Flowers of hot pepper falling off plant – help?

(Question)

I have planted a hot pepper plant with another plant, but the flowers are fall down without turning into peppers.  A similar thing happened last year.  We are east facing and the plant has morning sunshine.  Can anybody help me?  Please let me know what is the problem.

 

(Answer)

There are several reasons why your pepper plant is dropping its flowers and not producing fruit.  From your picture, the plant looks healthy and appears to be planted in a container.  Below in point form are some of the things you should consider to remedy your situation.

1.   The temperature is too cold.  Optimal growing conditions require daytime temperatures of 85 degrees F / 29 degrees C, and night time temperatures of above 60 degrees F / 15 degrees C.  Here in Ontario, it may not be warm enough just yet for your plant to be productive.  Use of a black plastic mulch over the soil surface may help maintain soil temperature overnight.

2.   Poor Pollination.  Pepper plants need pollinators such as bees and butterflies to go from flower to flower in order to fertilize and create fruit.  Entice pollinators into your garden by planting bright coloured flowers close to the pepper plant.

3.   Uneven watering along with drought periods will cause flower drop.  Watering should be done regularly and deeply.  Try to avoid overhead watering / sprinkling in order to keep the plant leaves dry.

4.   Poor location.  Since your pepper plant is in a container, you can easily move it to provide more access to pollinators and to increase air circulation through the leaves.

5.   Fertilizing with a high Nitrogen (N) fertilizer will encourage leaf growth and not fruit production.  A fertilizer with a high Phosphorus (P) number or Bone Meal would be a much better choice.

6.   Use well drained but nutrient rich soil for your container.  You can up the organic matter by the addition of compost or sheep manure.

I hope these tips help.