Cucumber Plants Dying from Bottom Up? Here’s Why It Happens and What to Do

Cucumbers are a popular plant many gardeners love to grow and harvest, not only because of its delicious taste but because they develop easily and don’t require a ton of specific conditions to grow well. As long as you give them proper water and nutrients with quality soil, they grow fast and expand their vines, blooming to produce yummy fruit.

But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t susceptible to different issues! If you noticed your cucumber plants dying from bottom up, then there’s most likely something wrong with your plant, or the environment around it. But why does it happen and what can you do? Read on!

cucumber plants dying from bottom up
Cucumber plant affected by diseases in the greenhouse.

Why Are My Cucumber Plants Dying from Bottom Up?

You’ve probably noticed that your cucumber plants are dying from the bottom, with it drooping. Then slowly, it starts to hit the upper part of your plant, with wilting vines and yellowing leaves. What’s happening?

Here are some reasons why you find cucumber plants dying from bottom up:

1. Lack of Moisture and/or Water

Of course, you need to make sure that your cucumbers have enough water, as lack of it can have them die young! Water them once a week, giving them at around six inches to prevent dehydration. Do NOT overwater, as this can also cause them to die from bottom up!

2. Soil Quality

Your soil’s drainage is an important aspect for cucumber plants, and can even make or break its growth. If you use heavy clay soil or soil containing little organic matter, it wouldn’t drain well, making your plants wilt and die.

To improve your soil’s drainage, sprinkle compost, and/or mulch around the cucumbers to create organic material, amending soil. You can also do this before planting cucumbers.

3. Temperature

The temperature of your water, soil, and even the air around your cucumber plant is crucial. Cucumber plants become weak when the air reaches 50 degrees F, or when the soil is under 62 degrees F. That’s why you also have to monitor the temperature and make appropriate changes for your plants to have the best condition to prevent death and wilting from bottom up.

4. Plant Diseases

Did you know that your cucumber plants can die from diseases? Various diseases cause cucumber plants to die from bottom up, and these are the three most common ones:

Bacterial Wilt

Bacterial Wilt cucumber

Cucumber beetles can bring this disease to your plants. Beetles would transfer bacteria to your leaves as they eat your plant, so you may notice a change of leaf color, with the leaves looking pale green and wilting a bit.

They CAN heal overnight by themselves, but sometimes, the edge of leaves turn brown and/or yellow, while the vines and leaves wilt. The plant will then stop living right after the infection begins.

Phytophthora Blight

phytophthora blight cucumber

This is a kind of fungus, which is a disease transporter, with warm and wet weather with pouring rain being an ideal environment for this disease to develop.

Cucumber plants may have this disease if they have wilting yellow leaves, as well as rotten spots around its leaves, fruits, and vines. The disease would expand quickly, with a chance of destroying all the plants in a garden or field if the infected plant isn’t thrown right away.

Unfortunately, fungicides can’t remove Phytophthora Blight, so you need to prevent it from happening. If it is infected already, make sure to cut off all the infected fruits and vines, burying them far away rather than nearby, as the spores tend to spread.

Fusarium Wilt

fusarium wilt cucumber

This is another type of fungus, with your leaves looking yellow with rotted lesions. Your plant may end up having pink fungus around its vines as well. Like the rest of the diseases mentioned above, you can’t rescue the affected plants, but you can only grow wilt-resistant cultivars after (fungus may even attack the next crop, as it stays in the soil!).

5. Insects and Pests

Insects tend to eat leaves and fruits, or even prickle parts of a cucumber plant. You have to watch out for squash bugs, cucumber beetles, aphids, and the squash vine borer, as they attack plants by destroying its parts directly, or shattering plants for them to die slowly.

Inspect your plants daily to make sure there aren’t any insects, and if there are any, take proper precautions and kill them with the appropriate pesticide.

What You Should Do

Now that you know what’s wrong with your cucumber plants, the next question is: What should you do about it? Follow these tips to prevent and/or cure your cucumber plants from dying:

  • To prevent damage and death to your cucumber plants, make sure that you give them enough water, watering in the early morning so leaves dry out before sunset and prevent insects and diseases from coming in as much. Also, give proper amounts of moisture, light, and nutrients for your cucumber plants to grow well, starting with soil quality.
  • Do you see cucumber plants dying from bottom up already? Check the soil drainage and water you give. Also, inspect if there are any signs of pests or insect eggs, so you know what to do. Use pesticides to kill or keep insects away.
  • If you already have infected plants from any disease, make sure to remove and dispose of them right away to prevent the disease from spreading.

Do you want to learn more about caring for your cucumber plants better to prevent damage and death to your garden? Check out this informative video:

Wrapping It Up

Cucumber plants may be easy to grow, but they are still at risk of diseases, insects, and damage from poor environmental conditions. With that in mind, you have to make sure that you care for them properly to prevent it from dying from bottom up. That way, you are ensured delicious fruits throughout the growing and harvesting season!

I hope that this article tackled your queries regarding cucumber plants dying from bottom up. If this is currently happening to you, make sure you follow the proper solutions to prevent it from worsening.

2 thoughts on “Cucumber Plants Dying from Bottom Up? Here’s Why It Happens and What to Do”

  1. My cucumber leaves are all drying out. I grow them in a planter on my balcony because I live in a condominium. I get lots of flowers and plenty of cucumbers. I planted them early June and where okay for a while but shortly after the leaves started to change color and now dying.
    Can you tell me why or is it because they have done their job for the season.

    • Hi, Joanna. This may be a cayuse of a plant disease, especially if they are changing in color and dying. You will need to identify the disease or cause behind the wilting leaves and take it away from nearby plants, if they share the same soil.


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