When fruits grow, they need some help from something else to produce their most beautiful form and function. This is called pollination! Many plants rely on insects for this essential process. For example, bees and other flying insects move in and out of flower buds to facilitate fruit growth and set seed. But what happens when there are no flowers or no flying insects? That’s where hand pollination comes into play. You can choose between doing it with your hands (the less attractive option) or using a syringe to directly inject pollen onto the stamen (male part of the flower). While both methods work, only the first one is appropriate for passionate fruit growers like us. That’s because not using correct hygiene could potentially transmit disease. So let’s take a closer look at how to do it properly! How to hand pollinate passion fruit The term ‘hand pollination’ usually refers to transferring pollen by rubbing two sources together. In our case, that means touching the stigma (receptacle that receives the sperm) of a passionfruit ovary surface with either your index finger or a special tool called an aspirator. You will also need a source of indirect light so you can see what you are doing. Because passionfruit grows quickly, polls should be done within 24 hours of a full bloom stage. While most people use their hands to manipulate fruits, only doing it with ripe fruits, there are more ways to hand pollinate passion fruit! If you look inside the fruit, you will see that there is an inner layer or skin called spongy tissue. This can be used as a way to handle the plant in stages of pollen collection and growth.
Look inside the fruit
When fruits grow, they need some help from something else to produce their most beautiful form and function. This is called pollination!
Many plants rely on insects for this essential process. For example, bees and other flying insects move in and out of flower buds to facilitate fruit growth and set seed.
But what happens when there are no flowers or no flying insects? That’s where hand pollination comes into play. You can choose between doing it with your hands (the less attractive option) or using a syringe to directly inject pollen onto the stamen (male part of the flower).
While both methods work, only the first one is appropriate for passionate fruit growers like us. That’s because not using correct hygiene could potentially transmit disease. So let’s take a closer look at how to do it properly!
How to hand pollinate passion fruit
The term ‘hand pollination’ usually refers to transferring pollen by rubbing two sources together. In our case, that means touching the stigma (receptacle that receives the sperm) of a passionfruit ovary surface with either your index finger or a special tool called an aspirator.
You will also need a source of indirect light so you can see what you are doing. Because passionfruit grows quickly, polls should be done within 24 hours of a full bloom stage.
While most people use their hands to manipulate fruits, only doing it with ripe fruits, there are more ways to hand pollinate passion fruit! If you look inside the fruit, you will see that there is an inner layer or skin called spongy tissue. This can be used as a way to handle the plant in stages of pollen collection and growth.
This process works best when the passion flower has already produced some seeds because then the extra nutrients from the pollen source are needed for seed germination. When flowers have set lots of seeds, they become heavier so they drop faster.
Check it for damage
Even though passion fruits are not edible, there is still an important step in how to hand pollinate passion fruit that needs to be done! Before you can plant them, you have to make sure they are healthy and that they do not look damaged or rotten.
If you notice any kind of damage such as cracks, wet patches, or if the skin looks wrinkled, then these should be checked out immediately.
You don’t want anything with seeds that could potentially spread disease! Luckily, most grocery stores will let you know whether a specific variety has free seeds so you don’t need to worry about that.
Prepare the fruit
After you have picked your passion fruits, you will need to prepare them. This can be done either at home or in a professional setting.
You will want to remove the skin of the passion fruit. When removing the skin, make sure not to break the pulp, as this would affect the flavor.
Next, if the passion fruit is self-colored, like green ones, you do not have to do anything to these fruits. If it has white or bright yellow pulp, then that color should remain.
However, if the pulp for the passion fruit is darker than the rest of the flesh, then you will want to wash the pulp more thoroughly. The sulfur content in the peel can turn the dark pulp grayish-blue.
Removing the peel too quickly may cause the inner parts to become mushy which could potentially hurt the taste.
Pollinate the fruit
While most people know how to do this with apples, kiwis or oranges, not many are familiar with how to hand pollinate passion fruits! Luckily, we have an easy step-by-step guide for you here!
