Will my bell peppers produce fruit?

basilette(8b)June 4, 2008

So I've got two bell pepper plants, "Big Bertha" and "Summer gold," that haven't started producing fruit yet. I planted them in mid-March in soil that had been prepared with a 4-6-6 organic fertilizer. They get full sun, and they are right next to 3 hot pepper plants that have been producing well for a couple months already.

These bells have flowered, and they should have reached maturity about 20 days ago, according to the labels. In May I fed them with a 6-12-6 liquid fertilizer. Are these guys gonna fruit or what?

Only thing I can figure is that they have been stressed out - we got a couple 40-degree days about a week after I planted them, and they have been through 2 hail storms that ripped off a few of their leaves. Also, temps have been about 10 degrees hotter than average here for the past week or two. But the hot peppers went through the same things, and they are just dandy! Where did I go wrong?

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wild_forager

I'm going to take a guess and say those 40 degree nights did them in. Peppers are very sensitive to cold. Were the hot peppers put in at the same time or later?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 10:45AM
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westtexan(7b)

It could also be the temps are too high. You said it has been 10 degrees warmer than average. If it's been consistently in the mid to upper 90s, I have found that bell peppers don't get pollinated. It's happening to me now. The hot peppers are still able to, but not the bells. I transplanted some bells in April last year and didn't get any fruit until late Sept. If I could find some shade cloth at a good price, I might try that this summer.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:18AM
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billv(z6 WVA)

Don't give up on them yet. I have had unusually late bell pepper crops in two of the last three years and they came through in late Aug-early Sept. I did nothing but keep the plants watered and they finally came on. I should add that my suggestion to not give up is based partly on what would for me be a lack of alternatives at a point in the season(after flowering) comparable to where you seem to be.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:35AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Peppers are self-fertile, they pollinate themselves. But high temps - 90 degrees plus days or below 55 degree nights - turns the pollen tacky and infertile just as with tomatoes. So what have your day and night time temps been?

Some hot pepper varieties will tolerate the heat and still set fruit much better than sweets or bells.

It is called "blossom drop" and there is a FAQ here all about it that a search will pull up for you or you can just click on the FAQ link on the forum front page.

Also may want to keep in mind that planting peppers too early (before the soil temps are in the mid-70's) can often lead to stunted growth and poor production. So next year, check your soil temps before planting. If the soil is warm enough, they will tolerate the cooler air temps with no problems.

I'd give them some time because once the day air temps cool off a bit they will set fruit.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:39AM
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ristau5741(6)

for millions of years, plants have survived by producing fruits, genetically programmed and a desire to procreate,
they will fruit, they must, or die trying, its in the genetic code.

To what extent remains unknown.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 12:06PM
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basilette(8b)

Thanks for the input guys ... I'm sure the wacky temps have had something to do with it. I did plant all my peppers (bell and hot) at the same time ... they had 2 cold days shortly after planting, then mild temps (70-80 degree days, 50-70 degree nights) up until about 2 weeks ago. We've had quite a few mid-90s+ days since then (thank you Texas sun)!

Do they need more supplemental water during high-90s temps than hot peppers do?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 1:05PM
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mrmulcher

they will produce just have some patience if you have alot of bees around they will produce faster i grew some in pots last year and the temp was well above 95 and they produced more than i wanted to eat just give them time...as for fertilizer try some fish emulsion and seaweed mixed together and spray the solution on your plants after they have cooled down from the sun

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 2:40PM
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desertgirl

Last year, my bells did not produce any peppers until late summer/early fall when the weather finally cooled down. The crop was pretty decent when they did decide to fruit though. My hot peppers produced all summer.

This year, I planted my garden mid-March, same as last year. Most everything is thriving, flowering, and fruiting up a storm. Except my peppers...they are only about 4 inches tall. Not sure what is going on, but I'll wait it out and see if they have a growth spurt...not sure what else I can do?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 7:44PM
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