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Why Are My Watermelon Plants Dying? Reasons with Remedies

by Jack Grover
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Why Are My Watermelon Plants Dying

The most common question we face as a farming expert group is –why are my watermelon plants dying? It is a visible signal that something is off in your plants. It might be the fungal and pest attack or your ignorance in irrigation. By the time you ask for expert opinion, your plants die, and fruit growth is stunted.

Farmers complain that they suddenly notice vines drying up and turning brown, leaves becoming yellow. Is it the same with your melon plants? Oh no!

This can a huge economic loss for large-scale production. So, let’s get to know some common reasons behind your wilted watermelon plants.

Why Are My Watermelon Plants Dying?

Here we will introduce you to some common reasons for your dying watermelon plants and give probable solutions for them.

Why are my melon plants dying?Suggested solutions
Leaves wilting by Downy mildew of CucurbitsUse Bordeaux mixture
Nitrogen deficiencyUse nitrogen-enriched fertilizer
Overwatering plantsEnsure the land is not waterlogged
Aphids pest attackUse pesticides
Viral diseasesApply diffused root extract treatment

Problem-1:  Downy Mildew of Cucurbits

Downy mildew is one kind of fungal disease caused by PseudoperonosporaCubensis. This disease mainly aims at the leaves of watermelons and is triggered in moist and wet weather.


  • yellow spots along the main veins of the leaves
  • watery spots on the undersurface of the leaves
  • stunted growth
  • reduced cultivation
  • white powdered layer in the leaves


  • at first, limit irrigating the land to control moisture
  • Use an organic fungicide like Bordeaux mixture and wait until the weather improves
  • If you still don’t see any improvement, chemical fungicides mancozeb, and chlorothalonil in the undersurface of the leaves, spray the solution periodically for better results.

Problem-2: Nitrogen Deficiency

Are you sure that you are feeding your plants well? Apart from getting nutrition from the soil, plants also need extra nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus for their optimum development.

For want of these macronutrients, leaves are shed before the season and the plant dies. Then how to save a dying watermelon plant?


  • Old leaves become yellow
  • shoot growth is stunted
  • necrosis in  adverse cases


  • First, send soil samples to the laboratory to check the macronutrient content.
  • Apply manure to the land.
  • Grow nitrogen-fixing plants like a rhizome, peas in between watermelon plants.
  • Apply fertilizers with a high NPK ratio from the green revolution

Problem-3: Overwatering Watermelon Plants

Watermelon is rich in water. So most of the farmers assume that they require more water than other plants. Well, it is partially true. Moist soil is essential for the proper growth of the plant. But waterlogged land may rot the roots.


  • Swelling of the fruit
  • Decrease in the sweetness of the fruit.
  • Roots start to rot
  • The tip of the leaves becomes brown and lifeless.


  • Before watering the watermelon plants, check the overall condition of all the plants in the land
  • The ideal time to water the watermelon plants is during the growth of the fruit.
  • The drip irrigation technique is the best to water the plants properly.
  • Periodically apply the water spraying method to wash away fungal spots and dirt from the lands.
  • If it rains heavily during the season, stop irrigation for some days until the weather improves.
  • If water is clogged in the land, make an earthen drain for the passage of water.
  • Lastly, keep the soil moist, ensuring 1-2 inches of water weekly.

Problem-4: Aphids Pest Attack

Aphids pest attacks leaves and roots of watermelon plants for food. Farmers of the tropical region face such problems now and then. These pests are small in size and explore throughout the plants.


  • Yellow discoloration of watermelon leaves.
  • Small spots on the leaves.
  • Leaves become distorted and wilted.
  • Drying up of the vines.
  • Destroyed shoots


  • For long-term protection, consider sowing seeds when the soil is warm. You can use floating row covers to serve the purpose.
  • Nourish the soil with sufficient fertilizer.
  • Spray the plants with a mixture of white oil, essential horticulture oil, and soap. This will help to suffocate the pest.
  • Continue the process one or two times in 15 days.
  • Lastly, wash the plants spraying water. Make sure the water reaches the undersurface of the leaves.

Problem-5: Viral Diseases

Whydomywatermelonplantskeepdying? The mosaic viral disease is the most common form of watermelon viral disease. It damages the leaves and spreads in the stem and roots of the plants.


  • Marginal yellow discoloration of the leave
  • Deformed stems and roots.
  • Leaves are wrinkled and wilted.
  • Mosaic spots on leaves


  • Aphids are the vector for this virus. vector control is the first step of preventing mosaic viral disease in watermelon
  • Do not cultivate watermelon in the same land every year.
  • Ensure good sanitation and irrigation.
  • Burn the affected plants to prevent transmission.
  • Apply diffused root extract treatment to control the damage.

A Helpful Tutorial You May Need!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you revive a dying watermelon plant?

To revive a dying watermelon plant it is essential to ensure suitable soil conditions. Apply sufficient mulch, manure, and insecticides to control pests, fungus.

Why does my watermelon plant keep dying?

Watermelon plants are very prone to fungal and viral diseases. Pest acts as the vector of these viruses and facilitates the drying of leaves. Moreover, weather and depleted soil nutrition levels contribute to the problem.

Can you overwater watermelon plants?

You definitely cannot overwater watermelon plants as they will rot the root and stunt the growth of the plants and fruit. But for optimum growth, it is essential to maintain moist soil conditions.

Final Verdict

Despite taking proper care of the watermelon plants, leaves are seen to dry up, stems become thin and fragile. So the question arises why are my watermelon plants dying? This is not your fault.

The weather significantly affects the development of the plant. Too much rain clogs water between soil particles and rots the root. Moreover, fungus grows well in such weather. But a little caution and some practical solution can save you from huge loss. If the condition worsens, you should consult a farming expert or seek help from a government organization as soon as possible.

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