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Bell peppers not fruiting?

Chris Dean

Joined: Nov 07, 2009
Posts: 108
Location: South New Mexico Mountains
I have several bell pepper plants that are doing very well--they're green and growing happily. They form blooms but then...never fruit. We had one fruit early in the season, but now nothing.

About ever 3-4 weeks I do a really gentle organic fertilizer (gentle meaning it's not extremely high in anything) and it's mulched with leaf litter. I water every other day in 100 degree heat or when the soil is no longer moist. Anyone know what I'm doing wrong?
Cj Sloane

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3582
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
If they are green and happy they may be getting too much nitrogen and that could be why they're not producing. Lay off feeding them. Hot peppers need to be a little stressed and you can lay off watering them. Not positive about bell peppers.

Chris Dean wrote:they're green and growing happily.

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John Polk

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6884
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
As a general rule, peppers should get no Nitrogen once they near blossom time. The N causes the plant to keep growing, and postpones blossom set/fruiting. A little P or K can be good at this time, but no N. (This is true for almost any annual that sets fruit.)

Frequent watering of peppers is a real no/no. They do best when stressed for forces them to set fruit..."We're gonna die soon...better have babies now!"

The way I judge my watering for peppers, is to hold back watering until I see the leaves begin to curl. Then, after the sun gets low in the sky, give them a good deep soaking so the deep roots can feed. Do not water again until the leaves curl again. Shallow, frequent watering feeds only the top roots, which are subjected to the hot sun all day. It can actually kill the plant in hot weather. Deep watering will feed the deeper roots, and produce a much healthier plant, which is not as easily harmed by scorching weather. It will also produce better fruit.

Nicole Castle

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
Most peppers will either fail to produce blossoms or will drop them if it's too hot -- generally over 90F although if your night have been cool it can offset the temp a bit. They will often drop small fruit as well. Here, I have to transplant out good sized plants early to get any fruit before fall. If I direct seed, they just sit and snooze -- beautifully green -- until the temp drops.

Hot peppers and banana peppers handle the heat and humidity in the South much better.

But yes, don't baby your peppers. They are quite drought tolerant and don't need much feeding.
Rion Mather

Joined: May 31, 2012
Posts: 644
I have read a couple places where peppers and tomatoes shut down over 86 degrees. My plants were late producers this year because of the unusual heat wave.
Cj Sloane

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3582
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
My peppers and tomatoes have no problem fruiting in temps well over 100 in my hoop house.

Night temps do drop into the 70s
subject: Bell peppers not fruiting?