I have a big, healthy looking pumpkin plant with a dozen small pumpkins starting to bud.

Today I went in and got a good look at the base of the vine and found this discoloration. Is this squash vine borer? If so, how can I save the plant?

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So I did the surgery and found no worm and no frass in there. It looks like a healthy vine, right? And the leaves are still growing like crazy and not wilted. The flowers are big and healthy. So, false alarm? I buried it with dirt where I sliced it and hopefully we will have pumpkins in the fall.

1 Answer 1


One of the first sign of squash vine borer is wilting. As long as the plant keeps growing and looks healthy it should be fine and is likely not effected by squash vine borer.

The white color on the lower stem of your plant is just a transition area as the stem changes from its above ground green to white below ground.

  • Others have told me slicing the base of the stem won't hurt the plant as long as I bury that part after.
    – Michael T
    Jul 19, 2017 at 11:31
  • You are right. With pumpkins and other hollow stemmed plants it does not pose a big threat.
    – user16651
    Jul 19, 2017 at 13:14
  • 1
    @MichaelT - If you do have borer infestation, that's how you get them out, if you catch it early enough - you slice open the stem where you see the hole (and sawdust looking debris), get the grub out, and then I just use masking tape as a plant-bandage and close/wrap-up the part of the stem I sliced open. As long as the borer grub hasn't done too much damage, it continues to be viable despite the surgery. Jul 19, 2017 at 13:44

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