Step one is to wash your hands thoroughly before touching the passion flower or its pollen source. This removes any germs that could potentially prevent fertilization or infection of the plant.
Next, choose a location that has enough sunlight to help promote growth and sprouting of the seedlings. You want to make sure it’s also free from heavy traffic, as they can be trampled on.
Once everything is ready, take a good look at the passion flowers to see if there are any frosts. If there are, break those apart using clean scissors or a knife. Only use dry hands to do so, otherwise the moisture may cause the seeds to stick in longer than needed.
Now, pick off a small amount of pollen by rubbing your index finger across the top of the stigma (the part that receives water and nutrients). Make sure to only pull out a very light layer, just enough to spread around the stigma.
If possible, cover the rest of the stigma with your other index finger to protect it from getting too much pollen. Once done, apply the gathered pollen onto the bottom side of the white pistil area.
Store passion fruit
While most people buy fresh passion fruits at grocery stores, there are some great ways to preserve the flavor and function of passion fruit. If you do not like eating it right away, then drying or freezing is your best option.
Most recipes call for dried or frozen berries that can be mixed into yogurt or other foods as an ingredient. When adding dry or frozen berries in baking, remember to use the correct amount of berry puree needed to achieve the perfect balance of texture and taste.
Too much berry puree may result in over-drying the food while too little will leave you with sweet watery berries which does not fit the rest of the recipe. There are several brands of dehydrated passion fruit powder that can be used in any recipe!
These would be better to add directly to cooked dishes instead of being mixed into another ingredient first.
Tell your friends about your passion fruit
When fruits are not available or you do not feel like eating them, you can always hand pollinate a new variety of passion fruit! This has never been done before so there is no formal guidance on how to do it, but we have some tips from experienced passionate growers here!
The first thing you will need to do is find someone with fresh passion fruit that is almost ripe. These should be slightly soft and fuzzy when pressed gently along the skin. (Note: if they are very hard then they may have overripened which could cause spoilage.)
Next, take a piece of cotton wool and soak it in a solution containing sugar and chlorine-based bleach. Mix both ingredients together and add enough to make the liquid thick — around one cup per half gallon of water.
Now, using the wet cotton as a brush, apply the mixture onto the stigma (the part of the flower that receives pollen) of the passion fruit. Work slowly and carefully to avoid getting any excess on the plant’s leaves.
Leave the solution to dry for at least an hour and then try to touch the stigma again to see whether it has received its own pollen.
Try new recipes with passion fruit
While most people use either squeezing the juice of the passion fruits or slicing them in half for consumption, there are other ways to eat your passion fruit! If you like spicy foods, why not try adding some pepper onto the passion fruit before eating it?
Mixing the seeds of the passion fruit with yogurt is another way to enjoy this citrus fruit. Addging some granulated sugar can also help make the texture more spreadable.
There are many different types of hand pollination you can do with passion fruit! Some people suggest doing it while eating the fruits, but that may not work for everyone.
Having dry hands can sometimes make manipulating the fruit difficult. If this is the case, then practicing yoga before trying to handle the fruit is a great way to go about it.
Yoga has been shown to increase blood flow which helps your body feel more relaxed and comfortable. This helps when working on things like pinching or rubbing the pulp of the passion fruit between your fingers.
Your hands will also be wet less which makes it easier to manipulate the fruit.
