Passionfruit is a native of southern Brazil where it grows on the edges of rain forests. There are two distinct forms: forma edulis, the purple passionfruit, occurs in cool environments at higher altitudes, and forma flavicarpa, the yellow passionfruit, which is at home in the tropical lowlands. The two types were distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics via Europe and Australia during the 19th century. The passion is a perennial climbing plant, which was introduced into Kenya in the 1920’s. The juice has a unique and intense flavour and high acidity, which makes it a natural concentrate. When sweetened and diluted it is very palatable and blends well with other fruit juices.


Varieties Purple fruitYellow passion fruit

Sweet Granadilla

Seed Rate 1666 plants per ha
Fertilizer Rate 125gm/hole DAP, 10kg/hole manure, 120gm/plant CAN
Planting Spacing Spacing of 2mx3m, Planting holes of 45 x 45 x 45 cm and a plant population of 1600-2700 plants/ha
Husbandry Passion fruit is generally propagated from seed, although cuttings and grafting can be used. Seed should be rubbed clean of pulp and dried in the shade. Germination takes 2-4 weeks. Fresh seeds are much easier to germinate than seeds older than one or two months. Within 5-7 weeks after transplanting, each plant will have up to four healthy laterals. From then on the vine grows very rapidly; the first flowers are produced 5-7 months after transplanting when the vine can be 10-15 m long. Early growth of passion fruit is slow and regular weeding is essential. A 14-gauge galvanized wire is tightly stretched along the tops of hardwood posts 15 cm in diameter and 3 m long, dug in to a depth of 0.6 m; these posts are spaced 8 m apart. The trellis should be erected when the field is planted so that the main shoot and one vigorous lateral can be tied to the wire with a string. Old unproductive shoots and dead wood must be removed.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Kenya mealy bugWoodiness Sooty Mould on leafy, stem and fruit plant may wither and dieRetarded growth distorted leaves and fruits discolored leaves small very hard fruits with little juice Spray with dimethoateControl the mealy bug with dimethoate
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 9-12 months
Climatic Conditions The yellow passion fruit grows best at altitudes of 0-800 m and the purple at altitudes of 1200-2000 m. All varieties grow on a wide range of soils; but light to heavy sandy loams, of medium texture. A pH of 5.5-7 is preferred. Grows well on as little as 900 mm rainfall. Optimum temperatures for the purple variety are between 18-25°C and for the yellow variety 25-30°C.
Harvesting Fruit drops to the ground when fully mature. It is collected every second day; at this stage it looks shrivelled and unattractive, but for processing fruits should be picked at this stage. For fresh fruit markets, especially the export market, fruit is picked after full colour development when the whole fruit is purple or canary yellow, but before shrivelling and drying set in.
Post Harvest and Storage Ensure the fruit is not injured.
Growing Regions Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa
Expected yields Up to 14 ton/ha per year


Processing The pulp is extracted and preserved by heating or cooling


Place Sold locally and exported
Price Kshs 4300 – 4500 per 50kg bag


Products / Uses Ice cream, yoghurt, juices, concentrate, squash, jams and jellies.
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy 97.0 / 5%; Carbohydrates 97.0 / 5%; Iron 1.6 / 9%; Pottasium 348 / 10% ; Vitamin A 1272 IU / 25%; Vitamin C 30.0 / 50%.


In Israel passion fruit is used to make wineSome research is showing that purple passion fruit peel may help with controlling asthma symptoms.


Income Per Hectare: Kshs 1,260,000 (14,000kgs * 90/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 500,000 (40% of Income).

NET:    Kshs. 760,000 (60% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 5600 kgs per hectare.

Income Frequency: Throughout the per year.

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