Cucumbers dying on the vine


I have planted cucumbers in containers. the plant looks very healthy with big green leaves and no bugs. It also has tons of yellow flowers. However, the baby cucumbers are turning white, shriveling up and dying. I was fertilizing it but have since stopped because I have no idea what is wrong. Any help is much appreciated!


Thanks for getting in touch about your cucumber plants.  It isn’t likely that fertilizing is the problem here, and the healthy foliage indicates no pest or disease problems.  From your description, it seems most likely that your cucumbers are not being pollinated.  If you are gardening on a balcony, it is possible that pollinators have not found your cucumbers in sufficient numbers, and if this is the case, it is often helpful to plant a selection of flowering native plants as well to encourage pollinator visits.  Wherever they are planted, cucumbers, like squash and other members of the Cucurbit family, often need a bit of help with pollination.

Cucumber plants have both male and female flowers. Based on your description, what you are seeing is the baby cucumber at the base of the female blossom. It will not develop any further unless the female blossom is pollinated with the pollen from the male blossom.  Here is a previous Toronto Master Gardeners post that describes this in greater detail, and also offers tips on how to pollinate your cucumber blossoms yourself: As this post mentions, there are many online Youtube tutorials that show you how to identify the male blossoms and transfer pollen by hand from the male to the female blossoms – it isn’t a difficult task.  Here is one example:

The good news is that there is still enough time left this summer for your cucumbers to produce a crop if you are able to hand pollinate them.