pollinating passion fruit

jspracklin(10 fl)April 13, 2005

We live in Florida and bought a house with a passion fruit vine but I've been told that we do not have bees to pollinate the flowers. Specifically, does anyone know how to do it. Do you have to do every flower?



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Krstofer(Zone 7 (ish))

NO bees there either huh?
I live in the middle of a bunch of orchards... But I don't see many bees. I guess there's some disease that's been whoopin' them, & the 'africanized' queens have been taking over colonies as well making them into 'killer' colonies.

Anyway, in my expierence you have to 'do' each flower.. What I do is take a pair of little floral snips & clip the antlers into a baby food jar. Then I rub a q-tip in the pollen & wipe it all over the stigmas.

I've found that if I do it in the afternoon the pollen is dry & easily painted- If it's too early in the day it's way too moist to do anything with.

Usually it works fairly well, but if your plants are not self fertile you'll have to take the pollen from one plant & paint it onto another. I've found my caeruleas don't 'like' their own pollen- They'll set fruit, but the seed count is MUCH higher if I use pollen from another plant, so I have 3 for this purpose. All are coming into flower as I type, as is my lavender lady & lady margret.

Enjoy- And be sure to trade your seeds should you get any!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 3:02PM
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Hi there, thats a great article, but do you know, if there are male and female flowers, I have planted four vines together, about 3 yeas ago, never had any fruit, but are hand pollenating this year, some of the flowers dont have these antlers, but rather a small bit of pollen way down inside. . Or is it because they are different vareity of vines. Thanks

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 10:40PM
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Krstofer(Zone 7 (ish))

Passiflora have both sexes on the same flower- But on some flowers the anther may be stunted, others may have smaller pistils.. I saw that a few times on lady margaret.

Almost all passiflora have flowers in this general shape:

I don't know of one that has the pollen "way down inside". So it's either some unusual variant, or a pipe vine or something like that.

Could be that all 4 plants you have are neither self fertile nor compatible with each other- That's kind of hard to do with the common varieties, but for example and won't cross, ever.
and I've done myself.
How do you know what will work? Try it. Some will cross very easily- others not so much. Just like crossing a collie & a lab would be fairly easy, but a great dane & chihuahua would be virtually impossible.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 11:34AM
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Thanks for that, I 've given up trying because all the flowers just keep dropping off, I bought a new vine, only a foot high and it already has a passionfruit on, the ones down the back are in a less sunny spot, but still get plenty, I did grow the vines from seed, (yellow fruit) so maybe their infertile.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 2:33AM
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I have never seen a bee on my passion fruit vine's flowers, and have never hand pollinated them, yet have hundreds of fruits. The vine itself is taking over the yard and is now over a hundred feet wide growing two directions on a fence. It even has covered up a large playhouse I built for my kids.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 11:53AM
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Plant maturity & zone may affect it. I have had the same experience as californian 10. No bees  only tons of butterflies. Mine fruit in the shade.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 9:21AM
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We have a two year old passion flower, and this year it has produced fruit for the first time. we've had about 50 flowers, of which about 1 in 5 have produced fruit. Next year we are looking to hand pollinate and your advice has been very useful. Thank you.
NOW we rent our place and want to keep our passion flower with us when we move, so we decided to put her in a large planter with a wigwam type frame for her to wind around. So far she seems very happy with this arrangement. Do any of your members envisage any problems keeping her like this or will she be happy winding around herself?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 5:33PM
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This has already been a great learning experience on this message board. Thank you..! We bought a Caerulea variety from a Home Depot two years ago. It made it through the summer last year and grew heartily into a large thick vine that covers a 14' portion of a 6' tall wall in our yard. It's on the East side of a N/S cement block wall. Thus, being Phoenix AZ... doesn't get the direct sunshine late in the day, but does get the heat through the block wall. It's not seeming to bother it at all.

Regarding flowers, however... we only had three last year and each one only opened fully for about a 24 hour period. The second day they would open half-way and then died off slowly in about a week's time. I didn't get any fruit last year.

I did no trimming over the winter. But this spring, I trimmed back the new growth to maintain the vine to it's current size. The vine has developed tons of flower buds and about eight of them have opened up so far. They still only open up fully for about a 24 hour period. We have few bees here as well so I'll be hand pollinating. But is it common for the flowers to only be open for about a day or so?

Thank you in advance for your assistance and wisdom.

Michael and Linda Kavanaugh "kavalinda"

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 9:57PM
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Excuse me... but I made a mistake on the previous post just prior to this one. The type of passion fruit vine we have is a "Frederic". I'm hoping it is a self-pollinating vine. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 10:04PM
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Hi Folks
Yes many passion flowers just open for a day. There are usually so many bees around that is all they need to stay open for. Hummingbird pollinated ones tend to stay open a few days longer. P. caerulea will not self pollinate but Passiflora edulis 'Frederick' is at least partially self fertile. So hand pollinate and hope!
Myles Irvine

Here is a link that might be useful: Passiflora edulis

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 7:57AM
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The idea of clipping the antlers sound great, what would happen if in the baby food jar you put the antlers of different vines and mix them and then use this mix pollen to pollinate the flowers

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Do you cut the antlers on the same day the flower open?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:21AM
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