Why Your Tomato Plant Is Not Flowering: 10 Reasons & Fixes
Tomatoes are a garden favorite, and for good reason! People love using tomatoes in their meals. Plus, tomato plants do not need that much space to grow, making them ideal for small gardens or as potted plants to keep inside your home.
However, at times, tomatoes may fail to flower, and this means you will not have any harvest but massive losses, especially if you are doing tomato farming for commercial purposes.
Knowing why your tomatoes are not flowering is necessary to help fix the problem. This article looks at how tomatoes grow, the major reasons your tomatoes are not flowering, solutions to each problem and other tips to increase productivity. Keep reading for a deeper insight!
How Tomatoes Grow
Tomatoes thrive well in warm weather. They require about six to eight hours of sunlight to grow. The crops don’t need ample space to grow well, so they can fit in your home garden, backyard, or any other indoor space in containers.
They are perennial crops; thus, they can thrive for over two years. Tomatoes are available in many cultivars, ranging in sizes, colors, shape, and time required to ripen. A single crop can yield up to 5 to 6 kilograms of fruit.
When planting tomatoes, don’t put them in the soil too early. The ideal time for planting is late spring and early summer. The flowers self-pollinate, so you only need a single crop to get several tomatoes. Besides, wind and bees help during the pollination process. It takes the crops one month to flower after transplanting into your garden.
The seedlings germinate for around one week or up to ten days. They take sixty days and not more than a hundred days, depending on the variety to harvest. To get the proper tomato harvest, you should grow at the required temperatures, water the vine as required, use suitable fertilizers, and protect it from pests.
The 10 Reasons Why Your Tomato Plant Is Not Flowering
1. Lack of Right Nutrients Quantity
Your tomatoes may fail to flower because of lacking the proper nutrients. The imbalance of nutrients in the soil will lead to no or poor flower development. On the other hand, excess nutrients can also harm your tomatoes. For example, tomatoes require enough phosphorus for flowers to form. However, excess phosphorus affects other micronutrients available to your crops, such as iron.
Similarly, excess boron affects your crops’ growth, but lack of it leads to poor pollination affecting the quality of pollen and the development of the pistil, the female part of the flower.
2. Insufficient Sun Exposure
Tomatoes need a lot of energy to develop flowers, and the sun is the primary energy source. With insufficient sunlight exposure, your crops will grow but will not produce flowers. You will note that your tomatoes are not getting enough sunlight when leaves start turning yellow or dark green and drop.
3. Excess Nitrogen
Tomatoes require nitrogen to promote cell and chlorophyll development. However, excess nitrogen can stop the development of flowers.
The problem may be caused by the excess application of fertilizers and manure in the soil. Nitrogen may also get into your soil naturally through atmospheric deposition in rainfall or from N fixation caused by bacteria and legumes.
4. Unfavorable Temperatures
Unfavorable conditions can make your tomatoes fail to flower. Daytime temperatures beyond 85 degrees Fahrenheit and low night temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit affect the flowering process. Such temperatures affect pollination leading to no flowering. Tomatoes blossom well at 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. It’s also worth noting that different varieties require distinct temperatures to flower.
5. Heavy Foliage
Tomatoes may also fail to flower due to heavy foliage that might prevent them from accessing enough sunlight. If you find more branches on tomatoes that are not flowering, it means that more energy is being diverted to that part producing the foliage.
Despite that tomatoes are hardy and can thrive without needing much care and maintenance, they can be affected by diseases. The diseases affect growth and hinder the development of flowers and fruits. The roots may be affected, making it hard for the plant to get water and nutrients from the soil. Other diseases may affect the leaves, hindering photosynthesis and leading to stunted growth and death of the plants. Some diseases include late blight, early blight, bacterial speck, Southern blight, etc.
Bacterial spots kill tomato plants, and because of this, they don’t flower.
7. Lack of Proper Pollination
Flowering in all plants results from pollination. Pollination allows the male and female seeds to get together to form blossoms. Without proper pollination, you cannot expect your tomatoes to flower.
While tomatoes can pollinate themselves, they are not the best self-pollinators. They require wind, airflow, and bees for effective pollination and allow flowering to occur. So, if your garden is located in an area where the three are unavailable, they may have difficulty flowering.
8. Insufficient Watering
Tomatoes require a lot of water. Water is essential as it helps control blossom end rot and the transportation of essential nutrients from roots to other parts. However, you should also avoid drenching your crops because this will affect their growth and production.
Insufficient watering causes the tomato leaves to turn yellow and wilt. This makes it impossible for the crops to carry out photosynthesis and transpiration. Eventually, the crops weaken and fail to blossom. Shallow watering can also stress your tomatoes because the deep root system fails to get enough water. This makes them fail to produce flowers, and the already formed ones start dropping.
9. Low or Excess Humidity
Humidity is critical to the health of your tomatoes. Excess humidity leads to fungal infections that affect the flowering process. On the other hand, low humidity and dryness make the pollen sticky. Both excess and low humidity make it hard for your tomatoes to pollinate, leading to no flower growth.
10. Pest Infestations
Tomatoes can be infested by various pests, including aphids, cutworms, flea beetles, hornworm snails, and slugs. Despite foraging on the crops, the pest can also cause diseases that hinder the flowering of your crops.
Tips to Improve the Productivity of Your Tomatoes
Despite ensuring that your tomatoes flower effectively, here are other tips to help boost your tomatoes’ productivity.
Flowering is a crucial phase of your tomatoes’ growth because it determines the yields you get from your garden. Problems such as poor nutrition, pest infestations, excess or low humidity, diseases, and others hinder effective flowering.
It’s good to ensure your tomatoes get the proper nutrients, sufficient water, the right humidity and temperatures. Also, ensure they are well pruned and protected against pests and diseases to aid proper flowering.
Besides, to increase productivity, you also need to plant high-quality seedlings, prepare your garden well before planting and choose a variety that does well in your area.
Featured Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay