The passion fruit is a tropical fruit of a plant that grows in the shape of a vine of which more than 400 varieties are known. One of the center of origin of this plant is Peru, it has two different varieties or forms: purple or purple and yellow. The first, mainly, is consumed fresh and thrives in semi warm places and higher above sea level, while the second grows in warm climates, from sea level to 1000 m altitude. In this article we will see everything about pruning passion fruit (how and when to do it, tools to use, etc), also we will take some time to see the care that you should eest with this fruit.

If you read to the end you will learn the best techniques for proper pruning, the right time to trim and the tools to do it. The article has no waste, I assure you. 😉

Note: Please note that the advice given here is general, this blog is consulted from many countries in the world, with totally different characteristics, what not all tips will be adapted in the same way in all cases. Once you finish reading the article it will be necessary to analyze all the information and apply what you have learned in the best way. If you have any questions, remember that you can contact us to make your inquiries.

1. Care of the passion fruit

The main theme of this article is the pruning of the passion fruit, and all must be recognized that pruning is nothing but one of many care that needs to be carried out in this plant. Below we will list the most important care you should apply to have a healthy, strong passion fruit tree with the best fruits.

  • Temperature: the ideal temperature range for this plant varies between 24 ° and 28 ° C. The higher the temperatures, the sooner it will reach the harvest season.
  • Sun: The quality of the fruit is directly related to the light exposure of the foliar area of the plants. Five hours of light per day is recommended.
  • Relative Humidity: The higher the relative humidity of the environment, the better the quality that will be obtained in the passion fruit as it will increase the weight and volume of the juice, giving it a good aroma and flavor.
Passion fruit vines
Passion fruit vines
  • Soil: adapts to different soils provided they are deep and fertile, however the best soils are loose, well drained, without problems of salinity.
  • Height: the altitude at which it must be planted depends on the variability, and everything in general goes from sea level to 1300 m in height.
  • Diseases and pests: the most common diseases or pests that affect this plant are: anthracnose, nematodes and fusarium that attack the root of the plant. Check with certain periodicity to make sure that your maracuya is not being affected.
  • Pruning: this article deals with pruning, so it could not be missing among the most important cares of the maracuya. In the following, we will develop this point in depth.

2. Tools needed to prune or trim a passion fruit vines

There are several tools that you will need to perform your pruning or trimming of a passion fruit. Each of them is appropriate for different cases depending on age, time of year, type of pruning, etc.

  • Hand Pruning Shears: Stems up to half inch in diameter can be pruned with hand shears.
  • Lopping Shears: It is suitable to use on stems between half inch and 2 inches in diameter.
  • Hedge Shears: Manual and power shears are available for trimming hedges. Manual shears have long, flat blades with relatively short handles and are good for small jobs. Electric shears are a good choice for larger hedges.
  • Saws: A number of pruning saws are available. These saws come with either curved or straight blades and of variable lengths and points. Curved blades that cut on the draw stroke are easy to use.

Keep in mind that you must disinfect all the tools before trimming your passion fruit. This will help prevent disease transmission, you will have to do it before you start pruning and every time you change plants.

2.1 Needed care of pruning tools

If you want to extend the useful life of your pruning tools there are some basic care.

  • Use the right tool for a job and avoid twisting or straining it.
  • Clean and oil tools regularly by wiping an oily cloth on blades and other surfaces.
  • Keep cutting edges sharp by regularly using an oilstone.
  • Wooden handles should be varnished or regularly treated with linseed oil to keep them from cracking or splintering.

Carry out the previous care on a regular basis and you will be saving good money on tools. 🙂

3. Why to prune passion fruit vine

All fruit trees need to be pruned for a control of the production and useful life of the plant, in the passion fruit is not the exception. If we want to list reasons why pruning should be carried out, we will have the following:

  • Rebalance the tree among shoots, roots and fruit.
  • Improve fruit quality, with more minerals available to the fruit.
  • Keep fruit off the ground.
  • Reduce tree size.
  • Increase ease of harvesting.
  • Develop trees with strong framework.
  • Improve pest control.
  • Improve profitability.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Restore tree vigor.
  • Facilitates fumigations against pests and diseases, as well as their use.
  • Reduce the total weight on the support system used.
  • Creeping branches that hinder harvest are eliminated.
  • Prevents ripe fruits from being enclosed between the branches instead of falling to the ground, which makes harvesting difficult and increases costs.

As you will see, the list of reasons why pruning is necessary is long, hence the importance of carrying it out correctly.

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4. Types of support structure of the passion fruit

As the passion fruit is a climbing plant, it is necessary to build structures that allow it to develop and give a good distribution to the guides. The systems that can be used are: branches system, vertical espalier and the one of espaldera in “T”, this last one with a small modification turns into espaldera in cross.

Once the type of support structure has been selected, we will prune the maracuya in such a way that we shape the plant adapting it to the structure.

4.1 Branches system

This system consists of constructing branches with galvanized wire # 12, the height must be 2.0 meters and the posts are placed in a frame at each 5-7.5 meters. With this system the crop reaches a higher productivity, but presents a high cost due to the amount of wire used.

Branches system
Branches system

Another disadvantage is that it increases the incidence of diseases by the humid microclimate that forms under the ramada, besides the application of pesticides is difficult with the danger of causing intoxication in the workers.

