Hi Master Gardener, there is a problem in my watermelon plants.it is almost a...

Asked August 3, 2014, 11:16 AM EDT

Hi Master Gardener, there is a problem in my watermelon plants.it is almost a month and the watermelon has been in a good condition but am now observing that the leaf petiole are collapsing,wilt and then dries.what disease is that and how do i controll it.Thanks in Advance. Ben

Outside United States gardening watermelons horticulture

1 Response

Ben, Based on your description, your plants may have Bacterial Wilt which affects melons and cucumbers .

Here is info I extracted from our Vegetable Gardening Booklet: http://extension.psu.edu/plants/vegetable-fruit/production-guides/vegetable-gardening/Cucurbits.pdf This booklet also has other diseases listed so you can review them all to see if one fits your issue better than another.

Bacterial wilt, which is transmitted by cucumber

beetles during feeding, causes plants to wilt and

die. Look for the presence of beetles and/or beetle

chewing injury to help diagnose bacterial wilt.

Bacterial wilt is most severe on melons and cucumbers,

but this disease will infest some squash

and pumpkin plantings. The disease is characterized

by the wilting and drying of individual

leaves. The leaves may wilt and recover during

the night several times before finally dying.

Management: Use protective coverings such as

a floating row cover to keep beetles off young

plants (4–5 weeks old) when they are most susceptible

to infection. Since the plants require

pollination by an insect, remove the protective

covering when plants begin to bloom and

the threat of bacterial wilt has decreased. See

cucumber beetle in the previous section.