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Tamarillo troubles

My tamarillo tree is starting to bear small fruit for the first time.  The past five days have been very hot and half the young fruit have fallen off the tree. Could this be due to lack of water, soil deficiencies?


I suspect your problem is lack of water.  Tamarillos do not tolerate long droughts and must be well watered when it is dry.  Mulching can be helpful.  Many plants lose fruit when they are stressed, and it sounds like this may be the explanation for your fruit loss.

Other things to watch for include protecting your tamarillo from frosts, not cultivating the soil too deeply around your tree (the roots are very shallow) and making sure your tamarillo has perfect drainage.

Having more than one tamarillo plant may improve fruit set — you could try two different varieties.

Soil deficiencies are unlikely, but you can add fertiliser (NPK 5:6:6, look for products with this ratio or similar) in early spring and mid-summer.

Individual trees rarely last more than five or six years, so don't be too disappointed if your tamarillo does die after this time period.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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Last updated: June 27, 2005