Tomato flower buds without flowers - Knowledgebase Question

Durham, No
Question by titaniajuan
June 13, 2010
I have 3 tomato plants (all grown from seeds from the same fruit, which have produced normal plants before) that are forming flower buds that

Answer from NGA
June 13, 2010


Sounds like an attack from budworms. The adult lays an egg on or in the developing flower bud. The egg hatches into a little larvae and feeds on the petals of the flower. Then it makes a little exit hole, spins a web down to the soil a pupates. When it's time, it emerges as an adult. It's difficult to control the adults because they fly around and the larvae because they are protected inside the flower buds. You may be able to break the cycle by mulching over the surface of the soil or cultivating it lightly every few days to expose the pupae. Since tomato plants can be pollinated by the wind or by sharply tapping the branches with open flowers, you may be able to cover your tomatoes with floating row cover to exclude the flying insects and stop the damage to the flowers. Just remember to help transfer the pollen by tapping the branches when the flowers are open. Hope this helps!

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