QUESTION: My eggplant is producing flowers, but then they just fall off. Why is my eggplant not fruiting? -Hannah S
ANSWER: If your eggplant produces flowers, but the blooms fall off before they can develop into fruit, there are two main reasons why this could be happening. Your eggplant may be dehydrated from lack of water, or the blossoms may not have been pollinated. Here are our tips on how to prevent this from happening.
Any time an eggplant is stressed, the flowers may drop from the plant. But, the most common reason for stress in eggplants is lack of sufficient water. Make sure your eggplants receive at least two inches of water per week. They’ll need more than that when the weather is particularly hot.
Eggplant blooms are pollinated by the wind. These plants don’t depend on pollinating insects like bees to get the job done. Keep in mind, pollination may not be occurring if the weather is exceptionally wet, humid, or hot. In humid weather, the moisture in the air makes blossoms sticky, so the pollen is unable to fall down the pistil to pollinate the flower. In extremely hot weather, the pollen will become inactive as a response to the stress of the heat—the plant doesn’t believe it will be able to survive the heat and also produce fruit. You can take matters into your own hands in these circumstances to pollinate the eggplant flowers yourself using a paintbrush. Make sure that the paintbrush you use is clean, and simply move the brush around the inside of each flower.