Papaya trees - Knowledgebase Question

loxahatchee, Fl
Question by a16gd
October 18, 2009
I have 3 papata trees in my garden and they are all dying from some of something. I noticed a powdery things like tiny flies on the leaves. I need help quickly. Thank you.

Answer from NGA
October 18, 2009


I can't tell from your description just what the problem might be. But, here's what I know about the problems associated with growing papayas in Florida:
Papaya plants are attacked by a number of insect pests. The papaya fruit fly (Toxotrypana curvicauda), which lays eggs through the papaya fruit peel into the fruit cavity where the larvae feed and eventually emerge from the ruined fruit. This fly is commonly mistaken for a wasp due to its long abdomen and yellow and black markings. Fruit infested with papaya fruit fly may show yellow areas and may drop from the tree prematurely. The easiest control for this pest is to place a paper bag over individual fruit when they are small and leave the bag on until harvest.

The papaya webworm (Homolapalpia dalera) is mainly a pest of the developing fruit peel and papaya stem and is usually found in, on, or near the stem among the flowers and fruit. Control includes hand removal and hosing off the plant with a strong stream of water from a garden hose.

The papaya whitefly (Trialeuroides variabilis) is generally only a pest of the leaves causing, leaves to drop and reducing fruit production. Control includes removing infested leaves and applying appropriate pest control products.

The two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae) is a major pest of papaya leaves and may cause defoliation and early leaf drop. Symptoms include a browning of the leaf surfact and eventually upper leaf surfaces and skeletonizing of the leaf. For current control measures please contact your local County Extension Agent.

A number of nematode species (Meloidogyne incognita, Rotylenchulus reniformis). Nematodes are small, microscopic, worm-like organisms that feed on papaya plant roots, causing plants to decline in vigor and making more plants more susceptible to toppling over because of the loss of roots. Papaya plants should be planted in areas with clean soil, avoiding areas of the landscape with known nematode problems.

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporiodes) primarily attacks the maturing fruit. Symptoms include small water-soaked spots that enlarge, turn brown or black and become sunken. Eventually the fungus grows into the fruit tissue, ruining it for consumption. Contact your local County Extension Agent for current control recommendations.

Powdery mildew (Oidium caricae) is primarily a disease of the leaves in Florida. A superficial white growth on the leaf surfaces leads to small, light yellow spots on the lower surfaces of the leaves. Next, pale yellow spots appear on the upper leaf surfaces. Eventually, dead leaf areas fall out of the leaves, giving them a shot-hole effect. Control includes removing infested leaves and removing them from near the plants.

Hope this information helps you determine just what the problem might be!

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:



[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Crocosmia 'Lucifer'"