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Chili Plant No Fruit – What Causes It?

Chilis are a staple ingredient in many Asian, Indian, and South American foods. Without them, we wouldn’t get the rich flavor with that small or large amount of spice that adds a unique flavor to any meal! Growing chili plants is a wonderful way to add color and spice to your garden.

Chili plants are relatively easy to grow. However, sometimes, you may notice your chili plant flowering with no fruit appearing. There is no need to worry, this is a common thing in many fruits and vegetables, and it can be solved. 

In today’s article, we will discuss chili plants and what happens when they aren’t producing fruit. We will talk about the causes and how to fix them. Stay tuned!

What Causes A Chili Plant to Not Bear Any Fruit?

A few essential things to consider when trying to find the cause of chili plants not bearing any fruit. It is essential to find the issue because the problem could be vital to the plant’s health. Let’s take a look at the reasons.

Not Pollinating

Usually, your chili plants aren’t bearing any fruit because there is a pollination issue. Chili plants are self-pollinators, meaning they bear both female and male flowers.

They rely on things like the wind, the birds, and the bees to carry the male pollen to the female flower. This is how the fruit comes to be. If you lack birds, bees, or wind in your garden, your plant cannot self-pollinate, thus leading to your pollination problem. 

Too Much or Too Little Water

Water plays a significant role in how a plant performs. Chilis like their soil to be kept moist but not soaked. They usually need to be watered every other day or every day. Too much water would cause a flood in the root system that takes nutrients through the plant, creating a blockage.

If nutrients can’t flow freely through the plant, this may cause issues like not producing fruit and other things like stunted growth and wilting. Too little water would cause the roots to dry up, which would block the nutrients from getting to the plant. 

Nutrient Issues

Like water, nutrients also play a massive role in how well a plant is growing. Like you and I, we need to eat our nutrients to thrive and grow, just like plants. Plants have a different diet, but a diet all the same. Chili plants need a healthy amount of nitrogen to grow properly and produce fruit. 

Temperature Changes

Just like their flavor, chilis like the temperatures to be hot! Most chilis prefer to grow in temperatures of around 70-90 degrees.

While they can survive in night temperatures below 65, they may not do as well. Chilis are also very picky regarding their weather, and they can get extremely stressed out if the temperature changes frequently, especially if the temperatures get too cold. This stress would cause a chili plant not to bear any fruit. 

How To Get Chili Plants to Grow Fruit?

If you are having any of these problems and there is no fruit on your chili plants, luckily, there are things you can do to fix the issues, and hopefully, the fruit will start to appear soon. 

Pollination

While pollination issues can be rather frustrating, there are some ways to get your plants to pollinate:

  1. You can plant things in your garden to attract birds and bees. Chilis have many flower companion plants that can be planted right next to them. Marigolds, petunias, geraniums, zinnias, borage, and cosmos are all examples of some flowers that can be planted around chili to help attract birds and bees.
  2. You can do something called hand pollinating. If your chilis have flowers that keep falling off and nothing is happening, you can try a little hand pollination. Hand pollination is just doing the job that birds or bees would be doing.
  3. Take a q-tip and rub it on the inside of a male chili flower.

Carefully, take the same q-tip and rub it on the inside of a female flower. It’s as simple as that. You should repeat this multiple times a day for at least a week or until you start seeing results. 

Water Schedule

As I mentioned above, chilis like their soil to be kept relatively moist but not soaked. This can be a tricky rule to follow as you water your garden. The best way to ensure your chilis are getting the right water is to feel the top layer of soil. If it is moist, leave it alone and wait to water.

However, if it’s feeling dry, you can go ahead and water. Usually, chilis can be watered in springs or mild summers every 2-3 days; unless it has rained, you can leave them alone. In hot summers (90 and above), you should water your chilis every morning to ensure your plants don’t dry up. 

Chili plants do best when they have a thin layer of mulch on top of their soil. Especially in hot summers, the mulch will keep in more moisture, and you may be able to water less. 

Nutrients

The best way to ensure that your plants get good nutrients is to plant your chilis in well-balanced soil. Mix your regular potting soil with a healthy fertilizer or compost before planting. Use a fertilizer that has an NPK of 5-5-5 to start.

This way, you can wait to feed your plants for a few weeks. After a few weeks, you can start giving your plants a liquid feed to keep up with their nutrient intake. As chilis grow, they like to have higher doses of nitrogen.

Nitrogen helps keep them green and helps them grow taller and stronger. So, an NPK of 10-7-6 would be an excellent starting feed. As plants begin to flower, you can cut back on the nitrogen and boost the phosphorus, which will help with flower production.

Use an NPK of 10-15-10 for this stage. Once the plants have started to bear fruit, you can boost the potassium levels and cut back on the nitrogen; for instance, using an NPK of 5-10-15 is great once the plant has fruit. 

Temperature 

Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather. Even if you have planted in the summer, and put your chilis in the full sun, sometimes there may come that random cold front or flash summer rains. The best thing to do is to protect your chili plants from this cold weather.

You can cover your plants with netting or shade cloth at night. Even leaves or cardboard help keep some of the warm temperatures in.

If you have your chilis in pots, you want to get them inside during bad or cold weather. Making sure your chilis are in the sun for at least 6-8 hours a day and having consistent temperatures of 70-90 degrees F will help the plant be much more healthy and start bearing fruit when it is supposed to. 

Final Thoughts

Chili plants can be particular; however, they are still fairly easy to grow if you have them in the right conditions. If they are not bearing fruit, ensure they get enough water and enough nutrients, and they aren’t too cold. Sometimes, you may even need to hand pollinate to ensure you get chilis from the chili plant. You should have a great chili yield if you do that. Happy gardening!