cucumber - Knowledgebase Question

Lakeland, Fl
Question by ritasdick
June 1, 2010
Back again.
Ilive iv Mid FL.
And my cucumber plants are dieing,The leaves are all turning brown and the small cuckes are turning yellow. but the end of the plants still have a lot of flowers on them.
The temp is in the mid 90's now. Is it just to hot or could I plant some new ones from seed.
Thank you for all the help you have given me.
Richard Buteau.

Answer from NGA
June 1, 2010


I'd pinch the yellowing leaves off. It is normal for the oldest leaves to turn yellow and die. Your cucumber plant is probably putting its energy into producing healthy new leaves at the ends of the vines, and if it is flowering and producing fruit, it is fine. The oldest leaves are not needed as much as the newer leaves. Water your plant deeply twice a week during the hot weather and they should be fine. The small cukes that are dying may not have been sufficiently pollinated, or they may be suffering from blossom end rot. Blossom end rot is a physiological condition caused by a lack of calcium at the growing tip of the fruit. While your soil may have adequate calcium, fluctuations in soil moisture content from dry to wet really increase the incidence of blossom end rot. It is especially bad on the early fruit each summer and in sandy soils. The damage occurs as cells die at the tip of the fruit. In time (and as the fruit grows) the spots enlarge and turn black. So, by the time you see it, the damage actually has already occurred some time back. Remedies include: having a soil test to make sure calcium levels are adequate, adding organic matter to a sandy soil to increase its moisture holding capacity, keeping plants evenly moist, especially during the development of the first fruits (mulch helps maintain soil moisture), and spraying plants with a Blossom End Rot spray (contains calcium) which can usually be purchased from your local garden center. Best wishes with your cucumbers!

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