Zucchini Leaf Problems

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

Could someone tell me what is wrong with my zucchini leaves, and what I should do to fix them? Or is it a problem that needs to be fixed? I have had a problem keeping them watered enough with drought conditions and extreme water restrictions. I do try to water by hand 1 or x a day from my rain barrel. I don't see insects. They are in the ground. I started the plants in peat pots the first week of March, and I removed the pots and put them in the ground about 3 weeks ago in mounds.

Thumbnail by starsplitter7
Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

Expanded view. There may be more than zucchini plants in the mound. I have been mixing all my mound plants (zucchini, birdhouse gourd, water melon, cucumber), and have put a tomato cage around them, to give them some climbing space. I have two mounds right now, and I am putting in a third.

Thumbnail by starsplitter7
Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

A tomato plant next to the zucchinis. I would think if there was an insect in the soil, wouldn't the tomato be affected? I think it is a cherry tomato.

I know nothing about growing vegetables, especially in the ground. I did add cow manure, and vegetable top soil to the sand that is my regular soil and mixed it all together.

Thumbnail by starsplitter7
Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Starsplitter, they look okay to me, what is concerning you?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

starsplitter - if you have fuzzy white stuff on your leaves, it's probably Powdery Mildew, which can be fatal if not treated. The very best product to kill it in it's tracks is "Fung-Away" from this company.


Sometimes you can find it at Lowes.

If you prefer something organic - try Neem Oil, or something containing Canola Oil like "Pyola" which you can purchase here:


Don't use products containing oil when it is very hot - the oil will burn the leaves. I have just sprayed my roses with Pyola for aphids because it's still cool here, but I wouldn't do so in the summer.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Honeybee -- Will "Fung-Away" work on phlox? Powdery mildew is a
problem with them.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

june-nmexico - I used to raise African violets, and used "Fung Away" on them. If you've ever tried growing AV's you KNOW how hard they are to keep alive! "Fung Away" saved many an AV from certain doom, so I'm sure it would do wonders for your Phlox.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Thanks. It's hard enough to grown anything interesting
here in the desert and powdery mildew wrecked my
phlox last summer. Will order some now if Lowe's
doesn't have it.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

june-nmexico - when I get home (I'm at work now) - I'll look up my bottle to see what you can use in a spray bottle. I seem to remember it's 3/4 tsp per 32ozs, but I'm not sure.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

The problem I am worried about is the whitening along the veins of the leaves. Some of the leaves are fine, but there are several that have the white lines.

It isn't fuzzy or lifted. I will look under the leaves too just to make sure. I do have neem, and I can always spray just in case.

Thank you. :)

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

june-nmexico - I checked my bottle of "Fung Away" and I have written 3/4 tsp per quart. It will not say this on the bottle itself.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Honeybee. I tagged your post so I don't lose your directions.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

So the whitening of the veins of my zucchini is normal?

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

My zucchini and scallops have always had white along the veins, some more than others. For me, as long as it doesn't rub off, or look different in texture from the rest of the leaf, I don't worry about it :)

Glen Ellyn, IL(Zone 5b)

Yes, that silvery color is normal to several varieties of squash. Your plants look just fine.

But remember the advice about powdery mildew, in case it shows up later in the season.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks so much. I just needed a bit of assurance. I had no idea. I thought the plants looked good and I couldn't figure out why the leaves were blanching. I will double check and check throughout the season for mold/mildew.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Definitely not powdery mildew in those pictures. It looks like this:

Thumbnail by dividedsky
Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

Thank you. It certainly doesn't look like that. I thought maybe my leaves burned a bit during development, since it is so hot and dry here in Florida.

What a pretty Leaf hopper in your picture. I know they are a bane, but I appreciate them for their beauty.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9b)

Your zucchinni is going to die. Most likely. I've had the same thing on mine last year and this year. It also hit the yellow squash. I do think it's some sort of powdery funk. But then again I'm no expert. Ok, this is how it's broken down for me:

Acorn Squash: it blights it, but last year still managed to get a few good ones, this year, looks like we'll have one decent acorn squash.

Butternut Squash: Planted further away from the infected ones, so far no sign of disease.

Pumpkin: total blight.

Zucchini: total blight...last year had one decent zuc this year looks like none.

Yellow c Neck: total blight

other Cucubrits(sp?)

Cucumber: Not affected at all. Had a great harvest last year, didn't buy one from the store from June to September. This year they look okay.

Watermellon: no infection- was doing well until mice got to them

Cannaloupe: same as watermellon.

I have an organic spray that hasnt worked one bit.
It's active ingredients are potassium salts of fatty acids and sulfur. Don't buy it We bought it because it advertised as being safe to use up until the day of harvest but it hasn't done (sh**) for the bugs or powdery mildew.

I hope this has been of some help and someone else in the deep south can recomend what the heck to do to get rid of this stuff that destroys otherwise totally rockin plants.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

Did you mean my plants or the one with the mildew?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

neworleansdude - I lived in South Florida for over 30 years and learned very early on that growing anything in the Family: Cucurbitaceae Genus: Cucurbita was just this side of hopeless! Happily, I now live in NC and I've had a modicum of success - especially with cucumbers.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

What was the problem in Florida?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

starsplitter - powdery mildew just coated anything related to the squash family - I lived in Palm Beach County.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

Okay, I don't have that problem, so maybe I will be okay. I am just trying to gather the facts, since I am new and learning about vegetable gardening. I am growing the zucchini for my catfish, and I would love a good crop to save me trips to the store and it needs to be pretty close to organic. Don't want to poison my catfish. I have cucumbers growing for me. I hope they are successful.

