Growing cucumbers is a fun, exciting, and easy way to get into gardening. Along with growing cucumbers, you must look out for a few things. Like most vegetables, cucumbers are more fragile than you think and can get diseases and pests, and sometimes you may even have to face broken stems or branches.
A broken stem or branch on a cucumber isn’t the world’s end. As long as you catch it early enough and fix it right away, you can repair the break. As long as you do that, the plant should be able to mend itself and continue growing happily.
Today we will be talking about cucumbers and their broken stems and branches. We will discuss how to fix them, what causes these brakes, and more. Stick around.
What Causes Broken Cucumber Stems?
Several things are related to cucumber stems breaking. With the weather being one of the most significant issues, there are a few other things that you can take into consideration.
Weather is one of the main reasons cucumber stems appear to be breaking. It will usually look as though the stem is splitting down the center, which is a key sign of cold damage. This, combined with heavy winds or rain, can cause the branches to snap and break right in half or twist at the base of the plant. Stem splitting isn’t something you want because not only with it lead to broken branches, but it will also lead to diseases.
Cucumbers are usually very viney plants. Their arms stretch out and tend to grow whichever way they want. Often, if you aren’t careful walking in your garden, stepping on a branch or even knocking it while you are harvesting or watering is easy. Don’t feel too bad if this happens; it happens to the best of every gardener.
Animals love cucumber plants. They will not only eat the leaves but also love eating delicious watery cucumbers themselves. Rats, mice, deer, rabbits, and squirrels or chipmunks all love to get nibbles from the cucumber garden. Of course, these animals don’t understand walking all over the plants, so while they are getting a little snack, it’s easy for them to step on a few branches, causing them to break.
What Happens When A Cucumber Stem Breaks?
The stem of any plant is an essential part of the plant. It is what is the transport system for all the plant’s nutrients and water. If the stem breaks, it will interrupt this transport, and the rest of the plant will not be able to get any nutrients. Almost always, if a broken stem isn’t fixed right away, the rest of the plant will die because there aren’t any nutrients getting to those parts.
How To Fix Broken Cucumber Stems
Luckily, it is possible to fix broken cucumber stems and ensure the plant doesn’t die. Here’s how. It is important to note that these steps can also be taken to fix broken cucumber branches, not just stems.
Hold the break carefully, so it’s standing how it originally was.
Create a splint. A splint is usually made from a bamboo stake, though it can also be a branch or a stick. Even small pieces of wood or anything long, skinny, and sturdy that you have will do.
Step Three (optional)
Sometimes, if the break is really bad, or you want to be extra cautious, you can apply plant glue to where the stem broke. I say this as an optional step because it’s not always needed. Flourish Glue or Tree Wound pruning sealers are excellent for repairing broken plants, as they add extra support in holding things in place.
Place the splint right next to the broken stem. Take a piece of nylon, electrical tape, plastic tape, twine, or string and wrap it around both the splint and the break. Make sure everything is sturdy and that the splint is doing its job-creating support for the break.
Keep an eye on the break. If the plant starts to look worse, or the rest of the plant starts dying, then the repair didn’t take. In that case, if it was a branch that was broken, remove the branch right away. Unfortunately, if the main stem was broken, that plant would die anyway, so rip it out of the ground. However, you will know that the repair worked within a few days. After about two weeks, you can remove the splint as the plant should’ve completely mended itself.
Once completely mended, your cucumber plants will continue to grow happily and healthy. This break should not affect your yield as long as you catch it soon enough.
Preventing Broken Cucumber Stems
Here are some ways you can prevent your cucumber stems or branches from breaking.
The best thing to battling the weather is to ensure you are planting your cucumbers at the right time. Cucumbers are warm weather, full sun, and summertime crops so that they won’t thrive in the cold. Make sure your cucumbers are going in the ground two weeks after any sign of frost at the earliest. Sometimes, cold weather happens even during summer. To protect your cucumbers from this or any high winds and rain, you can cover them with plastic during bad weather.
One of the easiest things to control is human error! While you are in your garden, try to be very mindful and careful as you harvest, walk around, or water. Watch your feet and hands and make sure you are making with grace in your garden.
Animals can be tricky to control. Of course, there is the tried and true scarecrow, though that may be a legend at this point. Some gardeners use things like deer repellent or bars of soap around their garden. High fencing and putting up walls around your plants may help as well. Motion-activated lights and sound also work wonders for smaller animals.
Bent cucumber stems are a pain, but they aren’t the end of the world. Your yield will be unharmed, and everything should be just fine if you catch the break early enough and mend it carefully and properly. Use caution and preventative measures to keep your plants intact all season long! Happy gardening!
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!