How To Grow Passion Fruit In Zone 7?
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This week, we are going to talk about how to grow passion fruit in zone 7 where they can be direct-sow or start seed. Both of these strategies require some special care and timing!
Passion fruits are not actually a true fruit; instead, they are a small berry that grows under the skin of the tomato. They look like little white balls with fine hairs around them.
When they are ripe, the texture changes and they taste sweet and tangy. Some people say it tastes like ketchup!
But before they are fully grown, their flavor is very strong and sometimes salty. Because they have such an intense flavor, you can use them in recipes directly as a source of sour or acidity.
Some ways to use passion berries include adding them to yogurt, using them to make jams and sauces, and eating them raw.
Prepare the planting area
Before you begin, make sure to prepare your plant site properly! This will ensure that all of the needed nutrients are present and there is enough moisture for the plants to thrive.
If possible, add some extra soil to the bed to give it an adequate amount of weight. You can do this by using a seed trays as an example. Make sure to mix both decomposed and fresh soil together so the plants get what they need!
After adding the necessary amount of soil, water the garden thoroughly! If there’s no rain, use a hose or bougie (similar to a wet rag) to apply moisture.
Grow your plants
The next step is to determine what kind of plant you want to grow. You can pick any variety that sounds fun!
There are many different types of passion fruit plants, so choose one that makes you happy.
You will need to know if it is direct-sow or seed germinated. Direct sowing means you can simply take some seeds and place them into soil and water and watch them sprout! However, if there are already leaves, then you have to wait for the baby plants to develop their first set of leaves before planting in more soil.
Germination takes around two weeks, but be sure to check back every few days as they could possibly drown in needed moisture at times.
Care for your plants
This plant is not hard to look after, but it does require some special care. Like most fruits, passion fruit will begin to lose its flavor as they grow older.
As their growing season comes to an end, you can either pick them when they are completely red or leave them until they turn green and then harvest them. Either way, make sure to wash them thoroughly!
Never pull off any leaves by hand as this could hurt the plant. Use a spoon or fork to carefully scoop up the leaf. Once you have gathered all of the leaves, rinse them under water and use a soft cloth to dry them.
Once they are fully dried, put them in the sun to help preserve them. You can also place them in the oven if you do not have access to sunlight.
Harvest your fruit
When their leaves begin to brown and drop, it is time to pick your passion fruits! Simply pinch each one between your thumb and forefinger, making sure not to hurt them. If they are soft, like a wet gel, then scoop them off with a spoon or spatula and place in lukewarm water.
Once you have pressed all of the juices out, remove the seeds and wash them down the sink or compost bin. Don’t forget to admire your harvest after!
If you don’t take care of your passion fruits, they will lose most of their flavor and value. Plus, some people may be allergic to the pulp which can cause an uncomfortable reaction.
We recommend always picking them before they are completely dry as this gives them more moisture which helps preserve their taste and texture.
Store your fruit
The next step in growing passion fruits is storing them properly! This will determine how well you grow the plant. If the plants are exposed to excess water or dry air, they may not survive.
You can either use clear glass bowls that have an attached lid, or use plastic containers with tight lids. Make sure to check your container’s seals every few days to make sure it remains waterproof.
The best way to store fresh passion fruits is in a humid room. An area where a window can be opened is ideal. You want the fruits to breathe so they do not get too stale.
When to plant
The best time to sow passion fruit seeds is during spring or summer, when temperatures are warm. Winter is not a good season as the fruits will likely sprout but then die down due to cold.
Passion flower plants grow very quickly! They can take up to two months to mature so don’t wait until autumn to start them.
When they do reach maturity, you should be able to tell if it has been successful by how thickly leaved the plant gets. If it stays thin and spindly, it was not enough food for that particular branch!
You also need to make sure your seedlings get adequate sunlight. Plants that are too close to each other or under artificial light will not thrive.
When to harvest
The best way to learn how to grow passion fruit is by experimenting! This will include determining when to pick your fruits for eating or canning.
There are two main reasons why you would want to start growing your own passion fruits. First, it is cost effective as you will be able to source them from local farmers that sell organic produce. Second, if you have enough passion fruits then perhaps you could make some money selling them.
Passion fruits can sometimes take several weeks to fully mature so there is no wrong time to begin harvesting them. However, we recommend waiting until late spring or early summer due to the higher chance of success that comes with planting later season seeds.
General tips: remember that not all varieties of passion fruit grow up together so check this before planting a batch! Also, love these berries so don’t throw away any over-run ones. You can either use them in recipes or dry them and add them to yogurt.
Tips for growing passion fruit
Now that you have your soil, temperature, and water conditions sorted, it is time to prepare the plants for winter dormancy!
Passion fruits will not grow tall foliage or leaves unless they receive adequate rainfall at least once every two weeks. This is important because they require significant amounts of water to bear fruit!
When their roots cannot find moisture, the plant can begin to desiccate which only adds to how hard it becomes to re-water later. To avoid this, make sure to give your passion fruit plenty of rain!
Another way to ensure successful growth during rainy seasons is by using potting mix with lots of perlite. Perlite acts as an efficient drainage agent while also helping retain more air around the plant’s leaves.