What Causes Yellowing in Cucumbers & How to Prevent This in the Future

Cucumber is a favorite vegetable in many households. They are used for salads, sandwiches and other types of dishes.

However, what should you do if your cucumbers turn yellow? If left on the vine for too long, they will turn a pale yellow from their natural green color. This is often due to excessive sun exposure or because they are not given enough water.

That said, some types of cucumbers are actually Meaning Yellowing – so don’t panic if you accidentally find them growing in your garden.

Here are some tips to help you deal with yellow cucumbers—and prevent them (or not!)

yellow cucumber problem

For the most part, cucumbers are meant to be harvested when they are small, crunchy, and green.

Let them get big and yellow, and they will neither look nor taste good. The aesthetic issues are obvious—they just don’t look like cucumbers.

In addition, these cucumbers are bitter, as they are overripe. Overripe cucumbers also have a lot of seeds and an unpleasant texture.

Sometimes, yellow cucumbers indicate the presence of a disease or insect infestation or even a nutrient imbalance. So, if you notice that you have a lot of yellow cucumbers coming up in your garden, you have to play the role of detective to find out the reason.

Why do cucumbers turn yellow – and how to treat it

What Causes Yellowing in Cucumbers & How to Prevent This in the Future

There can be many reasons why your cucumbers are turning yellow. The most common are over-harvesting and letting your cucumbers over-ripe, but if you know that wasn’t the case, there are a few other culprits to look out for.

Here’s what you should know.

1. Problem in harvesting

As I mentioned earlier, the most likely reason for your cucumbers to turn yellow was that you didn’t harvest them at the right time.

Cucumbers grow rapidly, so if you leave them on the vine for too long, they can grow too large and turn yellow. Yellowing indicates that the green color produced by chlorophyll has started to fade. As cucumbers get bigger and bigger, they become extremely bitter.

These vegetables ripen and are ready for harvesting anywhere between 50-70 days after planting.

In general, a cucumber is considered ripe when it is dark green, firm, and just the right length for the variety (pickled varieties will be ready to harvest, obviously, when they are much smaller than other types of cucumbers). Huh).

If you can avoid it, don’t harvest cucumbers when they are yellow, bloated, or wrinkled or sunken. These are overripe and need to be discarded.

Technically, you should harvest a cucumber before it is fully mature. You can pick cucumbers any time they appear on the vine—you don’t need to wait for them to reach a certain size. To avoid yellowing cucumbers, choose cucumbers that are 2-8 inches tall.

If you plan to grow cucumbers for pickling, re-pick them when they are young. Since cucumbers grow so fast, you may need to consider harvesting them every day or every other day so you don’t miss out.

2. Watering Problems

What Causes Yellowing in Cucumbers & How to Prevent This in the Future

Cucumber plants have very shallow roots and require frequent watering. Because of this, it is easy to either over water or keep your plants under water.

If your little cucumbers that are just forming are turning yellow, a water problem may be to blame. Provide 1-2-inches of water per week, ideally divided into shorter, more frequent sessions.

3. Nutrient Imbalance

Of course, a nutrient imbalance can also cause cucumbers to turn yellow. Too little magnesium, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus can all cause similar symptoms. Yellowing is one of the most prevalent.

You should only assume that a nutrient imbalance is to blame if you also notice other problems with your plants, such as plants that have droopy, curled leaves, or transparent spots between veins. There are.

If nutrient deficiencies are the problem, you can overcome it with a balanced fertilizer or some compost tea. Doing a soil test between growing seasons is the best way to identify a nutrient deficiency and treat it going forward.

4. Virus

What Causes Yellowing in Cucumbers & How to Prevent This in the Future

Cucumber also turns yellow due to many viruses.

One of the most common is the cucumber vein yellowing virus. It is less likely to affect the fruits of plants than plants – typically, cucumber vein yellowing virus causes a speckled or mosaic pattern in shades of yellow on leaves.

Of course, this can also affect the fruit, but this is not always the case. It depends on when it infects the plant – early infections often result in zero fruit production. However, later infection causes the fruits to become deformed and discolored.

5. Fungal Problems

Some fungal diseases can cause cucumbers to turn yellow. Anthracnose usually appears as yellow areas on leaf tissue, but it can also affect the fruit. This effect is similar to Cercospora leaf spot.

6. Striped Cucumber Beetle

What Causes Yellowing in Cucumbers & How to Prevent This in the Future

One pest that can cause cucumber discoloration is the striped cucumber beetle. This pest is found on all types of cucumber plants, including cucumbers, feeding most of all on the leaves and stems of the plant.

The problem with striped cucumber beetles is that they can transmit all kinds of diseases (including cucumber vein yellow virus and bacterial wilt). This can affect the color and total yield of your cucumber plants.

7. Some Varieties are Just Yellow!

Finally, know that your cucumbers can be perfectly healthy and harvested at the right time – they naturally turn yellow!

If you’re not sure what you’ve planted, check the label. Some cucumbers are naturally yellow. These include varieties such as:

  • yellow Submarine
  • yellow lemon
  • chinese yellow
  • apple cucumber
  • dosakaya
  • Poona Cucumber
  • Honey Plus Hybrid
  • salt and pepper

They are completely safe to eat, even when they are yellow in color, and they taste great – no bitterness at all!

While most cucumbers are naturally green, there are plenty of yellow varieties (and even white varieties!) that you can enjoy.

what to do with yellow cucumbers

What Causes Yellowing in Cucumbers & How to Prevent This in the Future

If your cucumbers are yellow and they should be yellow, that’s fine – it more or less goes without saying that you can probably just let them do their job! Let them continue to grow and then harvest and process them as you normally would.

However, if your cucumbers are yellow because they are overripe, you will need to do something else with them.

While you can certainly eat yellow cucumbers fresh, they are bitter, seedy and bitter-tasting. They certainly won’t be as tasty as the normal green, ripe ones you like to chop up, but they won’t be dangerous to eat either way.

You can try pickling them or flavoring them. The pickling ingredients used in these types of dishes are so strong that they hide the bitter taste of ripe cucumbers.

If you don’t want to eat them, go ahead and recycle them. Don’t throw them in the trash! They provide a valuable source of nitrogen to the compost pile and can also be fed to livestock such as pigs and chickens. My pigs love to eat those big cucumbers that are too big and bitter for me to do anything else!

One last option? Save the seeds for next year’s garden.

Over-ripe, yellow cucumbers contain far more seeds than regular cucumbers, which means you can harvest them without any extra effort. Remove the seeds, let them dry out and plant them in your garden next year.

This year’s gardening mistake could be next year’s bountiful harvest—follow these tips, and you’ll just be growing green goddesses in your garden next season.

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