Yellowing and dying pumpkin leaves early on

pyroguyJuly 23, 2007

This is my second year planting pumpkins. We planted some from the store and some from seed. So far I have about 2 main pumpkins that are the size of tennis balls and growing healthy each day. The vines seem to be advancing several inches a day. The problem is, back at the location where the seeds were planted in the ground the leaves have yellowed, browned, shriveled and died back exposing the garden area like a "bald" patch. About a week or so ago this area was covered with rich green leaves. We water frequently, the vine that is advancing is still a healthy green and those parts of the vine are soft and tender as they should be. The part of the vine in the newly "bald" area is turning woody. Am I doing something wrong, or have some kind of fatal disease? The leaves are dying back as if it were early Fall, they have that appearance. Some of the leaves presentl are a deep hued yellow.

Thanks for the help

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kamirachelle

I am having the same problem - but it almost like it is spreading across the garden. It has now moved into the muskmelon and watermelon. Almost like someone cut off the water supply in the vines. We had a melon that was looking great, we thought that we would be able to pick soon, now the leaves are yellowing. First year of gardening on land that had been previously harvested with soy beans and corn. Kind of a clay soil but we tested the soil and I believe that the PH was good. I wish I knew more about what I was doing.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 1:42PM
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sheltonoil

Exact same problem here. Note that I have a cantaloupe plant about 20 feet away which has been watered and fertilized exactly the same, but it has no issues whatsoever.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:33AM
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jackinthecountry

Could be squash borers.

Are there white spots appearing on the leaves? Could be a form of powdery or downy mildew. Treat with a fungicide.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 4:01PM
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daveindbq

I would agree with jackinthecountry. White spots or a powdery residue on the leaves, (Check underside too) I experienced the same issues with all of my cucurbits last year, and am starting to see evidence this year. The key is hit it with Fungicide soon, especially with those plants which have shown little impact yet. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 6:47AM
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robbie8105

I have the same problem. What type of fungicide should I use

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 10:30PM
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kpkratz(10 - SoCal)

There are several spray on products available to treat powdery mildew: Serenade, Safer Fungicide, Safer Three in One, Whitbury Labs makes one.. I can't remember what it's called... it's new and also organic (OMRI)...

The two ways they kill the fungus is either raising the pH on the surface of the leaves or placing another competing bacteria on the leaves.

Serenade is my favorite, but has a strong smell of vinegar. I'm going out to spray it on my powdery mildew infested pumpkins right now.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 11:11PM
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kpkratz(10 - SoCal)

Here is a good informational link about the powdery mildew. Also, Safer Fungicide is very good because it has a lot of sulfur in it. The sulfur is very powerful against pm.

Here is a link that might be useful: powdery mildew photos

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 12:26PM
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bobdole10(5)

Ok here the deal.. I was watching this post because I also am having the same problem. It started with the white looking stuff on the leaves got some spray (Safer Three in One) and every where I sprayed zukes, cucks and pumpkins DIED! All I have now is brown krusty leaves now still have green leaves else where but whats going on? This is my first time and pulling my hair out by the clumps also dont have any pumpkins still.

Any advise would be great .. Going to get pictures this week of the garden.

Thanks jeremy

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 2:44PM
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mjowest(5)

This year, DS, who's our master pumpkin grower- :)
Said that he found many mole/vole holes around the base of the pumpkin. So that when he did water, it was like the water never got to the plant.

It's been a terribly dry year here, but at least we have a few pumpkins doing ok. The gourds hardly ever have this problem!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 3:37PM
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slamdunc

Hi -

Came across this post and have a follow-up for you. A house that we've rented apparently was seeded for a pumpkin patch, and a few months ago (or so) we noticed huge leaves growing in our backyard and later started to see lots of pumpkins.

Not having a clue on farming, I just watered the plants when I watered the lawn, and in addition to happy pumpkins I grew some happy white powdery mildew. Rather than tackle it immediately, I was busy with work and let it spread, and now I have a pretty complete infestation.

After some research, I've cut off most of the infected leaves, and have sprayed a mix of baking soda/liquid soap on the remaining leaves.

My questions are:

- If all the leaves die, can I harvest my 20+ pumpkins and store them till the fall (in a cool garage)?

- Do I harvest now and cook the pumpkins?

- If my family eats them now, will we be eating this fungus too? Should we worry about that?

I'll keep looking around the web, and I'll post any updates I have.

Thanks in advance to any advice you have!!

