Chillis are perfect for growing in tropical places, such as Malaysia, as they are a warm-season vegetable plant. Usually, chilli plants grow quickly, but sometimes they refuse to fruit.
The most common reason this problem occurs is temperature, but some other issues can stop or delay fruit growth.
Reasons Why Chilli Plants Won’t Produce Fruit
As mentioned, one of the main reasons why chilli plants won’t produce flowers or fruit is due to the weather. This is a warm-season plant that needs at least 21 – 29° Celsius temperatures during the day and 15 – 11° Celsius at night.
Cold temperatures don’t allow the plants to grow properly, preventing flowers and fruits from setting.
Chilli plants have a long growing season, and they need at least six hours daily of full sun. Always make sure the soil is warm before transplanting your plants. If you want to get a head start, you can grow chilli plants inside six to eight weeks before transplanting.
One of Malaysia’s most common problems for growing chilli plants is extended temperatures over 32 degrees Celsius. Hot temperatures will cause plants that may flower but experience drop, hence, a chilli plant that is not growing fruits.
Chilli plants with no flowers or fruit are usually the result of a wrong temperature area, either too hot or too cold.
2. Lack of Fertilization
If you are growing chilli plants, you need to provide enough fertilizer to avoid producing a poor crop. But it would be best if you were careful that plants don’t receive too much fertilizer as this produces an abundance of dark green foliage instead of fruit.
An excellent idea to know what type of fertilizer your chilli plants need is to get your soil tested. If you can’t test the ground, it is recommended to use three pounds of 5-10-10 fertilizer per 9 square meters.
Apply fertilizer to the soil before planting. When the fruit starts to grow, use about three tablespoons of 33-0-0 fertilizer per 3 meters. Once the fruit is set, you can apply a complete fertilizer.
Please note that too much nitrogen makes the plant lush, green and large. Chilli plants need more phosphorus and potassium to set fruit.
3. Blossom End Rot
When a chilli plant is not producing fruit, it might be suffering from blossom end rot. Blossom end rot is produced by calcium deficiency, and it usually happens when night temperatures are over 23° Celsius.
Blossom end rot appears as a brown to black rot on the fruit’s blossom end, resulting in the pepper’s loss.
Some vegetable plants, like tomatoes and chilli peppers, are pollinated by wind. When you are growing chilli plants, you need to ensure there is enough wind for self-pollination. If the plants are protected from the wind, they will need hand pollination.
So, how do you hand pollinate chilli plants?
The best time to hand pollinate your chilli plants is between noon and 3 p.m., when the pollen is at its peak. You can do it by gently shaking the plant or using a paintbrush or cotton swab to carefully transfer the pollen from flower to flower.
Carefully swirl the brush inside the flower to collect the flower stigma. If the pollen doesn’t stick to the brush, you can first dip it in a bit of distilled water.
Be careful. Do it slowly and methodically; remember, you don’t want to damage the blossom and hence the potential fruit.
If you have multiple types of chilli plants, it is imperative to prevent cross-pollination by switching out the brush or swab when hand pollinating.
The Bottom Line
If your chilli plants are not fruiting, it is usually caused by the temperature that is either too hot or too cold. Remember chilli plants need full sun to produce a good crop. Make sure your plants are receiving at least six hours of sun a day for fruit set. Ensure that you get good quality chilli seeds so that you have maximum yield.
Don’t forget to harvest frequently as this supports a good fruit set. Always monitor weed and insect infestation to help the fruit set. We hope the abovementioned tips can help you grow your chilli plants more quickly.