The Passiflora edulis has made a name for itself among hobby gardeners as a fast-growing climbing plant. The passion flower plant owes its worldwide popularity to the delicious fruit known as passion fruit. In the local latitudes, the tropical ornamental plant in beds is usually cultivated as an annual. As a container plant, on the other hand, it has sufficient potential to develop its exotic beauty for another season after a frost-free winter and to provide delicious passion fruit. Of course, it loses none of its charisma as a houseplant. How the hobby gardener elicits all attributes from it is explained in detail in the instructions for caring for the passion fruit.


  • Plant family of the passion flower family (Passifloraceae).
  • Genus of passion flowers (Passiflora)
  • Name of the species: Passiflora edulis.
  • Native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.
  • Evergreen or deciduous climber.
  • Reaches heights of 3 to 4 meters on climbing aids.
  • Impressive flowers up to 8 cm in diameter.
  • Edible, purple berry fruits with the name Maracuja.
  • Use as a garden, house and crop plant.
  • Other name: passion fruit.

Passiflora edulis is considered to be the most widespread of the more than 500 species. At the same time, it provides the starting material for a wealth of magnificent hybrids, which also inspire with enchanting flowers and juicy-sweet passion fruit.


A mature achievement that the passion flowers achieve with the large halo flowers and the wonderful fruits. For this, the plant needs as much energy as it can get hold of. The most important supplier is the sun, closely followed by the earth. This results in clear demands on the location:

  • Bright location with as much sun as possible.
  • Warm temperatures above 20° Celsius.
  • Protected from wind and rain.

Ideally, Passiflora edulis are cultivated in planters with an integrated espalier. In this way, the hobby gardener creates a certain flexibility with regard to the choice of location, since he can quickly move the plant around if necessary. It should be borne in mind that the passion fruit develops a not inconsiderable weight over time. Alternatively, he plants the passion fruit in the ground in front of a sunny, windless house wall, where it quickly climbs up on its trellis.

substrate and soil composition

Ideal lighting conditions and appropriate ground conditions always go hand in hand. Only when both factors are tailored to the needs of a Passiflora edulis will it develop its full potential. Standard soil from the discounter simply does not meet the requirements of a noble passion fruit.

  • High-quality potting soil based on compost, mixed with perlite or lava granules.
  • Nutritious soil in the bed, humic, permeable and slightly acidic.

Although a location that is as sunny as possible is desirable, the bed soil should not be too dry. A knowledgeable gardener therefore refrains from adding peat to the substrate or the soil, due to the minimal water storage capacity of this material. Sand, expanded clay or wood fibers are more suitable for loosening the clod.

Since passion flowers have proven to have little tolerance for lime, a pH value between 5 and 6 is one of the basic requirements for an adequate substrate. Good quality potting soil usually has this value by default, unless it is a special substrate. A simple test, which is available in every hardware store and garden center, shows whether the garden soil at the selected location can come up with this value. The application does not require any previous chemical knowledge and provides a result that is sufficiently meaningful for this purpose.

watering and fertilizing

Passiflora edulis are very thirsty and hungry plants. The more biomass they develop, the higher their need for water and nutrients.

  • Keep substrate and soil constantly moist during summer.
  • Only water with collected rainwater or decalcified tap water.
  • Provide liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season.
  • Dose fertilizer preparations only sparingly, otherwise the passion flower will not bloom.

However, the passion fruit does not tolerate waterlogging. As a result, the saucer of potted plants is emptied immediately after watering. Otherwise, the collected water will rise back up into the root ball due to capillary action, build up there and cause rot.

encourage fruiting

In contrast to most Passiflora species, Passiflora edulis is considered self-fertile. This means that, in principle, she does not need another plant in her neighborhood to bear fruit. However, if the gardener does not want to rely on the process of natural self-pollination, he can help a little. A soft brush is sufficient for this, with which he strokes the flowers.

Although cross-pollination is not obligatory, it does not do any harm if at least one other specimen is settled in the vicinity.

To cut

The passion fruit only has a narrow window of opportunity to reach its full size. When caring for young plants, a gardener should therefore hardly waste a thought on pruning measures. The situation is different when the Passiflora edulis starts its second or third season, equipped with a certain volume of tendrils and leaves. In this case, a topiary should definitely be desirable. It’s a good thing that the passion fruit is so easy to cut.

  • Shorten shoots that are too long to the desired length in spring before new shoots appear.
  • Each incision is made just above an outward facing eye.
  • Deadwood and visibly diseased tendrils are clipped at the base.
  • A tapering cut up to 15 cm above the ground is possible without any problems.

In indoor culture, the hobby gardener strives to keep the plant rather small so that the dimensions are preserved. A cut back is possible at any time. However, before the scissors are used, it is worth considering guiding the tendrils around a wire arch several times. Thus, a decorative appearance and lush density are achieved without the passion flower climbing in height.

Tip: Anyone who regularly cleans withered flowers encourages the Passiflora edulis to produce more flowers.