4.2 Vertical espalier

It consists of placing rows of vertical poles of 2.0 m in height at each 5-7.5 meters, which support a wire of galvanized wire No. 12 on the upper part, to fix it staples are used for fencing. When there are strong winds in the area, a second strand of wire can be placed about 0.40 m below the first one.

Vertical espalier
Vertical espalier

According to Brazilian researchers, the second wire serves only to give greater fixity to the structure. The system with a single wire is the most used in Brazil because it is economical, easy to handle and allows a better association with other fruit trees.

4.3 T-shaped espalier

It consists of a row of vertical poles 2.0 m high that in the upper part are provided with a horizontal bar of 0.65 m long, through which pass 2 or 3 wires of galvanized wire. This system allows a better distribution of the foliage, improving the photosynthetic efficiency when exposing a greater surface of leaves to the solar rays.

T-shaped espalier
T-shaped espalier

It may not be so used, because it is more difficult to place and more materials are spent which increases costs, generally the costs of the trellises represent 50% of the total costs in this system.

5. Pruning passion fruit vines – How and when to prune

In modern fruit growing the concept of pruning part of a set of principles in which you have to take into account following factors:

  • Forming a structure or skeleton on which to support the capacity productive
  • Distribute the production organs so that they do not interfere in the luminosity and do not believe between them spaces of competition.
  • Leave enough organs to have optimal production.
  • Adapting the plantation frame according to the size of the variety or varieties.
  • Know and differentiate the various types of organs that have the passion fruit, as well as its evolution and development.

In short, we will summarize this knowledge in a “concept of pruning “in which, respecting the natural way of vegetating of each variety, you get the largest “production volume” in the shortest time possible.

Throughout the life of the passion fruit there are several types of pruning that must be carried out, all governed by the principles described above. Among the most common prunings are:

  • Formation and fructification.
  • Cleaning pruning
  • Cut of pacifiers.
  • Rejuvenation.

In what follows we will develop one by one all the types of passion fruit pruning, with its objectives and forms of action.

5.1 Pruning of passion fruit – Formation and fructification

In some areas, training pruning is handled. Once the main stem is on the rope, it has to be cut out to branch out and form the “Pergola” or “T” that will later drop down to the ground forming a tablecloth.

The pruning of formation must be done after the transplant, placing next to the seedling, a tutor to whom the plant is fixed periodically by means of moorings with raffia pita. All the lateral shoots are eliminated, leaving only a single and continuous stem until reaching the first wire. If the conduction system is of two threads, lateral sprouts are left, which are tied laterally in opposite directions.

Pruning passion fruit - Formation
Pruning passion fruit – Vertical espalier formation

The central stem continues to be sprouted, growing to exceed the upper wire thread, in about 20 cm, when the spike is made, so that two branches are obtained, which will be tied in the wire, on both sides of the plant . The lateral branches and the cords are periodically fixed with wires, until the stake to favor the appearance of lateral buds.

From the cords come the lateral buds, which grow vertically and form the productive curtain.

5.2 Cleaning pruning of passion fruit vines

This is a classic pruning in all fruit trees, having to cut all the dry and / or diseased branches, which must be done without exception on an annual basis.

The main causes for which pruning is necessary in the passion fruit, as well as in all fruit, are to destroy foci of infection, decrease the weight of the plant, facilitate aeration, improve lighting and facilitate the penetration of pesticides to all parts of the plant.

If you trim branches of an important thickness, do not forget to place a healing paste. This will protect the plant from the entrance of any pest, such as fungal diseases. Another key to avoid the entrance of this type of diseases is to make the inclined cuts. Since it does not allow water to remain in the cut.

5.3 Cut of pacifiers

The work of cutting of pacifiers may be a type of pruning itself, but rather a task that is carried out both in the pruning of training, frutification and cleaning.

It consists of eliminating all the side shoots that emit the main stem to accelerate growth and guide a single stem to the top of the tutor who is two meters above ground level, with this work is also sought to obtain fruits of better quality and greater photosynthetic area within the plantation.

This work is done manually; In some cases, farmers usually leave two shoots or stems per site in order to prevent the death of any of them, or to increase yields per hectare.

5.4 Pruning of old passion fruit – Renovation

This pruning of the maracuya consists of making cuts of the fruiting or tertiary guides at 0.30-0.40 m from its insertion part with the secondary guides, it is done when the production starts to decrease or when there is too much foliage and there is a risk of it fall the espalier.

Renovation pruning passion fruit -  Vertical espalier
Renovation pruning passion fruit – Vertical espalier

If the cut is made less than 0.3 m the plant takes more time to re-produce, the pruning on the main guide delays production much more and there is a risk of losing the plant.

Immediately after pruning it is watered, if it is in the dry season, and it is fertilized with urea or sulphate to stimulate bud buds.

6. Pruning passion fruit vines video

To close the post we leave a video of the Garden Tara channel, where you can graphically understand several things that we saw so far. I hope it helps you. 🙂

Well up to here we have arrived with this article in which we talked about how and when to prune a passion fruit vine. I hope you have no doubt when you should take your scissors and get to work. 😉

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Source information:

Maracuyá: todo lo que debes saber – arbolesfrutales.org

CULTIVO DE MARACUYÁ – Texto: Amaya Robles, Julio E