Cucumber Leaves Turning Brown

Cucumbers can be a joyous plant to grow as they are relatively easy to care for, and they produce delicious vegetables. That said, cucumber leaves turning brown can be a sign that your plants aren’t doing well. 

Thankfully, there are ways to either avoid having your cucumber leaves turn brown. If your leaves have already begun to change colors, you may be able to remedy the situation with a few nuggets of garden wisdom. 

Why Are My Cucumber Leaves Turning Brown? 

A few factors can impact the color of your cucumber leaves. Knowing how to properly care for cucumber plants can help you avoid many of the causes of browning leaves. 

Insufficient Watering 

Cucumber plants need quite a bit of water to stay healthy. If your cucumber plant lacks water, one of the first signs that you’ll see is browning leaves. Cucumbers should get water at least once or twice a week to stay lush and healthy. 

Improper Watering Technique 

Cucumber plants love their water, and the best way they can transfer water throughout the entire plant is to receive water through the soil. Be sure you plant your cucumber plants in soil that retains moisture well. Watering these plants from the top won’t transfer water throughout the entire plant like it needs, which can lead to withering and brown leaves. 

Weather Conditions Are Inadequate 

If you plant cucumbers too early in the spring or live in a colder climate than cucumbers can tolerate, growing them outdoors may cause them stress, and their leaves will turn brown, among other things. Cucumbers can grow indoors, so if you like the plant but don’t live in a mild climate, consider growing some cucumbers inside instead. 

Inadequate Soil 

Soil that doesn’t have good water drainage or is lacking in the occasional dose of fertilizer can leave your cucumber plants feeling hungry, and one sign of this is brown leaves. Soil also needs to be sterilized to prevent pests and diseases as much as possible. Starting out with the right soil and soil additives can help prevent a lot of issues that cause brown leaves. 

Cucumber is widely cultivated plant in gourd family Cucurbitaceae. Vine with fruits varying degrees of maturity, fading yellow flowers, lush foliage, curled tendrils. Closeup view with space for text

Bacterial Wilt 

Brown leaves that appear to be dying could be a sign of bacterial wilt. This particular bacterial disease is often caused by cucumber beetles when they feed on cucumber leaves. It’s worth inspecting your cucumbers and other plants for pests regularly to eradicate them, as using insecticide for edible plants isn’t recommended. 

Angular Leaf Spot 

Angular leaf spot could be a possibility if you live in a humid climate. Once your cucumber plant catches this, it can be really difficult to remedy the situation. Angular leaf spot shows up as brown, dry spots all over cucumber leaves.

In order to prevent angular leaf spots from developing, your best bet is to make sure you move your plants around every couple of years, as this disease can fester in soil for a long time before it shows up on your cucumber leaves. 


Cucumber beetles aren’t the only bugs that can cause damage to cucumber leaves. Many other types of bugs, such as aphids and squash bugs, like to chew on cucumber leaves. Over time, the holes that occur in cucumber leaves due to being feasted on can lead to stress, which will manifest in brown leaves before they die off. 

Why Are My Cucumber Plant Leaves Turning Brown On The Edges? 

The tips and edges of your cucumber plant leaves may be the first thing to turn brown before the entire leaf becomes discolored. Knowing why your cucumber leaves are starting to go can help you nip the problem in the bud before it’s too late. 

Your Cucumbers Are Thirsty 

When your cucumbers are in need of more water, the soil is going to start to dry up, as are the leaves, in an effort to conserve as much remaining water as possible. Even if you only miss a couple of waterings, the edges of the leaves can start to change color. If this is the cause of your browning leaves, thankfully, it’s very easy to fix. 

Your Cucumbers Were Overwatered

As bad as too little water is for cucumber plants, so too is too much water. The leaves may start to turn brown on the edges and develop brown spots sporadically if the plant cannot move water around fast enough. Be sure you’re testing your soil for moisture before watering your plant to avoid giving it more water than it needs. 

The Leaves Got Too Much Sun 

Your cucumber leaves might also start to get brown along the edges becauthey’ve’ve received too much sun. This typically only becomes an issue if you get much more sun than normal oyou’veve recently taken your cucumber plant outside after growing it indoors for some time. You might have to give your cucumber plants some shade for a few days to give them a break. 

Your Cucumber Plant Is Sick 

Sadly, there are a plethora of diseases that can impact a cucumber plant, and many of these will result in leaves that may brown, either in spots or along the edges, before they completely die off. Some examples of these illnesses to consider are stem rot, cucumber blotch, verticillium wilt, and anthracnose. 

Conditions Are Unsanitary 

Cucumber plants seem to be picky about the tools used on them, as dirty tools can make these plants sick, turning their leaves brown on the edges among other things. Be sure you are wearing clean gloves when tending to your cucumber plants, and be sure your gardening tools are washed before you use them on this picky plant. 

