GRANADILLA (Passiflora edulis)

The granadilla plant is a vine species of passion flower that is native to Paraguay, Brazil and northern Argentina. Its common names include passion fruit (UK and US) and passionfruit (Australia and New Zealand). It is cultivated commercially in warmer, frost-free areas for its fruit.

In South Africa, granadillas are produced mainly in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province, as well as in the subtropical coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Recommended Cultivar:

The Ester granadilla was discovered in 1995 by Mr. J.C. Esterhuysen on his farm near Polokwane, in the Limpopo Province in South Africa. The selection was made from a population of the purple granadilla (Passiflora edulis).

The cultivar is known for its high yielding characteristics :

  • The first fruit can be ready for harvesting in about 6 months after planting ;
  • An orchard planted in early spring in the Limpopo province could yield 15 tons per ha by mid-summer;
  • Yields of 40 tons per ha in the second year have been recorded in the Polokwane area.

Generally, Ester granadilla produces fruit more evenly throughout the year than the other edulis granadillas. There is, however, a light peak harvesting season from 20 December to 20 January, which is later than the other edulis granadillas.

Tree Availability:

Our motherblock is virus-indexed twice a year by the Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI) for all known viruses affecting granadillas (Cowpea aphid-borne mosaic virus, Passionfruit latent virus, Tobacco necrosis virus and Cucumber mosaic virus). Furthermore, all our plants are grown within a biosecure structure to ensure that the plants remains virus-free.

Plants are produced throughout the year, via cuttings. The granadillas are delivered as field-ready rooted plugs.


For further technical information, we recommend the following book published by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).

The Cultivation of Granadillas

Author: Mr E.A. de Villiers & C. Fraser

The book can be obtained in the following ways :

Contact: ARC – Mrs Estelle Nieuwenhuis
Tel No: 013 753 7000

Important aspects of commercial granadilla production, such as production areas, climatic and soil requirements, soil preparation, irrigation and fertilization, pests, disease and weed control and post-harvest handling of fruits, are provided in this book.