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Dying tamarillo trees

    28 responses

Ann Bailey starts with ...
I have now had six tamarillo trees in total over a period of 8 years. Two were in the ground and both have perished. I then put one in a large pot and that has also perished. After this I purchased 3 together and now only have one left which has leaves on it. The 3 as above have never been out in the frost as I moved them all undercover at night time. All the tamarillo trees have ended up with something like a brown rot which starts at the top of the tree and makes it's way down. I am wondering if I am over watering them (pots seem to dry out very quickly) as I water all my pot plants every day. I was also advised to spray them with copper oxychloride which did not stop the rot. Help please as they are my favourite fruit.


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Ann Bailey
 
28th November 2012 4:12pm
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MaryT says...
Ann I feel for you. Sorry I don't really know how to help but I was given a tamarillo tree that I put in a pot and for years it just gave me hell. I moved it around, I gave it more attention than anything else because it was a gift from a good friend but it failed to thrive and threatened to die with every imaginable problem. Even my friend suggested a mercy killing. Now it's in the ground though I don't really have room, being crowded by black bamboo and a Davidsons plum and it's grown MASSIVE within weeks (from being a stick with a few half dead leaves).
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MaryT
Sydney
29th November 2012 6:11pm
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snottiegobble says...
Ann, tamarillos are not long lived plants. After, say 3 years of careful pruning & cutting back dead branches you will still find they have less,smaller fruit than previous years so taking cuttings or keep seeds is required if you want the same quality of previous years. They do appreciate a rich soil, but dont like wet feet. Their leaves being so big & soft will soon let you know when they need a drink by going floppy & soon recover once the tree is watered sufficiently!
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snottiegobble
South of Bunbury
30th November 2012 12:20am
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MaryT says...
SG mine has never flowered or fruited though it's more than three years old. Maybe it'll live forever? :)
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MaryT
Sydney
30th November 2012 7:47am
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
I have a huge crop on my orange fruited tree this year - can't wait to try some recipes I've been gathering in anticipation.
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phil@tyalgum
Murwillumbah
30th November 2012 9:01am
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MaryT says...
Recipes,Phil? Can they not be eaten fresh?
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MaryT
Sydney
30th November 2012 10:08am
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
A couple I am going to try are tamarillo poached in a light syrup plus roasted tamarillo fool - fresh is great but I will experiment with variations.
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phil@tyalgum
Murwillumbah
30th November 2012 10:16am
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Db says...
Phil, how does Orange tamarillo taste compares to Red? I'm growing one orange in pot but it is sick now, I bought it early this year and growing in 40cm pot, it has grown from 1 ft to 6 ft now, it gets water almost every day now and is in full shade... few days back I applied osmocote fertilizer (and also B&B few days before that) and now it has dropped 2-3 young leaves from tip of main stem by turning brown (no side branches at all), so I was thinking to transfer it in ground if I could find suitable space for it... But the red fruit that I tasted few months back was so sour that I couldn't eat it any further after tasting it, so I was wondering is orange really sweet or still very sour but just slightly milder than red... How does orange compares to red?
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Db
Brisbane
30th November 2012 10:21am
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
It doesn't seem to have that sharp flavour of the red, somewhat milder, wouldn't really say sweet though. Pleasant and complex - sometimes the reds can be a bit sour for me too. I also have a yellow but haven't had the chance to taste it so far.
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phil@tyalgum
Murwillumbah
30th November 2012 10:30am
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Linton says...
Tamarillos can't be grown in pot.

The Yellow variety is supposed to have the best flavour followed by the Orange and Red last.

I got 2 seedlings about 2 1/2 months agon and planted them in very large pots. They grew rapidly, vigorously and rampantly, and quickly became pot bound. I think this is because the root ball consists of matting-like fibres which completely fill the pot and don't allow the water to penetrate.

I took them out of the pots yesterday and planted them in the ground but I couldn't believe how much the fibrous roots had filled the pots and completely depleted all the soil!

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Linton
Springvale, Vic
30th November 2012 2:05pm
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BJ says...
I hate them all equally.
They dislike life in pots and grow well in groud if protected from wind. They are a very soft plant and the wind will prevent fruiting and often snap the tree. Mealy bugs, aphid and lots of scale pests attack the tree making it rather high maintainence. Even when poached in syrup I couldnt really eat the things with ice cream - it was like the worst rhubarb I've ever eaten... I've tried them a few times and in different ways and the only time I've liked them was in hot chutneys, salsas and jams where their flavour was completely masked.
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Theposterformerlyknownas
Brisbane
30th November 2012 2:15pm
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Db says...
Thanks Phil, Linton and BJ...

