Thursday, November 29, 2012

Look Up!

passionfruit vine
Yesterday I was showing my friend Ms. C. around the garden and we were admiring the veggies and so on and then I decided to take the washing off the line. And Ms. C. was playing with Wokee the dog and admiring the garden a bit more. And then she remarked on the lovely passionfruit flowers.

But I don't have a passionfruit vine.

So I cranked my neck in the direction she was pointing and oh-my-googly-eyes I do have a passionfruit vine! A whopping big super dooper passionfruit vine. With flowers.

And of course I let out a shriek and nearly turned a few handstands in glee.

For many years I had been attempting to grow passionfruit up my garden shed. But despite five separate plants, over the years I have only succeeded in growing a few pathetic looking things which have housed only one flower that never fruited. So this winter I bit the bullet and pulled the passionfruit vines out and planted asparagus instead in that patch. But somehow in my pulling I must have missed a bit of passionfruit vine. Or maybe it has sent out a runner. Or maybe it is a vine from many years before that I planted along that wall. It seems to be coming from under the BBQ. However it has happened, it is thriving without any intentional help from me and is now scrambling up all over the neighbour's brick wall. In fact it has almost reached their roof (and they have a two storey house).

Now I know you must think I am completely bonkers (especially after the vacuuming the garden post) - how on earth could I not have looked up and noticed that vine? I do hang clothes on the washing line quite often and that does involve looking up.  Well, in my defence I did notice the vine. But I thought it was the Happy Wanderer native creeper that has been plodding along up that wall. I even recall a few weeks back doing the dishes and Monkey Man coming inside and informing me that the passionfruit along that wall was going well. And I of course corrected him telling him that I had pulled out the passionfruit months ago and he was talking about the native creeper.

I think it may have been the preparation of that patch that went on before I planted the asparagus - lots of manure and compost. And perhaps passionfruit prefers the east facing brick wall rather than the north facing tin shed wall. But I will give Monkey Man some credit in the success. Apparently he has been doing a bit of twisting and training of that passionfruit vine. Monkey Man's favourite past time is twisting a bit of a vine up a wire. That and doing a bit of twig pruning. Whenever we are in a hurry to go somewhere Monkey Man gets sidetracked on the way out the front door by a bit of twig pruning or foot scraping of the path that the blackbirds have messed up or twisting a little vine around a wire. Goodness knows what effect he thinks he's having because our front garden is an absolute jungle and really requires a proper sweep of the path or a proper prune with proper pair of secateurs. But bless him Monkey Man has been working his magic on the passionfruit vine with his little twists.

passionfruit flower
There are quite a few flowers too - don't you think passionfruit flowers are the most beautiful flowers ever? So, I think after all these years we might finally get some passionfruit. Only trouble is I don't know how on earth we are going to reach the fruit. We will need a rather long ladder to get way up there. Or do passionfruit fall to the ground when they're ripe?


  1. I've killed four passionfruits here, they don't like our winter frosts. What a wonderful surprise, they are worth growing for the flowers alone.

  2. Ours dies this year after a long life and it will drop the fruit to the ground so you should not need to spend too much time up the ladder.

  3. We have two ACTUAL passionfruits on one of our 4(!) vines this year. Very excited!!!

  4. Beautiful!! Here where I live in the bush they are considered a bit of a pest and we are not allowed to plant them, pity as I love the fruit, and the flowers!

  5. What a nice suprise! And they are such beautiful flowers. I've got a grafted one from a few years back that has never really done well, but I might try spoiling it with some manure and compost and see it it takes off like yours!

  6. Now I really really don't want to be the bearer of bad tidings...but...I think that may be the root stock of the original grafted plant. If it is the rootstock then the downside is that it probably a variety doesn't produce edible fruit. The plus side is that, as you know, the flowers are very beautiful, and the plant is very vigorous. I used to grow them in the UK just for the flowers and their wall covering abilities.

    1. Yes VG, it is the rootstock. It is a 'Blue Crown Passionfruit' used as rootstock for the Nellie Kelly Black Passionfruit. You can buy non grafted passionfrits from Diggers which grow REALLY well in Melbourne. The grafted passionfruit thing is a bit of a marketing ploy. Give a non grafted plant a go!

  7. I was wondering the same thing as Liz when I was reading the above post. Have had the root stock of a passionfruit take over before, and it is a lot more vigorous than passionfruit. The leaves are a bit different, so compare a photo of a passionfruit leaf and flower against what you have. Hope it is is passionfruit, but the flower looks wrong I think.

  8. What a great surprise! It sounds like my kind of gardening ... I plant one thing and something else entirely comes up!!!!!!!!!!! ♥

  9. I hope it is a fruit bearing passionfruit, and if it does, the fruit will drop when ripe and you just go and gather your harvest every morning! the flowers smell amazing....

  10. I feel your pain VG...I think it really is the root stock. :-(


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