They are so popular because of their high vitamin content. They are highly rich in vitamin C, beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene that boosts your immunity. The fruit also has iron which increases haemoglobin in our red blood cells. The rich content of riboflavin (vitamin B6) and niacin (vitamin B3) helps in regulate the thyroid activity in our body.
Passion fruit in Australia
There are over 50 varieties of passion fruit vine including Banana, Hawaiian, Norfolk Island, Yellow Giant, Panama Gold, Panama Red and Nellie Kelly. Cultivars can differ in cold tolerance, so always check the label before buying. The kind you’ll most commonly find in Aussie backyards is the Nellie Kelly – a cultivar that has been bred to withstand cooler temperatures and resist pests and diseases. In more tropical regions, Panamas grow best.
Passionfruit vines are versatile but are best suited to subtropical and temperate climates, provided there is protection from frost when young. Plant a passionfruit vine between spring to early autumn season and provide it with a wall or framework to climb on.
According to TUI Garden, there are 5 steps to the success of growing passion fruit:
- Choose a spot in full sun except in very hot areas, where partial shade is preferable.
- Prepare your soil with organic matter like compost and sheep pellets.
- Add a layer of citrus and fruit mix to plant into. Passionfruit is best planted between mid-spring and mid-summer in New Zealand.
- Feed passionfruit with a fertiliser rich in potassium in spring and summer.
- Mulch and water well, particularly over the warmer months.
How to eat a passionfruit?
To eat a passion fruit raw, cut it in half and use a spoon to remove the pulp from the rind. The rind is not edible. People can eat both the seeds and the pulp, or just the pulp.
Did you know you can open passionfruit with your bare hands? Place the passionfruit between your palms, clasp your fingers together and push your palms towards each other to break the passionfruit skin, then pry it open with your fingers. Watch out for the juice!
You'll know a passionfruit is ripe when you hold them and they feel heavy, meaning they are full of the jelly-like fruit and juice. They should also have a wrinkled skin that you will be able to squeeze. The softer the skin, the riper the fruit is.
How to ripen quickly
To ripen passion fruit at home, place it at room temperature and give it a few days to ripen further. Keep it away from direct sunlight.
Green passion fruit won't ripen fully off the vine, but ripe fruits will develop deeper, sweeter flavor if left uneaten for several days.
You could eat unripe passion fruit but the taste would be very tart.