Tomato Blooms Are Dying
-Tomato Blossom Drop-

by Bella
(Auburn, CA)


I have one tomato but the other buds just seem to be drying up. Lots of blooms but they die before fruit forms. What would cause this? The plant itself looks very healthy.


Hi Bella,

I'm SO glad you wrote to me about this problem you are having. Getting this answered will help many of our readers who might see the same thing in the future.
It sounds like you have Tomato Blossom Drop. This is where "something" (read more below) causes the tomato plant to shut down production of tomatoes. In other words, a problem comes into play, and the plant stops doing the unnecessary things and focuses only on staying alive. Plants are smart things. They know that producing fruit is not a requirement to survive.

Now for the "something" that would cause a plant to stop producing fruit.

The biggest cause, and most popular, is temperature! The ideal temperature for a tomato plant is between 55-85 degrees. Meaning the temperature doesn't drop below 55 at night, and doesn't go over 85 during the day. Plants can easily tolerate above 85 temps, but when it stays that way for several days, blossom drop can easily occur.

Again, the reason for the plant to stop sending nutrients to the flower, is that the plant has switched to a, "I need to stay alive" mentality... versus the normal life of producing tomato fruit.

A few other problems that can cause blossoms to dry up and fall off are:
Pollination problems
  • Lack of Sufficient water

  • Too much Nitrogen

  • Humidity
    is not normal

  • With the above, the pollination problem can occur when the temperature is extreme and insects that would normally do the pollinating job for us, are not around.

    With watering, make sure you do a deep watering. Too many times gardeners will water the soil enough to see it damp, and stop. Tomato plant roots are sometimes several feet down into the soil. Saturate the dirt enough that water will seep down far enough to reach those deep roots.

    If your tomato plants are in good compost, sometimes the nutrients they need are being supplied. So one would not need to fertilize. Nitrogen, which is in fertilizer, could be too high if the plant is already receiving an adequate amount.

    When humidity is not in the ideal range, pollination is interrupted. This is a subject for which I am not well educated on, but I just know that the pollination doesn't work the same as it would if humidity was right.

    With the first cause I talked about (extreme heat), the only thing that I could suggest, is the next time you purchase a tomato plant, try to find a heat tolerant variety. They are out there, you just have to hunt for them. Other than that, most of the reasons above, are out of your hands (humidity ,etc.). Let's hope with the info above though, you can adjust anything that's in your power and everything comes out alright.

    Okay, I hope this has helped out.
    Good Luck!!


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    Related Pages:

    Watering Tomatoes

    Tomato Plant Care

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