Skip to Content

What to Do if Your Tomato Plant Is Not Flowering

Now that you have been caring for your tomato plants for weeks, you must be looking forward to sinking your teeth into juicy tomatoes! Yet, if your plant is not producing buds or flowers, the chances of seeing red fruits pending from your plant’s branches might be slim. 

So, what do you do if your tomato plant is not flowering? If you have picked a fertile variety and your plant is healthy, the reason for it not showing flowers might lie in the quality of the soil. Add fertilizers into the ground or potting mix that are high in phosphorus and low in nitrogen

While this is an excellent starting point, other tips can increase the chances of your plant producing flowers. Let’s have a look at what the causes and the solutions to this condition can be below!

Why Is My Tomato Plant Not Producing Buds?

Several reasons could cause your plant not to produce flowers once it has reached maturity. It is essential to understand what it is that causes the condition in the first place to implement an efficient solution. The most common cause relates to a lack of essential nutrients in the soil. However, there is a little more that you should know about it!

Disease

Tomato plants are among the favorite ones to cultivate by first-time gardeners due to their ability to grow healthy and robust without much care or attention. However, these fruit plants are prone to several diseases that could compromise their capability to produce flowers and, therefore, fruits. 

Tomato plants can become sick after contracting bacterial spots, a condition caused by the pathogens Xanthomonas Campestris Pv. Vesicatoria. To find out if your plant has contracted such a disease, proceed to analyze the leaves and stems. If the foliage looks wilted, spots, or displays lesions, your plant might be sick. In this case, you might need to destroy the plant to prevent bacteria from spreading to nearby crops.

Nutrition

As we have mentioned, a lack of essential nutrients in the ground or soil is the leading cause of a plant of tomato that is not flowering. If you have been inadequately watering your plants or the potting mix has become too dry, the short roots of tomato plants might not be able to reach the vitamins and minerals they need for growth. 

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on 2020-04-30.

Alongside a lack of water, you should find out whether the soil is too rich in nitrogen. This substance is present in the majority of commercial fertilizers, and it is essential for the growth of your tomato plant. However, nitrogen stimulates the growth and wellbeing of leaves and foliage rather than flowers and fruits. A telltale sign that your tomato plant is suffering from too much nitrogen is the lack of flowers or fruits but incredibly green and blooming leaves.

Instead, phosphorus, along with potassium, aims at promoting the health of buds, flowers, and tomatoes. Make sure to use a fertilizer that boasts larger quantities of this substance instead of nitrogen when trying to get your plant to flower.

If you are not sure how to find out about the nutrients in the grounds, check the label on the container of the fertilizer you have been using. 

  • The first number relates to nitrogen (N)
  • The second number refers to phosphorus (P)
  • The third number refers to potassium (K)

If the first is more than the other two, your tomato is getting too much nitrogen!

Genetics

If you have opted to buy tomato seeds from a seller and you have checked them, there is a good chance that these are fertile seeds. However, if you have planted tomatoes by harvesting the seeds of a store-bought fruit or you just placed a slice of it in the soil, your plants might be sterile. 

Indeed, specific varieties of tomatoes, sometimes known as bull tomatoes, are sterile. Therefore, while your plant is growing strong, you might never be able to see buds or fruits from it!

Pollination

Tomatoes are magical plants that can pollinate themselves! Yet, they are not great at it. Indeed, they rely heavily on the help of airflow, wind, and bees to pollinate and produce fruits. If this is not happening, you might notice conditions such as blossom drops. In this case, you should proceed to hand pollinate the plant.

Temperatures 

As the last frost of the year finishes, you might have decided to move your plants outdoors finally. While tomatoes thrive in sunny, warm, and well-ventilated conditions, rapid changes in temperatures can have detrimental effects on their health. If the climate in your area presents temps outside of the 14C – 30C (57F – 86F) bracket, your plant might be suffering from it.

What Happens If a Tomato Plant Is Not Flowering?

Before rushing to find a drastic solution for a plant that is not flowering, you should consider that not all plants flower at the same time. Moreover, the timings can change depending on many factors such as temperatures, airflow, water, and age of the plant. 

Usually, tomato vines will flower when the plants reach a height of 12 to 18 inches. However, this can happen during the middle of summer or as late as August. In turn, late pollination and flowering might mean that your tomatoes will not have time to ripen on the vines. 

How Do I Get My Tomato Plant to Flower?

Before checking the methods to get your vines to produce flowers, you should ensure that your plant belongs to a fertile variety, and it is entirely healthy. Then, you can proceed with the tricks below!

Plant indeterminate tomato plants

Determinate tomato plants tend to produce all of its fruits at once, during a specific month of the year. These vines will then stop producing flowers and fruits and die at the first winter frost. Instead, indeterminate tomato plants will continue to grow, flower, and produce fruit throughout the season. Opting for such varieties when picking the tomato plant to add to your vegetable garden offers you higher chances to taste its fruits!

Good air circulation helps

As we have seen, tomatoes produce fruits by self-pollinating. However, to do so, they need optimal airflow and the help of insects and bees. If you have packed many plants together, they might not be able to receive adequate breeze or wind to self-pollinate. In this case, move one or more plants into nearby grounds or remove one of the vines from the row. This trick can also help the remaining plants absorb more nutrients from the soil.

Add phosphorus

If you realized that your plant was not producing fruit because of the high quantities of nitrogen into your chosen fertilizer, swap to a phosphorous based one. If you are not sure how to pick the right formula, speak to the local shop or expert. They will be able to show you a range of options depending on the quality and type of the soil of your tomatoes.

Create the perfect environment for your plant

Lastly, if the problem derives from too high or too low temperatures, you should modify the living environment of your plants. In the case of vines planted in containers, bring them inside during colder nights or stormy days. Oppositely, for plants in the ground, you might need to consider implementing a greenhouse or plastic domes. If you decide to plant tomatoes again, make sure to pick a variety that agrees with the climate in your area!

Final Thoughts 

If you have been growing your tomato plants for weeks, it might be a little heartbreaking the fact that it is not producing fruits. Luckily, there is something you can do to increase the chance to see delicious fruits pending from it soon. 

Start by checking whether the variety of your tomato plant is effectively fertile and healthy. Then, try to add phosphorus into the ground for better nutrition and give your plants some space!

Related Articles

How to Save an Overwatered or Underwatered Tomato Plant

How Do You Pollinate Greenhouse Tomatoes

Do Tomatoes Ripen Faster on or off the Vine

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2020-04-30.