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?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
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.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Leek starting woes
I'm having trouble getting my leeks going. A couple...
Woody Parsnips
What causes parsnips to develop wrinkly skin and woody...
Tomatoes in Autumn?
It's late summer, about to be autumn for me, and I...
Heather Riley
Best kind of mulch for vegetable garden
What kind of mulch is recommended for a veggie garden?...
What's the best way to fertilize/enrich a large garden plot?
I have a community garden I'm working on with over...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™