This article will talk about why zucchini plants can get very rotty in their vines. What causes this to happen, and some easy fixes for it!
Why do zucchinis sometimes develop thick white or tan rings around the base of the vine?
This is called “vine rotted” and it can quickly make your plant unhappy as it grows weaker and weaker.
It happens when there isn’t enough water being absorbed by the roots. Sometimes, the foliage gets brown and crispy from lack of moisture.
Also, if the soil is too dry, the plants cannot uptake needed nutrients and growth slows down. If left untreated, the whole plant will die.
What are the risk factors for vine rotting?
If your plants look thin and sickly, could use a good amount of water, or seem to be drying out, they may need help.
General tips to keep your plants healthy: ensure adequate sunlight, give them fresh manure (or compost) every few months, and add a good amount of fertilizer to promote strong growth.
The plant is too wet
Sometimes, even though your zucchini will not eat any other vegetables, it will still taste bad because it gets enough water to satisfy its need for food. When this happens, it can rot or get mushy due to excessive moisture.
This usually does not happen until after harvest when zukes are left exposed to the weather. During these times, make sure to protect them from the sun, rain, and snow!
If you notice that your zuke has yellowed leaves or if it sags under its weight, then it may be time to say goodbye.
Sellers who use our tips as part of their selling process have improved the saleability of many fruits and veggies. However, there is one vegetable that we see way too often – the zucchini.
Why do so many zucchis end up rotting in the refrigerator?
It’s all about protecting your zukes from precipitation. This includes both internal and external sources like condensation, heavy rains, and snow, respectively.
Most people don’t realize that this kind of exposure can cause your zuchinni to over-dry. It’s also possible to develop fungal growth if zucchini is exposed long term.
So how can you prevent rotten zukes?
Here are some helpful tips.
— Never leave harvested zucchinis at room temperature for more than two days.
The plant is not properly fertilized
This will cause your zuke to quickly turn brown and mushy, which does not look good! If you choose to let it go, don’t worry too much about it – most people find that they grow another one of these vegetables soon after.
However, if you would like to keep it as a part of this season’s crop, you can try washing them off first. Simply cut the vine down at its base and wash away any dirt or residue with water. Then, either dry them in the sun or use the refrigerator to speed up the process.
The plant is infected with bacteria
Bacteria are very important to our health, and there are many ways that they contribute to this. Some of these bacteria help make nutrients for us to use, or act as a natural preservative so we can eat them later.
However, some bacterial strains are harmful to others or ourselves. Certain types of bacteria may even be deadly towards humans.
When your zuke comes in contact with water, bacteria begin to grow. Because most vegetables have starch in them, the bacteria feed off this source.
The length of time between planting and when you notice rotten chunks on the vine depends on the variety of zuke, the climate, and how much moisture it receives at home.
If left untreated, the infection will spread and the plant will die. This would not only hurt the farmer, but also the community because of the loss of crop.
There are two main reasons why zukes might rot on the vine. They could be infected by microbial pathogens or fungal infections. Microbial diseases are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi. These infectious agents typically come from outside sources like soil or air.
Fungal infections are characterized by white fuzzy growths called spores. Spores usually stay beneath the surface and don’t cause any symptoms until exposed to specific conditions or enough exposure. It is then their immune system reacts and causes problems.
The plant is infected with fungus
Fungus can be good or bad for your health, but this particular kind of fungal infection is not healthy for zucchini plants. When there are too many fungi growing in an area, they can infect other things to use as their source of food.
The fungus needs moisture to grow, so if the plant is thirsty, it will look like it is thriving when it actually has no resources to feed itself.
When you cut into the zuke to check it out, however, you find that it is soft and brownish-green in color. This indicates that the plant cannot get enough nutrition to survive and therefore its growth stopped early.
The plant is not properly dried
After harvesting zukes, they are often left to dry in your fridge or other warm area of the house for several days. This typically does not pose a problem unless you forget about them!
If the vine gets wet while it’s drying, then the water can begin to rot the plant. Because plants have cells that contain moisture, if there is enough of it, the cell walls will break down and the tissue will decay.
This happens when someone leaves their zuke lying around and comes back later to find it has greenish slime all over it. Sometimes this will even smell bad!
Removing any kind of skin like scales or hairs also exposes more of the internal flesh to air, which could cause fungus growth. This is what happened with our almost-deflated squash – the gummy residue was caused by excess fur from the plant.
So how do we prevent this from happening to another vegetable? There are two main reasons why dehydration may be the source of an unhealthy zuchini.
The plant is too close to other plants
If your zuci starts to look pale and droopy, or if it does not grow as quickly as usual, then it may be because there are too many other plants around it.
Zucchini will constantly draw nutrients from its surroundings, so make sure that none of these surrounding plants are in poor health. Make sure to check out whether they need water, fertilizer, or both!
If possible, give your zucc some space by moving it to another pot or growing it in a separate container. Alternatively, you can cut off a piece of the top to allow more sunlight exposure.
Alternatively, try giving it less frequent moisture and see how that changes over time.
The plant is too far from the ground
When zucchini plants get very tall, they can develop dry leaves or what’s called silvering. This happens when the foliage starts to thin out and die back due to lack of water and nutrients.
If left untreated, this will eventually cause death of the whole plant.
Zucchinis that are planted in soil will also suffer similar problems if they are not given enough moisture and nutrition. These symptoms usually appear in spring when buds begin to form and growth resumes.
If you notice any signs of disease or deterioration, make sure to check yourzucchini plant’s environment to see if it has adequate water and nutrient source.
It is too hot
This may be an uncomfortable revelation, but your zucchini can “burn” or even explode at its very core. If left untreated, it will eventually rot and stink up your home.
Zucchini contains high levels of starch, which acts as a source of food for bacteria. When there isn’t enough oxygen to promote decomposition, the bacteria feed upon the starch instead, creating a buildup that only worsens over time.
When you cut into your zuke early, before this happens, so it does not suffer from bacterial growth, but once it is exposed, why then do some get rotten much faster than others?
The reason stems back to temperature. The hotter the outside, the quicker the inner tissue dies. This is because as the plant gets warmer, the starch in the vegetable becomes more easily accessible to bacteria, giving them their next meal.
If the vine is still attached to the zuke when it overheats, it may be saved. You could try leaving it alone and see if it re-hardens and freezes, or if it rots away internally due to proper cooling.