The Q&A Archives: Tomato Blossom Drop

Question: My tomato plants are healthy, but the flowers fall off after several days. The stems behind the flowers constrict, turn yellow and dry out.

Answer: It may be weather-related. Although tomatoes are considered a "heat loving" vegetable crop, extreme heat (70+ at night, 90+ during the day) can cause and pollen sterility and blossom drop. Lack of moisture also causes blossom drop. If you are experiencing a heat wave or dry spell, mulch the soil with straw or other organic material to help keep roots moist and cool. Another problem may be lack of pollination. Although tomatoes don't require insects pollinators, they do need some kind of disturbance to shake pollen from the blossom anthers to the pistils. Shake your plants a couple of times per day if you think this may be the reason. Sometimes you just have to wait out extreme weather, and plants will return to their normal flower-n-fruit habit.

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