Links in case you're having this trouble:
- Baking Soda recipe:
http://gardening.about.com/od/gardenproblems/qt/PowderyMildew.htm
- Pics and info of white mildew fungus:
http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/DiagnosticKeys/CucurLeaf/Powder/Pow_Pump.htm
- Info on growing your own pumpkins:
http://www.pumpkin-patch.com/growing.html

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 6:16PM
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weirdtrev

Yes you can still harvest your pumpkins. Unless the vines are actually dead you should leave them on the vines until they turn completely orange. Once pumpkins reach a very deep green stage or start to show any amount of orange they will continue ripening off the vine, others will simply rot. This advice doesn't apply to C. Maxima pumpkins that start off yellow or orange.

I see no reason at all to harvest now unless the pumpkins are ripe (orange).

You have nothing to worry about. The fungus will not hurt you or your family.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 7:30PM
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maryfrances(7)

I, too, have yellowing leaves, but there are some differences. There are no white spots, and the leaves last a long time after they turn yellow--i.e., they are turgid and look like green leaves, except for the color. One whole branch turned yellow. After a couple of weeks, the vine is dying, but slowly.

So once the pumpkins start to turn yellow, they'll ripen? That's great news; I have a couple of very large (12" diameter--no record breaker, but bigger than I was expecting) pumpkins they ought to keep us in pies for a few years.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 7:46PM
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egnilk66(9 - Southern California)

I also have giant pumpkins....with yellowing leaves. Is my pH too high? Is my water too warm? They are in a recirculating hydroponic system. Too much sun? HELP BEFORE THEY DIE! There are many other plant types in the system.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 10:12PM
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sweetmelon(7b Atl GA)

I am also having this problem, but without any signs of pm or insects. The base of the stem becomes woody on some plants (pumpkin, melon, watermelon) and rots on others (squash).

The squash is in particularly bad shape. Leaves are turning yellow beginning from the outside edge, then brown (and dry), then the whole plant dies. Post mortem shows the plant practically falling off the root at the base of the stem.

Can anyone tell what it may be?

Should I post some photos?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 12:04PM
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chicagoash

Hm. I'm having the exact same problem: healthy vines, good blossoms, 1 pumpkin growing happily. Older leaves at center of plant turn yellow at edges first, then whole leaf yellows, then browns and shrivels. Center stems are dark green and woody.

I'm pretty sure its NOT:

under watered: plants are in a self-irrigating container, like an earthbox, and are never without access to water

PM: No white spots. Weather has been humid, but plants are on our roof deck and receive a steady light, breeze, so things stay pretty dry. Plants are never watered from above.

Bugs: again, roof deck helps with this. We had a few aphids at the start of the season, treated plants with a light soap spray and haven't seen any bugs since.

Bacterial: Soil is new potting mix from a bag purchased at a reputable garden center, so should be free of anything nasty and plants were grown from seeds, so if its bacterial, I have no idea where it would have come from - this garden is as protected as a garden can be short of being sealed up!

One online resource suggested that problem might be nutritional, so today I treated water reservoir with a small dose of high-phosphorus fertilizer. I also misted the problem leaves with the same 1 tsp fertilizer/1 gallon h2o solution.

I'll keep y'all updated with any changes. My fingers are crossed!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 5:01PM
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lsst(7b)

I am having the same problem and think I may be losing my butternut squash. I had used milk for the pm but it was not working. I used Daconil and the next day, the leaves were worse.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 6:22PM
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chicagoash

OK, I think this may be working. Its only been 24 hours since first application, but I'm seeing definite greening. I wish I'd taken some pictures yesterday, but here's how the big guy's looking today:

and a closeup of one of the leaves. Yesterday he was almost completely yellow, today you can see green creeping back up. I added another 1 tsp/1 gallon mix today and again misted the problem leaves with the mix. I'll post another pic tomorrow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Pictures

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 9:28AM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

That last set of pictures looks like a case of way too many plants in way too little soil. :( Summer squash need 4-6 square feet per plant or an area 4-5 feet square for a hill of 3-4 plants. Winter squash need even more room.

And if that deck gets full sun all day the roots may be getting too hot as well.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 3:43PM
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justpure

i change the recipe and it works before and after you have
white power on your leaves. it is a fungi so with 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of antibacterial dish soap, and 2 capfuls of bleach once a week and water dailey in the early A.M. you will be fine.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 11:33AM
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njgardener1980

It is now a week before september and I do not have any pumpkins growing yet. Is this a sign that I won't have any this year? This is the first year I have tried growing pumpkins and melons and very curious if it's too late for hope. I live in northern new jersey and planted them as transplants in early may.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:34PM
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happyoutdoors

hello fellow green thumbs,

I have a patch of nice soil that gets sun almost all day, and over the past 2 years I have grown butternut squash, acorn and mini-pumpkins (ya know, they really don't get any larger :O)) on a vertical garden trellis - with great success.

