Why are my feijoa fruit small and the leaves dropping?

Q.

Hi Tui, our feijoa tree is producing fruit for the first time (4yrs old), we've had one large fruit ripen but the rest of various size are now dropping off. The tree doesn't seem to be overloaded by any means, is there any reason for this? Also, the leaves are falling as well which I thought would be natural in autumn/winter?

pete

A.

Hi Pete,

Is the tree a cutting grown or a grafted variety? 3-4 years is normal fruiting time for cutting grown or grafted feijoa varieties, a seedling (a tree grown from seed will be of unknown parentage) takes up to 6 years or more before fruiting.

Feijoas are relatively pest and disease free. Fruit size is usually dictated by the variety of feijoa planted, but can also be related to watering and feeding. Throughout the growing season frequent watering is beneficial to developing fruit. Regularly feed your tree with Tui citrus food or Tui Novatec which is boosted with potassium to promote flowering and fruiting. If you are in a frost prone area feed your tree in late summer/early autumn so that any new growth has time to harden off before frosts appear.

This summer has been particularly dry, while feijoas are very hardy trees, in excessively dry spells fruit size can be smaller and trees can drop their leaves at the end of the season, but will recover in spring. Feijoas have a very fibrous root system that is close to the surface. Mulching will help conserve soil moisture and protect the roots from frost and drought. Mulching around the tree with Tui Mulch & Feed or any suitable mulch such as pea straw in spring and summer will protect the roots and prevent the tree drying out as much. It is normal for evergreen trees to drop leaves, but not all at once, that is a sign that something else is going on – drought and sudden temperature drop are two possible causes.

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