Lilikoi tips

(watch out, typos. This page was just written. Please send me email if you find some, and I'll send you some free seeds)

Growing tips:

Passiflora edulis flavicarpa (the lilikoi grown in Hawaii) seed germination takes temperatures of at least 75F. If it isn't warm enough where you are, put the seed pot in the back of the car. That way it will get warm enough (depending on where you are, and what time of the year it is. But it works year-round in Hawaii). I am currently working on the assumption that they need light to germinate, after finding some germinating 5 years later when removing a compost pile and finally getting exposed to light.

Lilikoi are (mostly) self sterile. To get fruit you need at least 2 plants. Pollination is mostly done by carpenter bees, but there may be honey bees involved as well.

It is said that passiflora edulis and passiflora edulis flavicarpa don't interbreed in the wild but this is a myth in spite of that their main flowering times are in different parts of the day.

A passiflora edulis flavicarpa vine can cover several hundred square feet, and grow to more than 20 feet high if given suitable trellis. Due to the weight of the fruit the trellis has to be both strong and well anchored. Live hardwood trees can make a suitable trellis and we use guava trees where we have them.

Don't prune lilikoi too much. Cutting the main vine will kill it, and if you prune during flowering/fruit season the energy of the plant will go into vegetative growth before putting out more flowers again.

P. edulis flavicarpa will flower (here) about 8-10 months out of the year. It looks like they stop flowering about 1 month after they stop setting fruit (yet have to find out why this happens - so far I blame it on the disappearance of the carpenter bees in late fall). Flowering will also get lighter to almost completely stop when the vine is full of fruit.

From Shelley Hanaoka:
For a boost, spray the whole plant with Miracle Grow about once a month. EZ Green chicken manure has been found the best for general fertilization by her, both for passion fruit and for flowers.

Harvesting and storing tips:

Fruit will start getting ripe about 2 - 3 months after blooming. Harvest the fruit off the ground. They will drop when they are ripe and that is the easiest way to tell. While lilikoi will keep where they are, depending on weather, between a week and several, it is better to get them out of both rain and sun and store in a cool not too dry place, with air circulation (natural circulation is enough).

Muddy fruit are always scratched and have a relatively short shelf life.

When stored too dry and/or too hot the skin will start shriveling in a matter of hours.

Other tips:

Tea:

From: Patrick Worley (whole post quoted):

Dear Roland,
Here is the Potion from my book "A Passionfruit Cookbook" (c) 2000 by Patrick
J. Worley, used by permission. There!, all legal.
I take this at least 3 times a week, when I can't sleep. I make enough for
three nights and refrigerate:
Pick fresh healthy incarnata leaves. Dry them indoors in a paper bag or in a
gas oven with a pilot light.
When the leaves are thoroughly dry, crumble them, remove stem and twiggy
parts. Place them in to air tight canisters or into zip bags for storage.
Place 1 tablespoon of dried crumbled leaves or 1 large fresh leaf, finely
chopped into a tea ball or place loose leaves into a large mug.
Add 1 c. of boiling water and let it steep for five minutes.
Strain the leaves out and add a bit of fresh Passionfruit juice, lemon, mint
or lavender. A touch of honey will bring out the natural flavors.
In Brazil P. edulis is used in the same way.
This really works and is safe and effective with no druggy feelings.

The Book contains over 180 recipes in all categories with simple, quick and
effective methods for removing the seeds, storing and using the pulp and
juice.
Available through (the web site referenced here doesn't exist anymore ...). There will be many more
Passiflora related art works, watercolors, prints, caps, aprons, mugs and
more.
Good growing.
Patrick

From Noel D. Atherton:
According to Rodale's Healing Herbs, up to three cups of the passiflora tea per day, not to be given to children under age two..... also "harmala compounds in passion flower are uterine stimulants", "P. caerulea contains cyanide,... P. incarnata does not" and of course, NOT recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers.

From: Patrick Johnson (concerning cyanide content of passiflora leaves) only if collected fresh, then BRUISED, then dried. Do not crush the leaves while fresh. Dry whole, then crush.
the hydrocyanates are formed upon fresh exposure to oxygen.

From Myles Irvine:
see http://www.passionflow.co.uk/flower.htm
Especially the page linked under 'Flowering'.

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Last modification: Aug. 3. 2001
Maren Purves / m.purves@jach.hawaii.edu