Causes of flower abortion in yellow passion fruit
There are many reasons for flower abortions in passion fruits. The most important step you can take to help you identify the cause of the problem is to seek the services of an extension officer especially one with good experience in horticultural crops in your region. The yellow passion fruit does well mostly in lowland areas with high temperatures. If planted in highland areas, there is always a problem with slow flower setting and even flower abortion leading to failure in production of fruits. The other likely causes of flower abortions are below:
Deficiency or excessive nutrients: Too much fertilizers can lead to increased vegetative growth but poor flowering. Too much compost application can also contribute to vegetative growth at the expense of flowering and fruit setting. Boron deficiency can also lead to flower drops. When it is still young passion fruit responds very well to phosphorus application. As it matures, it is important to apply some potassium and phosphorus.
Pollination: For any fertilization to be successful pollination has to take place. Bees and other nectar foraging insects such as the carpenter bees play an important role in cross-pollination of passion fruit flowers. Due to use of chemical pesticides in many farms especially those growing vegetables such tomatoes, many bees are destroyed by the chemical spraying of such crops, in this case reducing their pollination services. One way to encourage pollination by bees is to plant trees that attract bees foraging for nectar.
Water: Passion fruit has shallow roots. It needs adequate water. Inadequate water especially at the crucial flowering stage can lead to flower drops. Lack of water can result in tiny fruits that are not marketable. Too much water is not suitable for passion fruit production; this is one reason why passion cannot do well in low-lying, water-logged areas.
Temperatures: Low temperatures especially in highland areas can slow down pollen germination. Periods of low temperatures and overcast skies can cause flower drops. This is one reason why the production of yellow passion is not recommended for highland areas.
Birds and insect pests: Too many birds and insects pests can also cause flower drops in passion fruit orchard, they therefore be controlled mainly at the flowering stage.
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