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Jun 3, 2017 11:23 AM CST
Thread OP
Michigan, USA
Hi all, I planted a pumpkin seed in a pot back in January. It grew into a beautiful, tall, enormous pumpkin plant and I had it supported with many sticks and ties because it was getting so big. I wish I had a photo on my computer, it was just gorgeous. I've never seen leaves so huge. It almost got as tall as my ceiling, so now that's it's <almost> summer, I knew it was time to replant it outdoors, especially because I could no longer support its height, the weight of itself was causing it to collapse. Now I've learned that pumpkin plants would rather grow lower and closer to the ground. I learned it the hard way when I planted it outside. I have a trellis behind it and still had to secure the main/base step to it because I knew it would collapse and crack. The rest I was hoping would eventually vine around the trellis.

Things are going horribly wrong. Many of the smaller green branches have cracked because of the wind, and those leaves have died, and about 5 of the larger leaves turned completely white by the second day, and now have big holes in the center of them. (Meaning, each leaf that turned white has one big hole in the center.) My Mom sprayed it for every bug imaginable, but I'm thinking maybe I planted it all wrong. Some people have suggested I plant it sideways so it can stick closer to the ground to avoid so much leaf-cracking, and putting it in a less-windy location. I know you won't believe this, but this particular pumpkin plant never liked full-sun. Even in my room, I had to keep the blinds lowered a bit, because whenever it WOULD get full sun, it would start drooping/collapsing and just looking pretty bad in general. But it seemed to love the simple light that would come in from behind the clouds. Something in me just thinks it simply hates the wind and the full sun out there, it just isn't used to it and it never was. Any suggestions? It went from a large, green, gorgeous plant to a very small, shriveled, sad looking plant in a matter of a week. It kills me to even look at it. I want to help it and I'm almost tempted to just put it in a much larger pot and take it back inside, where it seemed to be happy. Or at least in a better location outside. Please help. Thanks in advance.
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Jun 3, 2017 1:24 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
All pumpkin plants love full sun but if your plant has always lived indoors, taking it out into the sun was too much. Those white leaves are sunburned and/or wind burned. Plants need to be acclimated slowly to wind and sun. The process could take up to two weeks.

For a pumpkin, the natural reaction to sun is to wilt. When the sun goes down, they perk back up. Its a defense against moisture loss through those great big leaves.

And yes, pumpkins can live on a trellis but they aren't usually planted that way because of the weight of the vine and fruit.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Avatar for HomeGrown44
Jun 4, 2017 12:10 AM CST
Thread OP
Michigan, USA
DaisyI said:All pumpkin plants love full sun but if your plant has always lived indoors, taking it out into the sun was too much. Those white leaves are sunburned and/or wind burned. Plants need to be acclimated slowly to wind and sun. The process could take up to two weeks.

For a pumpkin, the natural reaction to sun is to wilt. When the sun goes down, they perk back up. Its a defense against moisture loss through those great big leaves.

And yes, pumpkins can live on a trellis but they aren't usually planted that way because of the weight of the vine and fruit.


Hi, thank you so much for your reply. Thank You! Would you suggest I just leave it where it is for now and give it some time, or put it in a less windy spot, along the front of our house. The wind is coming off the lake, and if I were to plant it right in front of our house, it wouldn't get that wind, and would still get enough sun. Or would that just shock it even more and maybe I should just let things be and give it more time - 2 weeks like you said? Some of the leaves look awful, while some of them seem to look completely fine. So it has completely ruined leaves, and then the other ones look like nothing ever happened. Thanks again, I really appreciate your advice. Smiling
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Jun 4, 2017 9:06 AM CST
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
I agree Sunscald which really is sunburn. It should adjust to the sunlight though. Pumpkins are too heavy to grow on a trellis system.
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Jun 4, 2017 9:17 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
No, don't move it. The new leaves will be fine. If your pumpkin sets fruit, you will have to support their weight as they grow. I suspect the vine is breaking because of the weight the stems are attempting to carry even now. Pumpkins really weren't meant for a trellis but it can be done. Trying to remove the trellis at this point will just break the plant up even more.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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Jun 4, 2017 9:17 AM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Amaryllis Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida Irises
Herbs Region: Florida Vegetable Grower Daylilies Birds Cat Lover
Yes, you should just let the vine ramble along the ground. If you want to actually grow pumpkins, you will have to do this because, as both Rita and Daisy said, the pumpkins will be much too heavy for a trellis.

Water it, fertilize it, plant something else around it to protect from the wind - tall leafy flowers a few feet away should help a lot. Get a packet of sunflower seeds (not the really huge ones tho) and see if you can grow a bit of a windbreak for it. Or set up a piece of willow fencing?

If you had set up something to shade your plant when you first put it out, that would have prevented the sunburn on the leaves. Then you would have been able to gradually move the shade so the plant gradually got more sun. Now, you just have to let it grow new ones in the sun, so FEED it! Pumpkins are very heavy feeders and need deep watering every day. If you can manage to water it without wetting the leaves, (a soaker system instead of a sprinkler) that is best because they are also susceptible to powdery mildew if the leaves are wet for any length of time. Water deeply in the morning, never in the evening, so the leaves dry off during the day. You'll be tempted to water it in the evening if the leaves wilt on a hot day, but don't!!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Avatar for HomeGrown44
Jun 6, 2017 2:58 AM CST
Thread OP
Michigan, USA
Hi everyone, thanks so much for all the tips. What I've been doing is every morning going out there and adding a little of the soil in a bag that I (originally) planted it in, it's Miracle Grow Indoor.... I put about a layer around it and then water it so it all sinks in/down. The plant seems to like this and has perked up a bit, I can't believe it. You were all right, the big leaves that look terrible still do, any part that was cracked I just trimmed off, and today I noticed 4 new small leaves sprouted at the very bottom and then a few larger fuzzy ones are beginning to grow in the middle and near the top - and these leaves look fine. Today I will plant some Lupines around the front of it - not much room, but I will try anyway, and then just leave it alone and continue what I'm doing. My Mom said she has some plant food in the garage, but every time I add some of the new soil (which has food in it,) the plant looks better the following day, so I don't know if that's enough food right there or if I should be adding more. I just add a small layer of soil, not a big hill or anything, and then by the next day it's all flattened out. That was probably part of the problem as well, it wasn't used to the outside soil, even though I did add some of the bagged soil to the ground when I planted it, the rest of the ground/natural ground was a bit hard. So I think adding a little of the soil it's accustomed to is really helping the plant, I can really tell the difference. It' still A LOT shorter than it was in my room, but doesn't have that deathly look to it anymore, which to me, is a great improvement. I'll keep you all posted and I appreciate your help so much! Thanks again.
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Jun 6, 2017 5:44 AM CST
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Squash carrot and poppy grow best planted direct (by seed) to field.
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Jun 6, 2017 7:39 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River Twp, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Welcome to NGA, @HomeGrown44 --

I don't really think your pumpkin plant is ever going to recover well enough to produce pumpkins for you -- being grown for so long indoors, and without much light, it had to be very spindly and weak to begin with, and then being put out into the sun and wind would have been extremely stressful for it. I'd suggest planting a few seeds directly in the ground, be sure to keep the spot where they're planted moist until they get going, and see how those do in comparison to the original one. Do you know the name of the pumpkin variety that you're growing? Smaller types do fine on a sturdy trellis -- probably not advisable with the really big ones, though! Unless you live even farther north in Michigan than I do, this isn't too late to plant seeds and get ripe pumpkins this fall. Smiling
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
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Avatar for HomeGrown44
Jun 8, 2017 10:00 PM CST
Thread OP
Michigan, USA
Hi, I'm not concerned too much if it can grow a pumpkin or not, I just want it to feel and look healthy again. And you know what? It is. Smiling :)

One more question, completely different subject, sorry...
My little nephew and I planted a helicopter seed (Maple) in the ground and it already sprouted, cute little bugger. The stem is red and the 2 tiny leaves reminded us of a guy flexing his muscles. :-D Unfortunately today when I got home, it looked as if something had eaten both leaves, purposely. Because they were completely fine yesterday. I have it in a pot now, in my room on the window sill near the screen so it still gets the outside air and sun like it's used to getting. I don't trust it outside now after what happened. My question: The stem is still in tact, and because I now have it in a pot, I was able to see the roots and even the seed still in there that it sprouted from while replanting - it all looked good. Just the missing first two little leaves are completely gone. Does it still have a chance? Can it/will it grow new leaves? My nephew got such a kick out of the leaves and how they looked like they were "flexing"....but now they're gone. Just please let me know if it still can survive and possibly grow some new little <muscle> leaves. Crossing Fingers! Thanks so much
Last edited by HomeGrown44 Jun 8, 2017 10:01 PM Icon for preview
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Jun 8, 2017 10:15 PM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Amaryllis Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida Irises
Herbs Region: Florida Vegetable Grower Daylilies Birds Cat Lover
We'll only know if we wait and see. Let us know what happens? Shrug! Crossing Fingers!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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Jun 9, 2017 12:20 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Welcome! HomeGrown. Did whatever ate the maple leaves leave the tip of the stem intact? In other words it just ate into the leaves towards the stem but didn't take the whole top of the seedling off. If so then it may continue to grow. If not, then I don't expect that it will.
Avatar for HomeGrown44
Jun 9, 2017 3:15 PM CST
Thread OP
Michigan, USA
Hi, well, the 2 little leaves branched out from 2 small little green branches, and that is the part that is missing now, the whole top/2 little branches that had 2 little leaves. Its just a stem that's left, and what worries me is that the top/tip of the stem is black. Like one small black spot at the very tip, the rest of the entire stem is still all red below it. I just don't like at the very tip is a black spot. That's where the bite took place... Glare
Yep, I guess fingers crossed.. Thumbs up Crossing Fingers!
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Jun 9, 2017 10:54 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
What Sooby is saying is that the only growth tip on that tiny tree is the little tip between where the eaten leaves were attached. If that tip is gone, the tree will not live. Crying
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Avatar for HomeGrown44
Jun 10, 2017 4:09 AM CST
Thread OP
Michigan, USA
DaisyI said:What Sooby is saying is that the only growth tip on that tiny tree is the little tip between where the eaten leaves were attached. If that tip is gone, the tree will not live. Crying


Okay, got it. Sad But I will wait it out anyway. When the whole thing darkens and just stays there looking stagnant, I will know it's time to move on and start over. We're always looking for helicopter seeds that just "come to us" ... those are the ones we know to plant. Thank you all so much for the info on both problems. *Pumpkin plant is still doing better. Thank You!
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