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droopy cucumber leaves?

I'm growing a vegetable garden for the first time: I live in Austin, TX, zone 8b, heat zone 9. My cucumber plant is vining nicely and has several flowers. When it's not in full sun the leaves are turgid and stand out from the vine but when the sun hits them they start to droop. To be fair, it's been hot yesterday and today: it'll probably get to 95F/35C (I think) and we've had a lot of temperature variations the last couple of weeks: anywhere from 40s/60s to 70s/90s (night/day). Should I worry about the plant or is this totally normal? Thanks in advance and sorry if it's a silly question: gardening in Central Texas is really weird sometimes!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
It's normal, considering that humidity over most of Texas has been close to "stick the whole state into a vat of silica dessicant gel and microwave it" for most of the week. The problem is that between heat and lack of humidity, the plant is expiring more water through its leaves to keep cool than it can take in through its roots. Having it happen for a day or so is okay, but if it's happening on a regular basis, you may have to give up on cucumbers. (I live in Dallas, and the only year I've ever been able to get pumpkins to grow to full size was in 2007, when we had an unnatural amount of rain that summer. Most years, pumpkins and many other squashes grow really well until June, and then they die because they can't draw up enough water to sustain themselves. This is why I grow luffa squashes instead: they, like cantaloupe, could grow and thrive in an operational lead smelter.)
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Good to know, thanks. Yes, 2007 was just awesome in terms of heat and rain. Last year was just awful, though: only half our normal rain.
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
I'm up near Dallas and my squash plants act the same way. I read that this is how the plant retains moisture when it gets too hot, so I'm not worrying about it (too much). As long as the plant perks up again, you're probably fine.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
Okiedokie, thank you!
Apr. 22nd, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
I was also interested in this answer... I'm realizing I started my garden far too late, and I'm in Phoenix, AZ (zone 9). We've had nearly the same fluctuations here in the last week (30s/70s to 60s/near 100) -- weird, idn't it?

My pea plants aren't taking it well, as I'm trying to harden them off.
Apr. 22nd, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
(Yeah, I even started indoors, because the garden wasn't ready yet. Oh well, this year's the experiment.)
Apr. 22nd, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Austin seems more like Phoenix every summer!
Apr. 22nd, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Actually, I'm really sorry. :(
Apr. 22nd, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Leaves drooping during the day is common for curcubits-cucumbers, pumpkins, etc. If they perk back up in the evening, all is well. I grow Rouge Vif D'Etampes(Cinderella) pumpkins, and the wilted leaves cause people to ask me what's wrong with them. Nothing, it's just a warm day.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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