Giant granadilla - 3 seeds

Giant granadilla - 3 seeds


There are dozens of species of passion flower grown, but one that always gets a lot of attention is the Giant Granadilla Passiflora quadrangularis. It is one of the most beautiful of the passionflowers with large, fragrant flowers with deep red petals and a centre crown that contains five rows of numerous white and purple rays.

This form of the passion vine has large 12 to 17cm (5 to 7in) leaves with stems that are quadrangular in cross section, from where it derives its botanical name. In warm areas, this robust climber can grow 30 to 50ft in one growing season and will require support and space in time.

Known for its very large fruits which grow rapidly and may weigh up to 4 kg (9 lb). They turn light yellow to medium yellow when mature. For best fruiting, flowers should be hand pollinated. The fruit is eaten fresh or used in drinks. The unripe, green fruit is eaten as a vegetable.

This perennial exotic vine is quite hardy, surviving temperatures to 1°C (35°F) for short periods of time. In warm areas it can be cultivated in home gardens, or it can be kept as a greenhouse or indoor container plant and grown in a sunny south-facing window.

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Almost always grown from seeds, but can be propagated by cuttings. Bottom heating the seeds at 70-80F can result in germination at 1-2 weeks, at lower temperatures seeds can take up to 10 weeks to germinate.

Sow in late winter/late spring and late summer/autumn.

Prior to Sowing, Soak the seeds for 24 hours. Soaking is beneficial in two ways; it can soften a hard seed coat and also leach out any chemical inhibitors in the seed which may prevent germination. 24 hours in water which starts off hand hot is usually sufficient. If soaking for longer the water should be changed daily. Seeds of some species swell up when they are soaked. As each seed swells it should be removed and sown before it has time to dry out and the remainder pricked gently with a pin and returned to soak. Sow seeds in a peaty compost, “just cover” with 6mm (¼ in) of soil as the seeds need light to germinate.

Germination of Passiflora usually occurs in weeks, occasionally several months.

If your home is on the low side of 20°C (68°F), your seeds will benefit from bottom heat with an electric soil warming cable kit, or a heating mat. It will stimulate early growth, and help seeds to germinate and cut the germination time by half. Cover the top of the pot with clear plastic so the humidity will remain high.

When you see some tiny plants starting to sprout, open the top of the pot, a little each day, so that the new seedlings don't go into shock from the humidity being lowered too quickly. Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Pot on as required. These plants have very fragile white roots and should be handled with care when potting up.