Looks like I will need to move it in ground if I want it to be fruited... I know they like to be in shade but can it fruit in full shade? I have one tight space on fence line in between our and neighbor's house (so wind protected) but this space hardly gets any sun (now a days I think it gets late afternoon sun)..
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Db
Brisbane
30th November 2012 2:40pm
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BJ says...
They can grow in some sun. Go check out Northey Street if you have a chance. They have a few dotted around the garden in sun and shade and full of fruit.
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Theposterformerlyknownas
Brisbane
30th November 2012 2:47pm
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juanita says...
I let my tamarillos drop to the ground & collect it from there, that way they become sweeter
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juanita
melbourne
1st December 2012 1:43am
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VF says...
As a kid I hated them, but I've since acquired a taste for them - quite reminiscent of passionfruit to me. I buy from local market and there seems to be some reds that are of sweeter strains, yellows always milder in taste. If I buy from grower with more tart fruit, I let fruit sit in bowl until starting to shrivel, and most of the time the fruit will become much sweeter. Hard to tell ripeness by skin colour alone as I've had deep red ones which made my hair stand on end, and others that had green tinge or pale that were quite good. Am now growing a few seedlings from sweeter fruit.
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VF
Wongawallan
1st December 2012 6:46am
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Db says...
Orange tamarillo that I'm growing in pot is dying.. I bought it early this year and thrived till recently, grown from 1 ft to 6 ft tall... I water it every day as potting mix becomes dry quickly... Pot is sitting in my alfresco so it almost in full shade and only gets sun for 1 to max 2 hours in late afternoon... Recently I applied Osmocote slow release fertilizer and it started wilting leaves after few days... First new growth stopped growing, it dropped 2-3 tiny leaves from the tip of only branch and now whole plant is wilted completely... I removed mulch and those slow release fertilizers (I had applied it on the top of mulch).. Is there anything I can do to save it while in pot, I may not be able to transfer it in ground for next couple of weeks.. I have tried giving seasol but no use, from the top soil it looks like roots are circulating this 40cm pot.. What can I do to save it? Is it ok to take cutting from top end to try to strike and start all over again (considering its already wilted)??
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Db
Brisbane
6th December 2012 9:31am
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snottiegobble says...
Tamas grow very quickly & so do their roots so there is every chance the water & nutrients you are providing are slipping down the inside of the pot & not getting to the roots. If you must wait 2 weeks before trans. to ground I would suggest using saturation granules round the plant so the water goes where it is needed!
When you do transplant you will need to cut off any entanglement of roots that may affect the natural growth of the tree so it will be able to stand high winds by having well spread roots in every direction! Tamarillo trees are only good for about 4 years anyway so taking cuttings or saving fruit for seeds are a good investment!
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snottiegobble
South of Bunbury
7th December 2012 10:23pm
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VF says...
Hi Db, if your plant does cark it I have a couple of spare seedlings (red and orange) which you're welcome to.
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VF
Wongawallan
8th December 2012 6:47am
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Db says...
Thanks SG for useful tips and thanks VF for your offer. Let's see how mine goes and I'll contact you VF again if mine dies. Does seedling tamarillo also starts fruiting early or does it longer time as compared to one grown from cutting?
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Db
Brisbane
9th December 2012 8:10am
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VF says...
You're welcome Db, offer stands. Seedlings take about 18 months to start fruiting from what I've been told. I assume cuttings would take less time, but I don't know to be honest.
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VF
Wongawallan
10th December 2012 6:48am
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denise1 says...
cuttings grown from the canopy will form a bush closer to the ground and without the tall trunk. It makes picking, pruning etc much easier and also offers shade to the ground.
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denise1
auckland NZ
10th December 2012 7:54am
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Db says...
My orange tamarillo has died :(
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Db
Brisbane
18th December 2012 2:55pm
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VF says...
Db, if you want replacement (I can give you orange and red), leave contact details and I'll get back to you.
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VF
Wongawallan
20th December 2012 8:12am
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Db says...
Thanks VF, I'm going try to strike couple of cuttings of my tamarillo, it's not completely dead yet, all leaves has been dropped and top half of main stem is wilted, so it's on the verge of death. Tonight I'm goning to take couple of cuttings from base stem to strike. If it is successful then no worries, if not, I'll surely contact you to get seedlings or cuttings if you have.I really appreciate your help, cheers.
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Db
Brisbane
20th December 2012 8:40am
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VF says...
Good luck!
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VF
Wongawallan
20th December 2012 4:05pm
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Jafa says...
I bought my 3rd tree a few months ago at about 40 cm tall & had it in a pot for a couple of months where it grew to about 75cm 7 was doing great. Planted it into a sheltered, raised garden bed & it loved it. Now at around 150cm it has suddenly had all leaves die & is going the same way the previous two trees have. Enough is enough. I grew up in NZ with healthy trees that needed no special care & they produced huge quantities of fruit. I think it is just too hot for them in most areas of Australia.
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Jafa
Urangan
25th December 2015 1:03pm
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Julie W says...
Jafa, I find they cope with the heat, but don't like too much direct sun. Morning sun in summer seems to be OK.

A commercial Tamarillo grower in my area grows them under shadecloth.
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Julie W
Roleystone WA
27th December 2015 3:36pm
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Rob. says...
Hi, I have a healthy tamarillo tree growing in South Gippsland (Vic) which fruits prolifically but the seeds are teeth shattering hard. Is there a reason for this or do I have the wrong variety. Appreciate any help. Rob.
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Rob23
Foster (Vic)
21st February 2017 12:25pm
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GlenMac says...
My tamarillo tree is dying ... very disappointing because it has more than 100 fruit. I've been watering every day but it's in full sun in hot western Sydney. I have it growing in a small Aldi raised bed. Put it in that because my previous tamarillo died overnight and it was in the ground. (I know that they are prone to quick death from a root disease and so I was trying to prevent that. My soil is a mix of pigeon manure and mushroom compost - entirely). I do have cuttings from this tamarillo growing in an adjacent raised bed (with same manure/compost mix) and they are flowering and flourishing while also in full sun. A tip to stop branches being ripped off in wind ... prune tree to prevent branches spreading too wide. And use pantyhose to tie branches to trunk, giving more support. In South America farmers also tie trees to posts for support. I hope this YouTube video (from Bolivia or Colombia) will help people to success with tamarillo. I'm a Kiwi who would love a big crop after too many failures in Sydney. (No English subtitles but I learnt a lot from this video). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFFySw3LhIc
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GlenMac
Kings Langley
5th January 2018 1:50am
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