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Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Silverleaf on squash Toplef10Silverleaf on squash 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Silverleaf on squash I22gcj10Silverleaf on squash 14dhcg10

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Silverleaf on squash

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Silverleaf on squash Empty Silverleaf on squash

Post  1airdoc 5/21/2012, 8:14 pm

I had been noticing the problem below on several leaves of my squash and zucchini(which I grew from seed). At first I suspected it was downy mildew and treated with sulfur, but on closer inspection, I found that the spots are not fuzzy and do not rub off. Silverleaf on squash Silver10
Here's another view:Silverleaf on squash Silver11
And a thirdSilverleaf on squash Silver13

I had read other posts that said the silver color was normal, but on closer investigation, I found that it is caused by the silverleaf white fly. These tiny bugs are only 1/8 inch long and do not over winter in areas with freezing temperatures (of course, we had a very mild winter this year!). When their immature forms feed on the sap of the squash leaves, their saliva introduces toxins that cause the changes you see in the images above, which is caused by separation of the surface of the leaf from the lower layer. It can cause the plants to be stunted and have reduced fruit quality (pale fruit) and production.

You can find the flies by turning the leaf over and carefully inspecting the lower surfaces. I found several, but they were too small to photograph. Here's an image from online:
Silverleaf on squash Silver12
These look large, but when you compare them to the size of the leaf hairs beside them, you can appreciate their tiny size.

It only takes a small number of flies to cause the damage. I read that they are hard to control; insecticidal soaps are supposedly effective.
1airdoc
1airdoc

Male Posts : 188
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Location : 7a (Northern middle Tennessee)

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Silverleaf on squash Empty Re: Silverleaf on squash

Post  crs 5/21/2012, 9:52 pm

My zucchini leaves look like that too I was told it was normal. I will be checking tomorrow and try to get a handle on it. They are planted right next to my tomatoes, cucumbers, and cantaloupe and watermelon. I may have a bigger problem Thanks for that post.
crs
crs

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Join date : 2012-05-05
Location : West Central MO

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Silverleaf on squash Empty update

Post  1airdoc 5/26/2012, 5:03 am

I used spinosad (organic pesticide) on the underside of the squash and zucchini leaves and then a couple of days later sprayed sulfur under the leaves and when I checked yesterday I found only a very rare whitefly. All the leaves have the silver spots on them, but the spots don't seem to be enlarging.
1airdoc
1airdoc

Male Posts : 188
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Location : 7a (Northern middle Tennessee)

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Silverleaf on squash Empty Re: Silverleaf on squash

Post  rod champion 5/31/2012, 9:55 am

what is the damage is left alone?
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rod champion

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http://www.southholstonriverflyshop.com

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Silverleaf on squash Empty Re: Silverleaf on squash

Post  1airdoc 6/1/2012, 9:40 am

I have left the original damage alone (i.e., I haven't removed the leaves). The silver spots have not spread on the leaves where I originally noted them, and the leaves otherwise look healthy. I think that since I began treating the plants, the spots have decreased or not spread on new leaves, though. I still note an occasional white fly, but not many.

I opted to try to treat my plants since I read that the silver leaf can cause the plants to produce fewer and sometimes discolored fruit.
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