Tomato flowers drop in high heat

Q: I have tomato plants that are blooming and it looks like something is cutting the stems right below the blossoms. Please advise your thoughts and what I do the prevent this?

A: Are you sure something cut the flower off? I think it’s possible the plant i s aborting the flowers due to high heat.

When nighttime temperatures are in the 70’s and daytime temperatures are in the 80’s to 90’s tomatoes naturally drop flowers. This is due to the pollen becoming sticky so it can not travel between the male anther and the female stigma .

Sensing that pollination has not occurred, the flower dries up and falls off.


Help pollination along by tapping flower clusters lightly each day after they open until a tomato forms an d swwells. If the tomato that forms after yoou do your tapping does not immediately begin to swell up, pollination did not occur. continues your tapping until the tomatoes do begin to swell. Bonus: tapping results in better pollination than the normal air gusts that help pollinate a tomato. You may get bigger tomatoes as a result.

If you have an old electric toothbrush, you can walk down your tomato row and give each cluster of flowers a short buzz. You might also use a hormone spray sold as “Tomato Bloom Spray”. The chemical in the spray is a growth hormone that allows the tomato fruit to develop without being pollinated.

The toothbrush idea is so good that one company manufactures an ultrasonic tomato polllinator. no word yet on its effectiveness.


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