Cucumbers Dying


Hi Master gardener,
Some cucumbers in my garden look like dying. The leaves became all dry although I water them regularly.
There are cucumber beetles, but I have them under control. The leaves look like they are infected with some diseases. Please help.


Hello – Sorry to hear that your cucumbers are not doing well especially as you’ve taken care to control the cucumber beetle. Unfortunately, I think your plants may be suffering from bacterial wilt which is one of the biggest problems that affects cucumbers.  Bacterial wilt is spread by the cucumber beetle.  There is an easy test to confirm that bacterial wilt is the issue.  Cut a wilted stem off at the base and touch the cut end with your fingertip.  If when you slowly pull your fingertip away, thin, white, thread-like strands come out of the cut, you have bacterial wilt.

There is no cure for this plant disease.  Affected plants should be removed immediately to keep it from spreading to other cucumber plants.  Note that bacterial wilt also affects muskmelon and to a lesser degree, pumpkins and squash.  The remedy is not to try and eliminate every cucumber beetle which is an impossible task but rather to plant cucumber varieties that are resistant to bacterial wilt.  I’m including below a link to a good article on the Savvy Garden blog that talks about the various problems including bacterial wilt that can affect cucumbers.  The article notes a number of cucumber varieties that are resistant to bacterial wilt.

Identifying and solving cucumber plant problems