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Chili Pepper Flower Dropping!!!

Flower drop in chili pepper is a very common problem, and there are lots of threads talking about this issue. However, I have tried on every advice that I saw from the internet to solve this problem but it still is not working.

Around three months ago, I started to plant my Thai chili pepper from seeds. There are like 30+ flower buds in one plant, but every one of them just fell off after blooming for one day.

Soil: EcoTerra organic soil
Fertilizer: Hyponex vegetable fertilizer (N:P:K = 8:12:6) and bone meal
Daily temperature range: 26C to 31C
Air humidity: ~80 - 90% per day (should be more than enough!)
Lighting: indoor, but supplemented with bright LED lights

I know that some say over-watering is a major reason for flowers to drop, but the matter is, I tried refraining from watering for a day or so, and the leaves soften and show signs of dehygration immediately. I wonder if I should still stop watering (as some may water it only twice per week)? 

Please advice!!! Thank you so much in advance!

Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532

    Are you in the uk?

    You seem to be putting a lot of tlc into your chili's without much reward.
    I treat mine about the same as my tomatoes.
    I sow in mpc in March and pot on as needed keeping them in the same conditions as the tomatoes and keeping them a little on the dry side..
    I only give them a seaweed drench every couple of weeks until the flowers appear, then I give them a weekly feed of tomorite, and a seaweed drench every 2 weeks.
    When the weather is warm enough they go into their final pot (10L) and live on the patio getting a tomorite feed weekly.
    I posted a photo yesterday of my Superchili here
    http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/problem-solving/diy-planter/1000147.html

    Your humidity seems very high at 80-90% 
    Why do you feel the need for supplemental led lighting?

    Last edited: 18 June 2017 14:25:02

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • kestrellkestrell Posts: 4
    Pete8 says:

    Are you in the uk?

    You seem to be putting a lot of tlc into your chili's without much reward.
    I treat mine about the same as my tomatoes.
    I sow in mpc in March and pot on as needed keeping them in the same conditions as the tomatoes and keeping them a little on the dry side..
    I only give them a seaweed drench every couple of weeks until the flowers appear, then I give them a weekly feed of tomorite, and a seaweed drench every 2 weeks.
    When the weather is warm enough they go into their final pot (10L) and live on the patio getting a tomorite feed weekly.
    I posted a photo yesterday of my Superchili here
    http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/problem-solving/diy-planter/1000147.html

    Your humidity seems very high at 80-90% 
    Why do you feel the need for supplemental led lighting?

    Last edited: 18 June 2017 14:25:02

    See original post

     Thank you for the advice! I live in Hong Kong, and that is why the humidity is inevitably high... I used LED light because I am only growing the plant indoors by the window. 

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532

    Sounds like you're probably overwatering then.
    I lift my pots to see how heavy they are and only when they feel light do I water them.
    The top leaves are often droopy for a while when they first appear, but seem fine as they mature.

    I wouldn't add blood, fish bone to a plant that is growing indoors. I'm not sure that the necessary bacteria and fungi are present in sufficient numbers to be able to work their magic in a pot of compost, and it may just rot in the pot adding to your problems.

    Is the led shining from above the plant? I vaguely recall something about light coming from the side can confuse the plant.

    I use Tomorite (the most popular tomato feed in the UK) with an NPK of 4:3:8

    I don't feed the plants at all until the flowers appear except with seaweed extract which is more of a tonic.

    Do flowers actually form and open on the plant or do they go yellow and drop off before opening?

    I just found this article which may help- 

    Why do the flowers on my chilli plant keep dropping off?

    This is a common problem if you are growing your plant indoors as a pot plant or in an enclosed environment
     such as a closed green house where there is little wind or movement of the flowers as they form. 
    Chillies are self pollinating – therefore they do not need insects or the wind to pollinate the flowers in order for fruit to form. However occasionally when the flowers are formed the stamen (male part of the flower) does not touch the pistil (female part of the flower) therefore they are sterile and drop off. If this happens with your plant either give it a regular gentle shake or move it outdoors on a warm breezy day to help nature and insects pollinate the flowers for you.

