It’s no news that cucumber plants are thirsty plants that require lots of water to grow. However, this causes some gardeners to over-water cucumber plants. But over-watering your cucumbers plant is not ideal.
Too much water can damage the cucumber plants when their roots sit in a waterlogged area for too long. This in turn causes the roots to be depleted of oxygen and encourages the growth of toxic fungi that can destroy your cucumber plants.
In this article, we will be looking at the symptoms and problems you may face when it comes to over-watering cucumbers. Also, we will be looking at how to water your cucumber plants the right way. We will also be discussing how you can correct or deal with overwatering problems you may encounter with your cucumber plants.
Overwatered Cucumber Plants
Cucumbers are one thirsty vegetable which means they require lots of watering. But it is important you know how much watering to supply your cucumber plants.
Over-watering your cucumbers can be pretty detrimental to the health of the plant. When cucumber plants have been overwatered, you begin to notice some adverse symptoms.
Symptoms Of Over Watering Cucumbers
The main problems faced with over-watering cucumbers include:
1. Yellowing Of Leaves & Crispy Edge
When the leaves start to turn yellow, this may be an early symptom of over-watering. Once the cucumber plants sit in a waterlogged environment for a long time, they become damaged. This causes nutrient lockout where plants can’t absorb appropriate nutrients. Hence, the leaves start to turn yellow.
Another common symptom shown by your cucumber leaves when they’ve been over-watered is crispy brown edge and tips. This is because as water is taken up by your cucumber plants, it travels through each leaf and cell to cell by the process of osmosis.
When the water reaches the outer edge of the leaves, it becomes trapped because the plant has absorbed excess water. Hence, this causes the cells on the edges of the leaves to swell and burst. Therefore, this is when you notice the dead and brown edges of the leaves.
2. Root Rot
As we said, the cucumber plant doesn’t like waterlogged soil. Mostly, cucumbers grown in heavy soil such as clay soil are more prone to water retention rather than draining. It helps to add humus materials like decomposing straws or leaves to enhance drainage.
When the roots sit too long in a waterlogged environment, it predisposes them to fungus problems. This in turn causes root rots and affects the absorption of nutrients and oxygen.
The bad side of this is that if the whole plant system has been affected, it may be impossible to save the cucumber plant. Hence, it’s advisable to remove and destroy the whole plan.
However, if the damage is minor, you may possibly save your cucumber plant by replanting in new soil with proper drainage. Saving the cucumber plant will depend on the type of fungi the plant has been infected with.
3. Powdery Mildew
Watering your cucumber the wrong way such as overhead watering can predispose them to powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a common fungi infestation.
Cucumber plants infected by powdery mildew tend to show spots on leaves. These spots may spread to the stem and fruits. With time, the leaves begin to wilt, turn brown, and fall off. Therefore, this leaves the cucumber plants exposed to the sun.
When the infection is serious, it results in small and deformed cucumbers. However, this infestation can be easily treated if you notice them early.
Treat with a natural anti-fungal spray such as neem oil.
Saving Over-watered Cucumbers Plants
The first thing is to cease watering the cucumber plants and leave them for several days to let the soil dry. If your cucumbers are grown in a container pot, bring them out and sundry them.
However, ensure you place them in a shaded spot to protect the upper leaves. Cucumber plant that has been over-watered often has an issue with water transportation throughout the plant cells. We don’t want the leaves to start forming crispy edges that may lead to them drying out and dying.
If your cucumber plant is faced with a fungal infection, saving them might be possible. However, this will mainly depend on early identification and fast action.
How Much Water Do Cucumbers Need?
Watering cucumber plants the right way is the key to having a healthy and thriving plant. Cucumber plants are to be watered less in cooler spring temperatures when they’ve been planted first. They will require more watering once their growing season takes off.
So, here are some ways to watering your cucumber plants appropriately:
Water your cucumber plants only when needed. Watering should be done preferably in the morning so any excess water in the soil or on the leaves can evaporate off during daytime heat.
Water your cucumber once or twice weekly and the watering should be 1 or 2 inches deep. 2 inches dept watering is ideal for dry weather.
Before you water again, always check the soil if it’s still moist by digging 1 inch deep. If you notice the soil is still damp, don’t water. Keep checking the soil every day until the soil is almost dry and you can water again. Stop watering when you see the upper part of the soil is damp.
The soil should be mulched with straw or wood chips as this helps reduce evaporation. Hence, less watering will be required.
Avoid overhead watering. Watering should be done at the ground level of the soil. This way, the leaves of the plants can dry out completely to avoid fungi infestation.
Cucumbers grown in containers should have big drainage holes to ease water run out.
Cucumbers are water-loving or thirsty plants. But that doesn’t mean we should over-water them. Over-watering cucumbers can predispose them to root rot, yellowing of leaves, crispy edge on the leaves, and powdery mildew.
So, ensure you water your cucumber plants the appropriate way to avoid any over-watering problems. Follow our tips to watering your cucumber plants the right way.