Aubergine failure to fruit properly

QuestionsAubergine failure to fruit properly
Patricia Little Staff asked 11 years ago

The aubergines I grew from seed last year produced good plants initially, although there was some yellowing of the leaves. They flowered abundantly, but only 4 flowers developed into fruit from 4 plants. They were grown on a heated mat (20°C) in a greenhouse, on capillary matting, kept well watered and fed with tomato feed or comfrey liquid.There seemed to be ample insects around for pollination. Where did I go wrong? Should I have misted them? Thanks, Patricia

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Patricia Little

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Ask Gerry
Gerry Daly

Aubergine is a member of the potato family, as is tomato, and the flowers are very like those of tomato … a ring of petals and a pointed centre.

There are two main reasons for failure to fruit: stunted growth due to lack of nutrients and/or water and poor pollination. Very vigorous plants can also abort the flowers without setting. Uneven growing conditions, stop-start watering can cause it too.

In this case, beacuse there was abundant flowering indicating good growth, the cause would appear to be poor pollination. Not all insects would be effective, the best would be bumble bees, which do not frequent greenhouses.

Try tapping the plants gently to release pollen from noon onwards. They do not really need a heated mat.

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