Passionfruit in winter

Homegrown passionfruit

This might sound like I’m skiting (because I am), but today I picked two ripe passionfruit off the vine scrambling along the front of our stables. Passionfruit! In August! That surely warrants a bit of a skite, even though I can’t really take the credit for it. We’re just lucky to have had such a mild winter.

Passionfruit has always been one of my nemesis plants. Over the years I’ve killed more passionfruit vines than I care to count. But then I bought a grafted plant from Oratia nurseryman Chris Davidson, who grafts passionfruit vines onto vigorous sweet granadilla rootstock, so they grow like triffids. The plants aren’t cheap, at $40 a pop, but I can’t recommend them highly enough. I had my best crop ever this year, and I’d be prepared to bet that next year’s haul will be the stuff of legend. That’s if I can persuade the passionfruit vine to play nicely with the hops I’m also training over the stables…

Click here to read my Good Life column on passionfruit, from the February 2011 issue of NZ Gardener.