I’ll address the first part of your question, regarding your tomatillo failing to produce fruit. Shannon, who has successfully grown tomatillos in her garden should have thoughts on your timing questions.
Bummer that you’re not getting any fruit from your tomatillo plant, it’s so dissapointing! I’ve had three spring-time growing seasons in my garden and only planted tomatillos the first one. Sadly, the plant never produced fruit but I do plan to try again. I’m determined that next Spring I will have enough tomatillos to make salsa!
When things fail in my garden, I start reading and asking questions to try to figure out what went wrong. I learned that I should have put more than one tomatillo plant in the garden. Tomatillos need two or more plants to set fruit. There needs to be enough pollen floating around and it seems that at least two plants are needed to provide enough pollen. Sadly, I didn’t know this about tomatillos until it was too late to put another plant in the ground.
Another factor is heat. I’m not sure when your plants got started in your garden but if plants are set out too late and reached maturity once summer temps set in you wouldn’t likely get any fruit. Perhaps you have two or more plants and you see blooms and there’s plenty of pollen floating around, however it’s too hot and your plants aren’t “in the mood.” Hopefully, you will notice a change once temperatures drop a bit, as long as you’ve got more than one plant.
Are you fertilizing your plants? If you’re using a general fertilizer, that’s great, however there may be too much nitrogen which encourages the plants to grow tall and green instead of focusing on bloom development. You need something like LadyBug Flower Power which has more phosphate than nitrogen and will promote flowering.
Good luck and I hope this was helpful.
I do love a good tomatillo, and have been planting them in my garden since I moved back to Texas. The first year I grew traditional tomatillos, but started growing pineapple tomatillos last year and now there is no turning back.
Jenni did a great job answering troubleshooting issues like fertilizing and heat, so I am going to tackle timing. In my experience I’ve noticed that traditional green tomatillos (which I have a feeling you are most likely growing) seem to be late bloomers, at least in Central Texas. I planted the tomatillos in the spring, but did not start getting fruit until the end of the summer/early fall. I remember feeling like I had failed with my tomatillo plants, but then they surprised me with a bunch of fruit! Peppers seem to do this similar thing as well.
Pineapple tomatillos are a little different. I am still not 100% sure if they are even a true tomatillo because they are tiny and sweet like a berry, but they look just like mini tomatillos and grown similarly with a husk covering the fruit. However, these are early spring plants. They are usually the first in my spring garden to grow fruit and are the first to wither and die (mine from this season have been totally gone now for a month or so).
So my advice is to try a little fertilizer and then give it some time. Having multiple plants is helpful, although I have had both traditional tomatillos and pineapple tomatillos set fruit with only one plant so don’t lose hope if you are just growing one.
Thanks Kathy for submitting your question! Be sure to keep us updated how your plant is doing. Hopefully you end up with more tomatillos than you can eat!
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