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Sweet pepper plant not producing

 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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I'm not sure if it's a sweet banana pepper or a corno di toro, as it was in a seed mix consisting of the two aforementioned peppers. About 8 weeks ago, my mother's dog knocked it with his tail and broke the top off. All was left were two leaves and about 9" of the stalk. I gave it a weak dose of fish emulsion fertilizer every 2 weeks. It went from two leaves to many branches, and upon those many branches, a multitude of flowers. It's been that way for at least 3 weeks. None of the flowers are producing. Could it be a nitrogen overload? I haven't fertilized it for a week, thinking that it could be the nitrogen. I also pruned the beast to remove the growing tips. Maybe it'll produce if it thinks it's not getting any more cat-food smelling goodies.

The plant is mostly shaded until noon, then gets strong light from 1pm to sunset (6.5 + hours). The soil has lots of wormy activity and gets plenty of water to compensate for the strong light and heat (today will be about 104). I give the branches gentle shakes to help stimulate pollination (was told they were like tomatoes and fairly self pollinating).

Any suggestions on how I can get those flowers to set fruit?
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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I think with 104 temps that is the culprit. I dont know that for sure, but my pepper plants never set fruit when the temps go above  the high 80's, into the 90's. Neither do the tomato plants.
 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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My tomatoes are producing pretty well, and they get more sun. Today was a hot flare, most days are in the upper 80s or low to mid 90s.

I thought peppers liked the heat?


The unpruned beast
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Closeup of branching and stump
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Flowers peeking out everywhere


 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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If they were getting really big with no flowers then Id def say too much N, but Im not sure. Mine did the same thing last year in a fresh compost bed, this year they did much better with no additional fertilizer. Sorry IM not much help.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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my peppers set fruit in temps far into the high 90's and low 100's. as it doesn't cool down less than that all summer long. and i have bumper crops of peppers every year.

try giving them some mineral rich fertilizer like kelp or rock dusts. which is usually the culprit for lack of fruit set in peppers imo. the hotter the better too.
 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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Cool, some solid advice
 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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Thank you both for chiming in, I do appreciate it.

Will try the kelp meal.

Question; would an over abundance of flowers keep a plant from producing since it's got a lot of energy going to a bunch of different places? Would pinching off a percentage of the flowers help the plant redirect energy into fruit production? Just a random thought.

Again, thank you both.

eta: I have other pepper plants that have begun to set fruit, but they are single-stalked with nowhere near the flowers as the beast.
 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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I think thats a great idea to try. We do it for fruit, why not peppers.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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because you get less peppers that way. don't thin the flowers. just feed the soil and let the plant do its thing. the only thing you should need to do is harvest.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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ah man, Im 0 for 2!
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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let some dolomitic limestone sit in a bucket of rainwater for a few days, stirring it each day... feed them that solution everyday in morning for a couple days. Phosphorus and calcium help make fruit and good skin on them once they show. It helped an ailing bell pepper bush i have. they respond well.
 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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I trimmed plant a bit since my lemon cuke was trying to escape the trellis and wrap its tendrils onto the pepper plant. There is still easily 50+ flowers on it, whereas the other pepper plants have maybe 8 flowers in various stages of development, tops.

blossom, up close and personal




 
George Lee
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On an Anaheim pepper plant of mine the blossoms look the same, so I don't know what to tell you. Mine are producing fine. See my above post for what worked for me.

 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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Will do, and thank you, LivingWind.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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im having doubts your pepper plant is even a pepper plant. looks more like a tomatillo to me.
 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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It grew on a single stalk until the dog broke the top off. It didn't start bushing out until the fish emulsion fertilizer treatment. At any rate, with the exception of color, the flower shape is identical to the other peppers in my garden.

...although I wouldn't mind a tomatillo plant. I make a mean chile verde!
 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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...and now some flowers are dropping off. Lack of pollination?
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Seren wrote:
...and now some flowers are dropping off. Lack of pollination?
Keep flowers and herbs around your peppers, even in pots.
 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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LivingWind wrote:
Keep flowers and herbs around your peppers, even in pots.


I've got marigolds planted around the pepper plants.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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ITS NOT A PEPPER PLANT!!! its a tomatillo plant. thats why you have no peppers.
 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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hubert cumberdale wrote:
ITS NOT A PEPPER PLANT!!! its a tomatillo plant. thats why you have no peppers.


At any rate, I have no sign of tomatillos, either.

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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that doesn't surprise me, they can be picky in where they are growing and just plain picky in general. some spots will give you tons of fruit, others nothing. around here they thrive on neglect. i just let them volunteer and grow all i do is harvest. when i try to plant them and care for them they do far worse as far as production goes.
 
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