Seed Swaps

Lemon Cucumber Leaf Funk...

01 Jul 2010
Sunny 20°C / 68°F

My once green and beautiful lemon cucumber plant has this white powdery stuff all over it. I am not too sure how long a lemon cucumber will produce fruit but ours produced for quite a few weeks and is now no longer producing.

I wish websites would just give me the damn answers i need.


Anyway…I am to assume that once my lemon cuke has stopped producing fruit then thats it? Time to chuck it?

Besides all of the above…since this is my first year growing, well, anything edible, I had no idea what to do about the white powdery stuff that appeared on my lemon cuke…first one leaf…then 3….then 6…then the entire plant was (is) covered in it.

I hear that milk and water spray can halt this situation…but not so well on cucumbers and squash plants…fuzzy leaf plants.

Anyway…here are my specific questions if anyone can please help me:

1 – What should I have done at the first sight of white powdery stuff visible on my cuke and squash leaves? (i live right on the coast so i am sure this will happen again and again).

2 – How long does the Lemon Cuke produce fruit? Is it safe to assume that once it stops producing that the plant is DONE? As in…chuck it?

3 – Does the powdery stuff on the leaves cause the plant to stop producing and die earlier than it should have?

My entire plant is covered in this stuff from top to bottom. I know it is time to chuck it…it probably was a long time ago. It sure gave us a nice run of lemon cukes while it lasted though! We really enjoyed them.

All photos will show the situation.






Folia Helper

United States6b

I am by no means an expert, but it sounds (and looks) A LOT like powdery mildew.

Posted on 15 Jul 10 (almost 8 years ago)

That is most definitely powdery mildew! You can make a spray to get rid of it, using 1 Tbsp baking soda in one gallon of water. Add a couple of drops of liquid dish soap to the mix, and spray it on the leaves.

I believe that the biggest reason why your cucumber has stopped producing fruits is the fact that it is under attack from the mildew…it’s racing to grow leaves that are not infested with fungus. If you get rid of the mildew, it should start producing again, and it should continue producing until it gets frosted in the fall.

Posted on 16 Jul 10 (almost 8 years ago)

hello N20863 and dana_bee! thanks for that information…i am going to try this solution starting today, but since the entire plant is already affected and has been for a few weeks, isn’t it too late to “fix” this since the entire plant is already covered in it? you know what…i DO see some new leaf growth trying to come in at the base of the plant. any comments on whether or not it is too late? after all…some of the websites are telling me to cut the affected leaves OFF the plant…while other sites are simply saying to spray. thanks for your help!

Posted on 16 Jul 10 (almost 8 years ago)

I had the same problem last year, and once I started spraying my plants they recovered enough that I got another few cucumbers before it froze. We’ve got a really short growing season here, though, so you might get more than I did after they are cured…it can’t hurt to try, at any rate.

I think that I did end up cutting off some of the worst infected leaves, because the leaves were drying out by the time I figured out what was going on…I am not sure that cutting everything off is the right move, though. This is all conjecture on my part, but I suspect that cutting off the leaves would help spread the mildew spores around. I also suspect that removing all of the leaves would make it hard for the new leaves to grow, because the plant wouldn’t be photosynthesizing so much. Actually, that last part is based off of this one cucumber vine on my blacony, it lost most of its big leaves due to the crappy weather this year, and it has had new leaf growth for weeks that just haven’t turned into full-sized leaves yet. Also, apparently the spray changes the ph of the leaves enough to kill the mildew, so they might recover, I think.
I am not sure how helpful all of my theorising is, but I hope your cucumbers recover!

Posted on 16 Jul 10 (almost 8 years ago)

hi dana_bee….i think i am going to go ahead and try the spraying and not cut anything off. there are no other cukes or squashes living in the front yard currently. i have my newly sprouted sunzilla sunflowers in the front though and a tomato plant plus two tomatillos….will this powdery mildew affect any of those? i may wind up chucking the entire plant very soon if this is the case. i am going to have to go looking for answers on this because this only just now occurred to me! thanks so much for all your help!

Posted on 16 Jul 10 (almost 8 years ago)

I’m not too sure if the powdery mildew will go after sunflowers or tomatoes or tomatilloes…it did spread to my African Violets recently, which has been less than fun to deal with. (Although, that could have been a different sort of mildew on the African Violets, I am not so good at identifying fungi yet.)

Posted on 16 Jul 10 (almost 8 years ago)

I got some advice and I was told that it will probably not spread to tomato or tomatillo. Sunflowers seem to have some kind of resistance to it because i did notice a few spots of this stuff on their huge leaves but it seemed to just fade away and did not spread. i am comforted by that. i did begin treatment as of yesterday late afternoon while we still had some sun out but not bearing down. i mixed up a solution that was 3/4ths water, 1/4 milk, two HEAPING teaspoons of baking soda (to 2 quarts of the liquids) and around 6 drops of dish washing liquid. i then used one of those COOL pump sprayers so i wouldn’t kill my index finger and i COMPLETELY SATURATED the entire lemon cuke plant top to bottom including undersides of leaves.

I also did my squash plant in the backyard too since it now has spots. i really hope this works!!!

I am told that this can be used as preventative maintenance as well….maybe every couple of weeks or so once the plant is big and has bigger leaves and you know that crud is going to hit eventually…

lets see what happens!


Posted on 17 Jul 10 (almost 8 years ago)

Oh, hey, preventative spraying is a good idea! I should go spray my cucumbers and zucchinis.

Posted on 17 Jul 10 (almost 8 years ago)

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