The Coast News Group
Rob Mendez planted passionflower vines at his Carlsbad yoga studio to cover up an ugly metal fence. Courtesy photo
ColumnsJano's Garden

Gardening with a passion

The passionflower, Passiflora, has been so named for its exotic flowers and utterly delectable fruit.

If you have never tasted the fruit before, you will be in for a treat, since the flavor is almost indescribable and the texture can only be described as “unctuous.”


Recently, I had the pleasure of tasting the fruit at Yoga on State Street, in Carlsbad.

This lovely studio is owned by Rob Mendez and he features classes with highly trained instructors and visiting yoga masters from around the United States.

Rob said that he “planted his passionflower vines to cover up an ugly metal fence. We started with five small plants, and now the entire fence is covered with the amazing fruit.”

Rob’s philosophy has always been, “If you build it, they will come,” and the same has been true of his garden gate. Although he opened the studio during the height of the pandemic two years ago, his persistence has paid off, and the studio offers classes each day — for information, contact


When a gardener plants the passion fruit vines, not much will happen the first season. According to Steven, from Anderson’s La Costa Nursery, “It takes over a year to get some fruit, and almost two years for a full crop. But after that, the fruit will be producing non-stop all summer.” Anderson’s La Costa Nursery is at 400 La Costa Drive in Encinitas — call (760) 753-3153 for availability.


Local cooks and gourmands alike are fascinated with this exotic fruit and many suggest after harvesting to simply cut off the top and scoop out the juicy interior pulp.

From there, it can be turned into juice, smoothies or frozen dessert dishes. A simple yet elegant dessert can be concocted with just few ingredients.




1 cup whipping cream

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

½ cup passion fruit juice (strained to eliminate seeds)


Pour whipping cream, condensed milk and fruit juice into blender.

Blend on low till fluffy. Pour into serving bowl or dessert dishes and refrigerate until firm.

Enjoy your summer fruit, and send us your recipes as well!

Contact Jano at [email protected].