As a tropical plant, the passion fruit is extremely sensitive to cold. It doesn’t survive the local winter outdoors. To cultivate the passion fruit only once a year for this reason would of course be a shame. With the help of a few uncomplicated measures, it can be wonderfully overwintered.

  • From temperatures below 10° Celsius, the passion flower is allowed.
  • The winter quarters are light and cool at 6° to 10° Celsius.
  • Water only a little and do not fertilize.
  • Houseplants stay in their usual place even in winter.

Passiflora in the bed are dug up in September and placed in buckets. The substrate should be as lean as possible so that unwanted sprouting is not encouraged. It is advantageous if the tendrils find support on a mobile climbing aid, which is then moved to the winter quarters. Otherwise, the shoots are now shortened to 15 cm in length. They will thrive again quickly next year. Resourceful hobby gardeners make the process of moving easier by planting the passion fruit together with the pot in the bed soil at the beginning.

Incidentally, there is no reason to worry if the passion flower sheds its leaves in the winter quarters, while they continue to thrive indoors or in the winter garden. It is the cool temperatures that trigger the shedding of leaves. Provided the root ball does not dry out in winter, fresh leaves will appear on time next spring.


As the hibernation draws to a close, Passiflora edulis enters the preparation phase for the new season from March. Gradually, the plant will get used to brighter light conditions, while at the same time increasing the amount of irrigation water. In April, the plant lover spoils the graceful beauty with a first dose of diluted liquid fertilizer. Now at the latest it is time to carry out any cutting measures. The passion fruit then gets a new bucket with fresh substrate.

  • Unpot the passion fruit and inspect the root ball for damage.
  • Spread coarse, inorganic material on the bottom of the new planter as drainage.
  • Fill in fresh substrate in a 5 cm thick layer and insert the plant.

During planting, the gardener repeatedly presses the substrate with his fist so that cavities are not formed, which would prevent the roots from spreading. In the last step, a good amount of water is poured on.


The likeable frugality of the tropical climbing plant continues seamlessly at this point. If a hobby gardener wants more specimens, he can choose from various propagation methods.


A great gardening experience is associated with sowing when the seeds are obtained from a passion fruit. Experiencing the career up close symbolizes everything that hobby gardening stands for. This variant of propagation is not the fastest way; instead extremely exciting.

  • Split a purple passion fruit and scoop out the flesh and seeds.
  • Lay out between kitchen paper, separate the seeds from the pulp by rubbing and rinse.
  • Then soak the seeds in water at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
  • Fill a seed tray or small pots with moist potting soil or a peat-sand mixture.
  • Mix the seeds with some bird sand, spread over the substrate and press down.

The light germs are not covered with soil. Covered with glass or plastic, sow the seeds for the next 4 weeks at 25° to 30° Celsius, preferably in a heated greenhouse . At low temperatures, it takes significantly more time to germinate. The substrate is repeatedly moistened with the spray bottle in order to air the cover for a few minutes on this occasion. The seedlings are ready for isolation when 2 to 3 new pairs of leaves appear above the cotyledons. As a substrate, nutrient-poor soil is still used until an independent root system has formed. About 14 days after pricking out, the plantlets receive a first dose of highly diluted liquid fertilizer.

Note: Pinching the young plants after pricking out encourages profuse branching.


Propagation by cuttings is child’s play. The measure will start in early summer. This has the advantage that the growing pots can be placed on the balcony or terrace and do not take up any space in the house, at least throughout the summer.

  • Fill pots with growing substrate or coconut fiber and moisten.
  • Cut a maximum of 15 cm long head cuttings below a leaf node.
  • Remove the leaves from the lower area and plant them individually in the ground.
  • Cover a plastic bag and move to a warm, bright place.
  • If a cutting drives out, the protective cover is removed.

If the pot is rooted, the hobby gardener repots the young Passiflora edulis in more nutritious substrate. At the same time he starts with a 14-day dose of liquid fertilizer. Watering is only done sparingly during this phase, because soil that is too wet triggers root rot.


A propagation method that initially works entirely without planters takes place directly in the bed. A strong, non-lignified shoot is pulled to the ground and buried there with its middle part in a channel approx. 2 cm deep. You should first scratch the bark with a razor blade at this point, because the wound tissue roots faster. A stone fixes the sinker in the ground. The tip of the shoot should protrude a few centimeters above the ground. In autumn, the gardener digs up the sinker and plants it in a pot with rich substrate. The young plant spends the cold season in a light, well-tempered window seat while it is repeatedly wetted with rainwater. By mid-May, the sinker has transformed into an independent, magnificent Passiflora edulis.

This is how an imaginative gardener imagines the flowers in paradise. Breathtakingly beautiful flowers, magnificent leaves and juicy-sweet fruits. The climbing Passiflora edulis really has everything your heart desires. At the same time, it is undemanding, easy to care for and extremely flexible. Anyone who knows how to care for them can cultivate them successfully in the room, conservatory and bed. Cultivating the passion fruit as an annual would be an unforgivable waste. Passion fruit has the power to flower for several summers and yield delicious berries if allowed adequate overwintering.

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