Powdery Mildew on Cucumbers - Knowledgebase Question

Captain Cook, HI
Avatar for maggien
Question by maggien
May 19, 1999
I have a powdery substance on the lower leaves of my cucumber plants which makes the leaves dry out and become brittle, and gradually works it's way up the plant until it stops producing and eventually dies. Until it happens, the cucumbers are great. I plant long Japanese cucumbers, always in a different place, but the fungus always grows. How do I stop it? I have to plant cucumbers once a month to get a constant supply.

Answer from NGA
May 19, 1999
Cucumber and squash plants are susceptible to powdery mildew, generally towards the end of the season here in the contiguous states, when the nights are cold enough to stress the plants. In your tropical gardening region I suspect the development of the disease has more to do with humidity and poor air circulation around the plants, than cool night air. You might try removing the older leaves, especially when they begin to show signs of distress. Give your plants as much direct sunshine as possible and increase the space between the plants to provide excellent air circulation.

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