PASSION FRUIT FARMING
Sweet yellow passion (KPF4, KPF11, KPF12), purple passion fruit, yellow passion fruit, banana passion fruit and Giant passion.
Altitude: 0-2000m above sea level
Rainfall: 900-2000mm annually
Soils: Light to heavy loams of medium texture with pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5
How to propagate
Use seeds from a healthy plant, purple passion grafted using yellow passion (Flavicapa) as root stock. When raising seedlings use seeds stored for less than 3 months. Treat seeds with hot water at 500C for 15 to 30mins. Germination will take 2-3 weeks.
Raising root stocks for grafting
Yellow passion is the best, the seedlings will take 3-4 months on the nursery. Do cleft grafting after 3-4 weeks when the seedlings attain a height of 45cm, use purple passion fruit scions for grafting. Transplant after 3 weeks and should coincide with the rains or irrigate the plants.
Grafting Passion Fruit Vines
This process involves the choosing of the correct rootstock and scion. The most appropriate and common grafting technique is wedge grafting. Success of the graft union depends on the experience of the farmer, the choice of rootstock and scion, management practices such as watering and cleanliness of graft union
Choosing the Rootstock
- Yellow passion with a thickness of 1 cm, Defoliated, terminal end removed leaving an 8 cm long stem.
Choosing a Scion
- 1 cm in thickness, Obtained from an existing purple passion plant that is healthy and free from pests and diseases.
- woody enough and have 2 to 3 buds, Completely defoliated to reduce its rate of respiration.
- Cut the basal structure into a wedge shape that is 2 cm long to allow the xylem and the phloem vessels to be in contact with those of the rootstock.
- Make a slit about 3 cm long on the rootstock using a clean surgical blade, in which a fitting scion from purple passion is inserted and tied.
- Tightly wrap the graft joint using a plastic tape to ensure no air,water or fungi goes through the joint.
- After 3 weeks the graft union should be healed. The plant is then hardened before it is transplanted.
Deep plough and harrow the land,this should be done 2-3 months before planting. Make planting holes 45cm by 45cm at a spacing of 2m by 3m for manual and 3m by 3m for mechanical. Add 20kg of manure and 125g TSP or DAP in the planting holes and mix with soil
Trellising and training
Wooden posts of 2.7m high and 15cm diameter are erected before the plants start climbing. Train two healthy shoots above the graft union up sisal strings.
Remove old unproductive shoots and dead woods
Should be done regularly avoiding any injury of the plants
Crop nutrition management
- Apply 1250-150g CAN at the beginning of rains, done twice a year. The first application should be done 2 weeks after transplanting.
- Apply 20-40kg of organic manure before the rains, foliar and trace elements every 3 months’ time.
The crop should not be grown for more than 5 years on the same plot to avoid accumulation of pathogens and crop pests.
Aphids –Timely weeding, natural enemies eg lady bird, spray appropriate insecticides
Mealy bugs – Spray appropriate insecticides
Leaf miner-Spray appropriate insecticides
Coreid bug- Irrigation, destroy old Crip stumps, use appropriate insecticide
Yellow tea mite- Use appropriate miticide
Brown spot –Practice field sanitation, plant resistant varieties, prune vines, use copper based fungicides
Woodiness- Plant virus free plants, replace severely affected vines, control vectors-aphids
Fusarium wilt- Use resistant root stock, destroy infested plants, crop rotation, use tolerant varieties eg KPF4, KPF11, KPF12
Septaria spot- Practice field hygiene, prune all dead and weak parts, use copper fungicides.
Phytophthora blight- Observe field sanitation, pruning, graft with resistant root stocks, use copper fungicides.
- Starts 8-12 months after transplanting. Pick yellow passion fruits when they turn yellow in color and purple passion when the color change from green to purple.
- Yield range from 10-20 ton per hectare annually for purple passion and 40-50 ton per hectare annually for sweet yellow passion
- Economic lifespan for the crop stand range from 3-5 years.
Grade fruits in terms of size and color. Separate all fruits which appear bruised. Pack the fruits in crates ready for transportation. Store fruits under temperatures of 3-50C.