Why tomato flowers fall off and how to save the harvest

Anna OnishchenkoNews
Why tomato flowers fall off . Source: freepik.com

Juicy and flavorful tomatoes are an integral part of many Ukrainian dishes, so it's no surprise that they are so often grown by people on their own. However, anyone who has a garden knows that this process requires considerable knowledge and effort.

One of the most common problems faced by gardeners is the falling and drying of flowers. My Vineyard magazine tells us how to deal with it.

Tomatoes are self-pollinating plants, meaning that their flowers have both male and female characteristics. This allows pollen to fall off freely and help set fruit, but sometimes, in greenhouse conditions, the flowers dry up and begin to fall off.

The most common causes

Unsuitable temperature in the greenhouse

In sunny summer weather, the temperature in the greenhouse can rise significantly. The heat has a bad effect on the ability of pollen to fertilize the flowers, causing them to wilt and fall off.

The temperature should not be allowed to drop below 15 degrees either, otherwise the pollen may not fully mature at all.

High humidity

At humidity levels above 75%, the structure of pollen changes. It begins to stick together and is no longer suitable for fertilization.

Poor pollination

If plants grow in the open field, pollination occurs naturally, namely with the help of wind or insects. Therefore, in greenhouse conditions, in the absence of garden factors, this process may not occur.

Poor quality seeds or wrong choice of variety

The first step to getting a good harvest is high-quality seed, so if you bought seeds from a dubious seller, it's no wonder that the plant grew weak and doesn't have the resources to bloom. Remember that seeds from a hybrid variety cannot produce a good harvest either.

In addition, you may be growing varieties in the greenhouse that are not suitable for the greenhouse climate.

Other reasons

Improper care of the crop, such as uneven watering or too much fertilizer, changes the structure of the flowers. Because of this, pollen cannot get inside. Other reasons include:

  • excessive amount of nitrogen in the soil
  • lack of nutrients
  • lack of magnesium and boron in the soil
  • fungal diseases due to stagnant water
  • too dense planting
  • lack of sunlight
Why tomato flowers fall off and how to save the harvest

What to do to save the harvest

Once you've figured out the cause of poor flowering, you should take action.

Stimulating spraying

Spraying with stimulant preparations can help preserve the flowers if the plants lack nutrients. You can use boric acid, for example. It will help the flowers to be pollinated and fertilized faster.

The treatment should be carried out twice: before and during flowering. If the problem is that there is no pollination, then specialized products will help.

Temperature regulation

If your plants suffer from too low temperatures, consider installing a heater or other heat source in the greenhouse. Or you can keep the heat inside better by adding an additional outer cover.

You can also control the temperature with water containers that would absorb excess heat during the day and release it at night. On a hot day, open all the doors and windows.

Humidity control

With insufficient watering, the soil dries up and cracks. At the same time, not enough air gets inside.

To keep the soil moist longer, you can mulch it. Also, tomatoes should be watered rarely but abundantly so that the entire soil is saturated with moisture.

If the humidity in the greenhouse is high, regular ventilation can help. In no case should condensation appear in the greenhouse and the plants get wet.


To allow pollinating insects to enter the greenhouse, you need to keep the windows and doors open. You can also put containers with sweet water or syrup next to the tomatoes to attract bumblebees, butterflies, etc.

In addition, you can install a fan in the greenhouse, shake the branches with inflorescences yourself, or use a brush to collect pollen and transfer it to unpollinated flowers.

Formation of bushes

If you don't keep an eye on the tomato bushes, they will start to grow strongly, and all the energy and nutrients will go not to the formation of fruits but to the growth of side shoots. Therefore, it is necessary to control the number of stems and branches.

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