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Flowers but No Fruit on Peppers

Posted by bajajoaquin 10/San Diego (My Page) on
Thu, May 1, 14 at 17:10

In my office, I started an indoor garden with 2-48" double flourescent lights (that's 4 tubes). I have them on timers for about 13-14 hours of light daily. It's near a window, so it also gets a limited amount of natural light during the day. Lights are down within 1" of the tallest plants, and no more than 3" from the shortest.

It started with kidney beans, which flowered and produced beans. Those plants are still going, although stunted (pots are way too small).

I decided to add some variety and planted Serrano, Cayenne, and tomato seeds. The Serrano and Cayenne plants are now about 12"-18" tall and flowering, but do not set fruit. They each have a couple dozen flowers on them, and have been flowering for a couple months now, but no fruit has ever set. (The tomato plants were started later, and have not started flowering yet.)

The size of the yield isn't an issue for me. I know that I'm not going to maximize anything with the setup, but I do want to have some yield.

Anyone know why I'm not getting fruit? Is it hopeless with this level of lighting?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Flowers but No Fruit on Peppers


Well, I don’t grow veggies myself, just flowers. However, there is an older discussion about growing tomatoes without the help of pollination from bees that might be helpful (see link below). The information there should be relative to your other plants as well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pollination

RE: Flowers but No Fruit on Peppers

+1 for art33.

RE: Flowers but No Fruit on Peppers

you may have to pollinate them, use a q-tip or your finger and go from flower to flower plant to plant like a bee does. Done this before and it seemed to work fine.

RE: Flowers but No Fruit on Peppers

I was growing indoor tomatoes without any ventilation. The flowers formed within 3 weeks of planting the seeds, but fruit did not develop until the 6th week. During the 6th week, I put all the plants outside for a couple days and nearly all of them started developing fruits immediately.

The problem is with pollination. The best pollinators are:
1) honey bees
2) other bees, insects, small birds
3) wind

If your plants are indoors, your only option is to create artificial wind by using a fan. Or, as somebody else pointed out, pollinate using a q-tip (but I'd recommend looking at images of the anatomy of a flower to know where to collect pollen from [the anther] and where to deposit it [the stigma]).

The legume family of plants (beans) are usually capable of self-pollinating. The anthers are sensitive and often spatially oriented in a way that allows pollen from the anther of one flower to fall into the stigma of the same flower IF natural pollinators do not bring pollen from elsewhere for prolonged periods of time. This causes self-pollination and the seeds yielded from this fruit are genetically the same as the parent. The vast majority of plants have mechanisms to prevent self-pollination including the legumes, but if grown indoors, they will eventually self-pollinate.

I grew kidney beans, vigna radiata, and vigna mungo indoors, and all of them self-pollinated.

This post was edited by biochemical on Tue, May 20, 14 at 17:47

RE: Flowers but No Fruit on Peppers

I pollinate using a vibrating electric tooth brush. Just place on the stem directly near or even on the flower itself. Works perfectly. You can see pollen fall from the flower. Since tomatoes and peppers are self pollinating, this is all you need to do.

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