Can you self pollinate passionfruit? ›
The flowers of passionfruit are self-fertile due to the flower morphology, being structured so that the anthers are placed below the stigmas. Additionally, plants can be either self-compatible or self-incompatible depending on their variety.How do you pollinate a passion fruit vine? ›
Hand-pollinate your passionfruit to encourage the fruiting process. This can be done using a paintbrush by collecting pollen from the stamen of one flower and spreading it to the pistil of another flower on the vine. Plant fragrant flowers such as lavender near your vine to attract more bees to help pollination.How do I hand pollinate? ›
To hand pollinate, remove the petals from a male blossom to reveal the stamen at its center. If you look closely, you'll see pollen clinging to it. Touch it with your finger or a small paintbrush and carry the pollen on your finger or the brush to the female blossoms.What time of day do passion fruits pollinate? ›
Gather the pollen in the morning, within four to six hours of the flower opening. The blooms contain both male and female parts, yet are self-sterile, so the pollen is collected from one flower and then transferred to a flower on a different passion vine.How do you force passion fruit to flower? ›
Passion fruit thrive on any fertilizer designed to encourage flowering and fruiting. Apply fertilizer in spring and then every four weeks during the summer months. Always water well when applying fertilizer. It can take 12–18 months for a newly planted vine to reach fruiting size.Should you hand pollinate passionfruit? ›
Even though passion fruit is self-fertile, the pollen is still required to be moved around the flower – transferred from the anther to the stigma.Do you need 2 passionfruit trees to produce fruit? ›
Passionfruit are self-fertile, so there is no need to have two vines. We recommend you look at planting grafted varieties, as they're hardier and can be more productive. Ensure you feed with a fertiliser high in potassium in mid-spring to encourage flower and fruit set.Why does my passion fruit flower but no fruit? ›
As with many other types of plants, passionflowers need to be pollinated to produce fruits. If you're growing one in a container somewhere that it won't be visited by bees, it could simply be that the flowers weren't pollinated, and that means no fruit to follow when the blooms fade.What is best fertilizer for passionfruit? ›
Feeding is essential: passionfruit need regular chicken manure, blood and bone and potash. Liquid potash is ideal.Can passion fruit grow in pots? ›
Passion fruit vines need very large containers. If you're transplanting, choose a container that's two to three times the size of your current one. Fill your container with well-draining, nutrient-rich potting material. Passion fruit vines are fantastic growers and climbers, often gaining 15 to 20 feet (4.5-6 m.)
Will passionfruit ripen off the vine? ›
Green passion fruit won't ripen fully off the vine, but ripe fruits will develop deeper, sweeter flavor if left uneaten for several days. You could eat unripe passion fruit but the taste would be very tart.What is the best tool for hand pollinating? ›
A small watercolor or other soft brush is the best tool for the job. As you can see, Q-tips also make a good stand-in! If your plant is self-pollinating, all you need to do is brush inside each flower, making sure the pollen gets down into the pistil (middle part) of the flower.What time of day is best to hand pollinate? ›
You can hand pollinate from morning to early afternoon but before noon seems to be the best before it gets too hot. Humidity makes pollen very sticky so if your region's early mornings are blessed as being fresh, again stick with mornings.What is the best time for hand pollination? ›
After 12 to 16 hours, or once the flowers have attained sexual maturity, you can pollinate them by hand. Do this in a sunny day, early in the morning, just after the dew has formed. , on a sunny day. It is best to remove the petals from a male flower to expose the stamens. Then, cut the male flower.How many times a year does passion fruit bear fruit? ›
Passionfruit vines usually fruit around 18 months after planting. Generally, they will produce two crops per year — one in late autumn and another in late spring, so be sure to begin fertilising at the end of summer and again at the end of winter.Will passion fruit come back every year? ›
Even in marginal areas, such as USDA zone 6, where passion flower may dieback to the ground each winter, they will grow back from their root system in spring and flower that late summer.
Caring for Passionfruit
Keep plants well watered through the drier months. Deeply watering 2-3 times a week is more effective than a slight sprinkle every day. When watering avoid wetting the foliage, and if possible, water in the morning. Water the soil near the plant, not the plant itself.
Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is the fungus that causes anthracnose in passion fruit. Common symptoms include defoliation; wilt and dieback; fruit rot; dark-brown spots on the leaves, branches, and fruits; immature fruit abortion; and eventual wilting and death of the plant.Can you root passion flower in water? ›
Some cuttings will even take just in water on a windowsill. Change the water regularly if you try this technique. Note that the roots will be more fragile and need to be transferred to soil gently or they will snap off.Why are there no flowers on my passion flower? ›
But the most common cause of lack of flowers in passiflora is too much nitrogen and too little potassium. Nitrogen will promote vigorous green growth at the expense of flowers. A weekly watering with liquid seaweed in May, June and July should do the trick. Finally, remember that passion flowers only last one day.
