Orange Mold/Fungus at base of Zucchini

austintaneousJuly 6, 2011

I noticed 4 days ago that my zucchini plants were looking like they hadn't had water in weeks. I had just watered them hours before, so I watered them again. Within an hour the leaves perked up and looked perfectly healthy. The next day I had the same thing happen. I finally looked closely at the plant and found that main stem of the plant had an orange mold growing on it from the ground up to about 6 inches. The main stem was soft to the touch and seemed mushy. Any thoughts on what this could be? I'm continuing to water twice a day and new fruits are still growing, but the mold appears to be getting worse.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Sounds like a so-called slime mold. Some go by the name dog vomit fungus. If so, won't damage your plants.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 5:53PM
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austintaneous

A quick google search for slime mold netted some pictures that look very similar to what I'm seeing. Would that explain the sudden need for extra watering? I will say the temp has been in the mid to upper 90's for most of the last week. Also, have two yellow squash plants within 3 feet of the zucchini which have no mold and do not need the extra watering.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 6:09PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Temperatures in ther 90's and plants growing in the hot sun can produce plants that wilt and may need extra water depending on how well the soil they are growing in retains moisture. That a slime mold is growing near this plant indicates there is some mulch around it which is a help, if the mulch is thick enough.
Look closely at the stems to be sure this one does not have a Squash Vine Borer.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 7:05AM
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austintaneous

I'm not seeing any bugs at the base of the plant.

I've posted a picture of the base of the plant here..

http://postimage.org/image/n4l83n44/

Here is a link that might be useful: Pic of zucchini rot

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:06AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Okay, so NOT a slime mold.

Perhaps southern blight? If so, not at all good.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 12:22PM
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austintaneous

I'm thinking now that it is indeed a squash vine borer. I'm going to slice open the stem tonight to look for larvae.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 4:31PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

I'm not at all familiar with that critter -- we don't have it here, thank goodness.

But here's info & good images that might help.
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Horticulture/Squash_Vine_Borer

Here is a link that might be useful: squash vine borer w/images damage

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:29PM
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