Image by audreyjm529
By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Are you getting tomato plant blossoms but no tomatoes? When a tomato plant is not producing, it can leave you at a loss as to what to do. Several factors can lead to a lack of fruit setting, such as temperature, irregular watering practices, and poor growing conditions. You don’t need two plants in order to produce fruit either—this is a popular misconception.
Big Blooms but No Tomatoes on the Tomato Plant
If you’re troubled with lots of lush foliage on your tomato plants but can’t seem to get any tomatoes, it may be due to poor lighting or watering.
A lack of adequate light is one of the main reasons for non-fruiting, as the plants require anywhere from 6-8 hours of full sun to produce blooms and then fruit. Without this you will be left with plenty of foliage, albeit spindly or leggy growth, and some flowers but little to no tomatoes. Fruit production requires a lot of energy, which plants get from the sun. If your tomato plants are not receiving enough light, they should be moved.
Likewise, they need plenty of water. Too little water results in poor fruit development. If the tomato plant has too little water, they may only produce a few flowers and then drop those flowers.
If you have lots of flowers and no tomatoes. Temperature and poor pollination are generally to blame here. Tomato plants require warm temps to flourish (65-70 degrees F. during day, at least 55 degrees F. at night to set fruit). However, if the temperature rises too much (above 85 degrees F.), they will fail to bloom, thus not producing fruit. If you have plenty of big blooms but no tomatoes, it may be too cold and wet or too hot and dry. This results in what is known as blossom drop and will, of course, make it much more difficult for plants to produce fruit.
Weather can also be a factor with pollination. Cold, windy, or wet weather will limit the amount of bee activity, which is helpful for pollination to occur and fruits to set. Without these pollinators, you will have only a few tomatoes. Once weather returns to normal, however, this should right itself or you can hand pollinate them instead.
Another factor for limiting tomato fruit set is improper spacing. If you plant them too close, they will produce few tomatoes and are more susceptible to disease. In fact, fungal diseases, like botrytis, can actually cause blooms to drop and result in no fruit. Tomato plants should be spaced at least two feet apart.