Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

One or two cucumber plants ensure the supply of salad or pickling cucumbers over the summer. But what if the main shoot of the cucumber breaks off? Can the cucumber still be saved?

In a nutshell

  • growth is similar for all cucumber varieties
  • the cucumber plant is usually only grown with one main shoot
  • Side shoots are cut off
  • if the main shoot breaks off, a side shoot can be used as a replacement
  • other options are less successful

growth of cucumber

The cucumber plant climbs, regardless of whether it is grown outdoors or in a greenhouse. So that it can grow optimally, provide it with a trellis. However, even then, the side shoots must be cut off after the first flowering so that the plant does not overgrow too much. As soon as it has grown to about 60 cm, all side shoots underneath are also removed, because otherwise the fruits that form would lie on the ground. Due to these growth characteristics, the cucumber plant is always grown with only one main shoot.

When the main shoot breaks off

There are many reasons why a cucumber shoot has broken off. Sometimes it's carelessness or too much wind. Animals can also be responsible for this. If the damage is noticed, it is important to act quickly. The chances of success are best when the cucumber shoot is fresh and not completely broken off. In this case you can try to carefully straighten the shoot until it sits straight again and secure the damaged area with a clamp, jute ribbon or something similar. However, you have to proceed really slowly and carefully so that the stalk does not break through completely and the "bandage" holds well.

Notice: If the damaged area is securely wrapped, it is best to also fix it to the trellis.

Bring in the side shoot

The easiest thing to do when a cucumber shoot breaks off is to grow a new side shoot. You don't have to do much for this. If you have not yet broken out or cut off any side shoots, you can select one of these and remove the rest. It makes sense to select one of the shoots that grew high up on the broken off spot. This cucumber shoot is now attached to the trellis instead of the main shoot.

Notice: Carefully look after the cucumber in the near future so that it grows quickly and vigorously.

grafting cucumber plant

You may be able to save the cucumber plant by grafting it. You need a suitable base for this. This can be a pumpkin plant or another vigorous cucumber plant. Pumpkin plants are preferred because they are more resilient. Grafting works best with a young plant as a base, which, apart from the cotyledons, has not yet grown much further. An attempt can also be made with an older plant.

  1. Smooth the broken cucumber shoot along the broken edge and then cut diagonally from below. If the cucumber shoots have dried up a bit, cut them back to fresh green. Also remove any cucumbers or flowers that have already formed, as they would cost the plant too much energy.
  2. Also cut the underlay diagonally below the lowest leaves or the cotyledons, but from top to bottom.
  3. Insert both shoots into one another and fasten with a clip or wrap with other suitable material. The two plant shoots should touch as much as possible.
  4. Keep the plant warm, water well and fertilize sufficiently. Make sure that the plant does not get too much sun, it could dry out and be beyond saving.
  5. You can tell that the cucumber shoot has grown by a new shoot. Leaves and new shoots form.
  6. Cut off the old shoots of the rootstock above the grafting point so that only the cucumber plant continues to grow.
Hokkaido pumpkin

frequently asked Questions

How long does it take for a new cucumber shoot to grow?

If the side shoots have been broken out regularly, it can take a few weeks for a new, strong cucumber shoot to grow.

Do all cucumbers grow the same way?

There are cucumber varieties where the side shoots are not removed. With these it is not so bad if the main shoot breaks off.

How can the broken shoot be saved?

The cucumber shoot can be placed in the water, maybe it will form roots. But that rarely happens. Especially if cucumbers were already hanging on the broken piece, the chance of success is low.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!