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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Grow Your Own: Chilli Plant Flower Drop

Having the flowers drop off of your prize chilli plant can be frustrating when you are all set to go for a great crop in your grow your own season. This is called blossom drop and happens to many other plants too. The reason is that the conditions are not right for the chili plant. Remember that some flower drop is natural so don't get too concerned if all your flowers don't become chillis!

Krakatoa Chilli Plant with Flower Drop

Over watering - Too Much love

Chilli plants hate to go paddling. Over watering causing the flowers to drop so it may be worth scaling back your watering to maybe just twice a week unless the plant obviously needs a top up. Timing this can be hard and I often don't water my plants correctly event when trying.

Lack of Pollination

This is perhaps the most common cause of flower drop and usually occurs when plants are grown inside like a windowsill or in a greenhouse. This is because inside there is a lack mini flying creatures to pollinate you plants.  Flies, bees or butterflies love to pollinate but obviously live outside.A simple quick solution is to pollinate manually by using a cotton bud or small paintbrush to dab pollen from one flower to the next and so on as each flower opens. You can tell if this has worked because just the petals will fall from the flower.The stalk and centre part of the flower will then produce the chilli. Continue to do this once a day for a couple of weeks and you should soon start to see some fruit setting.

Leaving Chilli to Ripen too Long
If your plant already has a few chillies on that are ripe and you have resisted eating them, be sure to pick them to encourage further fruit to set. If left on a plant when ripe, you may find that any new flowers drop failing to result in any new fruit as the plant uses it’s energy to maintain the fruit on the plant rather than produce any new chillies. So the choice is yours, a few ripe tasty chillis or a larger crop.

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  1. In the past I have usually growm some of my chillis indoors, and they always went through a stage early in the year when most of the flowers dropped off before the fruit set, but later in the season the setting rate was better. These days I grow them outdoos as soon as the weather allows, and the flower-drop rate is less. My first ones are setting now.

  2. Good advice thank you Mark. until recently i have only placed my plants outside if they looked doomed to die and a lot of them ended up doing very well in the end with most flowers staying on and high yields too. this year i will be brave enough to put most of my plants out when they are strong enough.

  3. I'm glad I clicked on to this page. You guys said exactly what I needed to know.

  4. I'm glad I clicked on to this page. You guys said exactly what I needed to know.