View Full Version : Why is my pepper dropping flowers?

09-02-2008, 04:46 PM
I recently built my own hydroponic system, consisting of two buckets stacked on top of each other, with nutrient constantly pumped from the bottom reservoir up to the medium and onto the roots, where it flows back down to the reservoir. I have a hot pepper in here, transplanted from the ground about 3 weeks ago. I am using a 7-9-5 grow nutrient, which I change every week. The system is located outside, in full sun for about 2/3 of the day. (The reservoir is only one gallon). After initially producing some flowers which never got pollinated, my pepper began to grow like crazy, growing almost 6 inches and putting out many brand new leaves and **** in less than a week. However, the small **** it produced have begun to drop off, even at the slightest touch. The **** are very pale green, and brown at the base where they come off the stem. I have asked around about what may be the problem, but I have no definite answers. The possibilities I have heard:

There is too much nitrogen in the solution, causing the plant to focus just on growing, leaving no energy for flower production. (No dark green leaves on my plant though)
The EC of the solution is too high, and should be closer to 1.
The nutrient solution heats up too much in the day, so that the plant can't absorb the nutrients. (I have white buckets that sit in the sun all day. Also, my medium is gravel, which retains heat very well. The solution becomes very warm to the touch by the end of the day)
I am using grow nutrient high in nitrogen, and should be using a bloom nutrient high in potassium and phosphorous.

If I had to guess, I would think I should try using a high quality bloom nutrient, as I have read peppers especially need this type. Being new to hydroponics though, I am just guessing.

David G.
09-21-2008, 12:16 AM
Those are all viable causes. I don't agree with the 1 EC, though; pepper plants can handle much higher levels than that. One point I didn't notice is pollination. Pepper flowers require pollination. If there aren't any bees or other pollinating insects around then you can tap the flowers when they appear fully open to try and pollinate them yourself.

09-21-2008, 02:45 PM
I've been doing various pepper plants in an aeroponics setup. 'blossom rot' is triggered by a variety of things...all of which point to a setup that isn't in harmony.

if the plants themselves look good, then its probably the temperature of the nutrient solution. sitting outside all day in the sun is no good.

my setup is indoors under a HID in my basement. my nutrient solution is pretty cool to the touch, probably 70-75F at most.

if you're in the 90's, that's a good chance its the problem.

09-29-2008, 08:44 AM
Flower drop probable causes:

1. Day temp too high >95F
2. Night temp too low <65F
3. Too much nitrogen fertilizer
4. Too much water
5. Low light levels (reduces fertility).
6. Very low humidity (reduces fertility)
7. Poor air circulation (air circulation contributes to pollination).
8. Lack of pollinating insects.
9. Size of pot
10. Too much mineral in feedwater.