Can you overwater passion fruit? ›
Passionfruit vines are sensitive to inundation and if flooded for more than a few days their roots may die from lack of oxygen.Do passionfruit vines need a lot of water? ›
Passionfruit vines are heavy feeders and need plenty of water. A dry plant will not produce fruit, so ensure the soil is moist. Heavy rain during the flowering phase can ruin the viability of the pollen and cause a lack of bees for pollination.Do you need a male and female passionfruit vine? ›
Some passionfruit varieties require another vine to provide cross-pollination and produce fruit however the commonly grown 'Nellie Kelly' and 'Panama Gold Select' are self-fertile.Can you plant a whole passion fruit? ›
Passion fruit can be grown either from the seeds inside of ripe passion fruit or from a seedling purchased at a gardening store or nursery. You can also propagate new passion fruit plants from cuttings.Do passionfruits need full sun? ›
The passionfruit vine is a strong, vigorous, evergreen climber, and it originated in South America. A great spot for a passionfruit vine is one that's out in the open, has full sun and no trees or competitive roots. Grow it on a structure like a strong trellis.What is the best trellis for passionfruit? ›
Trellis wires should be No. 9 or 10 galvanized steel. The posts need to be stout enough to withstand the weight of the vines throughout a season that normally includes the buffeting of strong winds. Ideally they should be long enough to provide a trellis height of 1.5 m (5 ft.), with 45-75 cm (18-30 in.)Why do passion fruit fall off vine before they are ripe? ›
Possible causes include irregular watering, insufficient feeding, insect infestation, sudden change in temperature, poor pollination. Make sure the vine is regularly watered, mulch around it to help conserve soil moisture.Is Epsom salts good for passionfruit? ›
Why are the leaves on my passionfruit vine turning yellow? Stop leaves from yellowing by feeding with a citrus food around the root zone two or three times between spring and late summer. Adding a sprinkle of Epsom salts to the watering can will also help.Are coffee grounds good for passion fruit? ›
Now for a sample of some fruit trees that benefit from a coffee compost, starting with a Passion Fruit on the left and a Cherry (Lapins) on the right. Citrus trees really like a coffee compost, just as they like grounds added straight.Can passion fruit survive winter? ›
Where winters are mild, passion fruit will remain an evergreen vine. In places with a bit of frost, it will likely lose some of its leaves over winter. On the other hand, the less common yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa) are significantly more tropical and do not tolerate freezing at all.
What citrus food for passionfruit? ›
Tui Citrus Food or Tui General Fertiliser are good as they contain potassium to help improve flowering and fruiting. Once fruiting has finished in late summer/early autumn, feed again, unless you are in a frost prone area as you don't want to push new soft growth that could get frosted - wait until early spring.How cold can passionfruit tolerate? ›
Hardiness. Passion fruit vines are hardy to 32F, so protect from any frosts. They can withstand short drops below 32F but foliage may die back.How do you winterize passion fruit? ›
To protect your passionflower outdoors during the winter if it's growing in the ground, add two or three inches of wood or leaf mulch around the plant. Don't bury the vine in mulch, though. Keep it an inch away from the base of the vine.Do passionfruit vines have a lifespan? ›
Passionfruit are one of the most popular garden plants. They can also be one of the trickiest to grow because they have a short lifespan - usually about six to seven years. For this reason, it's a good idea to plant a succession of passionfruit. Jane is doing just this in a garden that has an established vine.How long do passionfruit last once picked? ›
Whole passionfruit can be stored at room temperature, they will keep for about 2 weeks. They can also be stored in a plastic bag or sealed container in the fridge to keep them from dehydrating. Passionfruit will keep for 1 month in the fridge. Store any cut passionfruit in the fridge.Can you hand pollinate with a QTIP? ›
To hand pollinate, in the morning take a small paintbrush or Q-tip and swipe pollen from the center of the male flower (stamen). Find a female flower and swab the whole stigma (female part) with the pollen. In nature, it requires nine to 15 bees to pollinate one flower to ensure full-size fruit.What is the most common pollination strategy? ›
About 80% of all plant pollination is by animals. The remaining 20% of abiotically pollinated species is 98% by wind and 2% by water.What is the most efficient way of pollination? ›
However, their role to maintain the balance in nature is more global than that. Bees are the most efficient pollinator; a single bee colony can pollinate 3 million flowers a day.How long does it take for pollen to fertilize? ›
Within 2 to 3 minutes, the pollen left on stigma starts to germinate, to grow pollen tube toward the egg cell. Pollen tubes are the pathways for sperm to reach the egg. The pollen tube reaches the ovule. It happens within 15-60 minuts after the pollen tube starts growing.Can you pollinate without bees? ›
Approximately 60 percent of the total volume of food grown worldwide does not require animal pollination. Many staple foods, such as wheat, rice, and corn, are among those 28 crops that require no help from bees. They either self-pollinate or get help from the wind.
