8 Common Problems with Growing Passion Fruits
Let’s face it:
Anyone can start a passion fruit growing venture.
But not everyone gets past the first roadblocks.
It’s disappointing when you don’t seem to get the results being hyped about, and when you’re disappointed you get less and less enthused about keeping at it.
It helps to know that you’re not alone:
Like with personal problems, passion fruit growing problems are widespread. There are so many Agribusiness entrepreneurs and gardeners out there but very few who get any success. Only 2% of the lot get any meaningful returns on their investment.
And when they do, it’s through sheer hard work and determination. Plus tips from the pros, of course.
To help you join the 2%, here are:
8 Common problems with growing passion fruits and how to overcome them
1. Passion fruit vine produces fruit but there is no juice just soft seeds inside.
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.
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.
2. The vines keep flowering but never set fruits
This can happen due to a number of reasons. The most common ones are; poor pollination due too high or too low temperature (optimum 20 – 35 degrees) or too much rain, boron deficiency, and extended period of gloomy weather or foggy.
In some instance the flowers may also drop off prematurely as a result of poor plant nutrition.
3. Fruit keep dropping 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.
4. The leaves of the vines turning yellow (chlorosis)
It could be a sign that your vines have been infected by passion fruit woodiness virus. Secondly, it could be as a result of Magnesium deficiency, Nitrogen deficiency on sandy soil, or extremely cold weather combined with low humidity.
The vines turning yellow due to nutrient deficiency manifests itself differently depending on the stage of the leaves growth.
For instance, 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.
Next time you experience yellowing of your vines, you’ll be able to diagnose the root cause and make the necessary correction.
5. Passion fruit vine leaves turning yellow and crinkling.
The symptoms of yellowing and crinkling of the leaves on your passionfruit vine sounds like ‘Passionfruit woodiness viruses.
Affected fruit can be small and deformed with an abnormally thick, hard rind and small pulp cavity. This disease is carried by aphids and most vines will be affected at some time or another.
Ensure that your vine is planted in a warm, sheltered spot to help reduce the incidence of this disease.
Symptoms can appear under stress in cool weather, or from lack of water or nutrients.
Affected vines cannot be cured however symptoms are temporary and vines can recover once the stresses are alleviated.
I am sure once you give your vine the warmth, moisture and nutrients it requires, it will soon recover and give you lots of delicious summer fruit.
6. Fruits are bumpy or malformed
Passion fruit woodiness virus could be the culprit, especially if leaves are yellow and mottled.
It could also happen because of Boron deficiency or Insect damage particularly fruit fly.
In the case of passion fruit woodiness virus, the fruits appears deformed, hard and bumpy. Once you notice these symptoms in your orchard, it’s better to get rid of the affected plants and spray against aphids that transmit the virus.
7. Shrivelled fruits
Shrivelling is normal for passion fruits especially after dropping on the ground when mature.
But, if this happens earlier, it could be caused by fruit fly damage, sucking bug damage, poor pollination, boron deficiency, and insufficient irrigation when a heavy crop is set.
Ensure that you give your vines appropriate nutrients for optimum and vigorous growth while watching out for pests and diseases.
If you do this your fruits will do just fine!
8. Spots on the fruits and leaves
Mostly caused by Brown Spot (Altanaria passiflora) but can also be caused by Septoria spot.
Brown is a serious fungous disease, which affects leaves, stems and fruit. The notable symptoms on leaves include, small brown spots appear first.
These enlarge, develop a lighter-colored central area, and become irregular or angular in shape.
On stems, elongated dark-brown lesions appear, usually near leaf axils or where stems have rubbed against the supporting wire.
Infection spreads from these points and whenever the stem becomes completely girdled the shoot suddenly wilts and fruits collapse.
On fruit, spots first appear as pinpricks, which enlarge into sunken circular lesions with brownish centres. Eventually the rind round the diseased area becomes wrinkled and the fruits shrivel and drop.
You’ve just read 8 common problems with growing passion fruits. Knowing what to do when they strike will give you enough confidence to forge forward.
The nice thing about farming or gardening is that you’re in total control of how successful you are. If you slack off, so will your results.
If you let small obstacles and problems to get into your way, it’s game over for you. If you get totally into what you’re doing and crush it, the sky’s the limit.