I started my plants about 3 weeks ago in one of those jiffy pellet greenhouses. I moved them to larger pots about a week ago because the roots we're spreading everywhere.

About 3 days ago I decided to move them outside for an hour or so to get some sun (it was very warm and sunny). When I came back it was very cold and windy. They have started turning white and the edges are curling up.

Are my plants going to be ok? Some of the stems have also started losing their colour.

I'm in southern Canada on the prairies. It was about +10°C (50°F) when I found them.

  • Welcome Aimee! Would you please post a picture or two of your seedlings? It would help if we can see all the problems, as well as the pots they're in. Thanks! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Apr 21 '17 at 17:47
  • I added the text from your comment to @Bamboo about where you live and what the temperature was when you found them. Sometimes comments get lost, and since it's an important piece of information, I decided to put it where people will see it right away! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Apr 21 '17 at 17:51
  • I'm trying but for some reason it's not letting me add a picture – Aimee Apr 21 '17 at 21:20
  • I'm sorry about that. This system can be finicky when it comes to pictures! In case you need the instructions: press the gray word "edit" under your question. That will open it up. Click on the icon that looks like a picture of a mountain. You'll get an option to add a picture from your computer or a link from the web. Make your choice and it should post. If you get an error message, let us know what it says. If it's easier, you can just put a link to the picture in your question. We can look at it, or one of us can download it for you. Let us know if you need more help! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Apr 21 '17 at 23:22

Whitening of plants, especially seedlings or young plants, is to do with cold - it was too cold for your plants to be outdoors, so you should get them back under cover until the weather is reliably warmer; if the damage isn't too great, they should recover and put out new growth. You've not said where you are, but in the UK, that would certainly not be before the end of May or into June. There are varieties of cucumber that are too tender to be grown outdoors, and these must be kept in a greenhouse or polytunnel, depending where you live, but hopefully you've chosen an outdoor variety.

UPDATE: I just noticed you said you put them outside 'to get some sun'; it's never a good idea to put seedlings into direct sunlight suddenly, its likely to burn them. That's not what happened to yours, but for future reference, don't move them into direct sunlight straight away.

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  • I'm in southern Canada on the praries. It was about +10°C when I found them. And thank you I will remember to wait until June to put them outside – Aimee Apr 21 '17 at 14:49
  • If you can find out when your last frost date is, put them out after that, hardening them off first - UK's last official frost date is 31st May, but we do sometimes get a frost even down south in early June. Not sure about where you are... – Bamboo Apr 21 '17 at 16:02
  • That is what I saw right away, Bamboo. I think she's burned these babies. Or at least the epidermis wigged out with the sudden HOUR of sun. Why do you think that that is not what happened to her seedlings? Too cold will kill the seedlings, but sun on thin epidermis seedling from indoors will turn white in an effort to thicken. @Aimee you need to go through a process of acclimation. Plants grown indoors with artificial or shielded via windows have to go out for 10 minutes, for a few days then increased to half an hour for a few days etc. until their epidermis is thick enough to not burn – stormy Apr 21 '17 at 22:09
  • @stormy- sudden cold exposure can turn cucumber (and tomato) seedlings leaves white - the sun might have contributed, but we don't know how long they were in the sun, since the weather changed to cold cloudy and windy in the hour they were out. So I'm concluding more likely the sudden cold for an hour compared to being indoors - but it could be the sun contributed too. – Bamboo Apr 21 '17 at 23:27

May I ask, do you know what is your pH? If it is not too low, there is nothing to worry. Cucumbers are very slow starters and would adapt quickly to temperature. They would do very good if you keep them in good sun.

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