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Cucumber wilting problems

Hi there - for the last few years I have had problems growing cucumbers in the soil of my greenhouse and polytunnell. The plants initially grow well but then start to wiltt during the day and although they recover at night, the plants seem to get weaker and eventually I have to remove them. This year I have done the same but also grown some in pots in the same location. The ones in the pots are doing fine but once again the ones in the soil are wilting. The attached photo shows one in a pot in the foreground and the wilting one in the background. I have tried misting the leaves but still having the wilting problem. Anyone had the same thing or found a solution?!


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,894
    I really don't know, but usually when plants wilt in the day and recover at night is due to excessive heat - the roots can't supply water fast enough to the leaves so they loose pressure and droop. In the cooler evening the balance is restored and the leaves perk up again.
    The one in the pot doesn't look great tbh, but is healthier than those in the soil.

    It seems to be something in the environment in which they're planted that's causing the problem.
    Plenty of airflow will help reduce the possibility of fungal infections.

    I grow one every year in a pot in my g/h usually with great results.
    I use a 22L pot filled with a mix of multi-purpose compost and rotted farmyard manure.
    I feed once a week with Miracle-Grow.
    When I plant mine in the final pot I make sure that the stem is just slightly proud of the surface of the compost as they can be prone to crown rot.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • nickharrnickharr Posts: 13
    Hi Pete - thanks for getting back to me.. I take your point about the mix for the pots. Next time, I'll use your mix and put them in larger pots. Maybe easier than trying to work out what I'm doing wrong with the soul planted ones!
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,087
    Yes @Pete.8 is the cucumber expert here. He helped me the other year with clematis netting to grow cues on in the greenhouse,  a great success. How are yours doing Pete, I have had 50 cues to date. The hot weather seems to have pushed mine on, and I think the season will finish early for me , as the plants have grown fast and some are turning yellow at the base, a sure sign of outgrowing itself, it is about 10ft long.
  • During the very hot weather the cucumbers in our polytunnel withered very badly during the day. They were watered in the evenings and became turgid again. We have harvested many fruits and still are. Now that we have cloudy days they aren't wilting at all. They are all planted in the soil. All our plants in the polytunnel are in the soil and not in pots.
    We grow radishes, pak choi, kohl rabi, tomatoes, peppers, chillies, strawberries, cucamelons, salad leaves, carrots(didn't do so well this year with carrots, probably too hot for germination) all in the soil.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,894
    This year I thought I'd try mushroom compost for a change instead of farmyard manure as I already had some.
    It didn't get off to a great start - I think the compost was too strong or maybe too alkali.
    Since planting in the final pot in May I've had 12 and the plant was only about 18", but it has finally got into gear and is growing well now with lots of cues on the way.
    It will suit me better to have  a later harvest as I can use them in my annual batch of gazpacho made from home grown veg.

    Coincidentally I watched a you tube clip with Charles Dowding recently who tested different compost mixes. He used spinach to test with and grew some in neat mushroom compost. The plant look very poorly for quite a while then eventually took off and performed extremely well - my cucumber seems to be doing the same.
    Pleased yours are doing well this year @purplerallim.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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