Are your hydroponic tomatoes or peppers flowering, only to have the flowers fall off instead of producing fruit? You’re probably experiencing blossom drop. Here’s how to solve it!
What Exactly Is Blossom Drop?
So what exactly is blossom drop? It’s frustrating! Here’s the scenario…
You’ve made it to the flowering stage. Flowers are growing all over your plant, but instead of the flowers producing fruit, they break off and fall to the ground.
Some plants have flowers that are supposed to fall off, like the male flowers of squash. Plants like peppers and tomatoes are self pollinators so all of their flowers can produce fruit.
Every lost flower is a lost tomato or pepper! Time to get it fixed…
How To Cure And Prevent Blossom Drop In Your Hydroponic Garden
Blossom drop can be caused by a variety of factors that are mostly environmental. Learning what causes blossom drop is how you can cure and prevent it. Then you can go down the list of possible causes and compare them to the conditions in your hydroponic garden.
The one factor that may not be environmental is pollination. The first thing I consider when experiencing blossom drop is are the flowers being well pollinated.
Even if your growing outdoors, if your experiencing blossom drop I would recommend hand-pollinating flowers several times to make sure they are well pollinated.
If flowers are well pollinated then it’s time to look at some of the environmental factors that may be causing blossom drop.
Temperatures that are too high or too low
The temperature has a major effect on plant processes.
Temperature can be easily regulated in indoor gardens, but this becomes more difficult with outdoor hydroponics gardens if not in a greenhouse. You can try using a shade clothe if plants are receiving too much sun.
Too much Nitrogen
Using the wrong nutrient regimen can cause blossom drop in your hydroponic garden.
During the flowering stage of hydroponics, plants need a nutrient regimen high in potassium and phosphorus with less nitrogen. At this time it’s important to be using a “bloom formula“.
Stress from insect damage or disease
Pests and diseases have major effects on plants. When being attacked pants will often stop growing and producing.
Make sure to check over your garden often for any signs of pests and disease. Make sure there is proper airflow through the plants, and there are no bugs on the leaves, roots, and stem.
It’s also a good idea to remove any dead or dropped leaves as these an attract pests and diseases as well.
Humidity that’s too high or too low
When humidity is not in the 40%-70% range, it can lead to issues with flower pollination. Outside of this range pollen has trouble both releasing and sticking.
Lack of water
Lack of water is typically not a problem in hydroponic gardens. Make sure your grow medium stays moist if watering is set up on a timer.
Blossom drop can be frustrating, especially for new gardeners that may not be familiar with it.
If you notice that well-pollinated flowers are falling off your plant tomatoes or pepper plants, go down the list of environmental factors to narrow down which is adversely affecting your hydroponic garden.