    From
    http://www.dartmoorchillifarm.com/storepage1526731.aspx

    Last edited: 18 June 2017 14:47:14

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • kestrellkestrell Posts: 4
    Pete8 says:

    Sounds like you're probably overwatering then.
    I lift my pots to see how heavy they are and only when they feel light do I water them.
    The top leaves are often droopy for a while when they first appear, but seem fine as they mature.

    I wouldn't add blood, fish bone to a plant that is growing indoors. I'm not sure that the necessary bacteria and fungi are present in sufficient numbers to be able to work their magic in a pot of compost, and it may just rot in the pot adding to your problems.

    Is the led shining from above the plant? I vaguely recall something about light coming from the side can confuse the plant.

    I use Tomorite (the most popular tomato feed in the UK) with an NPK of 4:3:8

    I don't feed the plants at all until the flowers appear except with seaweed extract which is more of a tonic.

    Do flowers actually form and open on the plant or do they go yellow and drop off before opening?

    See original post

    I'm really thankful for the useful replies in such a short time. The flowers form and open for about one day then they would get brown, wither then drop with the flower stalk turning slightly yellow... I have been pollinating them using cotton swabs and fine paintbrush.

    The top leaves are doing fine all the time, but the older leaves usually get soft and look dehydrated after two days without watering. This is the point where I am confused, am I over-watering the plant at all? I definitely do not want the leaves to die due to dehydration but they do look dehydrated within at least two days.

    The LED is shining from above all the time.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    Kestrell, the photosynthesis process does require a period of darkness to work properly, so I suggest turning off your lights for a period of at least 4 hours per day.  This might not solve the flower dropping issue but will result in better growth.

    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/tomatoes-grow-darkness-67767.html

    Last edited: 18 June 2017 15:01:42

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532

    All I can think of then is too much water. As I mentioned earlier, I only water my pots when they start to feel light and although I grow in a g/house or outdoors mine do fine.
    Early in the season I do find the flowers forming then opening then the flower and its stem turn yellow and drop off within a day or two. But after a couple of weeks as the weather warms and the greenhouse windows and doors are open (and the insects become abundant inside the greenhouse) this stops happening and the chilis start to form.

    As you're losing the battle at the moment, I'd suggest hold off with the watering until the pots start to feel light - there's nothing to loose. Chili come from a hot dry climate with abundant sun, not easy to reproduce indoors in HK :)
    If you're watering with tap water do you let it stand for 24hrs to allow the chlorine to gas off? 

    Next time don't add any BFB to the compost, I don't think that's helping at all.

    PS very much agree with Bob. I didn't read it that the light was always on, no more than 12-14 hrs a day max.

    Last edited: 18 June 2017 15:13:09

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • kestrellkestrell Posts: 4
    Pete8 says:

    All I can think of then is too much water. As I mentioned earlier, I only water my pots when they start to feel light and although I grow in a g/house or outdoors mine do fine.
    Early in the season I do find the flowers forming then opening then the flower and its stem turn yellow and drop off within a day or two. But after a couple of weeks as the weather warms and the greenhouse windows and doors are open (and the insects become abundant inside the greenhouse) this stops happening and the chilis start to form.

    As you're losing the battle at the moment, I'd suggest hold off with the watering until the pots start to feel light - there's nothing to loose. Chili come from a hot dry climate with abundant sun, not easy to reproduce indoors in HK :)
    If you're watering with tap water do you let it stand for 24hrs to allow the chlorine to gas off? 

    Next time don't add any BFB to the compost, I don't think that's helping at all.

    See original post

     Thanks for the reply again!! No, I do not let the water stand for 24 hrs, maybe I should do that!
    But yes, so far I have not tried reducing water, I should try doing this and wait for the result :)

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532

    Best of luck to you
    Let us know how you get on

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Kestrell, what became of your peppers.  Im just now getting caught up on this link and am curious if you figured out the flower drop issue

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