Why won't my Edulis fruit?

Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)October 10, 2008

I planted a P. Edulis "Frederick" this spring. It is against a south-facing wall and gets full sun for about half the day and enough water. It has really taken off and looks really lush and beautifull. The problem is that it doesn't fruit. It has been flowering on and off throughout the summer, and it is now holding over 20 blooms every day, but as far as i know, it's dropping most (if not all) of it's flowers. At first i thought it was because of too much heat, but even now that temperatures are cooler the flower dropping coninues. Does anyone know why this could be?

Another question i have is how frost tolerant this variety is. We normally gt into the low 30s here, so i'm wondering if that will even scathe the vine.

any input is appreciated. Thanks

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P. edulis 'Frederick' is only partially self fertile and may need hand pollination from another edulis or caerula might do it.
It is not that hardy but once it has a fair size should be ok if protected and if daytime temperatures rise.

Here is a link that might be useful: Passiflora edulis

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 3:07AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

thanks passionflow. It turns out that all it needed was a natural pollinator. The flowers are now attracting loads of black bumble bees. There are between 10-20 flowers opening daily and about 80% of flowers are setting fruit! nice! It looks like i'll be having passionfruit juice at thanksgiving and christimas time!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 3:26AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Here's a picture of the black bumble bee's sucess. The flowers began attracting hoards of them, and they in turn pollinated the flowers.

And here's the Edulis. It's sharing the trellis with Mina Lobata

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 1:31PM
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I love your picture--I wish my 'Frederick' were big enough. Right now it's in a 5 gallon pot and has one small fruit from its one flower this fall. The flower was two and a half weeks ago, the fruit is the size of a very large olive. Is that unusually small or have yours being growing at that rate lately?

I have a general question--I'm in a similar climate as central_cali369, I'm sure. Does anyone have an idea as to when the best time to plant in the ground is? My plant has healthy roots and is trying to force them out of the pot already. I was going to wait until spring. Would planting now kill the plant and abort the fruit?

I assume if I keep it in the pot I should protect it if it looks like a frost might be coming.

I love the carpenter bees (Xylocopa). We had them by the hundreds earlier in the year. You could hear them through the windows they were so loud (and huge). These are the all black ones (except for attached pollen). Bumble bees are the ones that also have orange coloration. I only saw a few of those.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 3:56PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Hey mark,
Let me tell you, they are FAST growers. I bought mine from Lowes in a 5 gallon pot in May. I planted it that same month, and look at how big it is now! And that's only half of it. THe other half is climbing a trellis-roofed patio that is just out of the range of the photo to the left.

About the size of the fruit, i think that it being in a pot might be limiting the size of the fruit. Or maybe cooler weather (?) By your sunset zone, i'm assuming you are somewhere in the Bay Area, which is characterized as being deprived of heat. The fruit on mine are fast to grow, but they have yet to ripen. The fruits in the picture are actually some of the smaller (younger) fruit. The older ones are way up high and were hard to take a picture of. Anyway, i would wait until spring to plant it. That way you are assured that it won't die in the cool, wet winter.

And thanks for the ID on the bees. I love those thing too. Right now the Brugmansia flowers, duranta and tecoma stans are competeing with the passiflora for their attention.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 5:46PM
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Yeah, I'm not sure why it's been growing so slowly. It's been slow and steady though, and may have picked up lately. As of today, I would guess the volume is about half of that of a hen's egg. When it first bloomed, though, I wasn't even sure it was pollinated because it was growing so incredibly slowly.

I wouldn't call our climate heat-deprived--were not at all like SF or Oakland/Berkeley. Our average high in the summer is something like 80 or 82 (we don't have a good nearby weather station). Last summer there were 5 periods (1 or more days) when the temperature topped 95 F. Over the time since the 'Frederick' bloomed, temps have been all over the place--60s, 70s and 80s. Today is forecast for 83. Cool compared to Sacramento or Stockton, but not to SF. I'll try to post in a week or two whether my fruit appears to be headed towards standard 'Frederick' size.

You got me for a minute on Tecoma stans--I had never heard about it, so I looked it up. At first I worried that for the longest time I had been calling them Tabebuias instead of their correct names! I checked a picture--very similar flowers. But Tabebuias are in fact trees, and Tecoma is a bush. Moreover, they used to be classified in the same genus. So I don't feel as ignorant, but it just reminds me how little I know (especially about trees).

The reason the carpenter bees visited our yard so much this year was because I was growing giant pumpkins (they make a LOT of pollen). The giant pumpkins were in the way of where 'Frederick' will go.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:50AM
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