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Zucchini Dying After Producing

Q: Can you tell me why my Zucchini and Cucumber plants produce a few vegetables, then quickly die? The plant starts decaying from the bottom of the stem and rapidly progresses upward.

Thank you,
Mary from Indiana

A: Mary,

These symptoms sound like Verticillium Wilt, a soil-borne fungus that attacks the roots of both cucumbers and zucchini. This disease is often prominent after wet weather. Remove plants immediately to avoid spreading the disease. Because this fungus can over winter in the soil, it's important to keep rotating your plants. Before planting next year, select cultivars that are labeled VFN (Verticillium, Fusarium and nematode) resistant.

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By Harlean 142 427 08/30/2005 Flag

One thing that I know can cause this is that insects get into the stem at the base of the plant. Check and if the stem is cracked open, spray with Malathion or Sevin, then cover the stem with fresh soil and water well. It also sometime helps to choose a few places where the vines are touching the ground to also cover a few inches with soil, and new roots will form at those places.
Harlean from Arkansas.

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By (Guest Post) 09/06/2005 Flag

I had this same problem with both my cucumber (planted in a pot on my deck) and my zucchini (planted in the ground on the other side of the house) I used Sevin on both plants but they both died.

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