The Q&A Archives: Cracking Stems on Prizewinner Pumpkin Plants

Question: My Prizewinner pumpkin plant is doing well. But the main stem is getting big cracks in it, and one vine gets wilted long before the others. I have two plants and it is happening to both. Is this normal if not what should I do to correct it?

Answer: It seems to me that large pumpkin varities are more succeptible than others to cracking on the main stem or "trunk" from which all the vines grow. If vines are wilting, perhaps the cracks are severe enough to restrict water, but you'd think the moisture stress would be equal among the vines. Perhaps the wilting vine isn't well rooted along its length. Roots that spring from leaf axils along a vine do route a lot of water to that vine. Try burying the leaf axils (the spot where the leaves emerge from the vine) and see if resulting root growth makes a difference.

For expert information on growing large varieties and prizewinning giant pumpkins, check out this website:

Good luck!

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