NOTE: The terms Squirting cucumber and Ecballium elaterium are identical in this text; in reality, Ecballium elaterium is Squirting cucumber’s biological word.
The name of the cucumber, exploding cucumber, makes people curious. The plant has a unique name because of its squirting fruits. When ripe or disturbed, the prickly fruits, which look like cucumbers, burst off the vine and spread their seeds up to 20 feet away.
These perennial fast-growing members of the gourd family can be found on roadsides or in waste areas. They are rapid spreaders because of their clever seed-spreading fruits. The showy display of bursting fruit follows yellow bell-shaped flowers and can be observed during the late summer months.
Why does my Ecballium elaterium roots have rot?
Root rot on your Squirting cucumber (Ecballium elaterium) can be fatal if not treated with care. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you follow our guide to keep your plant alive if the symptoms occur: Root soft and blackened.
Why does my Squirting cucumber have gray mold spots?
A particular fungus that frequently affects flowers and spreads quickly is known as gray mold spots. This fungus is most likely to blame if you see any brown (or gray) spots. Don’t ignore these signs because doing so could cause your plant to die.
The solution is quite logical when you know the cause of the problem. Most of the time, it is due to overwater of the Ecballium elaterium. We advise you to remove the infected parts of the plant, cut off the infected roots and leaves, then repot your plant using sterile potting soil and a clean pot.
Why does my Squirting cucumber have leaf spots?
If your plants exhibit symptoms like rapid color changes in the leaves or leaves that wilt or droop, we give you all the information you need to recognize them and rescue your plants. For owners of Squirting cucumber, this kind of illness is among the most distressing.
Why are my Squirting cucumber leaves turning yellow?
This is probably the most common problem in the gardening world, yellowing leaves. There are 2 main reasons for this phenomenon, overwatering, or a lack of nutrients.
Reduce your watering frequency when you fear your plants are being overwatered, and follow these steps to determine whether they may be lacking in nutrients:
Each deficiency produces a different yellowing on the Ecballium elaterium in question, here’s how to spot them:
- Magnesium deficiency starts as yellow patches between leaf veins on older leaves. Veins stay green as yellow moves from the leaf center out. Leaf edges turn yellow last.
- Iron deficiency also shows as yellowing between leaf veins, but it hits young leaves on plant tops and branch tips first.
- Sulfur deficiency starts with the newest leaves, turning them yellow throughout.
- Insufficient potassium causes the leaf edges to turn brilliant yellow while the interior of the leaf stays green. Older leaves show the symptoms initially, and the leaf edges quickly darken.
- A lack of nitrogen is indicated by a widespread yellowing. Older, inner leaves are the first to yellow. As the yellowing progresses, it eventually touches young leaves as well.
You only need to respond to the signs mentioned above. A gardening store expert will be able to provide you advice on how to purchase a specific soil to treat a potassium or nitrogen deficiency. Additionally, you can reduce how often you water your plants.
Is my Squirting cucumber sunburned?
It is quite easy to find out if your Squirting cucumber (Ecballium elaterium) has been burned by the sun. Just like on us, your plant will change color in this case, it will start to turn yellow or white.
The leaves of your Squirting cucumber can also change color in case it gets too much water or not enough light, as we saw above.
To find out if the yellow leaves have been sunburned, look at the part of the bottom that is tinted closer to the base. The yellow leaf is probably burnt and not something else if this portion stays greener.
Why are my Squirting cucumber leaves turning brown?
The classic sign that a plant has been overexposed to direct sunlight and sunburned is the development of browning leaves. Rest assured that while this may probably save your plant from dying, it will adversely affect its growth.
Should I leave my Ecballium elaterium in direct sunlight?
No! Don’t leave your Ecballium elaterium (or Squirting cucumber) in the sun if it displays the symptoms mentioned above; that’s why it’s in such a bad situation.
As explained in the paragraph above, the solution is simple, just place your Squirting cucumber in a place where the light does not reach it directly, in this way and with a correct watering, your plant should resume its life rather quickly.
Why are my Ecballium elaterium leaves drooping or wilting ?
When you become dehydrated, this usually happens. Large plants are more vulnerable since they need more water on a regular basis than smaller plants.
You may quickly determine if your Ecballium elaterium plant needs water by under-weighing its pot; if it seems light, the soil and roots are probably fairly dry and require water.
In order to ensure that the roots of your plant receive the water’s benefits, you must first moisten the soil in the container if it is absolutely dry. One common error is to immediately drown the Squirting cucumber after a dry period in the belief that it requires a lot of water.
This is the case, but giving too much water at once is the best way to finish it off, you should actually water the soil normally, resuming a quiet watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Ecballium elaterium
Your plant needs water to survive, but it’s crucial to balance the amount and timing of watering. As we previously mentioned, overwatering could be catastrophic for your Ecballium elaterium.
Touching the soil will let you know whether your plant needs water or not; if it still feels damp, it’s generally best to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
Maintaining a consistent temperature for your Ecballium elaterium is also a good idea, especially if it is kept indoors. At GreenShack, we typically advise reserving a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees F. Of course, avoid positioning your Ecballium elaterium close to air conditioners, radiators, or other sources of hot or cold air.
Keep your Squirting cucumber Dust-Free
This one concerns indoor plants, just like on your furniture, dust is also deposited on the leaves of your indoor plants, the problem is that it can prevent them from receiving the necessary light, this would slow down (or even stop) the photosynthesis process, and eventually, they would lose their colors.
This would be a true journey into hell for your Squirting cucumber and would also satisfy the pests.
To remove the dust, gently rub the plant’s leaves with a microfiber cloth. Dust can be removed more easily with a damp cloth, but stay away from corrosive substances like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you have a tendency to overwater, you need to keep an eye on your drainage, we advise you to opt for a pot with drainage holes if it is not already the case and a saucer.
If your pots don’t already have holes in them, you can add volcanic rocks (or any other pebbles with holes) to the bottom of your pot in the meantime. This will assist in creating a channel and keep the water from pooling there for an extended period of time, protecting the roots from decay.