The Q&A Archives: Tomatillos Not Fruiting

Question: I have grown 5 tomatillo plants from seed, and all have flourished. Some are 5 feet tall, and all appear sturdy and healthy, with blooms everywhere. But no fruit has appeared. Any ideas?

Answer: Tomatillos, or husk tomatoes, have the same cultural requirements as tomatoes: fertile soil, ample soil moisture and a long, warm growing season. They need full sunlight. Mature fruit are produced in about 90 days.

I have had the same problem trying to grow tomatillos in the south during the heat of summer. I have noticed several possible causes: sometimes I think the heat may be affecting their fruit set like it does tomatoes, other times drought spells seemed to cause a major drop of blooms and young fruit, while other times it seemed that bugs were feeding on the blossoms and causing them to abort.

Check your plants carefully for signs of stink bugs or other pests which might warrant control.

Five feet is TALL for a tomatillo (even in Texas!). Excessive fertilization can cause plants to take off vegetatively at the expense of fruit setting.

If the problem doesn't go away soon, you might try replanting in July for a fall crop.

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