Passionfruit problem

Feb 16, 2020
7
1
18
Climate
Sub-Tropical
My passionfruit is flowering like crazy and have only 2 fruit so far. All flowers have a chewed hole at the base of the flower.
Can anyone tell me whats getting in and not producing fruit.
 

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ClissAT

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Sep 27, 2015
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It's a blossom grub beavering into the embryo.
Not a lot you can do if you don't want to use chemical repellents.
Because the vine extends across a wide area, its hard together it all up to use some sort of natural repellant such as a micronet.

Lots of moths around this year. Everyone is having issues of some sort with them. It's just the seasons.
We all want rain but with rain will come another host of insect attack of a different type.
 
Feb 16, 2020
7
1
18
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Thanks for helping CLissAT.
Will this do the trick......Yates Mavrik for chewing in sucking insects?
 

ClissAT

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I'm not sure it will work Richard. The moth comes along attracted by the ultraviolet registration in the flower and lays an egg directly into the base of the flower in the ovary.
The grub never is in contact with the outside of the flower or the leaves of the vine.
Whatever you sprayed would have to be systemic and something you would spray every so many weeks from maybe when the plant was 3mths of age so the poison was in the cells of the flower.

I'm not sure if the moth is attracted to that particular flower once it begins to open or whether she is attracted to the vine in general because she sees the ultraviolet glow from other open flowers, then finds one that isn't open to lay her egg.
So perhaps she hunts for an immature flower to lay her egg. In any case, she wouldn't be repelled by a contact spray. The grub might be killed by a systemic chemical within the cells of the fruit ova. But you have to weigh up whether you want to eat some chemical in every passionfruit you pick. Usually, we grow our own food so it doesn't have chemical in it.

So perhaps the best method of treatment might be an insect zapper installed close to the vine because all moths work at night time.

The other way to get fruit is to overload the moths with opportunity. In other words, have too many flowers so some don't get stung. That requires pruning the vine when young so it creates many, many branches all of which flower prolifically due to ample fertilization and watering, then keeping the whole vine tied together at around waist height so all the flowering ends are in close proximity and crowding each other. That way the moths will miss some flowers. But you will have to go along each day or two and hand pollinate every flower individually to be sure. Some will have grubs which you will find and remove those flowers. The rest will develop. You could try applying a fine mesh tomato bag to each flower then removing as the flower opens. This harks back to my comment about not being sure whether the moth lays before the flower opens or after. But give it a go to test and confirm.

Your situation Richard with your passionfruit is just one example of what is in store for the food growers of Australia over the next many months due to the preceding drought. These moths are the result of the drought we've been in for several years. And the drought has not broken since we are already back into drought conditions across all of the country again already. The pests are getting way out of control. So not only do farmers have CV19 worker issues, they have water shortages along with inconvenient and inconsistent weather conditions to worry about.
 
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Feb 16, 2020
7
1
18
Climate
Sub-Tropical
I wont go down the chemical route. Ill look into the fly zapper. One thing ive learnt growing fruit and veggies in Brisbane is to be patient and persistent. Beautiful weather to live in for us and insects. Thank you for the informative information CLissAT.:)
 

ClissAT

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Something I forgot to mention when I wrote of the fact these moths are the result of drought.
When nature puts on a huge fresh food protein feast for the wildlife, in this case mostly for the birds, it generally means rain is coming, sufficient to breed by anyway.
Sometimes it means an absolute deluge is coming and we've had that in this last decade twice with drought followed by torrential rains then drought again across parts of this country.
The sunspot activity is ramping up also which for Earth means more energy coming into our atmosphere and mixing up our weather, so I'm hoping for a general change to wetter seasons by next year. :thumbsup:
 
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