Overwatered Cucumber Plant – What Happens and How to Fix It?

Cucumbers are easy to grow. Sometimes, though, people give their cucumber plants so much love that they make them sick.

This guide discusses what happens when a cucumber plant is overwatered. 

Can You Overwater A Cucumber Plant?

Yes, you can overwater a cucumber plant. Cucumbers need 1-2 inches of water a week. Providing more water than that risks causing problems for your cucumber vine and fruit. 

Underwatered Versus Overwatered Cucumber Plants

Cucumber vines, like a lot of plants, need just the right amount of water to grow well and produce tasty cucumbers. If you do not give them enough water, the vines grow poorly, and the cucumbers are bitter. Too much water and the cucumber vines get diseases. The correct amount of water gives the vines enough water to grow well and produce lots of cucumbers. 

What Does An Overwatered Cucumber Plant Look Like?

Overwatered cucumbers may have wilted leaves. The cucumbers tend to have blossom end rot or rotten bellies. In extreme cases, the cucumber vine dies. 

Overwatering In Aeroponic and Hydroponic Systems

Cucumbers are grown in aeroponic and hydroponic systems in rock wool or another soilless medium. Their roots are washed with a water and nutrient solution periodically. If the water is washed over the roots too frequently, or the wash cycle is too long, cucumbers will show the same problems that overwatered cucumbers grown in soil will show. 

What Happens When Cucumbers Are Overwatered?

Too much water causes several problems for cucumbers

Fungal Infections

The major risk of overwatering is root rot. The roots stay wet and a fungus grows on them. The roots turn brown and slimy, then black. When the roots rot, the plant cannot take up water and the leaves wilt, then the entire plant dies. Once the roots rot, there is nothing you can do to save the plant. 

Blossom End Rot

While blossom end rot is thought of as a tomato issue, it can occur in cucumbers. Too much water causes an imbalance of the calcium in the plant, and the fruit starts to rot at the blossom end. This rot can destroy the cucumber completely. 

Rotten Belly

If cucumbers rest on wet ground, especially cool wet ground, the part of the cucumber in touch with the ground will rot. While you can cut the rotten part out and eat the rest, the rot will eventually spread to the entire cucumber. 

Can Overwatered Cucumber Plants Recover?

Yes, if caught in time. Once root rot occurs, the plant cannot be saved.

Overwatering caused root rot on my cucumber plants, even though they were producing fruits really well. This happened after a long period of rainy days.
Overwatering caused root rot on my cucumber plants, even though they were producing fruits really well. This happened after a long period of rainy days.

While individual cucumbers with blossom end rot or belly rot cannot be saved, reducing the water given to the cucumber vines can prevent further problems. 

Fixing Overwatered Cucumber Plants

To fix overwatered cucumber plants, reduce the amount of water to one to two inches of water a week. Place three inches of mulch around the cucumber vines and under the runners. The mulch will stabilize the soil moisture and lift the cucumber fruit off the wet soil. 

How To Water Cucumbers Properly?

Cucumber plants need soil that is consistently moist, not dry or wet. You will need to water your cucumber vines an inch of water all at once. If you live in a hot climate, you may need to water an inch of water twice a week. An inexpensive moisture meter is an excellent investment that will help you know how moist the soil is around your cucumber plants. 

Other Care Notes to Prevent Overwatered Cucumber Plants

Here are some additional ways to make sure your cucumbers are not overwatered.

  • Before planting your cucumber plants, build a ridge of dirt that is four to six inches higher than the surrounding ground. This improves drainage, so if it rains, the water will not keep the soil soaking wet after the rain stops. 
  • Fertilize just before your normal weekly watering. Fertilizer has to be watered so that it soaks into the soil and the nutrients become available to the cucumber plant. Fertilizing right before your normal watering helps prevent too much water for the week.
  • The amount of water needed to keep the soil evenly moist will increase as the temperature increases. You may have to switch from watering once a week to watering twice a week to keep the soil moist when it is hot.
  • Container plants need water more than once a week. Because the soil volume is smaller in containers, they dry out very quickly. Some containers may need to be watered daily when it is very hot.
  • Cucumber plants will start needing more water as they bear fruit. Cucumbers have a lot of water in them, so the plant will draw more water out of the soil to make them.

In conclusion, too much water causes fungal diseases, blossom end rot, and belly rot. Water cucumbers one to two inches of water a week. If your cucumber gets root rot, the plant will die. If the cucumbers have blossom end rot or belly rot, reduce the water to one to two inches of water a week. Put mulch around the cucumbers and under the vines to stabilize the soil moisture and protect the cucumber fruit from the wet soil. 

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Stephanie Suesan Smith

Stephanie Suesan Smith has a Ph.D. in psychology that she mainly uses to train her dog. She has been a freelance writer since 1991. She has been writing for the web since 2010. Dr. Smith has been a master gardener since 2001 and writes extensively on gardening. She has advanced training in vegetables and entomology but learned to garden from her father. You can see her writing samples at https://gardencopywriter.com/garden-writing, and her vegetable blog at https://stephaniesuesansmith.com/.

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