Gardening / Self Sufficiency / In The Garden

Yellowing Passionfruit Leaves

My greatest failing as a gardener is a “she’ll be right” attitude. It’s not a lack of concern, more an assumption that the plants will take care of themselves. After all, they got this far, didn’t they?

The result of this tends to be plants which start of thriving (in shops where people who actually know what they’re doing take care of them) and slowly fade into failing, disease ridden shadows of themselves.

As part of my pledge to actually harvest some of my produce this year I’m paying closer attention to my plants than I have in the past. Which is why I not only noticed that my passionfruit vine is sort of stagnating (it hasn’t grown or put on new growth since I planted it) and has leaves that are yellowing. This spells impending doom in my book.


Unfortunately googling the symptoms has put me no closer to the answer than I was before.

Apparently yellowing leaves can be caused by: evil viruses/diseases that I have no hope of eradicating (though which I might be able to avert if I were more experienced), nutrient deficiencies (from potassium to nitrogen to iron), wind and/or chilly weather (and/or the onset of Winter). I ask you: how am I meant to save my passionfruit plant with advice such as this?

It has been windier here than normal (the wind arrived with the cooler weather), but the plant is also in a pot with potting mix which probably isn’t very nutrient rich.

Given that I can do nothing about neither the windy conditions nor the evil killer viruses/diseases, I’ve decided to assume that it’s a nutrient deficiency. At least I might have a hope with that one.

But which nutrient deficiency? And what do I do about it? Some sources suggest that I treat it with potash (man that stuff is useful), others with a citrus feed, yet others with blood n bone.

Potash contains basically potassium and not much else. The citrus feed has a wider spread with (from greatest to least amount) nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. If either of then contain iron then the information is being well hidden.

Since I have potash at home, I’m going to try feeding it with that and some general purpose fertiliser. I may even finally get out the seasol, something I’ve been meaning to do since I started worrying about my tomatoes! I’ll keep an eye on it for a week or two and let you know if it achieves anything.


How do you deal with yellowing leaves? Do you have a “plant and hope” approach to gardening?

9 thoughts on “Yellowing Passionfruit Leaves

  1. I live 100kms north of Melbourne and we have very poor soil. I keep adding lots of manure and Seasol. It helps. I think you could be right about the potting mix as I have a couple of plants in pots that are also stagnating and I suspect it’s the potting mix as others I planted at the same time in the garden have done much better. Good luck! I’ve tried passionfruit three times here but each time the frost killed them in winter 😦

    • I think I always make the mistake of thinking that potting mix must be better for plants than soil (you have to pay so much more for potting mix!). I’m going to have to start remembering to add fertiliser or similar to pots when plants go in!

  2. Bear in mind that when you buy plants from nurseries, they are the equivalent of spoiled children. They have been pampered and cossetted from seed or shoot to sales, and may never have been outdoors for any appreciable time. They are weak and needy — but they can toughen up with time. Your plant may simply be suffering from shock. It’s also possible it lived a life in either more or less sunshine — if so, it may drop all it’s leaves and grow new ones that are more optimized for it’s current conditions. But my first guess would be that it is getting too much water now, and I would check the drainage in the pot and be sure the soil is drying out before rewatering.

    • Hmmm, the soil usually looks dry before I re-water (it sits in full sun for most of the day so it seems to dry out quickly) but I’ll have a closer investigation and check. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I never, ever plant things in pots without a fair sprinkle of general purpose Osmocote – but any slow-release fertiliser will do. Even if the mix is half compost. I am into the scattergun approach.

    But some Seasol or similar is a good start – just it does not hang around for long.

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