What would cause flowers to fall off pepper plant?

Pepper, bell   

Hi.I have noticed this two years running. My bell pepper plant will produce lots of flowers, but they drop off without producing fruit. What could be causing this? I'd really appreciate the help.

Posted by: Nina R (1 point) Nina R
Posted: March 5, 2013


This could be due to lack of pollination. If there are not enough bees around to pollinate the flowers, they will fall off without producing fruit. Another cause may be temperature. I usually get lots of blossom production and fruit set later in the summer when temperatures are warm during the day and night, but don't usually get a lot of production from flowers set early in the season. Excess nitrogen fertilizer will also pre-dispose plants to allocate resources to leaf and shoot growth over flowers or fruit. Sometimes shifting the fertilizer regime to favor less nitrogen and more phosphorus (the "P" in "N-P-K" on your fertilizer label) will also help the plant to allocate more to blooms than leaves/shoots.

Peppers are also susceptible to blossom end rot, which is when immature fruits get what looks like a rotten splotch on the end where the flower petals connected, and may eventually fall off. This could be part of the problem you are experiencing. It is due to the inability of the plant to take up Calcium from the soil. You can see what the calcium levels are in your soil with a home soil test (usually available at gardening supply stores). To help the plants take up calcium effectively and allocate it to the developing fruits, again don't fertilize too much with nitrogen, and make sure plants are in nice soil that does not restrict root growth. Also make sure the plants don't dry out a lot in between waterings, since that messes with the consistency of root uptake of nutrients.

Posted by: Kerry Mauck (58 points) Kerry Mauck
Posted: March 6, 2013

Boron is also important for pollination.Calcium foliar application is also an option.Acidic soils tend to inhibit some nutrient uptake
about 8 years ago.

Nina, You don't say where you live, but peppers are very sensitive to temperature and soil moisture. Bell peppers are harder to grow in cool climates (especially when nights are cool), so make sure to choose varieties described as doing well in your area. Pepper breeders have come a long way in developing varieties that produce reliably in northern gardens.

Also, ask veteran vegetable gardeners in your neighborhood what pepper varieties have done well for them. I'm a big fan of getting to know and share information with other nearby growers.

Posted by: Peg Boyles (3 points) Peg Boyles
Posted: March 11, 2013

Peg Boyles commented,
I should have added that when I first started gardening 45 years ago, I had almost no luck growing peppers. Same problem--lots of blossoms and sometimes tiny fruits, but they'd all fall off.

Had my first success with Ace http://bit.ly/13RW34n; still one of the best for northern growers. Have also had great crops of Red Knight http://bit.ly/13RWewo and Snapper http://bit.ly/13RWnA2.

about 8 years ago.

I would have to agree with the above. I recommend a good soil test as well, but have a good one professionally done, with a full spectrum for micronutrients, and if offered microorganisms as well. $70 can end all of the guess work of whats really going on in your soil, which can save you a lot of heart ache, and money on amendments. Store bought kits are cool, but there really is a science to collecting your samples to get accurate readings, and there can always be little zones of different soil types that it wont cover.

Posted by: Built For Life Permaculture Design (3 points) Built For Life Permaculture Design
Posted: March 8, 2013

deactivated commented,
Edited to remove link - see https://www.plantvillage.com/faq#why_...
about 8 years ago.

High temperature, low temperature, boron deficiency and lack of pollinator insects are the main causes of the aborted flowers.

Posted by: Juan Tizcareño Iracheta (4 points) Juan Tizcareño Iracheta
Posted: February 5, 2017

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