Passion fruit is tangy, sweet and delicious that has a low-glycemic index. Apart from being sweet, it is an antioxidant-rich fruit. They grow vigorously into climbing vines and can serve as green walls for your property. They are evergreen throughout their growing period, covering trellises and arches and hence can act as excellent privacy screens. However, they require maintenance and can be invasive. In Kenya, the yellow and purple passions thrive in different parts of the country. However, there are several differences between the yellow and passion which include;
Difference between yellow and purple passion fruits
Characteristics of Yellow passion
- Has a large fruit with a yellow rind
- Has a more acid flavor
- It’s resistant to Fusarium wilt and nematodes
- It has brown seeds
- It has a more vigorous vine and more tolerant to frost
- The flowers are self-sterile with heavy and sticky pollen and hence wind pollination is ineffective. Since their pollen is sticky and the flowers have to be pollinated, bees are the most effective pollinators.
Characteristics of purple passion
- Has a smaller fruit with a purple rind
- Has a less acidic flavor, a sweet pulp, and a higher juice proportion
- It has black seeds
- Has a less vigorous vine
- It can self-pollinate and has light pollen. Pollination is, however, best under humid conditions.
When crossing purple and yellow passion, it is important to use the purple parent as the seed parent since the flowers of yellow passion are not receptive to pollen from the purple passion variety. Crossing the yellow and purple passion enables the plant to withstand the woodiness virus.
Best places to grow passion fruits
In Kenya, passion fruits are grown in Nyeri, Kiambu especially in Thika, Kakamega, Murang’a and Kisii. However, before engaging in passion farming, you should have your soil thoroughly assessed. The soil should be examined to identify the soil texture, type, depth, nutrient and nematode levels, and chemical analysis. They perform best in light to heavy sandy loams with good drainage and of medium texture.
Climatic and soil conditions
Yellow passion is mainly for the fresh fruit market and grows well at altitudes of 0 – 800 m. This means that it can thrive in the coastal region. On the other hand, the purple passion performs well at high altitudes of 1200–2000 m and barely flowers at altitudes of below 1000. It can perform well in high altitude areas such as Thika, Murang’a, Nyeri, and Meru. The yellow passion can be used as a rootstock for grafting of the purple variety.
Passion grows well at a pH of 5.5-7. It does not thrive in acidic soils, although lime can be applied to neutralize the acidity. To minimize the chances of diseases such as collar rot, passion fruits should be grown in well-drained and aerated soils. Passion fruits require adequate rainfall although it can be put under irrigation especially in dry areas. However, it does not require extreme temperatures and hence the vines should be sheltered especially in dry areas. The optimum temperatures for yellow passion range between 250C-300C and between 180C-250C. In extremely low temperatures, pollen does not germinate and the plants produce few flowers.