how to cure blossom drop in hydroponic peppers and tomatoes

How to Cure Hydroponic Tomato and Pepper Blossom Drop

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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.

Pollination Issues

The one factor that may not be environmental is pollination. The first thing I consider when experiencing blossom drop is are the flowers are well pollinated.

Even if you’re growing outdoors, if you’re 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 hydroponic 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 stems.

It’s also a good idea to remove any dead or dropped leaves as these 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.

4 Answers

  1. Wally
    December 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Michael:
    Just read your info about tomato plants dropping blossoms because that is exactly what is happening to mine. I have gone down the list of possible causes and come up short. Yet common sense says there has to be a reason. My plants we’re growing rapidly to the point I just had to prune them to tame the growth down a little. I use General Hydroponic bloom series for my nutrients and the lights are Mars Hydro. Some are in the flood and drain system and some DW system. So I’m stumped. Do you have any other hints on this situation. Thanks.

    1. NoSoilSolutions
      December 16, 2020 at 10:29 pm

      Hey Wally,
      I wouldn’t have any other guesses besides the ones offered without knowing a little more. If temperature, humidity, and nutrients are all correct I would try to pollinate the flowers more.

      1. Wally Collett
        December 18, 2020 at 5:34 am

        Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to reply to my inquiries. It is greatly appreciate. I am happy to report that two of my three hydroponic tomato plants have started to produce. Perhaps the pruning has helped this. At any rate, I am very happy with that. And as usual your site continues to provide much helpful information on many hydroponic matters. Again, thank you and have a very safe and happy Christmas.

    2. Sean
      January 8, 2021 at 9:47 pm

      Hey Wally, I find it interesting that you are using a Mars Hydro. I too have a mars Hydro, TS600 to be exact. A few months ago, I got rid of a few DWC hydro peppers because I thought they had pest problems and my only budding plant kept dropping every bud. Fast forward to about a week ago and I moved my only remaining outside plant indoors. Previous to being moved inside, the plant had one pepper growing which is still growing. Since moving it inside, being placed under the Mars Hydro grow light, and repotted, it has dropped about 6 flowers which I have hand pollinated several times. Maybe I have been stressing the plant or maybe the mars hydro is not suitable for flowering plants.

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