Buds falling off bell pepper plants

stev32k(Zone 8)May 5, 2010

I have two bell pepper plants in 20 gal containers one red and one green. Both plants look healthy and are growing well. The leaves are a deep green and there does not appear to be any problems, but all the buds are falling off. The buds will flower out then instead of setting little peppers they drop off the plant.

I have two tomato plants in the same size containers using the same potting soil and they are loaded with tomatoes.

Any ideas what the problem could be?

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In my experience this isn't uncommon early in the plant's life.

Some plants I've had keep those fruits and they were set so low on the plant the fruits touched the ground, but almost all of my early blooms fail.

I have never experienced this, but I have heard of people getting the occasional pepper plant that doesn't produce male pollen properly and continuously drops flowers. If it continues then you might want to check out an open flower to make sure there is pollen present. This seems to be very rare, though.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 5:04PM
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stev32k(Zone 8)

I thought it might be a pollination problem so I used a small camel hair brush and dabbed around the stamens on several blooms, but they all fell off anyway. Maybe I needed to do it more than once?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 5:52PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

It is called "Blossom Drop" - catchy name right? ;) I linked the FAQ on it below but you can find all sorts of info on it by using that as the search term.

Causes - "caused by the use of excess nitrogen fertilizers or dry windy conditions, but the most common cause is temperature extremes. Tomatoes, peppers and beans are especially picky about the air temps when it comes time to set fruit. If the night temps fall below 55 or rise above 75 or if the day temps are above 90, the pollen becomes tacky and non-viable. Pollination cannot occur. If the bloom isn't pollinated, the bloom dies and falls off."


Here is a link that might be useful: Blossom Drop FAQ

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 6:45PM
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stev32k(Zone 8)

We have had high wind, but it has not been dry (only about 2 miles from the Gulf of Mexico). The temps at night have been in the 60 - 72 F range. The daytime temps have not exceeded 83 so far. The tomato plants located close to the bell peppers are loaded with tomatoes and have not had a problem with blossom drop.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 8:26PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Then that leaves excess nitrogen fertilizer - had you fed them recently? Feeding before fruit set can cause blosson drop in peppers. Big bushy healthy looking plants with blossom drop usually means too much nitrogen. Feed after fruit set only.

Or the possibility of pests eg. thrips will cut off blooms. High humidity can play a role but if your tomatoes are still setting fruit the odds are against that being the cause.

Are the pepper plants located where the wind would affect them more than the tomatoes?

Any of these ring a bell?


    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 8:38PM
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stev32k(Zone 8)

Excess nitrogen might be the cause. The potting soil I used (Jungle Growth) said it would feed plants for 4 months. The tomatoes seem to love it and all the plants are growing like crazy. Maybe it is too much for the peppers.

Anything I can do except wait?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 9:00PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Anything I can do except wait?

Not really. But the plants will adjust with a little time and in your zone with the warm days coming it shouldn't take them long to settle in.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 9:49PM
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