I have Japanese Eggplant almost ready to be picked. They are looking good.

I used to live in Fayetteville, NC, and we grew monster, delicious cucumbers. :)

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

starsplitter - I didn't know cucumbers could grow so large, until two summers ago! You're right, they are delicious. This year, I'm planting something called "Baby Cucumber Cucino" from Park Seed - described as "Two Bites of Heaven"


Sounds like they will be much more managable :)

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9b)

Starsplitter: I meant your zucs. I hope I'm wrong, but that photo you opened the thread with is how it looks at the start.
Honeybee: You've had this problem before and the "Fung-Away" actually works? I'm also curious about the cost and making sure it can be used on plants and the fruits are still safe for me and gf and friends to eat. I know most of what we all buy at grocery stores has more pesticide on it...I've tried doing the "organic" thing at home the last two spring/summers now and it's tough. Buying organic at whole foods or what not it just so darn expensive. Going out every other day to squish the pests by hand, not knowing what to do with fungus, mildew, blight, et.al.

At the same time we have so many great butterflies (which love our garden since they can lay their eggs on our plants), lizards, bees, wasps, preditor insects, rolly pollys, the occasional snake, racoon, or possum. And we live in the city, granted it's close to the river, but looks like we're going to move closer to the lake soon. And I love all the critters, so I want to find something I can spray to discourge them from eating certain plants, but not treat others so we get that great wild life.
Any suggestions? And thank you all for taking the time to read my ramblings.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Dude, if you have powdery mildew, like I show in my picture with the leafhopper, I've found that a spray of baking soda and water helps control it. Not sure what effect that has on the critters and their eggs, though.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

I have a live and let live attitude with critters. I will treat for fungus, mildew, . . . but with critters I work on discouraging them. I am lucky in that my garden is new, so the pest insects really haven't found me. My biggest problem is a cat, squirrels, and a raccoon. I have found a great way to discourage mammals (doesn't work for birds or insects),., is to pour cayenne pepper on everything. Keeps my tender shoots, flower buds and fruits from being eaten. It also helps to keep the squirrels from digging in pots, and stones in a pot around a pot will also discourage squirrels.

I have a vegetable cleaner spray I use on store bought vegetables to remove pesticides, herbicides, . . . .

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

I tend to subscribe to the "plant too much" philosophy. 1/3 for disease, 1/3 for the critters, and 1/3 for ME!!. I do use some neem oil and soapy water, but that's about it. I always have enough for all of us (knock on wood).....


This message was edited Apr 19, 2009 7:29 AM

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

That's my pholiosophy too. Learned it from my mom "1/3 for God (mother nature), 1/3 for the birds, 1/3 for me". :)

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9b)

Indy: baking soda and water? Just disolve it and spray and that can actually kill the powdery milldew? I'll try it! With the stuff I was using before it suggested using it after a rain or watering and once the sun was low. Sunset is around 7:30 here now, so is this something safe to use at 5pm or should I wait until the sun has gone down....also does it need to be able to sit of the plant for a day without rain or watering?
Thank you for your help. This year the powder has made it impossible to grow zukes or yellow and seriously, our one acorn squash plant that is hanging on has one fruit on it (but it still looks good, about average orange size now).


New Orleans, LA(Zone 9b)

Looked at the photos again and ya know what: the problem with mine looks just like the photo Indy shared. Stars, I'm not sure what yours is, but it seems to be almost the same but maybe it needs more water so it stays closer to the main veins. I dunno.

Star: I know it's been less than a week but has your situation gotten better or worse?

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

It looks much the same. I am very careful about keeping it watered, because it is so dry here, and we are under severe water restrictions. I hand water all my plants from my rain barrel everday. If I miss a day, my plants wilt. We've had rain twice since February. We don't get regular rain until June. We have been in severe drought for 3 years.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Yes, someone on here recommended it to me, and it seemed to combat powdery mildew better than the neem oil I was using. Here's an article on it: http://www.gardenguides.com/pests/tips/powderymildew.asp

Although, I didn't realize how far along you are in the growing season. It's best to catch it early. (I didn't.) Can't hurt to try the baking soda, though.

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I have a plant just purchased from a big blue box store that sells a national (or regional) nursery selection of plants. One of the Zucchini's I bought exhibits the exact same pattern on the leaf. This was fresh from the nursery on delivery day too.

Pensacola, FL

starsplitter7, Your squash plant s are just fine all five of mine look identical to yours
it's just a type of species, you should enjoy a fine bounty, good luck

Savannah, GA

I got the funny silvery shiny stuff on my squash leaves too and was freaking out. I was assured it was normal. I thought I had mosaic virus.

Apparently it is perfectly normal, my plants are large and growing and producing squash. I'm glad I didn't try to "cure" them of something and kill them. I think the wind is going to kill them for me though.

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