Eggplant Flower, aubergine, or brinjal are plant species belonging to the nightshade family Solanaceae. Solanum melongena is widely grown to produce edible fruits. The most common colour is purple. spongey and absorbent fruit can be utilized in a variety of dishes. It is typically used as a vegetable for cooking, it’s considered a berry in botanical terms.
Why Are My Eggplant Flowers Dropping?
One of the most interesting aspects about the nightshade or eggplant flower is that it self-pollinates with genders. The entire eggplant plant is a female portion of the flower. If there’s a problem with the flowering of the eggplant the eggplants will not produce fruit.
Anatomy of an Eggplant Flower
Eggplant flowers are cultivated in groups of 2 or more or as single flowers around 2 inches in width. If the flowers are solitary there is a lower chance of dropping flowers. Flowers that grow in clusters could fall as high as 80percent of their flowers. The flowers bloom early in the morning then close at mid-afternoon the next morning, lasting for around three days. Then, they remain open for a few hours during these days.
Eggplant flowers consist of these parts:
- Anthers They are male organs that have 6 or 20 anthers in yellow arranged around the pistils but not fused.
- Pistils are the female organs of the flower.
- Stigmata – They are well-developed nodules that form an integral part of pistils.
- Stamens The male organ is home to the anthers. It is typically five to seven.
- Petals – A flower typically contains five to 10 petals, which can be purple, pink, or white, based on the kind. They’re fused at the bottom creating tubes or cups.
Pollination of Eggplant Flowers
Even though the flowers of eggplant are self-pollinating, however, other insects and bumblebees can also be found in the flower to help pollinate it. A study carried out within Turkey in 1995 revealed that bumblebees pollinating eggplants produced 23 per cent more fruit than plants that self-pollinate. Other insects that pollinate eggplants include insects, flies, and thrips.
There were no differences in the quality of the fruit, regardless of how pollination was taking place. When plants self pollinate they usually do so due to vibrations caused by rain, wind, or even shaking the plant with a hand.
Issues with Eggplant Flowers
Eggplant drop is one of the major issues facing gardeners. The eggplant flowers fall off the plant when they’re not receiving enough water, or if pollination isn’t taking place.
Insufficient water causes dried flowers that fall. This can be prevented by making sure to water your eggplants every week at least with a deep soaking that goes to 6 inches in the soil. This helps root systems of eggplants develop deep into the soil, where it remains wet.
Another reason for drops in flowers is the absence of pollination. When the weather is hot and dry pollen stops working which means that pollination can’t occur and the flower is unable to bloom. If you suspect that this is the issue with your flowers and want to help the pollination process to proceed by gently shaking each flower to transfer pollen from male to female areas in the bloom.
5 Reasons Your Eggplant Blossoms Are Falling Off
There’s nothing better than cultivating the seeds of your eggplant ( Solanum melongena) by cultivating the seedlings and then watching the first flowers that look like stars bloom.
And there’s nothing more satisfying than watching those well-earned blooms drop off the plant in the dirt waiting to be dug.
You may be thinking that the flowers are meant to fall off at some moment. Perhaps they’re pink and beautiful, but then they drop in no order that you could find.
In this article, we’ll help you understand the issue in your precious aubergines.
Learn more about growing eggplants by reading our guide. This article will discuss our top 5 reasons the eggplant’s blossoms are not growing as they should or fail to grow at all in the beginning.
1. Failure to Self-Pollinate
Perhaps the wind didn’t blow fast enough to shake pollen off the anthers. Maybe bees did not land on the anthers and shook the pollen from its hideout.
The reasons could be more complex. If the humidity of your area is high, then the pollen could have become stickier, which makes it more difficult for it to move from the anthers up to the stigma despite the presence of winds or bees.
Whatever the reason, your blooms have stopped producing fruit, and this is making you angry.
There’s plenty for you to do to get pollination going the blossoms if they are fading without producing fruit.
The easiest method to help pollination is by tapping the top of every flower several times, basically re-creating the job that a strong breeze would accomplish.
If you prefer, you can massage the stigma and anthers using a clean brush, moving from flower to flower to spread the pollen.
Play the role of a bumblebee and take a clean, electric toothbrush. Switch it on and apply pressure to the stigma and anthers using the tip of it. In reality, all you have to do is gently smack the toothbrush inside (the yellow portion) on the inside of the bloom.
In just a few days the newly pollinated blooms will become tiny eggplants.
Learn more about our comprehensive guide to pollinating with your hands.
But what happens if the blooms fall off shortly after they’ve opened? Even following the pollination process with your hand? What’s the reason?
It’s time to consider hydration.
