Home-grown cucumbers are absolutely delicious and healthy. It is not at all difficult to pull cucumbers. Only the powdery mildew, which really often affects the plants both in the greenhouse and in the field, is a real nuisance.

What causes powdery mildew?

The pathogen is a fungus. Two types of powdery mildew fungus occur on cucumbers, Erysiphe cichoracearum and Spaerotheca fulginea. The layman cannot distinguish between these and ultimately it does not matter. The disease spreads quickly in dry summer weather. Powdery mildew is slowed down in damp weather. But you don’t need to be happy too early. Damp weather promotes downy mildew.

Prevention through resistant varieties

There are now numerous varieties of pickled cucumbers as well as cucumbers that are highly resistant to powdery mildew of cucumber. So if you choose the right variety, powdery mildew no longer plays a role. So it is very easy to do something against these annoying pathogens. In the case of resistant varieties, the disease can still break out, but the incidence is much lower. Resistant varieties have a firmer or harder plant tissue, which makes it difficult for pests to penetrate the plant. In the case of resistant varieties, the plant is completely immune to pathogen infections. The infestation remains limited to a high degree.

Pickling cucumbers

  • ‘Charlotte’ F1 – especially lots of fruits
  • ‘Conny’ F1 – early variety, purely female
  • ‘Excelsior’ F1 – tolerant of powdery mildew and downy mildew
  • ‘Dragonfly’ F1 – tolerant of powdery mildew and downy mildew
  • ‘Schubert’ F1 – tolerant of downy mildew, resistant to powdery mildew
  • ‘Zicron’ F1- tolerant of downy mildew, resistant to powdery mildew

Snake cucumbers

  • ‘Persika’ – very robust variety
  • ‘Midios’ F1 – Midi, resistant to powdery mildew
  • ‘Solverde’ – F1 – tolerant of powdery mildew and downy mildew
  • ‘Dominica’ F1 – tolerant of powdery mildew
  • ‘Euphya’ F1 – tolerant of powdery mildew
  • ‘Sudica’ F1 – tolerant of powdery mildew

Mini and slicer cucumbers

  • ‘Printo’ F1 – tolerant of powdery mildew
  • ‘Khassib’ F1 tolerant of powdery mildew

Combating powdery mildew on cucumbers

Powdery mildew can be found on the surface of the leaves, downy mildew on the underside of the leaves. In most cases, sprays are used to combat them, regardless of whether they are biological or chemical. You have to know which pathogen to fight and spray on the right side or on both.

Home remedies

  • The most effective home remedy for powdery mildew is milk, skimmed milk to be precise. This is diluted and sprayed over the infected leaves. The process has to be repeated a few times, but then you have peace.
    • Dilute skimmed milk 1: 6 with rainwater
    • Inject once a week
    • Skimmed milk diluted 1: 3 strengthens the plant when you water it with it
    • Watering also once a week
    • Dilute normal milk 1: 9
  • Nettle manure is also a good choice for powdery mildew. The liquid manure is diluted 1:10. Primary rock meal in the liquid manure helps against the stench. You can water the plants before an outbreak of the disease is even thought of, i.e. from the beginning. This strengthens the plants and makes them more resilient. In addition, the liquid manure acts as a fertilizer.
    • Dilute nettle manure
    • Spray over the plant when it is infected
    • Otherwise, pour normally with the liquid manure
  • Important note: The effects of Sakhalin knotweed (Reynoutria sachalinensis) were newly researched. We would like to expressly point out that the Zentralverband Gartenbau eV warns against this plant: “Sakhalin knotweed is one of the most prominent problem neophytes because of its conspicuous dominance stocks and because of the diverse effects. The severity of the effects they cause justifies both strict prevention and control measures. ”And“ Fallopia sachalinensis should not be included in the range ”(Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, 2008, URL: http: // www .bmub.bund.de / fileadmin / bmu-import / files / pdfs / general / application / pdf / invasive_arten_empfoice.pdf , p. 11)
  • Garlic is also said to help against powdery mildew. To do this, two cloves of garlic are cut into small pieces. Pour half a liter of boiling water over it. The mixture needs to cool, then the garlic is filtered off.
    • Pour boiling water over the garlic
    • Let cool down
    • Fill the mixture into the spray bottle and spray
  • Spraying with saline solution should also help against powdery mildew. Half a teaspoon of salt is dissolved in one liter of water. Then it is sprayed with it.
  • Another preventive measure is to plant certain plants between the cucumbers that the powdery mildew does not like at all. This is how the cucumber plants are protected. Basil, chervil and chives are said to serve well in this regard.
  • It is important to get rid of weeds between the cucumber plants. Powdery mildew is often transmitted by weeds.

Chemistry against cucumber powdery mildew

The conventional remedies against fungal diseases are mostly offered as a ready-to-use spray mixture or as a concentrate to dilute. It is important that the means are safe for bees. It is beneficial if one treatment is sufficient and if the remedy helps against various annoyances, not just one.

  • Netz-Schwefel, e.g. Netz-Schwefelit® WG from Neudorff – spray powder against powdery mildew on cucumbers
  • Fungisan® rose and vegetable fungus-free – against many important fungal diseases, including real and downy mildew on cucumbers in the greenhouse and in the field, active ingredient azoxystrobin
  • Compo Ortiva Universal mushroom-free – long-lasting effect, quite expensive, active ingredient azoxystrobin, works against powdery mildew and downy mildew
  • Vegetable-mushroom-free Saprol by Scotts Celaflor – active ingredient azoxystrobin, strengthens the plants at the same time, acts against powdery mildew and downy mildew
  • Bayer Garten Spezial-Mushroom-Free Aliette – active ingredient Fosetyl, fast-acting, heals and prevents, for watering and spraying, works against downy mildew
  • Compo Duaxo Universal mushroom-free – active ingredient difenoconazole, against powdery mildew and some other diseases, has a preventive and healing effect.


Another product can be found at www.elot-vis.de that works against powdery mildew and downy mildew. You have to deal a little more intensively with this provider and its philosophy, but it’s worth it. I found a lot of positive reviews. The remedy is just as pissed off by the conventional providers as alternative healing methods by most conventional medicine. Don’t let that scare you.

Powdery mildew on cucumbers can hardly be avoided unless you use resistant cucumber varieties. Then you are largely protected against this disease. If you use normal cucumber varieties, you should use plant strengtheners. Spraying with a milk-water mixture works against powdery mildew. I would try the Sakhalin Knotweed and ELOT-VISgreen. I do without chemistry, unless there is really no other way and there are alternatives. There is no need for powdery mildew on cucumbers. If you want to do without modified vegetables and do not want to use F1 hybrids, you can rely on milk and natural control. That is also quite possible.

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