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Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

Category Vegetables
There are lots of leaves, but no tomatoes. Why are my tomato plants growing, but not producing fruit? This page offers solutions and advice about why your tomato plants not producing fruit.


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June 19, 20171 found this helpful

If your tomato plants are growing quite large, but not bearing fruit there are a number of things you can check for to potentially still produce a harvest. This is a guide about big tomato plants, but no tomatoes.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 3, 2009

I planted tomatoes from seeds in May. The plants have lots of blossoms, but there is only one green tomato on only one of the 7 plants. Is there something that I should do to stimulate the plants?

Hardiness Zone: 7a


Best Answer:

Most tomatoes take anywhere from 30-60 days to mature from seed, and several environmental factors can affect their ability to set fruit.

Heat is one those factors. Once daytime temperatures reach into the 90's and nighttime temperatures hover near the mid 70's, tomato plants have trouble setting fruit because high temperatures render the pollen sterile. There are a couple of strategies to combat this problem.

The first is to grow varieties that mature earlier, before the Oklahoma summer heat sets in. Smaller tomato varieties (e.g. cherry) usually need less time to mature, while larger tomato varieties take longer. The smaller varieties are also more likely to set fruit better in hot weather.

You could also buy established seedlings or start yours indoors several weeks before transplanting in order to give them a jump on the season.

If your plants still haven't set fruit by the time the intense heat sets in, try to keep your plants healthy and consistently watered and once the temperatures drop, they should resume setting fruit.


Other factors that prevent tomatoes from setting fruit include low temperatures (below 50ºF), a lack of sunlight (less than 8-10 hours), inconsistent watering, damage from pests (e.g. thrips), or too much nitrogen fertilizer.


More Answers:

RE: Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

If you only planted them from seed in May, you are too early to expect ripe tomatoes. Give them a little more time. I planted my seeds on St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) and nurtured them indoors until the first week of May. I think I will harvest my first cherry tomato tomorrow or the next day. The large tomatoes are still hard and green. I live in the high desert part of New Mexico.

By Katie

Trim the Tops

I have had this problem before. I was told to knock the tops of the tomatoes out. This puts them into shock and then they set fruit. They are annuals, so they grow, fruit and die all in one year's time. There is no second year for them.

By gdeer61

Give Them Time to Mature

I live within an hour of you. I always either buy established plants or start mine indoors earlier so I can set plants out by the beginning of May. The plants must have enough time to mature, bud and set fruit before the heat of our summer sets in.

It gets extremely hot here in the summer, and tomatoes will flower, but not set fruit in the heat of our summers. My tomatoes are usually finished by the end of July or the first of August. If your plants survive our summer, about half of mine routinely die even though I set mine out early, water, and mulch them, they will flower and set tomatoes later in the season after it cools. These tomatoes won't quite be ready before our first freeze, but you can pick them green and allow them to ripen on their own.


By susan

Apple Juice

I had a year where my tomato plants were beautiful, very large and healthy looking but no fruit. I was told to water them with apple juice. It worked. I had loads of tomatoes by the end of the month.

By Jesse

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 26, 20140 found this helpful

I planted a cutting made from an Anna heritage tomato plant. The plant is loaded with blossoms, but no tomatoes.

By Don from Fresno, CA


November 5, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sorry if I do not understand your question but the fruits are not independant from the flowers. Tomato flowers become fruits just like strawberry flowers become strawberries. If your tomato plant is loaded with flowers you just have to wait. Just cut off the top of the plant to make it bushier.


Hope this help!


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January 9, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

While it's true tomato flowers become fruit, they must first be pollinated. Do you spray your garden? If there are no bugs at all in the garden, your tomatoes won't be pollinated unless you do it by hand. My daughter hates bugs and has the same problem, which is wild considering I am an avid organic gardener. No pesticides in my garden. Good luck

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By 0 found this helpful
July 12, 2011

I have very healthy looking tomato plants with plenty of flowers, but have yet too see any fruit. It is the middle of July and do not understand why my tomatoes are not producing any fruit yet. The plants are all very healthy looking. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks

By Sharon


July 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you are having a hot summer, just be patient. Most varieties of tomatoes won't set fruit if the nights do not cool off enough. Keep the plants healthy, and once things cool off a bit, you will get fruit.

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July 24, 20130 found this helpful

Why are my tomato plants growing, but not producing fruit?

By Sandy F


July 26, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Could be lack of bees to pollinate plants.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 13, 2017

There are small, fuzzy flowers that have developed all over my large tomato plant, but they are not turning into fruit. In all my years of tomato growing I have never seen this before!


May 14, 20170 found this helpful

You may have to pollinate by hand. You also need to look for suckers between the branches and take them off.

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May 14, 20170 found this helpful

Here is a guide to hand pollination:

https://www.gar  ate-tomatoes.htm

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By 2 found this helpful
August 5, 2010

I have planted seeds for cherry tomatoes in pots. I have lots of blossoms, but no tomatoes. Can you help?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By Joan Miller from Southport, NC

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By 0 found this helpful
August 8, 2013

We have a small tomato plant garden with 4 heirloom tomato plants planted about 18 inches apart. The plants have grown well and produced flowers, but have only produced 5 tomatoes.

