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Top Problems Growing Cucumber and How to Fix Them

Cucumbers are some of the most popular vegetables and are well-liked around the world. They can be some of the easiest vegetables to grow at home in your garden. However, there are a number of issues that may arise when you’re cultivating cucumbers on your own.

The top problems that arise when growing cucumbers are lack of flowers, white, yellow, or brown leaves, plant wilting or drooping, plant drying or curling, as well as total plant death. Luckily, these problems are easily solved through better watering and the use of pesticides or fungicides.

When planning out your cucumber garden, you should be aware of all these problems, but you shouldn’t let them get you down, because, with the right knowledge, you can become a master cucumber gardener. Read on for more information on how to fix issues with your cucumber plants.

Your Cucumber Plants Don’t Have Flowers

Cucumber plants, much like other varieties of vegetables in their plant family, grow small flowers before they fruit. These flowers are essential to the continual growth of the plants and help them to reproduce. Cucumbers have both male and female flowers – male flowers are the ones that produce pollen, while the female flowers are the ones that eventually grow to become a full cucumber fruit.

One of the main reasons that cucumber plants don’t have flowers is because they are not being properly pollinated. Cucumber plants are pollinated majorly by bees, as well as small creatures like hummingbirds as well. These pollinators move from the male flowers, which have the pollen, to the female flowers, and control the reproductive processes of these plants.

When the weather is poor, i.e., cold and rainy, the bees won’t want to come out of their nests or hives. This means that they won’t be out pollinating flowers. Because of this, the cucumber flowers stay untouched. So, if you have a stretch of cold, rainy weather, and your cucumber plants aren’t flowering more than they already have, don’t be surprised.

Your Cucumber Plants Are Turning White

In general, cucumbers should have broad, vibrant green leaves. The stems and vines of the plant should be hardy, and the fruit themselves should be crisp, cool, and hydrated. When you notice that any part of your cucumber plant is turning white, you should be somewhat concerned – this could be signs of a condition that is starting to take over the plant.

When your cucumber plants start to turn white, this is a symptom of powdery mildew. Powdery mildew, much like the name explains, is a spore-based condition where the leaves and aerial parts of a plant become covered in a layer that looks like a thin white powder. If not dealt with properly, powdery mildew can coat your entire crop or garden.

Powdery mildew is caused by improper growing conditions in your garden. When your garden is too cold and too wet, mildew will grow. Powdery mildew is easily spread through soil, water, and air, so when you notice a case of powdery mildew developing in your garden, it is important to take the right precautions to stop it.

Fortunately, powdery mildew is an easy issue to remedy. It most likely won’t kill your crops but is rather an annoying problem that can be solved through the use of a fungicide. Fungicides are chemical agents that help to kill fungus in your gardens or crops and come in a number of forms.

One of the most popular natural options for your garden is Southern Ag Liquid Copper Fungicide. This product doesn’t have any lab-made harmful pesticides. Rather, it is simply a liquid variation of the same kind of copper that pennies are made out of. Copper is an effective fungicide. All you need to do to use this fungicide is spritz it on your plants and let it sit. Make sure to follow any other instructions on the bottle as well.   

Your Cucumber Plants Are Drooping/Wilting

Sometimes when gardeners or farmers plant cucumbers, they encounter a drooping problem. Drooping is the condition when your cucumber leaves, stems, or vines seem to lose their structure and hydration and begin to wilt and wither. When your cucumber plants wilt or droop, it can be sure to cause a number of problems.

One of the biggest issues when it comes to growing conditions that can cause cucumber plants to droop is the moisture level in the soil. Both too much and too little soil moisture can cause drooping and wilting in cucumber plants.

On the one hand, when cucumber plants get too much water, the horticulturalist writes, the oxygen levels in the soil are cut off, which means that the cucumber plants can’t get as much as they need to grow and produce. Much like when humans don’t get enough oxygen, the cucumber plants start to shrivel and die.

If your soil is too wet, make sure to slow your watering schedule down. The soil should be soaked after watering, but you also shouldn’t have any standing water in your garden. You could choose to water less frequently, or you could choose to just reduce the amount of water you give your plants when you water them.

On the other hand, soil that is too dry can also cause your plants to wither and droop. When plants don’t get enough water, they will lose hydration. Just like your skin, eyes, and sinuses dry up when you don’t drink, the same thing will happen to your plants.

If your soil is too dry and your cucumber plants are drooping because of it, you will need to increase the amount of water you’re providing your plants. There is a chance that your plants are getting too much sun, which dries up the soil. If this is the case, if possible, you will want to relocate your cucumbers to a shadier area of your garden.

If you aren’t able to relocate your cucumber plants, then you will have to increase your watering schedule. When it comes to watering your cucumber plants, make sure they get a good, deep drink every time you water them. They should be kept moist at all times and not allowed to dry out between waterings. 

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on June 19, 2020.

The Leaves on Your Cucumber Plants Are Turning Yellow or Brown

As mentioned previously, cucumber plants should have generously green stems and vines and leaves that are broad and smooth. An important part of growing cucumber plants is observing any changes in color because these changes in color are one of the most obvious indicators of potential illness, disease, or pests.

If your cucumber plants are turning yellow, there is a high chance that your plants have been taken over by a case of downy mold. Downy mold is characterized by fluffy grey mold on the underside of your cucumber leaves that causes the upper sides of the leaves to turn bright yellow and brown. Downy mold essential deprives the cucumber plants of nutrients and oxygen, turning the plant a different color and slowly killing it.

