Did you know?
- Tamarillos were once called Tree Tomatoes
- Native to South America
- Comes from the same family as tomatoes, potatoes and egg plant
- Peak harvest period is July and August
- Average life is seven years
- Excellent plant for a subtropical planting with its large hairy green leaves
- Excellent source of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants
- Great source of fibre & low in fat
Issue: My Tamarillo Tango tree is getting the following problems
- The branch is getting dark, withered.
- The leaves are getting withered and yellow, as well as shedding.
Could you please help me on the above issues? Very appreciative of your time.
Solution: It sounds like there has been some die back from the winter frosts/cold. Prune your plant back to remove the dead growth and shape your plant once the frosts have passed. In the meantime this unattractive dead material will help protect the plant from further frost damage. Tamarillos will shed their old leaves, this is natural. Feed your plant once spring arrives as explained on our website, www.edible.co.nz.
Issue: Three years ago we bought the above plant.
Last year we had over 80 beautiful fruits. This year the tree again had many fruits formed to a large size. We returned after a 10 day break to find that a branch with over 21 large fruit had fallen to the ground. Will the fruit ripen if left on the branch, or do we remove the fruit and place in a warm spot?
Solution: To my knowledge the fruit do not ripen off the tree. I am sorry but you have lost these fruit. You could use this unripe fruit in a Chutney recipe.
Issue: Hi, I'm wondering if you can help us make a decision whether to persevere with a Tamarillo we planted last spring in our edible garden. It has been annihilated by white fly and no amount of spraying has helped, it no longer has leaves but the stem still looks green and is 800mm high. We are in the Lakes subdivision which may help describe the type of soil we have, it is fairly compact and we will no doubt get the odd frost. Your advice would be appreciated.
Solution: These insects are a nuisance. At the weekend I was reading the latest NZ Gardener and a reader had written in about feeding her plants Yates Nature's Way Fish Emulsion on a group of plants that were attracting white fly. She wrote that she couldn't believe the whitefly disappeared. Try it. I would also feed your plant and mulch to retain moisture. You may need to protect from frosts. I hope this all helps. It will be a shame to pull it out.
Issue: I have just pulled out my now completely dead tamarillo plant, one of two which we planted last spring. The other is still alive, but struggling, I feel that these plants are not hardy enough. They may have been bred for wonderful flavour etc., but have been unable to thrive despite regular care and attention. They have been very susceptible to leaf disease and insect attack. They were purchased in very good condition. Initially they grew very fast and the growing tip was removed as instructed. Then the leaves began dying off and then whole branches died and were removed.
Solution: Over recent years tamarillos along with tomatoes and potatoes have been affected by the disease Liberibacter solanacearum. This disease is transmitted by the tomato potato Psyllid. The Psyllid is similar to a small cicada but the size of an aphid. It is a sap sucking insect and creates the following symptoms - tiny lumps on leaves, distorted shoots, and tip dieback, wilting and irregular browning.
The best control is to remove the plants and burn them including any fallen material.
DO NOT compost as this will continue the life cycle. Alternatives is Maverick spray available from your local garden centre. Spray every 7 days for 3 applications. Please follow the instructions on the container.
Click here to find out more about Tamarillo.