Cucumber plants might be the hardest of plants you have ever seen, but they are also prone to various health issues. A good example would be the cucumber leaves turning white issue.
It’s a common complication that affects most cucumber plants today, and solving it requires an informed approach. Fortunately, this guide looks at all the crucial factors you should consider in solving the problem:
What are The Reasons for Cucumber Leaves Turning White?
There are various reasons why cucumber leaves might be turning white, and the guide below identifies the common ones:
Cause #1. Powdery Mildew
It refers to a common fungal infection, which is the leading cause of cucumber leaves turning white.
The main cause of Powdery Mildew is a fungus that goes by the term Podospaera xanthii. Usually, the mildew prefers growing in humid conditions, with temperatures varying between 68-81° F.
The best way to identify powdery mildew on your plants is to look at the edges. It is also the main cause of the cucumber leaves turning yellow issue.
As the name suggests, be mainly on the lookout for any white markings on the leaf surfaces. Left unchecked, the size of these sports will increase significantly over time before consuming the plant thoroughly. In some cases, the white spots occur alongside a browning or burning-like side effect.
While Powdery mildew means there is a compromise in your plant’s health, it’s not necessarily dangerous. Some plants with this issue can survive the disease for years, while others die within a few months.
The reason is that the mildew can sometimes consume large sections of the plant’s leaves. As a result, the plan will no longer be able to perform photosynthesis effectively.
Cause #2. Pests
The other common cause of white powder on cucumber leaves are pests, with the common ones including:
These bugs get their name from the white substance all across their bodies. Mealybugs can also cause the cucumber leaves turning yellow and white issue. Usually, they collect in large groups, which might come off as a thick layer of mold.
However, the bugs often recreate rapidly and start producing a thick waxy powder as they feed. Aside from the leaves, these bugs can also attack various other sections of a cucumber plant, such as stems.
- Scale insects
These insects share a solid correlation to mealybugs but also exist in various unique colors. Specifically, the frames have cottony cushion scales that accommodate large egg sacs. Scale insects are a common cause of newly planted cucumber leaves turning white.
During the point of feeding, these sacs give off the appearance of puffs that feature a unique cotton wrapping. Additionally, the growing young scales can leave white and cottony remnants after feeding.
- White Flies
These refer to tiny pests that have a waxy white powder-like appearance. Like the mealybug pests, white flies can procreate first, making them highly infectious for cucumber plans. Plus, whiteflies tend to collect on the under sections of leaves, eventually forming a white appearance on leaves. Simply shaking them off should be sufficient to remove them.
Cause #3. Overwatering
The other common cause of cucumber leaves turning white around the edges could be overwatering issues. Usually, the overwatering causes the plants to absorb more water than normal, thus leading to swelling.
When left unchecked, the issue can eventually develop into advanced complications, such as the leaves turning white. Plant health experts sometimes refer to this health issue as edema. On average, cucumber plants require about one inch of water each week.
Cause #4. Transplant Shock
Transplant shock refers to the stress that a plant experiences immediately after you transfer it to a new setting. Usually, it occurs when the plant fails to adjust to the soil conditions well or produce roots as required.
While cucumber leaves turning white after transplant is mostly temporary, it could be indicative of transplant shock complications. The transplant shock also occurs when you fail to transplant the cucumber without the right techniques.
Cause #5. Exposure The Elements
Issues such as sunburn or sunburn are common causes of baby cucumber leaves turning white. The reason is that the excessive sun usually causes discomfort to the plants, mainly occurring during the dry seasons of the year.
Since it’s a seasonal complication, it’s likely that the cucumber leaves turning white issue will only last for a few months.
How to Fix White Cucumber Leaves
There are two main techniques that you can use to fix cucumber leaf problems:
Solution #1. Homemade Techniques
Using organic pesticides is a powerful cucumber leaves turning white treatment. The best types are the product that contains sulphur, neem oil, or potassium bicarbonate.
Plus, they are also most effective when you first come across the occurrence of the disease. Some other helpful tips for cucumber leaves turning brown include:
- Baking soda is a proven resource for many gardening enthusiasts when it comes to addressing powdery mildew. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda, some water, and vinegar. Then spray this mixture as thoroughly as possible on the affected plant areas.
- The other solution that you can use is a mil spray. Mix some milk with some water, and ensure it gets to all sections of the cucumber leaves.
Solution #2. Preventing Scorch
Any newly new plants that you relocate are likely to encounter issues such as sunburn because of no previous experience with these elements.
Getting to the outside light can be a traumatic experience for plants, such as those that have developed in low-light settings. The reason is that the new environment and its characteristics will likely lead to spotting issues.
The best way to solve this problem is to ease the outdoor plants by letting them sit in their pots for a few more hours.
You must gradually ease them into the new environment to avoid leaves turning white due to the plant shock issue. Expect this process to take up to a day or to complete.
Solution #3. Use Neem Oil
The treatment for powder mildew or white leaves must start when you first come across the leaves turning white issue. If you don’t address the disease before it advances, you risk causing damage to the entire plant.
Neem also works exceptionally well for cucumber leaves turning white and drying out.
This solution involves using neem oil, which contains various antioxidants and helps suffocate the mildew from your leaves.
The key to this approach’s success is ensuring that you apply the oil to all plant parts. The reason is powdery mildew spreads relatively easy, and it’s good to reduce the risk of its spread at all costs.
How to Prevent Cucumber Leaves from Turning White
Below is a simple guide that you can use to prevent cucumber leaves from turning white:
- Set your cucumber plants right for photosynthesis. Plant cucumbers in a setting where they receive optimal sunlight throughout the day. Ensure the plants in excessive shade can easily develop fungus issues.
- Maintain sufficient space between the cucumber plants. Ensure you set cucumbers further apart to encourage optimal air circulation through the plans. On average, cucumbers can grow up to 7 – 10 feet long and feature several runners on the primary vine section. The vine leaves tend to be large unless there is space between the vines. The leaves also grow well when they have a trellis to climb on unless twisting complications occur, which can compromise air circulation.
- Control the number of plants you want to grow. On average, cucumber vines produce excessive foliage, and just two healthy plants can be sufficient for an entire family. If you wish to prepare pickles, about 6 – 7 plants will be enough for your needs. Well-spaced plants thrive and are more productive than those cramped up in one space.
- Start with seeds or plants that can resist mildew. Doing this will reduce the chances of fungus affecting your plants, or they grow in your garden. We recommend that you also check out these cucumber leaf disease pictures.
Why Does My Cucumber Have White Leaves?
There are various reasons why your cucumber plant could have white leaves. Some of the main ones include insufficient sunlight, exposure to excessive salt, transplant shock and pests. You have to identify this issue ahead of time to avoid long-term damage to the structure of the plant.
Should I Remove Cucumber Leaves with Powdery Mildew?
Yes, you should remove cucumber leaves with powdery mildew, but only, after all, the right treatment methods don’t work. However, be careful in removing the leaves and checking for any compromised parts.
What Are the Signs of Overwatering Cucumbers?
The main sign of overwatering in cucumbers would be a slight change in the colour of the leaves. It usually occurs because the roots can no longer absorb water as required for plant health.
Should Cucumbers Be Watered Every Day?
Yes, you should water your cucumber plants every day. However, you must control the amount you supply to the plant to avoid compromising the plant’s health. You should also ensure the watering process occurs in a spacious pot.
It’s frustrating to see cucumber leaves turning white, and its probably an inevitable experience for most gardeners. Fortunately, the information outlined above will make you better at stopping it occurring next time.