Disease attacking cucumber plants making its way through Virginia

Cucurbit Downy Mildew infected plant
Cucurbit Downy Mildew infected plant(WDBJ)
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 4:29 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A pathogen attacking cucumber and cantaloupe plants is making its way to southwest Virginia.

Cucurbit Downey Mildew is spreading fast around the state. It’s a disease that can kill your plants if not treated.

The disease thrives in a warm and humid environments. It usually originates in warm areas before making its way up the east coast each year.

Warning signs your plants may be infected include angular leaf spots and yellow spots on top of the leaves. Another warning sign includes fungal growth on the bottom of the leaves.

“It seems like we haven’t had rain in two months, and now we’re getting like two months of rain in one week, so those are really perfect scenarios for it, where you have a lot of moisture, so it can spread really quickly and do a lot of damage in a hurry,” Virginia Tech Professor and Extension Specialist of Plant Pathology Steve Rideout said.

This clade of the pathogen only affects cucumber and cantaloupe plants, but there’s another clade that targets pumpkins.

That strain could arrive in Virginia later this year.

If you think your plants have this disease you should call your local extension agent.

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