Like other spore-based conditions, downy mold is easily spread through water, soil, and air. Because of this, it is very important to be conscientious when you are taking care of your cucumber plants. If you have ever experienced a case of downy mold in your garden, there is a chance that any future crops you plant in that same location may also suffer from the condition.

When you water your cucumber plants, the experts at Garden Eco suggest that instead of watering from above (which spreads particles from the top leaves all the way to the bottom), you water your plants directly at the roots. When you water plants at the roots, you are ensuring that the whole plant gets hydrated while keeping any potential mold from creeping down the plant.

If you are currently dealing with a case of downy mold and you need to get rid of it as soon as possible, your solutions are rather easy. Garden Eco suggests using one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of oil in a spray bottle with water to spritz on the moldy spots. This will get rid of the offending fungus that’s formed on your plants without damaging them or compromising the safety of your garden.

Your Cucumber Plants Are Drying Up and Dying

One of the unfortunate parts of being a gardener or farmer is having to diagnose your plants. Sometimes it seems that your plant is doing well one day but is dying the next. Plant death can be one of the most frustrating issues to deal with in your garden and should be solved as soon as you can, so you don’t lose any of your crops.

When you notice that your cucumber plants are drying up and dying, you need to work as quickly as possible. Like many of these other ailments mentioned so far, if you leave them to fester, you will likely lose your plants. When you are trying to grow a vegetable garden to provide food for yourself and for your family, that is the last thing you’d want to happen.

One of the major reasons that cucumber plants dry up is because they’ve been poorly watered. Just as mentioned previously, if your cucumber plants don’t get enough water, they are likely to wither and die. Sometimes lack of moisture only causes cucumber plants to wilt, while other times, they can get so dry that they turn brown, crunchy, and die totally.

To make sure that your cucumber plants don’t dry up and die, you will need to make sure that your watering schedule is sufficient enough to take care of your cucumber plants. One of the best ways to do this is to both increase the number of times daily or weekly that you water your plants as well as increasing the amount of water you give your plants during each watering.

It’s suggested that people who are growing cucumbers water their plants with at least six inches of water every time they give their plants a drink. It is important to make sure that the soil that your cucumber plants are growing in is moist at all times. If you are growing your cucumbers outdoors, you may not have to water your cucumbers by hand that frequently if you live in a climate where you get a fair amount of rain.

If you are growing your cucumbers indoors, you will simply have to water your cucumbers by hand more effectively. Make sure that you are drenching the roots of your plants instead of just drizzling the tops of the plants. This will make sure that the plant soaks up all of the water. 

The Leaves on Your Cucumber Plants Are Curling Up

The leaves on your cucumber plants should ideally be smooth, broad, and offer a reasonable amount of shade to the fruit of the plant. They may be a little fuzzy but should be strong and relatively weather resistant. When the leaves on your cucumber plants begin to curl up at the edges, there is one main problem that needs to be dealt with.

The issue that most commonly causes leaf curl on cucumber plants is an infestation of aphids. Aphids are small green and sometimes red bugs that are exceedingly small and tend to blend into the structure of your plants.

Aphids can be difficult to notice because of their shape, size, and color, but once you train your eye to look out for them, you will be able to pick them out. This is one of the most important responsibilities of a gardener: to keep an eye out for bugs that might ruin your crops.

Aphids are tricky creatures to deal with, not only because they are so small, but also because of the way that they eat your plants. Aphids feed off the flesh of your plants. When it comes to cucumber plants, aphids generally stay on the leaves and vines. When they feed, they make tiny little holes in the plant. This process of aphids consuming the leaves is what causes the edges of the leaves to curl up.

During this process of munching on your plants, aphids leave behind a substance called honeydew. Honeydew is a sweet and sticky substance that attracts many other insects to your cucumber plants in the wake of the aphids, but luckily, some of these newer insects can actually be beneficial because they don’t eat the plants themselves – instead, they eat the aphids and their honeydew.

To get rid of aphids, you have a couple of options. The first option for expelling the aphids from your cucumber plants is to simply rinse them off. Because of their size and shape, this might be difficult, but it is an easy and chemical-free way to get them off of your plants. All you will have to do is use a hose with a gentle spray setting or spray bottle with a strong mister and target the aphids. This will shoo them off of your cucumber plants.

If it turns out that rinsing the aphids off of your cucumber plants isn’t enough to rid your garden of the pests, then you will likely have to resort to using a pesticide. Modern pesticides are easy to use, and you have a variety of options when it comes to which one you want to choose for your garden. Some are designed in a lab, while others come from nature. It’s up to you to determine which one is best for your garden or crop.

One option for a natural pesticide that has become rather popular is actually soap. Some companies have taken it upon themselves to develop an alternative to chemical pesticides that is both effective and earth-safe. This Natria Insecticidal Soap is strong enough to kill off the aphids that have infested your crop or garden but won’t damage the plants themselves or negatively affect the quality of your soil.

Make sure to follow any instructions on your pesticide bottles carefully and mindfully. If you’re wondering more about your options, check out this video for more information on aphid control:

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on June 19, 2020.

Final Thoughts

Cucumber is one of the most popular plants to grow at home in your garden or in a small crop. They grow low to the ground, so they are a great complement to tall plants. However, you should be aware of problems that may arise in your garden.

Some issues, like wilting, drying, and browning of leaves, can be chalked up to poor watering or soil conditions that are less than ideal. Issues like leaf curling are explained by infestations of bugs such as aphids. Other issues, like a white layer on the tops of your cucumber leaves or the yellowing of the leaves, are caused by fungus.

Even though these issues can be frustrating, we have provided you with all the solutions you need. Happy harvesting!

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