Part III pepper plants still not flowering

newindcJuly 19, 2007


I've posted two previous messages and received some helpful feedback. I have one each red, yellow, and green pepper plant growing in an earth box. Of the three plants, not one has set flowers since I planted in May! They continue to grow up and add new leaves and look very healthy, however. Many of you said that this could not be due to too much nitrogen, as I only used about half of the package of the fertilizer that came with the earth box. I also have the cover on the box as per the instructions. Several of you suggested patience...but my last posting was July 4 and there's still no change!

So--what should I try next? Is there any sense in cutting them down radically? Or in trying to take out the fertilizer strip in the earth box?



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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

Just try a foliar feeding with a water soluble fertilizer labeled as a "Bloom Booster" or add some superphosphate to the earthbox if possible. Walmart has their own brand of water soluble bloom booster formula or look for Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster or Miracle-Gro 15-30-15.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 1:56PM
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I would shy away from any of the "booster", because the plants is growing very rigorously as you indicated. Make sure they are watered everyday on these hot summer days. Do they show distress under the hot sun? Try water them in the early morning.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 2:22PM
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Thanks for the responses. The plants are showing absolutely no distress. I do water the earth box daily, usually in the early morning or late at night. The plants receive about 5 hours of sunlight on my balcony--they are on a SE corner and get late morning and early to mid afternoon light. Any more thoughts??

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 2:44PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

Annie-lee, there are 3 plants in 1 container and the poster used only half the amount of fertilizer recommended. Unless it's lack of sunlight, one dose of 15-30-15 is by no means too much for this combo. If they used a teaspoon in a gallon of water, this would be equivalent to 5-10-5. If they used a tablespoon, it would be like using a teaspoon of 5-10-5 per plant.

The term "bloom booster" is somewhat misleading because most bloom boosters are closer to 10-52-8, or 10-52-10. Miracle-Gro changed their names on some of their products and the old "All Purpose" 15-30-15 they now call the "bloom booster" and the "All Purpose" now has too much nitrogen imbalance for fruiting plants like tomatoes & peppers. It's easier to find Miracle-Gro 15-30-15 than Sam's Choice 10-52-10...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 3:05PM
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5 hours of sun? That's too little sun for any fruit producing veggies. Can you move them to where they can get more sun?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 3:38PM
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I still suggest you be patient. The 12 different varieties of peppers we planted in our public demonstration garden were planted in May and none have flowers. Don't cut them, they'll take even longer.

Seriously, have faith in nature and the genetic code that tells the plant when it is mature enough and ready each stage of it's life cycle.

I don't think you need to cover but if you do decide to take it off, make sure you do it gradually to harden them off to the elements.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 5:58PM
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I missed the part about limited sun... yes, definitely move them to an area where they get at least 8 hours of direct full sun or supplement with really good grow lights.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 6:57PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

What are the actual variety names?

I planted my peppers June 8th thru 16th and already have some fruits 6-9" long...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 7:01PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

-- The plants receive about 5 hours of sunlight on my balcony--they are on a SE corner and get late morning and early to mid afternoon light. Any more thoughts??

Sure, Make sure this is DIRECT sunlight as in no shadows (unobstructed). Peppers like heat and need FULL sun with min. 6-8 hours of DIRECT sunlight.

I am not sure what the ref. to a cover was about. Why would peppers be covered this time of year?

I remember one year planting tomatoes in a neighbors yard. Tomatoes looked great, a lush green, bushy, plenty of blossoms, just NO fruit. Went half the season trying to figure out why.

Finally, someone mentioned sunlight, I said sure they are out in the open and get sunlight ALL day. When I timed it, they were getting DIRECT sun for an hour & half. Problem solved.

The plants were out in the open but trees bordering the yard were blocking the sun the rest of the day.

Do yourself a favor....

Good Luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: Capsicum annuum and C. frutescens

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:54PM
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You can get triple phosphate (0 - 46 - 0) for a bloom booster for under $10 from a local Do-It Best affiliated hardware store. No nitrogen so if too much nitrogen is the problem, you won't be adding to it.

If they're bell peppers they could just be taking more time to set fruit - they take longer than hot peppers.


For a store near you.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:55AM
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Hey, I just thought - are you getting blossom drop? If so, then you could try a little bit of Epsom salts.

Maybe someone already asked this, but what did you use for planting medium?


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:58AM
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I just noticed this post and was drawn to it as i am sort of having the same problem. my pepper plants that get full sun for about 10-12 hours are not growing at all. theyve been stunted since may also. we started these in my bosses greenhouse back in late march or april. his are gorgoeus with huge peppers. mine are jalapeno, north star bell and anaheims. the peppers I put in the flower garden as i ran out of room in the veggie beds (went onion crazy) are doing great! they are growing fine and they don't get quite as much sun. they all recieved the same amount of fertilizer. is this wierd or what? I am not gonna have enough peppers for salsa next month at this rate. and i refuse to pay $6 a pound for anaheims!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 11:08AM
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So you get enough sun. But you may have different problems. Your soil may not be good enough. Your pepper plants may had been stunted since seedlings. There is no hope for a pepper plant once it is stunted, so I woulndn't mind to pull one up and see whether it has a rigorous root system. I doubt it. Also do you water it enough? IMO it is much more important for peppers to have adquate water than fertilizer.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 11:38AM
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I too am patiently waiting for my peppers (red beauties) to do their thing. I planted 4 and 2 set 1 fruit each pretty early on. Since then not a single blossom. The 3rd set 1 fruit about 3 weeks ago and another two weeks ago. The 4th set fruit about a month ago and hasn't had a blossom since. That's it. I had plenty of blossoms early on but nothing's been happening since those 1st fruits set. C'mon peppers!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:18PM
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my peppers were about a ft tall and looked awesome when i planted them. and I have great soil. everything else is huge. what i am thinking and i could be wrong is that i overlaid the entire garden (all raised beds) with well aged dairy compost. i do not till it in because i do not want to harm all the beneficial worms. maybe the peppers do not like the compost. i've done this for years and the peppers are the only thing i have problems with. about 5 yrs ago i had peppers coming out my ears!!! I put the compost on all my flower beds also but in the particular flower bed i put the other peppers it did not get quite as much cuz i ran out of compost. i had already put down 16 yrds of compost and just couldnt get any more. anyway, that is just a theory of course. i am not going to give up on them quite yet.
thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:35PM
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