I love growing passion fruit indoors and making my favorite passion fruit juice with the tasty fruits I produce.
Most people don’t realize it is possible to grow passion flower vine as a houseplant in your house or apartment, not only is it possible but the temperature in your home will probably be close to ideal for growing fruit.
Read on and I will tell you exactly how to grow passion fruit indoors so you can give it a try and impress your friends with a new delightful houseplant.
To grow passion fruit indoors is actually quite simple. Use a pot that is 12 x 12 inches and fill it with a high-quality potting soil. Use a trellis so the vine of your plant can grow up and around it, get your plant at least 4 hours of sunlight daily and watch your new houseplant thrive.
This video shows different types of passion fruits:
What variety of passion flower vine is best for growing indoors?
There are many different varieties of passion fruit (Passiflora incarnata) varieties that you could choose to grow and some will be more suited to grow indoors as a houseplant than others.
Passion fruits grow on a vine so space should not be an issue if you use a trellis to wrap the vine around.
If you grow your vine from a seed you acquired from a store bought passion fruit it will likely be a hybrid variety that might not reproduce anything like the original fruit, so good luck with that.
I would recommend you buy a variety that is suitable for growing indoors or choose a bonsai variety such as the Mapplegreen so you know what you are getting.
Should I grow a passion fruit from seed or buy a young seedling?
Whilst passion fruit can be propagated from cuttings the best idea is to propagate them from seed.
It can take up to 19 months for a passion fruit vine to become mature enough to produce fruit.
If you are growing your passion flower vine so you can eat the homegrown fruits you might want to grow your plant from a seedling as this obviously shortens the time you will have to wait for the fruit to be produced.
How to germinate passionflower
Some people say it is difficult to germinate passion fruit seeds but it is not.
First cut a passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds and put them in a bowl of water for about a week.
After a week when there is no pulp left on the seeds sow your seeds in a pot with soil (always use more than you need as they won’t all germinate), cover them with about a 1/8 inch of soil, give them a water and seal the pot with a plastic bag to keep moisture in and put them on a windowsill.
After about 2 weeks you should have some shoots and leaves growing out the soil.
Pick the strongest 2 or 3 that you are going to re-pot and grow as your passion flower vine.
This video shows how to germinate passion fruit seeds:
What sort of pot should I use for passion fruit?
You should choose a pot that is as big as possible for the space you have, I have a 12×12 inch pot.
Although the actual vine is fairly small the passion flower plant does have a fairly large root system.
Make sure the pot or container you use has drainage holes in the bottom as if the roots of a passion fruit vine are in standing water they will rot and your plant will die.
You will have to figure out or buy some sort of trellis system for the vine to grow up and around for the best results as the vine can grow 15 feet in a season.
What sort of soil should I use for indoor passion fruit?
Passion fruit vines are not fussy about the soil type and will grow in most soils.
Make sure you put a layer of stones or pebbles in the bottom to help with drainage as this is vital if you want to grow a healthy vine.
I use a standard high-quality potting soil from the store but you could make your own by mixing equal parts of peat bark and sand.
Never use soil from your garden for anything you grow in a pot as it will quickly become a big clump of soil that is bad for drainage and unhealthy for plants.
How much light does passion fruit require?
Passionflower vines do like the sun so the more direct sunlight you can get your plant the better.
A passion fruit vine will grow just fine as long as you get it at least 4 hours of direct sunlight every day, you should easily be able to achieve this if you have a south or west facing window.
If you will struggle to get enough light or are serious about producing fruits you can always top up the light with an affordable LED grow lamp as the more light it gets normally means the more fruit it will produce.
How often should I water my passion flower vine?
Passion fruit vines like what I would call an average amount of water, I water my plant twice per week during the growing season and once per month during the winter.
When I water my passion flower vine I give it a deep water, that is to keep watering it until the water begins to trickle out the drainage holes in the bottom of my pot.
How much you choose to water your indoor passionfruit depends largely on your local climate and the temperature of your home.
What climate is best for indoor passion fruit?
There are many different varieties of passion fruit and they will all thrive in slightly different climates.
Passion fruit will do well in hot temperatures but if the temperature gets above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37C) it may start to suffer.
Passionflower vines are pretty cold tolerant and will be fine if the temperature gets down to around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (-0C). If the temperature gets below 25 F (-4C) the vine may wither and die, however, it should start to grow from the roots again when it gets to spring weather.
What is the best fertilizer for passion fruit in a pot?