We have shaken the plants and used cotton tipped Q-tips to pollinate the flowers, but this has not produced any results. We would appreciate any suggestions for getting a few tomatoes this season. We live in the 4 corners area of New Mexico and have used a watering schedule for the plants through out the drought in our area. Help.

By Ron


August 12, 20130 found this helpful

How hot has it been? Tomatoes don't tend to set fruit when it is hot for a very long spell.

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May 21, 20120 found this helpful

My tomatoes are big and healthy and have some bloom, but no fruit. Everything else in the garden is great.

By Cleta

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 5, 20100 found this helpful

I have 2 tomato plants growing in my garden, next to each other. One is a Better Boy red tomato plant, and the other is a yellow tomato plant. They are both big and healthy, no signs of any damage or sick leaves. The red tomato plant has at least 20 tomatoes right now, and the yellow tomato plant has not produced any tomatoes at all. Just wondering what could be wrong? the plant appears completely healthy otherwise. It did produce a few flowers, not many, but they died off fairly quickly.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By gina from Cincinnati, OH

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June 29, 20100 found this helpful

My tomato plants are very healthy, but have not produced fruit.

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By pam from Jacksonville, FL


Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

Mix 1/8 cup of Epson salt with 1 gallon of water and give them a drink. Tomatoes thrive on magnesium. (05/26/2010)

By bkvander

Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

Last year my tomato plants were healthy as could be, but I wasn't getting any tomatoes. I found out that I was watering them too much. Also they were very leafy and so I cut a lot of the leaves off and lo-and-behold they started producing tomatoes. Give it a try. (05/26/2010)

By Carolyn Bennett-Treat

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May 26, 20100 found this helpful

My tomatoes are blooming, but not setting fruit. Please help.

Hardiness Zone: 10a

By Ingrid


Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

I believe this usually happens if they are not getting enough sun and too much water. I think it is a little early to grow tomatoes. I usually buy plants in April (I am in Santa Monica, which I think is zone 11?) and get fruit in mid-July. (02/24/2010)

By Nancy

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January 27, 20100 found this helpful

My tomato plants are blooming, but no tomatoes are forming.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By Sarah DeLoche from TN


Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

We live on the north shore of MA and have had a lot of rain. We are having the same problem. I found out that because we had so much rain the bees were not able to pollinate the flowers thus no fruit.

Nancy Mc (07/26/2009)

By Nancy McGuire

Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

I feel your pain. I live in FL but would imagine the circumstances are the same. One, it could be lack of pollination, in which case, take a small artist brush and pollinate the flowers yourself. It could be too much rain, it could be nighttime temperatures are too hot, or too cool. For a desert plant tomatoes certainly are temperamental. Hope this helps. (07/26/2009)

By terry

Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

I live in Oklahoma and have had tomato plants in my gardens every year for what seems like forever. If I don't plant them in the veggie garden, I plant them in bare spots around my house foundation. There are a few things that have worked well for me over the years.

One is that when the plants bloom, but the tomatoes don't set on, you can take a broom handle down close to the main stem and do what my grandmother always said: "Beat it with the broom". You don't beat it so hard that you'll break the main stem or even any leaves. You just basically give it a few good thumps. I don't know what it is or what it does to the plant, but it works.

The 2nd is to keep them watered, but don't water them so late in the day that the leaves don't have time to dry before the sun goes down, otherwise you eventually get a mold and rot. And lastly, I know that when the weather gets super hot (we were in the 110's a few weeks ago), no matter what I do to them, the plants will not set on fruit. Don't worry though, because once it cools down a bit, I'm going to have more tomatoes than I can even give away.

A little secret for having bumper crops of tomatoes: Plant tomatoes in hilled rows that have been covered with straw and allow to grow on the ground. Plant carrots between the tomato rows and you will have sweeter carrots and tomatoes to sell when the neighbors get tired of them and you've put away so many that you're sick of them. (08/02/2009)

By Juanita

Tomato Plants Not Producing Fruit

First, no tomatoes will set fruit if the temps are above 90. Tomatoes are self pollinating so all you need to do is shake the plants once in a while to pollinate them.

Once every 2 or 3 months give them a shot of Epsom salts, 3 TBSP in 1 gallon of warm water, you can add it to Miracle Grow or use plain; it is also great if your leaves are yellowing and you can add the Epsom salt treatment to everything that grows, from grass to trees.

Don't use too much cow manure, a little is good, but too much will make the leaves grow at the expense of flowers and fruit. Goat or rabbit manure is better.

When you plant the tomatoes in the ground remove all the bottom leaves, I only leave maybe 2 sets of leaves on the top and plant the stem up to the leaves. I also dig down below where the roots will rest when planting and add manure and mix well, the plants will hit the manure eventually and give them a boost. Making "manure tea" is also a great way to fertilize them.

For larger tomatoes, remove the suckers as you see them, they are the new sets of leaves that appear in the crotch area between the stem the leaf joints, if the sucker gets very big use scissors to cut them off and you can root them in a glass of water and start your own new tomato plants.

To help fight dirt borne bacteria always stake the plants and don't let them lay on the ground. Last but not least, water the plants very deeply, a little sprinkle will encourage the roots to grow up to get the water and some tomato varieties can send roots over 20 feet down. (08/26/2009)

By Virginia

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July 21, 20090 found this helpful

I have a healthy tomato plant. It put on 4 tomatoes right at first and now it has loads of blooms, but the blooms are just drying up and there are no more tomatoes. Please help.

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