Zucchini Plants

Zucchini Plants Dying Suddenly

Anonymous added on July 19, 2011 | Answered

My zucchini plants are dying suddenly, almost overnight. Very little sign of cucumber beetle damage, but I don't think they are the culprit. Could it be a vine borer of some kind? If so, do you know any good organic way to control them? Is it too late now that the plants are large and bearing?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 20, 2011
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Answered on July 20, 2011

This sound very much like squash borers, check around the base of the plant for signs of what looks like sawdust. It means the larvae are boring thru the plant leaves and killing the plant. It's possible to slit the stem open with a sharp knife and remove the larvae. Seal the cut and mound additional dirt around the area to help the plant recover and send out new growth. I've also resorted to rotenone, which, though it is an organic pesticide, is quite toxic, if not handled correctly. It is effective, but follow the directions to mix carefully. I was fighting both borers and stink bugs at the same time. It did work and my plants are recovering nicely.

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