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Cayenne Pepper Plants

Q.Blossom stems on pepper plants turn yellow and fall off

Zone North New Jersey | JimM added on May 30, 2012 | Answered

I have 5 different varieties of hot peppers planted in about 12″ pots. I noticed first on the cayenne peppers that once the blossom matures and a small fruit starts, the stem turns yellow and falls off. The plants have several blossoms and I noticed this starting on another variety. Four of the potted plants seem to drain OK. I enlarged the drain holes on the cayenne, which probably was too wet. Is there anything else I should do? Also, I sprinkled a very small amount of slow release flower and vegetable fertilizer on the top of the soil. Could that be a problem?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 4, 2012

It actually sounds like it may be a pollination issue. Peppers are self pollinating, but things like high humidity, hight heat or very rainy weather can cause the pollen to stick and clump, which makes the pollination process difficult.

Try giving the plants a gentle shake once a day or so to help pollen get knocked loose. If you want to confirm a pollination issue, you can take a small paintbrush and swirl it around a few blossoms. If these fruit do not fall off, a lack of pollination is the issue.

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