Passion fruit is a tropical fruit that belongs to the dicotyledonous family Passifloraceae. The name was given by Spanish colonists in South America who used the tropical flower to define and show their religious beliefs when attempting to turn the native people to Christianity.
This plant’s fruit is round to oval when ripe, either yellow or dark purple with a soft to firm, juicy inside loaded with various seeds. The purple variety (Passiflora edulis) grows in the coolest subtropics or high altitudes in the tropics. In contrast, the golden passion fruit (Passiflora. edulis f. flavicarpa) is more suitable for tropical lowlands conditions. The fruit has many health benefits, and it is both consumed as fresh fruit and as juice.
|Common Name||Passion Fruit|
|Botanical Name||Passiflora Edulis|
|Plant Type||An Annual / Perennial (Depends On The Climate)|
|Size (Fully Grown)||Can Be More Than 8.2 Feet (About 2,5 Meters) Wide And Several Meters High|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun, But If A Hot Climate, Partial Shade Is Better|
|Soil Type||Sandy Loamy Soil|
|Soil pH||From 6.5 To 7.5|
|Flower Color||Pink And White|
|U.S. Hardiness Zones||9, 10, And 11|
|Native Area||Southern Brazil|
Different Passion Fruit Types
There are many varieties cultivated and traded. But here are the most common types:
- Giant Granadilla
- Sweet Granadilla
- Purple Passion Fruit
- Yellow Passion Fruit
- Banana Passion Fruit
Origin’s The History Of The Passion Fruit Plant
The purple passion fruit is native to northern Argentina from southern Brazil and Paraguay. On the other hand, the yellow type origin has been reported to be unknown, or perhaps native to Brazil’s Amazon region, or a hybrid between P.edulis and P.ligularis.
In Australia, before 1900, the purple passion fruit was thriving and even partly naturalized in the coastal areas of Queensland. In Hawaii, the purple passion fruit seeds were first sown in 1880, and the vine became famous in home gardens.
The Physical Description Of Passion Fruit
Let’s examine what a passion fruit looks like, so you have a better ability to identify the plant:
When mature and finely toothed, the evergreen leaves of the passion fruit are 3 to 5 lobed, which depends on the variety, of course. They are 3 to 8 inches (about 7 to 20 cm) long, deep green, and glossy above. You can also taste the leaves, and you may notice that they have a mild green flavor.
With white outer petals surrounding a feathery purple flower and five thick greenish-yellow stamens in the middle, these dense ornate flowers are 2 to 3 inches (about 5 to 8 cm) wide. When it comes to the scent of the passion fruit flower, it’s a bit like the fruit itself. The smell is much less intoxicating, and if you taste it, you might notice that it’s also milder.
The almost round or oval fruit is 1 to 3 inches (about 4 to 7,5 cm) in diameter and has a rough rind that is smooth and waxy. The fruit’s color ranges from dark purple to light yellow or pumpkin-colored, with little white specks.
Inside the fruit is a cavity filled with an aromatic mass of double-walled membranous sacs containing an orange pulp and even 250 small and black seeds. The unusual taste of the fruit is enjoyable, like, and sweet to tart. The yellow variety is usually more significant than the purple one, but the purple pulp is less acidic, richer in taste and aroma, and even contains more juice.
Best Growing Conditions For The Passion Fruit Plant
The passion fruit is a robust, climbing vine that clings to almost any support through tendrils. The plant can grow up to 15 to 20 feet (about 4,5 to 6 meters) per year and must have strong support during its developing cycle.
The plant is a perennial when grown appropriately, but it’s also short-lived (5 to 7 years). If you live and grow it in scorching areas, partial shade is preferred, but otherwise, passion fruit prefers full sun. The best growing conditions for passion fruit are described below:
In What Temperature Does Passion Fruit Grow Best In?
They can survive from a temperature of as low as 32°F (about 0°C) without any harm. The vine may drop some foliage or die if the temperature falls below 25°F (about -4°C), so be careful with that!
Soil And Sun
The vines of the passion fruit grow on many soil types, but the most suitable are medium to hard sandy loams with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. The plant needs soil that drains well, though. The ground should also be high in organic matter and low in salt content. If the soil is too acidic, it’s essential to add lime. Since the vines are shallow-rooted, a thick layer of organic mulch can support them.
The passion fruit vines prefer to grow in full sun, so plant them in full sun if the climate does not tend to be too harsh in the summer. But if the summer tends to be extremely hot, grow them in partial shade.
Water And Fertiliser
The vine can keep flowering and producing fruits almost continuously with daily watering. When fruits are reaching maturity, water demand is exceptionally high. This is because the fruits can shrink and fall prematurely if the soil gets too dry.
The vines of this plant are vigorous growers and need fertilization regularly. So, you should periodically fertilize the plant but remember that too much nitrogen, at the cost of flowering, results in vigorous foliage growth.
Remember to track your passion fruit for nutrient deficiencies, particularly those caused by potassium and calcium, and magnesium. Also, keep in mind that plants affected by frost should be generously fertilized after the weather has warmed up.
Is It Safe to Eat / Consume Passion Fruit?
We all know that eating passion fruit has many health benefits, but let’s talk about the safety details of consuming it if you have a common medical problem or developing a new life inside of you. If the plant is pet-friendly, you can also figure it out from the details below.
Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
You can never have enough of the benefits of passion fruit, especially if you are pregnant. As we already know, the body is always ready to consume as many minerals and vitamin-rich plants as possible. So, it is very healthy for your body and can undoubtedly be added to a pregnant woman’s diet.
Passion fruit has a large number of antioxidants that strengthen the immune system of your body. It also has many vitamins, including A and C, and several other health benefits.
But even though the fruit has many advantages, as we noticed above, the plant isn’t ideal for kids under 12 months because of its high acidity.
People With Allergies
Passion fruit is entirely safe to consume for most people. But there is also a small percentage of people who have an allergy to it. Those with a latex allergy tend to be at the most significant risk of allergy to passion fruit.
Some of the other plants that also belong to the same allergy category as the passion fruit are pineapple, apple, kiwifruit, banana, and tomato, to name a few.
People With Diabetes
It is a tropical fruit with a low glycemic index (GI) value. This means that, after consuming it, it does not trigger a drastic spike in blood sugar, making it a healthy choice for people who have diabetes.
Passion fruit is not considered healthy for pets. While no reports state that the fruit is entirely unhealthy, some fruit parts are harmful, such as the seeds. It is, therefore, recommended that you stop giving your pets this plant.
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