View Full Version : White fungus cucumber plants

Jun. 1, 2012, 08:08 AM
Every year I go and buy cucumber plants and every year within a month they have this white fungus on that kills them. I use very good potting soil in my containers and occationally plant food. It doesn't matter where I put them (I try different locations and pots every year) and it doesn't seem to effect my other veggie plants. I have tried to keep them sprayed with Sevin, which is what our local plant place says to use. But nothing helps and once again I started to see white spotted leaves!!!

Please help wise COTH or at least send me to a place!! I would really like some home-grown cucs this year. Thanks.

Jun. 1, 2012, 08:53 AM
powdery mildew? Sevin is for insects, not fungus iirc.

Make sure your plant is in full sun, with lots of space between plants and good air circulation. Never water overhead, keep the leaves dry at all times, water the soil gently w/o splashing dirt onto the leaves.

If your plant is growing vigorously, prune off the most heavily moldy leaves and discard in a bag in the trash, do not put leaves in compost pile. Use sharp scissors to prune, get a nice clean cut, do not try to prune with your hands. Then fertilize after pruning, I use fish fertilizer (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HCNSTQ/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B005BV1VGU&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=031WE94AZD35ZBH71J0M). If you are pruning multiple plants, disinfect your hands and scissors between plants. I use a 2gallon pail of water with a couple of glugs of bleach. I carry it along with me as I prune and just swish my hands and tool between each plant.

Immediately after pruning, make a concoction of a cup or two of milk, cup or two of water, plus a tablespoon or two of baking soda, mix well and put in a spray bottle and spray all over plant. Meanwhile, get some garden dust (http://www.gardeners.com/Garden-Dust-Pest-Control/GardenPests_Insects,11940,default,cp.html?utm_medi um=cpc&utm_source=Google&utm_term=bonide_garden_dust&SC=XNET8019&kwid=e231a92be4544be9ae1a01de35d36ddd&SKU=11940). Apply as often as the label allows, and mist with milk & baking soda once or twice inbetween dust applications.

I do a weak fish fertilization on infected or heavily pruned plants once a week, I think its important to feed the heck out a plant thats health is compromised.

Powdery mildew is a simple, common problem thats relatively easy to control, but its very tenacious. You have to stay on top of it.

Next year, dust and spray your cukes as soon as they're established, do not wait to see symptoms, spray and dust so you don't get any.

this may sound like a lot, but for home grown cukes its worth it :)

Jun. 1, 2012, 08:54 AM
Had the same problem on my squash/gourd/pumpkin plants. Talked to my local farmer's market peeps and they told me two things:

1. Never water on top of the plant - ie, water at the roots only and keep the water off the leaves.

2. Use milk to control the problem if it develops.

Here is a site with some other tips/considerations.


"Milk is another very effective spray for powdery mildew. Mix the milk at a ratio of one part of milk to nine parts of water and spray weekly. Do NOT go higher than 3 milk to 9 water or you'll attract other fungus problems that want to feed on the milk. Skim milk works well as it contains no fat to turn rancid (and attract other problems that like the smell of rotting fats.)"

Jun. 1, 2012, 12:23 PM
Start your own. They are incredibly easy to start, and it's not too late right now.

This prevents any disease coming in from wherever you're getting the plants from.

Jun. 1, 2012, 01:43 PM
Start your own. They are incredibly easy to start, and it's not too late right now.

This prevents any disease coming in from wherever you're getting the plants from.

I wish I could, but I killed my little tomato plants in 12 hrs. of putting them outside. Not to mention my poor melon plants as well. The only seedlings that ever survive are peppers. I definitly do not have a green thumb. If it wasn't for Mr. TG our house plants wouldn't survive either.

Besides the rest of the veggie plants come from this same grower and they all turn out okay - as long as I remember to water :eek:

Buck - Thank you for all the info. Off I go to get some powder dust. At least now I have a name for my fungus and now I know it is not due to bugs.