Grafting passion fruit is so important especially to the growers of purple passion fruit.
Without grafting, purple passion farmers can only expect (no matter what they do) to get only a fraction of their passion farms profitability.
You may ask.
Well, purple passion happens to be a less vigorous passion variety.
It is also prone to pests and diseases than ANY other passion cultivar.
Despite all these weaknesses, the passion fruit market HIGHLY prefers purple passion.
They find its juice is tastier and appealing compared to other varieties of passion.
For that reason, the market offers higher prices to purple passion growers, exporters, and importers.
To get around the apparent weakness of the purple variety, pomologists recommend grafting purple passion for yellow passion.
Four More Reasons Why You Should Graft Purple Passion on Yellow Passion
Research has shown when purple passion grafted on yellow rootstock it:
- Starts to give fruits earlier than un-grafted passion plants.
- Yields more fruit per hectare
- Long harvest period of 4-5 years compared to 3 years of ordinary un-grafted passion plants.
- Yields tasty, sweeter, and juicy fruit.
With all these money increasing benefits of grafting purple passion, don’t you think grafting passion is important?
The Seven Vital Steps of Grafting Purple Passionfruit
- Choosing a compatible rootstock.
- Choosing the appropriate grafting technique.
- Choosing the appropriate scion
- Choosing the appropriate rootstock
- Joining the scion to rootstock
- Caring for the graft union until it heals
- Removal of the grafting tape once the union is healed
Choosing a Compatible Rootstock
This is often the first step on succeeding in any type of grafting.
Fortunately, years of research show that yellow passion fruit rootstock is compatible with the purple passion, making this step a no- brainer.
However, for grafting other plants like mangoes, oranges, apples where there are hundreds of different varieties, you have to think seriously about the compatibility of the scion to the rootstock.
Choosing an Appropriate Grafting Technique
There are many grafting techniques, but only one is suitable for purple passion fruit.
Wedge grafting happens to the most suitable grafting technique for purple passion.
To do it, you need a rootstock from the yellow passion and a scion from a purple fruit.
Choosing The Right Rootstock
- The yellow passion seedling should have attained a thickness of 1 cm.
- Its stem should not be too fleshy or too woody.
- Rootstocks that are too fleshy are prone to excessive transpiration thus leading to graft union failure.
- Once a you find a suitable rootstock that is neither woody nor fleshy, you are ready to start grafting (I’ll explain the process later below)
Choosing a Scion
- Choose a scion 1 cm thick from a mature purple passion fruit plant.
- Ensure the scion isn’t too woody or fleshy.
- The scion should 3- 4 buds.
Defoliate it to reduce its rate of respiration
Joining The Scion to the Rootstock
Once you have the right rootstock, and scion in place, the next stage is to do the actual grafting.
- Using a surgical blade or grafting knife, make a horizontal cut through the stem of the rootstock 8 cm from the base.
- Make a vertical split about 3 cm deep on the yellow passion rootstock.
- Make a wedge on the scion of the purple passion. The wedge should be about 3 cm long so that it fits perfectly into the split you created on rootstock.
- Insert the scion’s wedge end into the split end of the rootstock.
- Align the scion and rootstock in a way that the phloem and xylem vessels (i.e. the bark and the inner vessels of the scion and rootstock are in contact.)
- Tied the graft union tightly using a plastic tape to ensure no air, or water goes into the graft union.
- Store the plant under a shade to minimize evapotranspiration of the scion.
- If the graft union remains green for a period of 1 week, that will be a strong indication that the graft union is healing well, and you were successful.
- In 3 weeks, the buds will have opened and developed into new leaves if the graft union was healed
- Tend the plant for another 2 months to ensure the graft union is completely healed and the scion has started producing new growth of leaves aggressively.
- When the grafted plant attains a height of 30-40 cm, it is ready for transplanting to the open field.
What are your thoughts on grafting passion fruit? Please share them in the comments section below