Empty Tomatillo Husks – Why Are There No Tomatillo Fruit In Husk

Image by RBerteig

By Jackie Carroll

When all goes well, tomatillos are hugely prolific, and just a couple of plants can provide plenty of fruit for the average family. Unfortunately, tomatillo plant problems can result in empty tomatillo husks. Let’s learn more about the reasons for an empty husk on tomatillos.

Reasons for an Empty Husk on Tomatillos

Empty tomatillo husks are usually due to environmental factors, such as extreme heat and humidity or lack of insect pollinators. You may also find empty husk on tomatillos when you have only planted one plant.

Besides the environmental factors that cause empty husks, tomatillos are also susceptible to diseases that prevent the fruit from forming and growing properly.

Fixes for No Tomatillo Fruit in Husk

Tomatillos are pollinated by bees and other insects that move from flower to flower. When temperatures or humidity are extremely high, the pollen adheres to the inside of the flower, making pollination difficult. As a result, the flowers may drop from the plant before they are pollinated.

Set out tomatillo transplants two weeks after the last expected frost date in your area. If you wait too long, you run a greater risk of high temperatures when the plants flower. When starting your own plants indoors, start them eight weeks before the last expected frost so they will be ready to transplant outdoors when the time comes.

Unlike tomatoes, which can be pollinated by the wind, tomatillos need an insect pollinator. If you don’t have bees or other suitable insects, you will have to hand pollinate the plants yourself. Use a cotton swab or small, soft paintbrush similar to those found in a child’s watercolor set. Use the tip to pick up pollen from the flowers on a plant, and then dab the pollen inside the flowers on another plant.

Tomatillo plants aren’t good self-pollinators. If you have only one plant you may get a few tomatillos, but you need at least two plants for a good crop.

You can prevent many of the diseases that affect tomatillos by spacing them properly and growing them on stakes or in cages. Keeping the plants off the ground makes them easier to harvest. It also helps keep the plants dry and allows air to circulate around them. Tie the plants loosely to the stakes using strips of cloth.

Tomato cages are ideal for tomatillos. Simply guide the stems through the holes in the cage as the plant grows. Remove suckers to improve the air circulation even more. Suckers are the stems that grow in the crotches between the main stem and a side branch.

More Information about Tomatillos
<<PREVIOUS2 1 ... 12NEXT>>
Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about Tomatillos.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: