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Cucumbers are not only delicious but also very easy to grow. From time to time, however, a problem could arise and it’s important to be prepared.
What are the most common problems with cucumber plants? Some of the most common problems that may affect cucumber plants are diseases like blight and leaf spot, pests like beetles and flies, as well as various soil-borne bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Watering and light issues may also cause problems with your pepper plants.
Read on below to discover the most common problems with cucumber plants and how to fix them!
Identifying and Fixing Common Problems With Cucumbers
Many diseases or pests can eventually destroy your cucumber plants if they are not controlled in time. It’s important to learn the main characteristics and what to do in each case. If you don’t act in time, your plants will likely die or be severely stunted.
Problems With Cucumber Plants (and Solutions)
Here is a list of the most common problems with cucumber plants and the best solutions for each one:
1. Blight and Leaf Spot
Blight and leaf spot are two of the most common foliar diseases that affect cucumber plants. Small brown spots with yellow halo-like rings appear first on older leaves. If left unattended, the leaves will start to brown, curl, and fall. These diseases will not only affect the harvest but also could eventually kill the plant.
Removing the affected leaves and stems will prevent the fungus from spreading. Natural fungicides will help you control the disease. Be aware that if the plant is riddled with fungus, you’ll have to destroy it.
2. Pests (Beetles)
There are two types of cucumber beetles, striped and spotted. Both types eat from the leaves and flowers leaving a trail of holes. The larva nibble on the plant’s root. Left unchecked, they’ll eat your peppers out of house and home.
You can use yellow sticky traps to catch the bugs and row covers are also great to keep them away. Cinnamon, lemon juice, vinegar, and other organic pest control methods also come in handy.
3. Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that looks just like its name suggests; plants affected with powdery mildew look like they’ve been dusted in talcum powder. Heavy mildew limits photosynthesis and the growth of the plant.
Organic fungicides based on Bacillus subtilis or bicarbonates can help you manage powdery mildew disease.
4. Watering Issues (Overwatering/Underwatering)
Cucumber plants need to be watered deeply and consistently. The soil must be always moist, but not soaked. Underwatering will affect the plant’s growth, dramatically.
Avoid watering the plants from overhead, the excess moisture on the leaves can cause diseases.
5. Mosaic Virus
This virus gets to the cucumber plants through aphids and attacks the vegetables. The cucumber plant mosaic virus does not overwinter in the soil and does not affect future seeds. Among the first symptoms, the leaves develop yellow, green, and white spots, like a mosaic pattern.
There is no cure for the mosaic virus. If your plant is affected you’ll have to unroot and dispose of it.
6. Bacteria and Fungus
Bacterial diseases are spread by beetles and they destroy the plant. The leaves appear dull before turning yellow and brown. Fungus, on the other hand, thrives in moist, humid conditions. The type of fungus attacking the plant could be identified by the aspect of the leaves.
The fungus can be controlled using the correct watering methods and an organic fungicide. Bacterial infections can only be prevented by using disease-resistant seeds. Once infected with a bacteria the plant will die.
Suggested Reading: How to Grow Cucumbers: Gardening Guide
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