|I've been given a home-grown passion fruit full of brown seeds -- do I plant the seeds now when moist or do I need to dry them and plant in the Spring in Antioch, CA?|
|Since you are in a mild winter gardening zone you can plant your seeds now or you can dry and store them, then start them in March or April.
Whether planning to grow your passion flower vine as an indoor plant or as a garden specimen, it is always best to start passion flower seeds indoors. The seeds can be started outdoors in the soil, but the seeds are a bit finicky to get to germinate and it is easier to provide consistent conditions when started indoors. Seeds can be started indoors in nursery pots in late winter or early spring and outdoors in the late spring or after any threat of frost has passed. If you plant them now, your won't need to presoak them. If you dry and store them now for planting later, presoak your seeds for 48-72 hours in a glass of water set in a warm location. The healthy seed will sink to the bottom of the glass and you can just skim off and discard any seed that remain floating. Plant the seeds at a very shallow depth of less than a half-inch in a good-quality light potting mix, watering in well. Set the pot inside or tent with a clear plastic bag and set somewhere very warm with direct but not scorching sunlight. Keep the soil around the seeds moist at all times. When white or pale yellow shoots begin to appear, gradually lift or roll back the plastic bag a bit each day to sensitize the seedling to its surroundings and continue to keep the soil moist. Make sure there is good fresh air circulation and sun and allow the seedling to harden off and green up indoors. You should see green growing shoots within two weeks to a month's time.
In spring when any threat of frost has passed and the soil is warm, the seedlings can be planted out into the garden soil or larger containers. Select a site with a full-sun to partial-shade exposure and surround the plant with nutrient-rich soil that has been amended with compost or well-aged manure. When transplanting, always maintain the same planting depth they have in their nursery pot and water in deeply. Feed when the seedling reaches 6 inches in height with a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer formula such as MiracleGro. Keep with product directions and be careful not to overfeed, erring on the side of a weaker fertilizing solution. After the vine is established and is longer than a few feet, it should be trellised or put onto an arbor to encourage lush growth and flowering.