pumpkin plant with white spots on leaves

Joined Aug 13, 2006
I'm not much of a gardener.  I have a terrace on the 6th floor in rome, under the hot sun from morning to night in summer, and in the shade all winter.  I manage to grow some flowers and stuff, and it looks ok, but i would like to grow some stuff i can eat. 

I also can't for the life of me grow from seeds (well, i grew nasturtiums, they do ok, nothing else - not even bulbs seem to come up!) but i buy plants and can USUALLY keep them alive.  They need watering daily and we can't really afford to put in a new watering system right now - forget to water one night and half of them turn brown. 

Given that, I bought a pumpkin plant with three nice pumpkins - still green and the size of your two cupped hands together. 

I thought they were muddy, but when i got them home i noticed thqat what seemed like pale mud was actually some spots on the leaves, whitish greyish spots. 

Is that a fungus or something?  is there anything i can do besides spraying poisons? 

i usually deal with parasites (aphids, caterpillars etc) with dishwashing detergent foamed up with water.  They die on contact, and i keep doing it.  But i doubt this would work on fungus. 

any ideas?  (the plant nursery people are pretty ignorant as far as i;ve seen.)
Joined Jul 27, 2009
What you are seeing is indeed a fungus, I treat my pumpkins and squashes weekly with a Bordeaux Mixture, ( copper sulphate and lime )

Do not stop the weekly regime as it is more of a preventative than a cure.

As far as I am aware Bordeaux mixture is allowed on organic vegetables and is certainly better than any of the nasty chemical mixtures
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Not for nothing, KitchenChef, but do you really think that copper sulphate is not a chemical? Or lime, for that matter.

This is an on-going discussion, so don't think I'm picking on you. But everything is a chemical. So, when you mean synthetic fertilizer--insecticide--fungicide etc. please refer to them that way.

Fertilizers are the biggest area where folks misuse the term. Vegetables require 16 nutrients for healthy growth and development. But, so long as they are in soluble form, the plants really don't care whether those chemicals come from manure or Monsanto.

That aside, best I can figure, Siduri's problem is powdery mildew, and Bordeaux will be little help, at this point, because, as you say, it's more a preventative than a cure. What she'd have to do is treat new growth, while removing and destroying the infected leaves. My impression, however, is that there isn't enough new growth to provide photosynthetic action, and she might lose the existing fruits.
Joined Sep 18, 2008
 ...the plants really don't care whether those chemicals come from manure or Monsanto...
And, in point of fact if I recall my plant science classes correctly, plants cannot utilize organic compounds until they are broken down into their inorganic (read chemical) components, primarily ions.

Joined Aug 13, 2006
Well, KY, i looked up the fungus you mentioned online and i got the surprising answer to try milk in solution 1 - 10.  It sounded fishy but i kept coming across it and didn't feel like looking up the scientific studied that they said supported it since it wasn't expensive and wasn't poisonous. 

Believe it or not it worked. 

The leaves that were all entirely grey got light green in parts (I was afraid to take all of them off so i left those that hasn't actually gotten brown and dried up parts) because i figured they would produce some chlorophyl anyway, and very heavily sprayed where new leaves were coming out.  One which had spots on it got better, and the otyhers are all clean.  One of the pumpkins got a brown soft side to it but it might be from leaning against the side fo the vase.  and without as many leaves to shade them they're turning prematurely orange i think (i think it must be premature).  But it seems to work.  Of course, i hadn't tried my other home remedy, washing the leaves to get rid of all the signs of whatever it is (aphids, other bugs, or in this case, the powdery scales of fungus) so maybe just the washing not the milk was what helped. 

anyway thanks

Latest posts

Top Bottom