The Cucumber Plant Is Stressed

All sorts of factors can cause a cucumber plant to get stressed out, from bad soil to harsh weather. Trying to grow cucumber plants in a confined space can also cause these plants stress. One of the most common ways for stress to manifest on a cucumber plant is brown edges on the leaves. 

There’s Too Much Salt In The Soil 

Salt can get added to your soil through rainwater, salt water, or fertilizer. Too much salt, regardless of its source, can dry out your cucumber plant and cause the edges of its leaves to go brown. You can dry to wash away the salt by watering your cucumber plants diligently should you believe that’s the issue. 

What To Do When Cucumber Leaves Turn Brown

When you first notice brown leaves, it’s important to find the root cause and take care of it. After the bad leaves are taken care of, you’ll know much more about cucumber plants to avoid more leaves turning brown in the future. 

Test The Soil For Moisture 

Even if you think you’ve watered your cucumbers sufficiently, it’s worth testing the soil to see whether or not it’s dry. If you dig your finger one inch below the soil and it feels dry, your cucumbers need some water. 

You should do this even if you think you’ve watered your cucumber plant enough, as there are instances where one or two waterings a week may not be enough, such as during the summer. 

Check For Bugs

You can try and prevent bugs from entering your cucumber plants by adding mulch under your plants and keeping your garden as clear from weeds and other contaminants as possible. Watering first thing in the morning helps, as the water will dry before it starts to get dark and bugs come out to play. 

If you still manage to see bugs, you can try to hose them off with a strong stream of water if there are only a few. You can also try to swat them off. If you have a really bad infestation, an insecticide may be your only option. 

Implement A Stricter Water Schedule 

As too little water is the most common cause of brown cucumber leaves, taking a more structured approach to watering could be the best way to keep what remains of your plant alive and well. Keep track of when you water your plant and check the soil every couple of days to see if it’it’sill moist. 

Keep Your Garden Clean 

You should regularly groom your garden to get rid of weeds and debris that could attract unwanted pests and diseases to your cucumber plants. This will not only help keep your garden clean, but it’it’lllp it look pretty as well. 

Plant Companion Plants Near Cucumbers

There are certain plants that are known to help deter unwanted pests away from cucumber plants, so it’it’srth planting some of those nearby. Furthermore, these plants can help keep the soil clean and help to nourish other plants around them, such as cucumbers. 

Examples of some good companion plants for your cucumber plants are peas, green beans, radishes, dill, and alfalfa. Just be sure whatever you decide to plant near your cucumberisn’tt consumed, as they may not taste great. 

Give Cucumber Leaves An Occasional Mist 

Ifyou’ree experiencing an especially hot summer with limited rain and lots of sun, give your cucumber plants a mist of water from a spray bottle. This will help make up for any water the plant might be missing due to hotter conditions evaporating some of the regular water before it has a chance to nourish your plant. 

Should I Remove Brown Leaves From The Cucumber Plant? 

Once cucumber plant leaves start to go brown, there is no saving them. As such, cutting them off gently will get rid of the unsightly leaves while also removing potential disease or illness, so idoesn’t’t spread to the rest of the plant. Since yoaren’t’t going to be able to remedy the leaves, you can either cut off brown spots or cut off the entire leaf. 

Cutting off any leaves that are beginning to die will also help free up the rest of the healthy plant to obtain as much sun and moisture as possible. A collection of dying or browning leaves can inhibit the growth of the rest of the plant, so the pruning is definitely worth it. Your cucumber plant will be able to get more fresh air and oxygen, which it needs. 

Regularly pruning your cucumber plant can help to prevent some of the issues cucumber plants regularly face. If you are able to get on top of any signs of illness or change color before it gets the chance to spread, your cucumbers will be much better off in the future. Be sure you’re also removing any flowers that start to bloom, as these can impede your cucumbers’ growth. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

If you notice peculiarities on your cucumber leaves outside of just brown discolorations, there may be something else at play that is causing damage to your cucumber leaves. 

Why Are My Cucumber Leaves Turning Dry And Brown?

If you notice that your cucumber leaves are both drying and browning, there’s a good chance that pests are the culprit. Aphids are one such pest that can essentially suck out all the water and nutrients from a cucumber plant through its leaves. Squash bugs are another pest that can cause leaves to go brown and dry out as they turn their leaves into nests for their eggs. 


The most common cause of cucumber leaves turning brown is lack of proper watering. Cucumber plants need a lot of water, and their condition can start to deteriorate after only a couple of days of no water. There are other factors that contribute to cucumber leaves going brown as well, making it crucial to keep up with garden cleanliness and soil upkeep. 

If you notice brown leaves, cut them off and do your best to learn from your potential misstep. Once you find the reason for leaves going brown, it’s usually easy to eradicate the issue. There are some circumstances where you will have to say goodbye to your cucumber plant as it’s too far gone, but most of the time, a cucumber plant with brown leaves can be saved.

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