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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Phytophthora blight on Passion Fruit

Phytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica

Recognize the problem

The sickness is caused by a germ called "fungus". It affects both the yellow and purple passion fruit. The disease causes root rot, wilt, damping off and leaf blight.
Affected leaves are water-soaked and light-brown in colour. The leaves fall readily, leading to death of the vine.
Affected areas of the stem are first purple and later brown above the section where root plant and shoot plant are joined. This may totally weaken the stem leading to wilting and collapse of the vine. Sick fruits have large, water-soaked areas.


Fungal spores are initially produced in wet soil beneath the vines and are splashed up to the lower leaf canopy. The germ is favoured by wet, windy weather. Diseased fruits fall readily and in wet weather become covered with whitish growth.


Non-chemical control
  • Use rootstocks that are resistant to disease for grafting.
  • Prune the plant regularly to minimise moist climate around the vine canopy.
  • Mulching will minimize germ splash to the lower leaves.
  • Improve draining to help manage the disease.
  • Collect sick vines, leaves or fruits and burn them.
Chemical control
  • In areas where the sickness might be serious, spay with copper-based fungicides every 2-3 months during the wet weather.
  • Other fungicides that can be used include Famoxadone + Cymoxanil, Mancozeb and Metalaxyl + Mancozeb.

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: South Africa, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Kenya

Authors: This factsheet is based on information written for "The Passion Fruit Farming Handbook", first published by KENGAP HORTICULTURE, 2011.
Kengap Horticulture Ltd, P.O Box 12898-00400 Nairobi, Kenya
tel: +254 722 575544; +254 723 491549 email:;
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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