also be beneficial in the warmer months of the first year.
Mature vines may need pruning annually to improve crop size. Snails, slugs and sap sucking insects can be a problem. Control any pests and diseases as necessary.
This delicious jam can be used as a cheesecake topping, over icecream or as a spread.
1 Cup Passionfruit pulp
1 Cup Sugar
Cut Passionfruit in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Put into a saucepan with the sugar and bring to boiling point. Bottle in sterilised jars and cork. If you use less sugar it is advisable to boil the Passionfruit and sugar for 5 minutes before bottling.
Written by Jill Black. Jill is the owner of Netwrite-Publish Home and Garden, For more home and garden ideas log on to http://www.netwrite-publish.com
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