How do you hand pollinate passion fruit? ›
Hand-pollinate your passionfruit to encourage the fruiting process. This can be done using a paintbrush by collecting pollen from the stamen of one flower and spreading it to the pistil of another flower on the vine. Plant fragrant flowers such as lavender near your vine to attract more bees to help pollination.Why is pollination done in the morning? ›
The pollination is done in the morning hours give better setting. In south India, pollination immediately after emasculation give higher seed setting. Flower open early in the morning. The pollen is shed normally shortly before or after the flower opens.Can you pollinate with one flower? ›
When pollen comes from flowers on the same plant, it's called self-pollination or “selfing,” while reproduction involving flowers from two different plants is termed cross-pollination. Seed production after selfing is considerably lower than cross-pollination, and the resulting seedlings are not as healthy.Do you need two passion fruits to get fruit? ›
Passionfruit are self-fertile, so there is no need to have two vines. We recommend you look at planting grafted varieties, as they're hardier and can be more productive. Ensure you feed with a fertiliser high in potassium in mid-spring to encourage flower and fruit set.Why is my passionfruit plant not fruiting? ›
This can occur for a number of reasons, the main one being a lack of pollinators. This means there are not enough bees around to pollinate the flowers. One remedy is to hand pollinate your passionfruit flowers yourself. Alternatively, it might be a nice idea to plant other bee loving natives, like lavender, close by.Is there male and female passion fruit plant? ›
Passion fruit flowers have both male and female parts and can be self-compatible (self-pollinating) or self-incompatible (not self-pollinating), depending on variety. The yellow passion fruit is largely self-incompatible; therefore, cross-pollination is necessary for seed and fruit set (McGregor 1976).How many times a year do passionfruit fruit? ›
Passionfruit vines usually fruit around 18 months after planting. Generally, they will produce two crops per year — one in late autumn and another in late spring, so be sure to begin fertilising at the end of summer and again at the end of winter.Will Passion fruit come back every year? ›
Even in marginal areas, such as USDA zone 6, where passion flower may dieback to the ground each winter, they will grow back from their root system in spring and flower that late summer.
Can You Grow a Passionfruit Vine in a Pot? Yes you can, however, as they need lots of water, space and nutrients, they do best in the ground. The vine will also be smaller as there is less room for the roots to grow. If you do decide to plant one in a pot you'll need to take extra care with watering and feeding.Do passion fruit trees need a lot of water? ›
These vines grow fast and produce juicy fruit, so they need lots of water. Water them consistently so the soil doesn't dry out. You may need to give extra water when the plants are fruiting and less during fall and winter. However, be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root issues.
Do you prune passionfruit vines? ›
Passionfruit vines don't need pruning to encourage fruiting, but they may need it to remove overgrown growth or keep the vine under control. The best time to prune is in spring as new growth resumes. Avoid removing main stems, just cut back unwanted twining stems.How long do passionfruit vines live? ›
Passionfruit are one of the most popular garden plants. They can also be one of the trickiest to grow because they have a short lifespan - usually about six to seven years. For this reason, it's a good idea to plant a succession of passionfruit. Jane is doing just this in a garden that has an established vine.