The Q&A Archives: Bell Pepper Blossom Drop

Question: Do all types of peppers require the same nutrients in the soil? I am growing banana peppers, jalapenos, and cayenne peppers and they are producing alot of fruit. However, my bell peppers are not. They are flowering, but the flowers fall off. We use compost in the fall when we turn the garden over, and fertilizer (specifically for vegetables) in the spring when we prepare the soil for planting. I have been using Osmocote Food (14-14-14) to transplant the veggie plants we buy (we usually don't start ours from seed), and this year I watered in a 10-60-10 plant food just on the pepper plants (two or three times). This problem has occurred for the past three or so years. We have been vegetable gardening here for 14 years and always had great bell peppers until recently. Can you suggest anything?

Answer: Since most of your peppers are doing so well, I doubt that the problem is related to your soil or care. Rather, I suspect it is related to the specific variety of bell pepper you are growing. Temperatures over 90 degrees can cause blossom drop. Since many of the new hybrid cultivars are less susceptible to heat-related blossom drop than older open-pollinated cultivars, you may find that trying a different variety will solve the problem. Good luck with your bell peppers!

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