blossom rotting - Knowledgebase Question

Dededo, Gu
Question by mveyonip
April 11, 2010
why is it that my tomato, eggplant and papaya's bossoms rot when I can see that my plants are all healthy

Answer from NGA
April 11, 2010


Are the blossoms themselves rotting without setting fruit? If so, it can be weather related or simply indicate lack of pollination. Without pollination, the flowers will not set fruit. Or, if the fruit begins to grow and then develops a rot on the blossom end, it is a physiological condition caused by a lack of calcium at the growing tip of the fruit. While your soil may have adequate calcium, fluctuations in soil moisture content from dry to wet really increase the incidence of blossom end rot. It is especially bad on the early fruit each summer and in sandy soils. The damage occurs as cells die at the tip of the fruit. In time (and as the fruit grows) the spots enlarge and turn black. So, by the time you see it, the damage actually has already occurred some time back. Remedies include: having a soil test to make sure calcium levels are adequate, adding organic matter to a sandy soil to increase its moisture holding capacity, keeping plants evenly moist, especially during the development of the first fruits (mulch helps maintain soil moisture), and spraying plants with a Blossom End Rot spray (contains calcium) which can usually be purchased from your local garden center. If you have an annual problem with blossom end rot, treat when the fruit reaches marble size. However, usually the other cultural practices will control the problem without the need for spraying.

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