Pomegranates and Passionfruit Outside in Seattle

cbg96February 11, 2010

Hey all -

I'm seriously thinking of trying both a pomegranate and a passionfruit vine as regular residents in the dirt outside in Seattle. I believe I can locate both in full sun and near or right by a southern facing wall.

On the pomegranate, I'm curious if anybody's done this with any success, and if so, were you able to not only keep the thing alive but set and harvest fruit?

On passionfruit, it seems people have had some success with the (what is it...) blue somethingorother variety, but has anybody had success with the edulis one that produces what is supposed to be the best fruit? Also, any general types of varieties, locations, culture, etc?

Thanks for any help...

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Passiflora edulis is tender and will not grow outside yearround here. The common one is bluecrown passionflower, I have seen it fruiting on walls here. Local wholesale grower T & L sent out assortments of various "hardy" kinds to local outlets last year, among these were perhaps one or two that might also keep their tops most years here - and even fruit when growing in suitable aspects.

Pomegranates persist as long as winter minimums are high enough. Most of the long-established specimens I knew were leveled by December 1990. Recovery has been slow and sporadic. Ones at the Seattle arboretum greenhouses may not even now be as tall as they once were. I have a memory of these sporting fruits pre-1990 but am not certain that is accurate.

An old one in the shadow of the house at the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden in Woodland is interesting for

1. Surviving there

2. Having orange-and-white flowers

It doubtless was also bigger at one time, froze down in 1990. Currently it consists of thicker, older stumps bearing thinner shoots that would have been the growth made since it was last knocked back by cold.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 3:11PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I was at the Seattle arboretum yesterday. There is now one specimen in the border next to the greenhouse, which has grown above head height. The person I was with, who lives near there and has spent a great many hours there did not seem to remember there being additional specimens - or fruiting taking place - and said the existing one was double-flowered. Not sure about the fruiting, am sure there was two or even three pomegranates in that border at one time.

There's a bunch of similar stems all springing from the ground, as though it froze down to the soil line.

Which is what I remember happening.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Passionfruits are on sale this week at Dan's Supermarket in Bismarck, ND (my wife marvels at the availability of these and golden kiwi in the ND market--they are very hard to find here at major Portland grocers).

A Maypop fruits well year after year about 5 houses down the street. I tried some 3 years ago. The clear juice portion was quite good, but when I processed some of the more coffee-colored, thicker flesh, the results were bad.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 11:27PM
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While some Pomegranates are frost hardy enough to survive most winters without freezing back, I've never heard of any fruiting well enough to be worthwhile north of the Portland area. They seem to require more heat units per growing season than Seattle can offer. I'd love to be proven wrong, of course!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 12:52AM
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