Horticulture: Fruit and flower drop problem, causes and management Gardening Tips For Novice

Many people like gardening at home, and it’s easy to learn why. Growing your own flowers, herbs, and veggies may be a fulfilling activity that makes you feel accomplished and satisfied. There are many tips and tactics to help you get the most out of your gardening efforts, whether you are an experienced gardener or are just getting started. We’ll provide you some useful home gardening advice in this post to get you started on your gardening adventure. These suggestions can assist you in quickly growing a wholesome and fruitful garden, from picking the ideal area to harvesting your plants at the ideal moment.

Pre-harvest drop of fruits has been a serious problem since time immemorial. Many fruits start falling loose from the stalks before the fruits ripen on the trees and even before harvesting. In this way, such fruits which do not ripen completely or fall from the tree prematurely, they get damaged and their value is also less in the market. Due to these reasons, to avoid this problem, the farmer brothers pluck the fruits before fully ripening, due to which the size of the fruits remains small and their color is not attractive to see, so that they get good price in the market. Can’t happen.

There are mainly 2 reasons for fruit drop, first internal such as hormone balance, morphological and genetic) and second external reason (living and non-living). The reason for falling of fruits can be natural, environmental and insect. In some fruit trees, the fall of fruits is excessive, such as apple, mango, citrus, peach, vine, pomegranate etc. Fruit drop can occur during various stages of fruit development from fruit formation to fruit harvest. In order to save the farmer brothers from the damage caused by the fall of fruits, proper measures should be taken to prevent the fruits from falling so that they can avoid economic loss.

types of fruit drop

There are mainly three types of fruit drop which are as follows-

1. Fruit drop after flowering

It begins after the petals of the flower fall and bears small fruits which remain on the tree for two to three weeks, after which they fall off. These are such fruits which are not formed in pollination or which are not formed by sperm cells in the ovary. Lack of pollination, excessive frost or damp weather are the main causes of fruit drop.

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2. June drop

This type of fruit drop is mainly seen in apple, pear or sometimes cherry etc. in the last week of May or June. The reason for the falling of such fruits is that the fruit trees which bear a lot of fruits are not able to handle them and because of which the fruits fall.

3. Fruit drop before harvest

In this fully developed fruits fall before harvesting. One reason for the fall of these types of fruits is hormones and the other reason is insects. Because of which, when the fruits start ripening, a hormone called ethylene is produced in excessive amounts, which makes the fruit soft and forms a melting layer in the stalk attached to the fruit. Ethylene increases the production of enzymes that break down the cell wall and the glue that binds the cell wall in the ripening zone, causing the fruit to break and fall from the tree.

Main causes of fruit drop:

1. lack of pollination

Self pollination may fail due to various mechanisms and cross pollination may fail due to lack of pollination, lack of pollinator or unfavorable environment.


Due to high temperature and strong wind, there is excessive evaporation of water, due to which the leaves of the trees wither, which causes the fruit to fall.

3. Nutrient deficiencies

At the time of fruit setting, fruits require more nutrients, due to which there is competition among fruits. Then the fruits are not able to get balanced amount of nutrients and fall from the trees.

4. Development of seeds

Oxytoxin released from the seeds helps in keeping the fruits attached to the trees. If there is less or no pollination, the seeds are not formed properly or the seeds are not developed properly, in both these conditions, the fruits fall from the trees in large quantity.

5. Pests and diseases

Many types of insects affect the fruiting of fruit trees. The problem of falling of fruits also increases due to pest attack.

management of fruit drop

air barrier

High wind speed causes mechanical damage to fruits and branches. Windbreaks or windbreaks with the help of fast growing and dense trees should be placed around the fruit orchard to provide a protective barrier against hot and cold wind.

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moisture management

Lack of moisture during fruit set and development is the reason for high fruit drop in most of the crops. In irrigated system, irrigation should be done effectively so as not to deplete the soil moisture. Mulching increases water use efficiency by conserving soil moisture and reducing evaporation. By doing this we can reduce the fall of fruits.

nutrition management

To prevent fruit drop, nutrition management should be done in such a way that fruit trees get their nutritional supplements at the time of need. Manure and fertilizers should be given near the roots so that the tree can use them easily. Micronutrients and other essential nutrients should be given near the roots of the trees at the right time. By doing this we can reduce the fall of fruits.

pest and disease management

Various pests and diseases should be taken care of and appropriate control strategies should be adopted to reduce or prevent their harmful effects. By doing this we can reduce the fall of fruits.

use of pollinators

The crops which require pollinator for effective pollination, should be planted in proportion to proper quantity and distance. For example, the apple variety Royal Delicious is used as a pollinator in Golden Delicious. Due to this the problem of pollination will not arise and the fall of fruits will also be controlled.

use of growth regulators

Various types of growth regulators can be used in different crops at the right amount and time to prevent fruit drop. For example, in mango, application of NAA or 2,4-D at 20-30 ppm in the last week of April (when fruits become marble-sized) can reduce fruit drop.

Measures to prevent fruit drop in some important fruits


In this fruit maximum fruit drop i.e. 90-99 percent has been found which starts after 3-4 weeks of fruit formation. The main reasons for fruit drop can be the following – lack of pollination, unfavorable climatic conditions at the time of pollination, rain at the time of pollination, strong wind blowing, glandular imbalance, some diseases like kalavoona (anthracnose) or some pests like hoppers and Presence of mealy bugs etc. in fruits.

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In order to save fruits from falling, timely prevention of pests and diseases in mango is very important. Application of glandhirs or hormones like NAA 25-40 ppm or 2,4-D 10-15 ppm or CCC 200 ppm immediately after fruit formation can reduce fruit drop considerably. Apart from this, farmer brothers can sprinkle urea solution to prevent mango fruits from falling.


Fruit drop occurs in three cycles in most commercial varieties of apple – early fruit drop, June fruit drop and pre-harvest fruit drop. Early fruit drop is considered natural and occurs due to lack of pollination and competition for nutrients in the fruit. Lack of moisture and effect of environmental conditions are the main reasons for falling of June fruits. Falling of these two types of fruits does not cause much economic loss. Dropping of fruits before harvesting causes serious economic loss as these are fully developed fruits which are ready to be sold in the market but their value is reduced due to damage due to drop. Dropping of fruits can be controlled by spraying NAA at the rate of 15 ppm 20-25 days before harvest.

citrus fruits

Fruit drop is a serious problem in most commercial cultivars of citrus. For the first time, the fall of fruits starts in the month of May and June and the main reason for this is the lack of nutrients in the trees. The fruits fall for the second time in the months of August and September, the main reason for which is a fungus Colletotrichum glospor odes. The fruits fall when they are ripe in December and January before the third harvest and it is most severe and is caused by a fungus Alternaria citri.

To avoid this, proper quantity of manure and fertilizers should be used. Application of Ariofungin @ 20 ppm along with 2,4-D 10 ppm and Zinc Phosphate @ 0.05% can reduce the problem of fruit drop.


1 Dr. Anil Kumar, 1 Dr. Ashutosh Kumar Singh, and 3 Dr. Dharmendra Kumar Gautam

2 Department of Horticulture, Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture and Technology, Prayagraj (U.P.)

3 Department of Horticulture, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut (U.P.)

English Summary: Gardening: Problems, causes and management of fruit and flower loss Published on: 22 April 2020, 01:11 IST