Forum home Problem solving

Courgette leaves mottled, turning brown and curling up. Please help

I'm a first time veggie gardener and have in the last week got the first few courgettes from my plant. However in the last few days the leaves have suddenly mottled, curled up and gone brown, dry and crispy. Also, the fruit seems to have now stopped growing and look like some of them are wilting / need water although the soil has been kept sufficiently moist. Can anyone shed any light on what the problem is and how rectify it. TIA 



  • It is a large terracotta pot (See photo). Is it big enough?
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,586
    Pot is huge, last couple of years I have grown them in those containers that whey protein comes in which is about half the size of a bucket, they did fine, I suspect lack of water, that pot (its gorgeous by the way) will need a LOT of  watering
  • strelitzia32strelitzia32 Posts: 767
    The issue with growing courgette, cucumber etc in terracotta pots is that clay pot will suck the moisture out of the compost. As already said in this thread, courgette need a lot of watering under normal circumstances, and you'll need to water even more to deal with the clay issue down where the roots are. So if possible I'd suggest trying to move the plant to something else that isn't porous...
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited June 2020
    Check for signs of spider mite.  The recent hot dry spell has been perfect for them and we are seeing quite a few posts showing them on plants outdoors this year (they are usually only a problem under glass in the UK.)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ejessop13ejessop13 Posts: 5
    I would put a plastic pot inside the ornamental pot to retain moisture, one that just fits (perhaps next year) . As someone said theyre greedy and grow well on compost heaps so perhaps neat well rotted compost would work better in the pot.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I think Bob may have it, in all I would just take off all affected leaves and monitor new growth, while keeping up the regular watering, those leaves are no good to the plant now
  • chinatree22chinatree22 Posts: 3
    It is a large terracotta pot (See photo). Is it big enough?
    Did you ever find out what was causing this problem with the leaves? I've got the same problem this year with my Midnight courgettes.  Two are in the ground and one in a pot.  I find it strange that its only affecting one type of courgette.  All my others are fine.
  • bédébédé Posts: 2,966
    edited 20 July
    Some philosophical questions.  Does a large pot 'need a lot of watering', or 'holds a lot of water'?

    Does terracotta 'waste water' or 'control water'?

    If the pot were smaller and lighter would it tend to blow about a bit?

     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    Are your courgettes all the same variety @chinatree22, or is it just that the one in the pot has the problem?
    It's fairly normal for foliage to get manky as the plants grow, and when they're potted it's harder to keep them watered as easily as in the ground, so foliage tends to die off more rapidly. You can remove any damaged, or eaten foliage, as they aren't really benefiting the plant at that point. That's the main problem I have with them - slugs eating the leaves. They produce lots of new ones though, so it isn't really a major problem. 
    If you can give some extra info, that will help  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • chinatree22chinatree22 Posts: 3
    Many thanks for your reply @Fairygirl.
    I have 3 Midnight courgettes. 2 in the ground and one in a container.  All 3 have gone like the photo posted.  I'm also growing Black Beauty (ground) and Summer Holiday (ground and containers).  All those are fine and thriving. 
    I've now removed all the manky leaves and given them a top dressing of Fish, Blood & Bone, just in case its a lack of nutrients.  Maybe the other plants are taking all the goodness, although that wouldn't apply to the container one.
    I have clay soil which has been covered, rather than dug in, with aged horse manure and home compost.
    Thanks again for your reply.  It's much appreciated :)
Sign In or Register to comment.