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Pepper Plant Flowering But Not Fruiting – Here’s What Causes It!

Peppers come in widely different varieties, tastes, colors, and sizes. They are considered the next step to gardening after tomatoes and cucumbers. Pepper plants are easy to grow; however, sometimes they run into issues, like the pepper plant flowering but not fruiting.

Pepper plants often don’t fruit when they lack pollinators. They may also not flower or fruit because of environmental issues, weather problems, or soil issues.

You’ve come to the right place to learn more about what causes a pepper plant not to flower and how to solve the issues.

5 Reasons Your Pepper Plant Is Not Fruiting

Let’s look at 5 of the key reasons why your pepper plants aren’t flowering. 

Lack of Pollinators

Pepper plants are self-pollinators. This means that each pepper plant’s flower holds male and female parts. To connect and produce fruit, those parts need to be pollinated. Typically, birds, bees, and the wind do an excellent job pollinating plants. 

However, if your garden lacks birds, bees, or the wind, the flowers will not pollinate. This is usually the most common reason why pepper plants are not flowering.

Not Enough Sunlight

Pepper plants are very particular about the weather that they thrive in. Generally, pepper plants do best in temperatures of 70-80 degrees F and need about 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Sunlight gets absorbed through photosynthesis and gives the plant the energy it needs to grow. This includes the energy it needs to flower. 

It can be challenging to combat the weather and ensure that your plants get the weather they need. The best way to ensure that your pepper plants are getting enough sunlight is to plant them in a location where you are positive and gets direct sunlight. It is also vital that you plant at the right time of year. 

Poor Soil Conditions

Pepper plants, like any plants, need the right amount of nutrients in their soil. When a plant doesn’t have the nutrients it needs, it doesn’t have the energy to produce flowers. Soil that lacks nutrients can be exceedingly hurtful to your garden. 

Incorrect Amount of Water

Like tomatoes and cucumbers, pepper plants need 2 inches of water a week. When a pepper plant has too much or too little water, things like stunted growth, leaf curl, rot, and not flowering can all occur. 

When a pepper plant gets too much water, the plant is essentially overloaded; it floods. The roots are so full of water that the oxygen normally flows freely through the plant can no longer. This disrupts nutrients from getting to the rest of the plant. 

When a plant gets too little water, the opposite of a flood happens; it dries up. When the plant’s roots are too dry, oxygen and nutrients again have difficulty flowing freely through the plant. 


It may just be that it isn’t time for your pepper plant to start flowering yet. It should take about two months for a pepper plant to start flowering once planted. It helps to mark your calendar and keep track of time to know when a plant is ready to continue to the next stage. 

How long after flowering do peppers appear?

After a pepper plant grows a flower, it takes about one month for the pepper to be fully ripe and ready for harvest. One month is the general timing; however, some pepper plants may take longer or shorter. Let’s take a look. 

Varieties of PeppersRipening Time From Flower to Harvest
Bell Peppers 35 days
Banana Peppers30-40 days
Anaheim Peppers40 days
Jalapeno Peppers45 days
This table shows different varieties of peppers, and how long each variety takes to be ready for harvest from flower.

You’ll notice that the “hot” peppers (anaheim and jalapeno) take longer to mature than the sweet peppers. Many gardeners leave their hot peppers on the vine longer because the longer you leave them, the hotter they will be. 

Remember that environmental conditions have a lot to do with when peppers are fully ripe and ready for harvest. If they do not get enough water or the plant is too cold, it may take longer for the pepper fruit to ripen. 

Do all pepper flowers turn into fruit?

It is not 100% guaranteed that all flowers on a pepper plant will turn into fruit. Many fall off; some die etc. However, since all flowers have male and female parts, essentially every flower on a pepper plant could turn into a pepper. 

How Do You Encourage Pepper Plants To Fruit

If the timing is right, your plant should be flowering; nothing is happening yet, don’t panic! You can do some things to encourage your pepper plants to start fruiting. 

Hand Pollinating

If your plant has plenty of flowers, however, it’s been over two weeks, and still, no fruit has started to appear, then you can do something called hand pollination. It’s a good idea to hand pollinate if you suspect your garden hasn’t had many birds or bees. 

To begin hand pollinating, take a q tip, and rub it on the inside of one flower. Take that same q tip, and rub it on the inside of another flower. It’s that easy! The process of rubbing a q tip into the flower releases the pollen stuck up inside. Once the pollen is released, it can be transferred to the next flower. Continue the process as much as you’d like, multiple times a day, for at least a week or until you see results. 


The next thing you can try is to give your plant a nutrient boost. As I mentioned above, pepper plants need healthy nutrients to grow as they are supposed to. While your pepper plants are in the growing stage, you can give them nitrogen. However, once they start flowering, stop giving them nitrogen altogether. Start giving them much more potassium and phosphorus. 

Phosphorus is meant to help plants transfer energy and turn sunlight and nutrients into starches and sugars. Giving your plants an extra phosphorus boost will help them send more energy to the fruit growing, and it will help the fruit taste even better.

Potassium helps plants, especially plant flowers and fruits, grow strong, healthy cell walls. Potassium also makes fruits juicer and sweeter. 

Water Schedule 

It may help your plant to get on a healthy watering schedule. Since pepper plants need 2 inches of water a week, this usually means watering your plants with a healthy dose of water every other day. In the heat of the summer, you most likely need to water once a day, in the mornings. 

It can be tricky to tell when your plant needs water. The easiest way is to stick a finger down into the soil; if the soil is dry at least 1-2 inches down, your plants need water immediately. If the soil is still moist, you do not need to water. 

Once you start your plants on a better watering schedule, you will start to notice your plants looking happier, healthier, and back on track. 

Final Thoughts 

It can be stressful if your pepper plants are not fruiting or flowering. However, you can quickly solve the issue once you determine the cause: poor watering habits, lack of nutrients, or poor pollination. Happy gardening!

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