The Q&A Archives: Moldy Yellow Leaves on Cucurbits

Question: My pumpkin, cucumber and squash plants have what looks like
white spots of mold on the leaves and I was wondering if this is normal. It seems to occur on the first leaves of the
vine and the later leaves still look healthy. The pumpkin and cucumber plants also are starting to get yellow leaves down near the base of the plants, is this normal as the vines get longer or is there a problem here?

My summer squash only seems to have male flowers growing. Will the female flowers eventually come, and is there a reason why they have not grown yet?

Answer: Sounds like your plants have a bad case of powdery mildew. Older leaves on plants generally do turn yellow as they age, but it's less common on squash family plants. The humid summer we've had in the northeast has created a mold's paradise! You can try to stop the spread of the disease with Soap Sheild, a new product introduced by Gardens Alive (5100 Schenely Rd., Lawrenceburg, IN 47025, ph# 812/537-8650). And keep your fingers crossed!

It's normal for squash family plants to produce some "eager males" before the female blooms appear.

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