I only fertilize my passion fruit twice per year and it does just fine, I use Miracle Grow all purpose concentrated plant food 6-3-6 plus micronutrients and it seems to be ideal.
If you use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen it will encourage the vine and lots of foliage to grow, its best to use a fertilizer that is high in potassium (potash) as it encourages fruits to grow and that is the whole point of a fruit tree!
How to prune a passion fruit vine in a pot
The best time to prune your passion fruit vine is in the spring.
You won’t need to prune your passion flower vine to help encourage fruiting, you will need to prune it to keep it under control as it can grow 10-20 feet per season.
When you prune you should cut back the main stem to the size you want, if it is overgrown and cut it back to a side shoot or bud where possible.
After your passion fruit vine flowers, you should cut back the side shoots to a couple of buds from the main fan framework.
How to pollinate a passion flower?
In the wild, bees, insects, and wind will pollinate flowers but as you are growing a passion fruit vine indoors you will have to do the job by hand.
Some varieties of passion fruit like yellow passion fruit are self-sterile meaning you will need two vines for cross-pollination, other varieties like purple passion fruit are self-fruitful and the flowers off one vine can pollinate themselves so remember this when choosing a variety to grow.
To pollinate by hand I use the paintbrush method.
That is using a small paintbrush to brush the pollen from one flower into another flower, go round every flower and follow this method.
For self-fertile varieties, you will have to brush the pollen from one flower and into the flower on another vine.
When to pick passion fruit from a potted vine
Passion fruit will fall off the vine when they are ripe, that’s nature doing its job.
I would recommend you harvest your passion fruits when they are ripe but before they drop off naturally.
You can tell when a passion fruit is ripe by the color it turns but this will vary depending on the variety, they will turn from green to orange/ yellow, purple or dark brown.
Another telltale sign your passion fruit is ripe is the skin will begin to appear wrinkly and shriveled so if you notice this it’s time to snip them off the vine.
How to store freshly picked passion fruit
If your passion fruit has any green areas on it it’s not ripe yet so you should store it at room temperature so that it ripens fully.
Before putting your passion fruit in the refrigerator you should give it a wash and completely dry it off.
Put whole passion fruits in the fridge and they can stay good for up to 2 weeks.
Extend the life of them by putting your passion fruit in the freezer.
The easiest way to store passion fruit in the freezer is to scoop out the center and put the pulp in ice cube trays.
When it is frozen you should remove them from the trays and put the frozen passion fruit cubes in a sealable bag or container.
Passion fruit that is frozen can stay good for up to 8 months.
What to do if your passion flower stops producing fruit
If your passion fruit is not bearing fruit there are a few problems that might be occurring.
The first reason might be the flowers did not get pollinated.
You will have to pollinate the flowers by hand as there should be no bees in your house to do the pollination.
Bear in mind that some varieties of passion fruit vines will need 2 separate vines so you can cross-pollinate them and some varieties only need one vine and can pollinate itself.
Have you used too much fertilizer as if you use too much or the wrong type of fertilizer it may encourage lots of green foliage to grow but no fruit.
Finally, have you pruned your vine?
Fresh vines will produce more fruit so you should prune your vine every year to encourage fresh growth and encourage more fruit production.
Common passion fruit vine problems and how to solve them
Passion fruit vine is a simple plant to grow indoors and when it gets going the biggest problem you will probably have is how to control the rapid growth.
However, like all plants, there are some problems that may affect your passion fruit vine and the quicker you treat these problems the more likely a rapid recovery will be. Here are some of the problems:
Bitter Rot – Bitter rot is an infection that will affect the fruit of your plant especially in hot and humid conditions. You will notice this disease by the dark, soft lesions that appear on the fruit and can quickly spread to cover the whole fruit until it drops off the vine. To treat or prevent this disease you should use a copper spray and cut any infected fruits off when you first notice the rot.
Crown Canker – Crown canker is a lethal disease to passion fruit vines so it is bad news if your vine gets infected. This condition normally starts close to the ground and will infect any damages areas like damage caused by frost, pests or fertilizer burn. Crown canker will cause sudden and rapid wilting, leaf drop and fruit drop. There is no cure for this disease so if your vine becomes infected you should remove and destroy it.
Thielaviopsis Root Rot – This disease is a fungus which is more likely to infect affect plants that are grown in heavy soil. You will notice this disease by the poor colored foliage and a generally unhealthy look to your vine, the roots will decay and have a blackened appearance. If this infects your plant you should severely prune it back to try to encourage fresh healthy growth to save it if this fails you will have to dispose of your plant.
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