red pepper and white flowers with green leaves

Why Are My Pepper Flowers Falling Off?

Pepper flowers are definitely some of the most beautiful and delicate features of your garden's landscape. Your pepper plant can grow hundreds of flower buds. Some of these flowers turn into pepper pods, and others drop from the plant. While it's natural for some pepper flowers to fall off your plant, too many can be a sign that something isn't going right. 

We take a deeper dive into pepper flowers and why they keep falling off your plants. If you feel concerned that too many flowers keep falling off your pepper plant, then read below over how to remediate this problem and stay on track to grow and cultivate fresh peppers.

white flowers blooming from pepper plant

What Are Pepper Flowers?

Pepper flowers are a natural part of your plant's growing journey. Once they germinate and form into full-fledged seedlings, then they begin to enter the flowering stage of the growing life cycle. Don't be alarmed when you start noticing little buds of white and purple develop from your plant's foliage - this is completely normal.

These little flowers blossom from the plant with eye-popping, vibrant colors that stand out amongst the rest of the foliage. After a while, they produce wonderful bounties of delicious fruit that can be harvested once they reach maturity. The growth of pepper flowers is a sign that the plant is either making room for peppers to grow, or it needs help from beneficial pollinators like bees to fertilize the flowers in order to grow and develop fruit. 


Reasons Why Your Pepper Flowers Are Falling Off

There are many factors as to why your pepper flowers keep falling off your plant. Some of them are caused by environmental factors, or simply the age of the plant, while others stem from inadequate growing conditions caused by the grower. It's important to note that pepper flowers falling off your plant is a natural process. Plants produce more flowers than needed in order to attract as many pollinators as possible. As a result, some pepper flowers don't get fertilized and wilt off of the plant.

If you encounter too many flowers falling off your pepper plant, then you need to consider a few of these factors as potential causes:

1. High Temperatures

One of the most common reasons for pepper flowers falling off is due to high temperatures stressing out the plant. While pepper plants love to grow and thrive in moderately warm climates, too much heat causes them to take in more water and nutrients than normal. When additional intake requirements aren't met, the plant's leaves will start to droop and flowers start to fall off.

On the other hand, too cold of temperatures affect the plant's growth as well. If you grow peppers in cold climate regions, or your area's nighttime temperatures dip down significantly, then you need to prep your plants to handle this.

2. Overwatering

Too much water affects nearly all aspects of your pepper plant's growth, including the way it causes flowers to fall off. Your plant requires even watering throughout the life cycle, and with too much water and not enough drainage, you essentially drown your pepper plant. Finding a balance in your watering schedule is crucial to keep your flowers intact, your fruit growing, and your plant thriving.

3. Humidity & Moisture Levels

Another reason for pepper flowers falling off is inconsistent moisture levels. Humidity plays a pivotal role in developing the perfect growing atmosphere for your plant. Different pepper varieties require different humidity, so it's important to keep that in mind when growing your plants.

4. Container Size

One of the most important steps in transplanting your pepper seedlings is putting them in a large enough container. Plants adapt to their environment, and if their container is too small, then they grow as much as they can before the container limits them, leading to premature flowering - and many flowers at that! With more space and nutritious soil to grow in, pepper plants thrive much more, mitigating any premature flowering and producing more fruit.

5. Poor Pollination

Normally, outdoor pepper plants enjoy plenty of pollination from beneficial insects like bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and more. Pollen is taken and placed into another flower, accepted by it's pistil to complete fertilization. When flowers do not accept pollen or are not fertilized, they tend to fall off the plant, not able to bear any fruit. 

Pollination can be a serious issue for indoor growing. Without pollinators to fertilized these flowers, it's up to the growers to take over this responsibility. This typically involves taking the grower's finger, a swab, or small brush and twisting around the inside of the flower to release pollen and getting it onto the stigma. 

6. Imbalance of Nutrients

Pepper fertilizers truly help in providing the right nutrients for plant growth and development. However, once your pepper plants reach the flowering stage, the amount of fertilizer - or rather the composition of your fertilizer - needs adjusting. To further explain, fertilizers used in the seedling stage tend to have more nitrogen that promotes healthy growth of plant stems and leaves. When this is used in the flowering stage, the plant redirects the energy needed to flower and instead focuses back on the plant's foliage. The result is pepper flowers falling off or not developing fruit.

flowers on pepper plant in a garden

How to Prevent Pepper Flowers from Falling Off

Here are some solutions to help keep your pepper flowers intact and not falling off your plant: 

  • Cover Your Plants: Use a light tarp or other plastic covering over your plants when it gets too hot or when temperatures dip down too low at night. Don't put too much weight on the plants themselves!

  • Ensure Proper Drainage: Make sure your soil drains water properly to prevent ponding. For container plants, drill holes into the bottom to make sure water escapes the pot.

  • Check Plant Leaves: If you notice your plant's leaves yellowing or wilting, then it could be a sign of overwatering, excess heat, or malnutrition.

  • Switch Fertilizers: During the flowering stage, use fertilizers that are low in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous to keep plant growth level and flower/fruit production high.

  • Get a Larger Pot: Make sure your pepper plant has plenty of room to grow if it's in a container. The smaller you go, the less room it can spread. Generally speaking, you should start with a 5-gallon bucket or pail to grow your potted pepper plant in, adjusting from there as the plant grows.

Additional Growing Tips from Pepper Joe's

We know gardening can be tricky at times. At Pepper Joe's, we work to provide you with as much helpful content that helps you grow the most optimal hot peppers. Browse through our Grow With Joe video series for more information, and be sure to check out our Gardening Tips & Guides that help break down many different pepper growing topics.

Our team of growing experts are here to help you answer any questions you have on growing hot peppers. Feel free to reach out via email or call us at (888) 660-2276 today. 

Check out our Pepper Talk videos for more pepper information (& entertainment)!

Back to blog