2. Too Much Water – Or Too Little
Stress is at the heart of many of the eggplant’s issues. (Not as different as us!)
In terms of water, aubergines love to get at least one long, slow and deep daily watering. Soil shouldn’t dry out completely So if you push your finger just a few millimetres into the soil just a few days after you’ve watered and feel dry, it’s the time to water once more.
When it’s particularly hot in your locale it’s important to test the soil’s moisture regularly.
If you do not keep the S. melongena thoroughly or regularly enough, even in the absence of rain the plant will get stressed and drop flowers to concentrate its nutrients and channel its energy towards surviving.
If you can overwater the plant and it’s kept in standing water it will negatively affect the growth of the blossoms as well. Eggplants don’t like waterlogged feet or oversaturated soil.
However, if you are careful to water it in just enough, and check the soil’s moisture regularly and you’ll be in a position to maintain its health.
If it doesn’t become too hot it is. Since fluctuating temperatures can cause many problems with the health of your S. melongena.
3. Stressful Temperatures
When it comes to the growth of aubergines, ideal growth temperatures range from 70-95degF during the day, and 55 to 70degF in the evening. Anything that is outside of this range could stress the plant and cause its blossoms to fall.
The best way to avoid unwelcome surprises from this area is to monitor the forecast. You should check your weather app every day.
If you notice a few days with temperatures that are below 70degF during the day, and above 55 degrees at night are forecast then add 2 inches mulch of organic material around each eggplant. I like using straw, wood chips and grass clippings.
This helps to keep your root systems warm during colder weather.
Another great alternative is to purchase an entire pack of Kozy Coats, available in three packs from Burpee.
Fill the tubes with water, then put one Kozy Coat on each plant susceptible to it. The sun’s rays will warm the water and create a warm, protected space around your eggplants. This can be protected from cold temperatures down to 16 degrees F.
While I was still a young child my mom would Use Kozy Coats to protect the tomato plant in the Montana garden. My mom explained that these were miniature greenhouses.
If you reside in zones 4, 5 6, or 7 and you are growing aubergines Kozy coats could mean life and the end of your plant!
What if you reside in a region of warmer growth that sees temperatures rise regularly to 95 degrees during the day and 70% at night? What can you do to keep your flowers content?
Again, mulch is your best friend, in this instance because mulch helps to maintain soil moisture and stops the soil from drying too fast.
It is worth considering putting a shade cloth to cover your garden until this heatwave has passed. This will help keep your plants cooler during the hot summer days as well as prevent heat-related bloom dropping.
When you’re growing an aubergine inside a container, simply relocate it to a shaded location for a couple of days. In shade, temperatures will be between 10 and 15 degrees cooler. This is an important factor for aubergines.
You should also check the soil’s moisture each day during a heatwave and preferably in the early morning before it becomes too hot.
Morning waterings are best since they allow the roots time to soak up the water before the heat take it away from the soil. This is what happens when you try the task of watering your plant in the hottest time in the morning.
In the heat during summer, you might need to give your plants a deep long soak every other day, particularly in the morning. If you’re planting in containers it is possible to water them regularly since the soil inside containers dry out faster.
If a heatwave is a surprise and your blooms fall due to it, don’t stress over it. Take steps to help the plant recover from stress. When the heat has passed well-maintained plants will grow back and new blooms are expected to emerge.
Now, if you’ve been taking care of pollination, and aren’t experiencing excessive temperatures or cold snaps as well as your eggplant has been growing big and green, but not producing flowers Read on to learn what might be occurring.
4. Planting Too Late – Or Too Early
Eggplants can take a long period to mature, usually between 100 to 120 days after the time of germination.
Starting seeds indoors eight to 10 weeks before the average last date for frost is suggested to guarantee success.
Even then, those of us living in regions with colder climates may not have the time to watch them bear fruits.
A “cold snap” of anything less than 70 degrees during the day and below 55degF at night could stress the plants, causing a bloom to fall, as we have mentioned above.
It’s not easy to stay clear of these temperatures, especially in Zones 4 and 5 where the mean temperature in September is at least 58 degrees Fahrenheit. (I’m looking at you, Alaska!)
One simple method to keep from the drop of blooms that can result from a short period is to establish young-maturing varieties in colder climates. The options include:
“Early Midnight is the hybrid that yields dark-purple, four-inch fruit and matures in a staggering 55 days.
Seeds in packages in sets of 3 plants or 35 are available at Burpee.
“Hansel” is the hybrid that produces fruit ranging from four to 10 inches depending on the length you keep them on the plant and which matures between 55 and 60 days.
Seeds are available in different sizes are available at True Leaf Market.
“Patio Baby,” a different hybrid that yields 25-50 tiny three- to four-inch dark-purple eggplants. They mature within 45 days.
