You may have found the flowers of your plants on the ground, especially in the summer season. Therefore, in today’s article we are going to find out why the flowers of our plants fall off and what we can do to avoid it. In particular, we will see an example of flower drop in tomato crops.
Those of us who live day by day in the world of plants know that symptoms can come from different problems. For this reason, we are going to try to analyze them one by one so that you can identify which one is affecting your crops:
- Problems with pollination
Let’s start with one of the most common problems linked to flower drop: pollination. As you all know, if the flower is not fertilized there will be no fruit and therefore it will fall. In the case of tomato, let us remember that it is an autogamous plant, that is, it is pollinated by its own pollen in most cases.
Despite being self-pollinating, the tomato plant needs help to “vibrate” and make the pollen pass from the stamens to the pistil. Tomatoes grown outdoors are more easily pollinated by wind and insects. However, in tomatoes grown in greenhouses we sometimes encounter this kind of problem.
To help with this task we can create places that favor the presence of pollinating insects in our orchards (bee hotels, beneficial insect houses, etc.), buy boxes of pollinating bumblebees or by means of a home remedy (for example, “vibrating” the plant with an electric toothbrush).
- Flower drop due to lack of aeration
When plants are not well aerated, several problems appear: appearance of fungi, pollination problems, etc. As we mentioned in the previous point, the lack of aeration, especially in closed places such as greenhouses, will be an obstacle when it comes to pollinating the plants. And the flowers when not pollinated will fall to the ground.
To avoid this, it is recommended to open the doors and windows of the greenhouses from time to time. This will also help to maintain adequate temperatures inside the greenhouse.
- Abrupt temperature changes
Sudden changes in temperature are of no benefit to almost anyone. Neither do our plants. For that reason, if the thermal variation between day and night has been very pronounced during the flowering time it is not rare that we find flowers in the ground that have not supported these changes.
- Dehydration and very high temperatures
During the summer it is very common to find flowers fallen on the ground for no apparent reason. However, there is an explanation. When temperatures are very high (above 35 degrees during the day and 25 degrees at night) plants dehydrate quickly. The air during these days is usually hot and dry.
To avoid this state of dehydration of the plant we must increase irrigation during those days. In this way, the plant will not enter in hydric stress.
Other possible solutions are to place a shading net to reduce the temperature and sunburn on the plant.
- Very low temperatures
In the opposite case to the previous one, when temperatures are very low (below 12 degrees, depending on the variety) they can also affect the flowers of our plants.
On this occasion the solution will be to cover the plants during those days with plastic or other materials. If we have the plants in pots we can put them indoors or in a greenhouse.
- Excessive dryness or humidity
If the environment is excessively dry, we have a problem again. The pollen does not adhere well to the stigma of the flower and there will be problems in fertilization.
On the other hand, if there is too much humidity in the environment, the pollen will remain on the stamens or will agglomerate.
- Pests and diseases in flowers and plants
We have already seen in other articles how certain pests and diseases can attack the flowers of our plants. For example the flower thrips.
Pests and diseases affecting crop flowers are not usually the main reason for flower drop. However, if density or infection is high, they can cause serious crop damage.
Other crops with problems: Flower drop in peppers
In addition to tomato crops, bell pepper plants are also often affected by flower drop when conditions are not suitable.
We can also have problems of falling flowers of peppers.
The causes in this case we can say that they are practically the same: problems in pollination and fertilization of the plant, extreme temperatures, humidity, dryness, pests or diseases. Therefore, the remedies to avoid it will be similar.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.