Indoor pepper plant flowers not becoming fruits


My pepper plants are inside a condo in downtown Toronto. They have many flowers but just fall on the soil, I use Q-Tips to sort of pollinate them but no results. Any advice or suggestions on what I can do to help them become fruits?

Also attached is the bamboo plant which I’m not able to grow and the leaves keep getting yellow. How do I properly care to make it grow? Thank you so much.




Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

First, about your pepper plants : In order for them to set fruit indoors you will need to replicate their outdoor growing conditions which can be challenging. Peppers in general need a lot of sun and heat, at least 6-8 hours of full sun daily during the growing season, daytime temperatures about 27 C and nighttime temperatures about 21C. A south facing window is ideal, and this might need to be supplemented with grow lights to provide additional light for a longer period since peppers are slow to mature (70-85 days in the right conditions from when they are 4-6” tall). Cooler temperatures slow their growth. They need pots large enough to allow room for their roots and that provide good drainage, and even and consistent watering. They will also need to be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer  eg. 15-15-15. Peppers are self-pollinating, and they must be successfully pollinated in order to set fruit. If the air circulation around the plants is insufficient, you could try putting them by an open window to catch a breeze to move the pollen, or use a fan on a low setting, or gently shake the plants, or hand pollinate as you have been doing to transfer pollen from the male part of the plant to the female part using a swab or small paintbrush. Here are a couple of sources of information about growing peppers:

Second, about your bamboo: From your picture it looks like what you have is Lucky Bamboo which is actually not bamboo at all. What you have is Dracena sanderiana, which is a tough plant that is easy to care for, grows very slowly and can be short-lived (a couple of years), especially if it is kept in water. I can’t tell from your picture if yours is in water, but if it is you should only use distilled water or rainwater because your plant is very sensitive to chemicals in our tap water like chlorine. The water should be changed every week or so and any algae should be cleaned out. The water should cover the roots and the container should also have some small stones for the roots to grow into. If your bamboo is in soil it should be moist and watered regularly (maybe weekly). Your plant needs bright indirect light, no direct sun because it will scorch.

It is normal for the leaves to be fairly widely spaced. The leaves on your plant may be yellowing because of the chemicals in the water (if it is in water), and it could also be that it would benefit from some fertilizer. It doesn’t need much, a weak solution of an all purpose liquid fertilizer applied a few times during the spring – summer. If your plant is in soil the yellowing leaves could also be an indication that it needs repotting to a pot that is a few inches bigger.

I can’t tell how tall your plant is but you might want to consider taking a cutting of the top piece and rooting it. Your plant will be smaller but may have renewed growth. This should be done when there are at least three nodes on the stem, two of which should be covered by the new soil. Here is some information on how to take a cutting and plant it :

 Here is a source with more information about your Lucky Bamboo and how to care for it :


Good luck with your pepper plants and your Lucky Bamboo!