Saturday, June 6, 2009

Passion Fruit Cuttings

Speaking of plant propagation, here is an example of another type, known as taking cuttings. Many plants can be propagated very easily by taking cuttings of mature plants, often much more easily than saving seeds, and not to mention faster. Most trees and bushes, many vines, and other perennial plants are good choices for propagation by cutting.



Here we have a Passion Fruit growing amongst some raspberry bushes. (Note that raspberries prefer plant division for propagation) Passion Fruit is a vine that is native to South American rain forests. The plan gives many small, oval-shaped fruit, of which the flesh and seed is edible. It tastes like a mix between grapes, apples, and pear all mixed together. As with most vines, it is good to prune off pieces that will not give fruit. These clipping are perfect to use for cutting propagation.

The general rule for taking a cutting holds true for almost all plants that propagate well by this method. Select a branch from the mother or mature plant that is between ¼ and 2 inches thick. Cut the branch off with a very sharp knife or pair of shears. Make the cut directly below a node (place where new branch and/or leaf comes off the main branch), as this is where the highest concentration of stem cells is located. We want stem cells, as they are capable of turning to root cells very quickly. Make the cut at a 45-degree angle as this also encourages root cell development.



Generally, the length of the cutting should be 4 to 8 inches, but can be larger or smaller, depending on the plant. The idea is to plant 2/3 of the cutting underground and the last 1/3 above ground. You thus need to remove all the leaves on the 1st two-thirds of the cutting, as well as all of the leaves that are on the lower half of the piece of the cutting that is above ground. Basically, you only want about 3-5 leaves on the cutting and only on the top 1/5 of the cutting.

Note that you may be pruning a tree that you wish to take cutting from and you select a branch that is 2 feet long. You can make four 6” cuttings from this one piece. Just always cut at a 45-degree angle and right below a new node on the branch.



Here you can see two new Passion fruit cutting planted in old plastic water bottle halves. Make sure to put holes in the bottom of your containers and to try to use a soil mix that is more towards the sandy side. Also, try to keep the humidity high around your cuttings. It is useful to devote one little shaded area in your garden to be a nursery, which can be kept moist and cool all day long. Some cuttings can be left in water first for several days and then transferred to a soil mix, but it is not necessary.

A word on rooting hormone: Many places offer rooting hormone, which is applied to the tip that is being planted in the soil. While these hormones are probably helpful and effective, they are not needed. In case you have not figured out yet, I believe that gardening should be a free activity and no special equipment should be needed. I also believe that there is a natural alternative to all commercial products. This instance is no different.

Willow trees, which grow near lakes and rivers and are the natural source of aspirin, offer a substitute. All you need to do is mash up a handful of willow leaves and apply this poultice to the tips of your cuttings and success will be greatly improved. Again, there is no need for this. The best part is, taking cuttings from mature plants is free; all you need is time. So take a bunch of cuttings and wait. If they all die, try again.

Keep the soil around your cutting wet and the air kind of moist and in 1 month or so, they should be ready to plant out.

13 comments:

  1. This was exactly what I was looking for! I've spend countless hours collecting passionfruit seeds (which is a waste of good eating when you think about it), and the success rate of my seedlings was low. This looks like a much better method.

    I appreciate the time you put into this, with the photos etc. I run an alternative healing info blog and I know how much effort it can be to share your passions with the world.

    best wishes
    Simon

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    1. Hey Simon, did you try growing passion fruit from cuttings yet? If so, how were the results?

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  2. Really, the two passion fruit in the plastic water containers were grown with no rooting hormones? I have made many attempts to grow them without hormones and all the time something goes wrong. The leaves dry out or rotting of the stem. (Everything except success) I try a few more time but if it doesn't work soon, I will probably buy rooting hormones. Sadly, it sounds all to good to be true.

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  3. from one anonymous to another, hang in there they will strike,keep trying I,ve lost a few, I'm a mug buthave(one)passionfruit on number four vine,it is looking like more just keep the bugs off.One trick I have used on this and other cuttings is honey on the end just like root promoter.you won't be able to help smiling when you see that new plant flourish

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    1. Also cinnamon can be used to promote rooting :)

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  4. OK, I just took 7 cutting from a Frederick Passion fruit vine about half a week ago and applied honey to the tips. This time, I decided to cover the cutting in a plastic bag to keep them moist. I'm very very determined to get this right because passion fruit vines at the nurseries are pretty expensive (up to $25) and it would be awesome to have fruit from a vine that I grew on my own. By the way, I have 11 passion fruit vines I grew from seed a year and half ago and they are only a foot tall :( Hopefully They will produce fruit of good quality.

    P.S. Thanks for the tip about applying honey to the tips.

    Daniel

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    1. To encourage flowering and fruiting apply 2 teaspoons of epsom salts to 9 lt water, water passion fruit ever 2 weeks with this. works great on pineapples, strawberries and others. grew a 2.5 kg pineapple with epsom salts. also fertilize once a week with fish emulsion. happy gardening
      Steve

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    2. Epsom salts- magnesium- also works well on roses, tomatoes & artichokes
      And Boston ferns get really bushy ;)

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  5. Hi

    Jut wondering how long a cutting from a passion fruit will live?

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    1. 3 years or 4 and will give tons of fruit to enjoy. Annie

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  6. Hi all, I am starting my garden and will be trying cuttings soon. The suggestion to do 7 or so at the time sounds good, just from what I've notice on my vine, it took 1 an a half years before I got some fruit, but now I'm picking them from the floor daily and got plenty on the vine, so patience and time is the key for passion fruit, also lots of water and feeding, lucky a got some chooks for that :)

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  7. Thank you for the invaluable information. I adore passion fruit, and they are plentiful to buy in Australia. Here in Southern California, though they grow, you can hardly ever find them in stores, and when you do, the cost is ridiculous! I finally have cuttings from a friend's very mature plant and will try this technique today. Thank you thank you!

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  8. To frow from cuttings is very easy. I have done hundreds for friends and they bloom very quickly producing a lot of fruits both large and small. I have two types only, the yellow and the purples. In order to have other types, you need to take cuttings from those vines. All you do is snip off the tips of the vines and dip the end in water then into rooting powder and stick them in good compost soil. Keep them out of the strong sun till you see new shoots appearing, then put them in the morning sun for a few hours for a few days. Then lengthen the hours till they get used to 7 or 8 hours of direct sun light. I don't use honey to root them, but I will see if that works.

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