The Q&A Archives: Pepino

Question: I have a potted pepino plant which had several egg-shaped fruit when we purchased it. Now that the fruits have been harvested, its leaves are covered with white, tiny flies and are now shrinking and dropping. What can I do to revive the plant and make it healthy enough to bear more fruit?

Answer: Your plant is being attacked by whiteflies. If you look carefully under the leaves you will see small yellow/green scale-like things (the size of a typed "o"). These are the pupal stages of the insects. Whiteflies are effectively controlled by the lightweight summer oils and by organic products containing Neem.

It is important to direct sprays upward from beneath the plant for effective control. Be ready to repeat sprays in a week or so as needed. Spray early in the morning when temperatures are cool to avoid burning the plant. If the plant is indoors now, move it outside before spraying and leave it to dry for the day before bringing it back in.

Keep the plant well watered and fertilized to maintain vigor. Enjoy your pepino!

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