What is blossom drop?

Blossom drop is a common growing problem that can be very frustrating. What happens is that tomato and pepper plants set flower blossoms, then they dry up and fall off the plant before the fruit is formed.


Why is this happening?

Tomatoes and peppers drop their blossoms when they are stressed out.


pepperblossomdrop.JPG

Temperature: This is the most common cause of blossom drop

Tomato plants are stressed if the high daytime temperature is above 85 F. or the high nighttime temperature is above 70 F. (flowers fall at around 80 F. ), or if the low nighttime temperature is below 55 F.  Individual varieties have different heat tolerances. Hybrid tomatoes are more heat tolerant, most being designed to withstand warmer climates.

Peppers can take a bit more heat, dropping flowers if the nighttime temperature goes over 86 F.

Daytime temperatures over 95 F. are problematic for both peppers and tomatoes.

Shade and leaf cover can save flowers that would drop in direct sun. This is why we recommend umbrellas up during high temperatures!


Moisture

Too dry or too wet, it is best to keep it nice and even. Similar symptoms can be caused by too dry or too wet conditions as well.

Tomatoes can have very deep roots. Shallow watering will stress and weaken the plants. Don’t love your plant to death by top watering!


Too much of a good thing!

When a tomato plant has too many blossoms, the remaining fruits are all competing for the food supplied by the plant and only the strongest will survive. The plant will automatically terminate some of its flowers.


Will my plant produce fruit if the blossoms have dropped?

Yes. When conditions are less extreme, a plant that has dropped its blossoms will flower again and be productive. Tomatoes & peppers grow best if daytime temperatures are between 70 F. and 85 F.