Seeds in packs in sets of 3 plants or 30 packets are available at Burpee.
However, you must ensure you begin these seeds indoors between 8 and 10 weeks before the last date for frost if you are beginning with seeds so that they can have the maximum amount of time to flourish and grow.
If not, you should start with seedlings that are ready to be transplanted.
As soon as the temperature drops by the time you’ve harvested a bounty of sweet, juicy fruit out of the plants.
5. Over- or Under-Fertilization
If your plant is an embryo, you’ll need to feed it a balanced fertilizer for vegetables about every month, according to the directions on the packaging. I apply 5-5-5 (NPK) in the beginning.
When the first flowers begin to appear, you should stop using this general-purpose fertilizer. This is the time when your plant will require less nitrogen and too much nitrogen could hinder flower development.
It’s not a secret that nitrogen is a vital plant nutrient, and it is essential in the beginning phase of the life cycle of an eggplant particularly. It’s vital for the production of leaves.
However, once the first blooms start to bloom, it’s time to concentrate on fertilizer that has a greater amount of phosphorus. Phosphorus is essential to the production of flowers and fruits.
Think about a specific fertilizer for tomatoes, such as this 4-6-3 NPK fertilizer made by Kellogg Garden Organics, available at Home Depot. Home Depot.
Organic Plus Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Fertilizer
When the plant is in the flowering stage, excess nitrogen may result in your eggplant growing more leaves than it requires and at the expense of fruit and flowers.
Although an excess of nitrogen could prevent flowering plants from growing it’s unlikely to cause the existing flowers to decline if you over-fertilize.
If you are concerned that there are too many leaves, but there aren’t enough flowers, change your fertilization practices and the blossoms will soon begin to appear.
May Your Aubergines Be Fruitful and Multiply
If you’ve learned 5 reasons the blossoms of eggplant drop or don’t develop at all You’re now ready to tackle an upcoming season of growth and address any problems that may occur.
Sweet, succulent eggplants are definitely on the horizon.
How long after flowering does eggplant appear?
How long will it take for the eggplant to grow following flowering? Based on the type of eggplant and the location that you’re in various varieties of eggplant can produce mature fruits within 50-80 days following the flowering.
Are eggplant flowers edible?
However, not all veggies contain edible blooms, therefore make certain to verify first. For instance, the ones belonging to the Solanaceae family should be avoided. That list includes tomatoes, potatoes pepper, eggplant, and tomatoes. The flowers of these plants are not edible.
Should I pinch off eggplant flowers?
Pruning Eggplant Suckers
Although you may not want to reduce the size of your eggplants it’s still a good idea to get rid of suckers. … The removal of these suckers as they are tiny will enable the plant to concentrate its efforts on producing fruit, which results in bigger, more stunning eggplants
Do you need to pollinate eggplant flowers?
Eggplant flowers require pollination to grow into an eggplant. They generally require the breeze of light wind or a thumping of the surrounding air by a gardener walking close by, or, as the case may be, a cat who chases bugs in the garden
Do eggplants keep producing?
While eggplants can continue to grow and bloom, they will be more productive when cut off and then allowed to re-grow in the late summer. Cut the plants down to 6-8 inches in early August, then cut off at a crotch. Fertilize and let them regrow. Fertilize the soil and keep it moist to allow them to grow.
Should I trim eggplant leaves?
Cut an eggplant early enough that leaves form before the fruit is ripe to avoid scorching the fruit. Continue to trim your eggplant regularly throughout the growing season, or very severely if your production is declining for the new crop of flowers and leaves. … You’ll need to eliminate all suckers from your vegetable.
How can you tell a male from a female eggplant?
Male eggplants are more likely to contain fewer seeds and therefore are much less bitter than the female varieties. For a sexy eggplant check the bottom indentation. If it’s deep, and it’s shaped like a dash, then it’s female. If it’s narrow and oval, it’s male.
Does eggplant like the full sun?
As a guideline, all vegetables that are grown for their roots or fruits such as tomatoes, eggplants, squash, peppers or carrots require full sunshine and are defined as a location in the garden that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunshine every day. … Be aware that no plant can thrive in the deep shade.
How long do eggplant plants live?
The plants of eggplant live for the course of one season. After harvesting the fruits the plant dies then the plant dies, and it’s now time to plant a new one for the next season.
Does eggplant grow in shade?
The cultivation of eggplant outside requires full sunshine. Consider planting them on an area facing south in your yard when they’re greater than 3 inches. The sun’s energy is required for the production of large quantities of fruit through photosynthesis.
Have you solved the issue of a bloom drop with your aubergines? Please share your story and any questions in the comment section below.
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