COMMON PROBLEMS WITH GROWING PASSION FRUITS AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM

  • Passion fruit Fungal Spots

This is a serious fungous disease, which affects leaves, stems and fruit. It occurs mainly in spring and early summer.

On leaves, small brown spots appear first. These enlarge, develop a lighter-coloured central area, and become irregular or angular in shape. On fruit, spots first appear as pinpricks, which enlarge into sunken circular lesions with brownish centres. Spots can develop into extensive superficial leasions causing premature drop and fruit decay.

The disease is most observed in the second planting year. The fungus survives and sporulates in infected tissues and crop residues of passion flower. Fungal dissemination in the field is carried out by raindrops infected seeds, seedlings and cuttings. Long raining periods and average temperatures of 27◦C are the ideal conditions for the occurrence of epidemics. During winter the incidence of disease is low. The incubation time observed in seedlings is six days. Host injury increase infection, but is not an obligate requirement.

Use  of  pathogen  free  seedlings,  pruning  to  eliminate  affected  areas,  improved  ventilation  and  light  conditions  help  control  the  disease.  Fruit  should  not  be  harvested  during  wet  conditions,  unduly  exposed  to  sun  light  or  kept  for  long  in  the  absence  of  refrigeration.  Pruning should be done when plants are dry and should be followed with applications of fungicides. Applications of mixed  formulations  of  protective  and  curative  fungicides  are  necessary  during  favorable conditions. Under intense rainy periods, fungicides have to be used weekly, while during scattered rain seasons fungicides have to be used in fifteen days interval. Applications can be suspended in dry seasons with no occurrence of dew.

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fungal spots
  • woodiness of passion fruit

Caused by Pathogen Passion fruit woodiness virus (PWV) and Cucumber woody virus (CWV). Infection causes a noticeable reduction in the development of plant. Leaves display severe mosaic, rigidity and distortion.

Viruses are normally transmitted by several species of aphids in a non-persistent, non-circulative way. They can also be transmitted through grafting and experimental mechanical inoculation. Mechanical transmission by knifes, scissors and nails during cultural practices of trimming are observed. None of the viruses are found to be transmitted through seeds.

Specific recommended cultural practices can be followed for minimizing the woodiness of passion fruit. Usage of virus free seedlings of new plantings, eradication of old and abandoned orchards before starting new crops, care during trimming operations to eliminate mechanical transmission of viruses, avoiding leguminous plants which may harbor the virus near the orchard and rouging of diseased plants by means of systematic inspections during the first five months after transplanting can aid in checking the incidence and spread of potyvirus infection in passion fruit vineyards

  • Passion fruit vine produces fruit but there is no juice just soft seeds  

There are several reasons why the passion fruits may lack the necessary juice. In this case, it might be that the vine may not have received enough water or nutrients during the growing period.

Passion fruits are very hungry and thirsty so regular feeding and regular watering to keep the soil moist is key. Failure to provide these basic requirements could lead to fruit formation that lack juice content.

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Similarly, most passion fruit vines start producing meaningful fruits from their second year especially under relatively colder conditions.

Therefore, getting the fruit quite early may also have an effect on the form as well.

  • Dropping of fruits off the vine

That could be as a result of irregular watering. It could also be a result of fungal infection, fruit fly or severe mite damage.

The fruit can also be dropped if the weather suddenly turns cold or the plant lacks water. Pest insects such as passion fruit vine hopper feeding on the vine can also lead to fruit drop. Watch out for these insects while they are young. Check and correct accordingly.

The other common reason why passion fruit drop their fruits is when they’re lacking trace elements. The plant doesn’t have the resources to support fruit production so it drops them to conserve energy for the main plant.

You can buy trace element supplements and feed your vines accordingly since passion fruit need a lot of feeding.

  • Die Backs
Die backs may start at tip of branches or at the middle.
In its terminal phases, branches die back, bark and cortical dries up.

Prune off infected branches and paste with copper based fungicides

  • Chlorosis (The leaves of the vines turning yellow)

It could be a sign that your vines have been infected by passion fruit woodiness virus.

Leaves turn yellow due to nutrient deficiency manifests itself differently depending on the stage Secondly, it could be as a result of Magnesium deficiency, Nitrogen deficiency on sandy soil, or extremely cold weather combined with low humidity.

If the new leaves of your vines are having yellow veins, most times, a deficiency in Sulphur (S) or Copper is always evident.

However, if the yellowing affects areas between the veins, it is an indication of lack of sufficient Iron (Fe) or Molybdenum (Mo).Yellowing of the older leaves especially between the veins is a sign of a deficiency in Magnesium. A fertilizer rich in Magnesium (Mg) is an appropriate remedy for this problem.

On the hand, yellowing of veins in the older leaves is a guaranteed sign of Nitrogen deficiency and should be corrected accordingly.

There are scenarios where both old and new leaves of your passion fruit vines turns yellow.In such cases, lack of Zinc (Zn) is to blame.

 

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