Passionfruit – hand pollination

Passionfruit vines rely on bees to pollinate their flowers because they have a large gap between the pollen-bearing male parts of the flower and the female part. Only when the female part of each flower receives passionfruit pollen can the flower form a fruit. If you don’t have a lot of bees around your passionfruit vine, or if you have a young vine with few flowers, you can pollinate the flowers by hand.

All you need is a small, soft watercolour paintbrush for the job, and this short video by “woodyfriendron” demonstrates the practice beautifully:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eicamZk1qis

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8 Responses to Passionfruit – hand pollination

  1. Maureen says:

    Do I have to hand pollinate all the flowers on the passionfruit vine or just a few?

    Only pollinated flowers will produce a fruit, Maureen. If you see bees around your passionfruit vine (most commonly mid morning when it is not windy), they will probably do the job for you. – Lyn

  2. cherry ramanauskas says:

    Thanks for this very useful data. Bless you!

  3. Emily says:

    Hi there. I’ve a year and a half year old vine that is growing so much. It has had dozens of flowers the last few months and many more coming. I’ve tried several times to pollinate the flowers, but still not a single fruit set. I have never fertilised it. It never looks water stressed, but maybe it needs more water? It is growing so much that I need to prune it a bit, but I am hesitant to loose the opportunity for fruit. Do I need another vine to cross pollinate? Did I make it angry? Has it got a mind of its own and wants to give me no fruit and instead invade my house and tear down the fence?
    Hi Emily, in which area do you live? Do you know whether you have a common black passionfruit, a banana variety or one of the Panama varieties? It is very difficult to help solve your problem without knowing what climate, soil types and plant variety you are dealing with. – Lyn 🙂

  4. Malcolm says:

    Hi, I have a very good yellow fruited plant grown from seed – not grafted.
    I presently hand pollinate (and some blue-banded bees) and have loads of fruit.
    I am thinking of putting in a grafted “Nellie Kelly” variety nearby.
    Question is:- can I cross-pollinate between the two varieties ? Malcolm

    Hi Malcolm, depends whether the yellow one is a banana passionfruit or Hawaiian other type. Nellie Kelly also has a yellow variety, which one do you mean? You haven’t said which climate you live in so it is not possible to guess.

  5. Malcolm says:

    I presume it is an Hawaiian variety but will check. Any tips as to how to identify ?
    It was given to me as a potted seedling 2 years ago and has performed brilliantly for 6 months on a north-facing wall. We live in coastal, south Queensland. Malcolm

    Hi Malcolm. This page might help you with identification. – Lyn
    http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/lilikoi.htm

  6. Monika Studer says:

    Hi, we are going to plant the Sunshine Special here Perth and I was wondering which bee attracting plants would be best to plant nearby to hopefully have the bees doing the pollination. I was thinking about lavenders but not sure about other plants that are hardy enough for our climate and not negatively impacting the passionfruit plant. Thanks Monika

    Hi Monika, there are many flowers in the vegetable patch that attract bees. For our bees, we grow French lavender (our summers are to hot for the English variety), which flowers from late autumn, right through winter to early spring. In spring they like rosemary, and borage in spring and autumn. In the warmer months, they like nasturtiums and really love sweet basil. You may get a few more suggestions from this site.
    http://www.yates.com.au/gardening/tips/attracting-bees-to-the-garden/#X1XLi8dLEawaBerb.97

  7. jesse says:

    I’m pollinating Purple Passion Fruit, Granadilla. How long is collected pollen stored at room temperature viable? Is there and optimum time after opening to pollinate?

    Sorry, Jesse, I have no idea how long stored passionfruit pollen remains viable. I suggest you contact the Botanical Gardens in your state. – Lyn

  8. Ron says:

    Hi, I have a Passiflora caerulea growing and want to also grow Passiflora ligularis for it’s fruit. Can I pollinate the ligularis with the caerulea pollen and get fruit? Thanks!
    I’m not sure you could, Ron. Although they belong to the same genus, they are entirely different plants. Sweet granadilla (P. ligularis) has heart shaped leaves, feathery flowers and pulp is similar to the common P. edulis. The Blue Passion Flower (P. cerulea) has palmate leaves, a typical passion flower and bright orange pulp. I understand that P. cerulea requires another P.caerulea growing close by for successful pollination, and the Royal Horticultural Society advises that eating under-ripe fruits (yellow) of P. caerulea can cause stomach upsets.
    As P. ligularis is supposed to have the best flavour and P. cerulea is said to have an insipid flavour would successful pollination of these two produce good fruit?
    The best time to hand pollinate is mid morning as passionfruit pollen tends to be sterile early and late in the day. – Lyn

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