So this year I thought I'd raise the stakes and try to grow medium size pumpkins, 8 - 10 inches. I haven't gotten water on the leaves, planted each of the four plants 2 feet apart, and as of today I have had a single pumpkin reach maturity, while dozens have turned yellow, and died, before growing more than an inch in diameter.

I will try the anti-fungicide mix previously mentioned to the leaves as they are in bad shape.

Any other ideas out there would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 3:17PM
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planetes(7b (Cascadia - PNW))

Happyoutdoors, what you're describing actually sounds like a pollination issue and the female flowers are aborting due to a lack of pollination.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:36PM
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happyoutdoors

Thanks for responding.

I have 2 more new pumpkins that have reached over an inch in diameter, 1 flower has opened and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. With all the bees that congregate near the flowers and throughout the garden I didn't think pollination would have been an issue.

I read about pollinating by hand, would you recommend this or do you have any other suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 3:04PM
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artemis11331_hotmail_com

I am having similar problems in that originally I had pm on the leaves of my pumpkin plant that turned yellow, brown and then crusty and are dieing after I sprayed them with fungicide 3 however the pumpkins are growing well and I have many tiny ones about to flower and there are a few leaves still green towards the end of my plant (which is still growing and expanding)

Is there anything I can do and will the pumpkins continue to grow or die with the plant

It has also been a very very rainy season with lots os rain in a short amount of time ... could that be part of the issue

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 8:15PM
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brigardener

I have recently started growing some butternut pumpkins from seed. They are still small but as the leaves are beginning to grow large I have noticed the small leaves are changing to a spotty yellow. Now many of the leaves are completely yellow and other have shriveled up and died. I can't see any white spots and as the plants are still so young I am unsure what the problem is. Does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem might be? I water them daily and fertilise.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 8:14AM
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terrybull

Too much water is as damaging to plants as too little, especially if the flooding persists for more than 2 or 3 days. Roots require abundant oxygen to live and grow, and waterlogged soils become anaerobic quickly. Waterlogged plants are stunted and often exhibit nutritional deficiencies because of poor root absorption. Waterlogged plants are also predisposed to root diseases.

Control:
Insure adequate drainage for plantings by field leveling and planting on raised beds. Avoid planting in fields with poor internal drainage. Carefully monitor frequency and duration of irrigation cycles, particularly during cool weather.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 10:48AM
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ZeBrAlOvEr2000

Hi, I live in Wisconsin so the weather was fairly cold to a hot humid. i wanted to grow a pumpkin plant, i accidently forgot to water one day and water it more the next day. A couple weeks ago i found that i had a pumpkin growing and the start of the pumpkin plant is dead (hard, rough, and a dark green). And now it has these white speckled spots on the leaves of the plant. I am afraid that the fungus or the bacteria might grow on to my cucumber plant which is perfectly healthy. I have no idea on what to or when to pick my pumpkin.... Need some assistant. But the rest of my plant is ok.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:39AM
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ZeBrAlOvEr2000

Hi, I live in Wisconsin so the weather was fairly cold to a hot humid. i wanted to grow a pumpkin plant, i accidently forgot to water one day and water it more the next day. A couple weeks ago i found that i had a pumpkin growing and the start of the pumpkin plant is dead (hard, rough, and a dark green). And now it has these white speckled spots on the leaves of the plant. I am afraid that the fungus or the bacteria might grow on to my cucumber plant which is perfectly healthy. I have no idea on what to or when to pick my pumpkin.... Need some assistant. Now the other bud i had is dying and looks rotten..... Please help i can always add more pictures

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:43AM
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paperslammer

Hello all,

I have been having the same issues. Let me recount my story for you. I planted zucchini eight ball squash, yellow crooked neck squash, and butternut squash. They were all doing awesome and producing a lot of fruit.

Then the snails arrived. They were eating all my fruit so I bought some natria slug and snail killer. Worked like a charm.

I was watering the plant for 10 minutes 2 times a day, in the morning and in the evening. This brought out the white mold on the leaves. I tried using a milk and water mixture to spray the leaves as well as cutting off all the infected leaves.

This kind of worked, but I have been battling it for 2 months, but not seriously trying. I cut the watering back to 1 time a day in the morning for 10 minutes.

Recently I have switched it to 3 times a week for 10 minutes. But what I have noticed is that the new leaves yellow and quickly turn brown and die. What would be causing this?

I have checked for vine borers by slitting open some leaf stems but I found nothing. Here are some more pictures.

Whole garden

New green leaves, yellow on the outside and dead leaves around the plant

Lemon cucumber plants. Started out great and now leaves started yellowing and just now they are starting to brown

Heres is a little bug hat I've seen around my plants...it looks like a discolored lady bug. Anything to worry about?

Thanks!

This post was edited by paperslammer on Fri, Sep 5, 14 at 11:27

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 7:45PM
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