The Q&A Archives: Wilting Leaves on Cucumbers

Question: After starting cucumbers from seeds, as soon as they start producing leaves, the leaves wilt and the plant dies. We have used blue dragon and sevin dust and even a bug light at night.

Answer: Sounds like your plants have "damping off" disease. This is caused by a number of different fungi. Why not start all over with fresh or sterilized potting soil--preferably a soilless seed-starting mix? Get the soil moist, but not dripping wet, plant your seeds, and cover the planting tray or pot with plastic wrap. As soon as the seeds start to sprout, remove the plastic and put the seedlings in a bright spot. Artificial lights will work - just leave them on 12 - 14 hours a day and turn them off at night. Keep the lights just an inch or two above the seedlings. If there's enough light and plenty of air circulation around the plants, they should grow strong and healthy.

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