Lots of butterflies like to lay their eggs on passifloras. A delight to see the butterflies flying around but if gets too bad you can easily control them by spraying BT (Bacillus thuringensis) organic and a great control of caterpillars. The fact that a lot of pests are listed in a book for a crop does not necessarily mean it will get a lot of pests. In this case passionfruit is a crop that is widely grown, so more studies have been made about it. Another crop that has been very little grown may have very few pests listed, just because very little research has been done on it, but could get very many pests. Ref: Oscar – Hawaii
Was talking to Don Ellison recently who is a specialist and he was saying that by using weedmat that he bought from Bunnings (not the commercial type you get elsewhere) that the vine grew three times as fast as those without. The mat is about a metre wide so cut off a square and slash it in a cross in the centre. It stops water evaporating and heats up in winter.
My wife grows passionfruit and based on our experience if you can get cuttings from someone you’ll have far better luck than growing them from seed. Like bamboo, many passionfruit sprouts are spindly and weak and they take a couple years to fruit from seed. On the other hand, cuttings are very robust, easy to root, and can fruit the same year. Ref: Carraig Rockport TX
I was told that the best way to grow Passionfruit was up a tree as it gave them light and good air circulation which reduced the risk of disease. Well, I have this great Panama Gold and although I get some to eat, the crows and the possums get most of them so I really think the best way is an overhead wire pergola where the fruits hang down on the inside with the leaves on the outside.
It is true that the yellow is more tropical than the purple. I just finished a great Tropical and Subtropical Fruit class at University of Florida’s (UF’s) Indian River Research and Education Center here in Fort Pierce, FL. Here is some of the info I learned about passion fruit: The yellow is self-sterile and must be cross-pollinated whereas the purple is self compatible. It is insect pollinated from bees and flies which will result in a 70% fruit set, but hand pollination can achieve a 100% set producing larger, heavier and juicier fruit. Passion fruit likes a ph of 5.5-6.8 and temperature is important to yield. Low temperatures restrict vegetative growth and therefore potential yield. High temps prevent flower production. Also, low light conditions reduce yield due to reduced plant growth.
If you’re interested in the Passifloras – the Passionfruit – then you’ll just love this site. Although it’s Italian, click on Translate in Google and you’ll navigate your way around. Maurizio has won a number of awards for developing passionfruit hybrids. http://www.passiflora.it/a.htm