Vegetables

My Cucumber Turned Yellow – What’s Going On?!

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Have you been to your garden recently and discovered a cucumber turned yellow? Or perhaps some shade of yellow-orange? Do not be alarmed; this cucumber turning yellow is most likely all part of what nature intended.

When you find cucumbers going yellow, check the rest of the plant and the soil for clues.

  • Did the cucumber stay on the vine too long?
  • Did you miss picking it earlier because it was hiding out in the garden?
  • Is the soil overly wet?
  • Are mushrooms or other fungi growing?
  • Are the cucumber plant’s leaves also yellow?
  • Is the cucumber deformed? Skinny on one end? Just a ball instead of a cucumber shape?
  • Could you have planted a lemon cucumber instead? (These grow yellow in the shape of a ball.)

These are just a few questions to consider to help you get to the bottom of the cucumber turned yellow conundrum.

Let’s keep investigating!

My Cucumbers Are Yellow!

When I went out to my garden recently, I discovered some of my cucumbers are yellow! I’ve been in the game long enough to know these will be bitter and not at all tasty if we were to cut them open and try eating them. Still, I picked them to save the seeds.

The best-case scenario for a cucumber turned yellow on the vine is that it fully matured and produced viable seeds. A yellow orange cucumber is a good sign that the seeds inside are perfect for saving and planting.

We saved a pickling cucumber that turned yellow-orange. Hopefully we’ll get a full crop and then some from these seeds next year!

Overripe Orange Yellow Cucumber in a Garden, Going to Seed

Is a Yellow Cucumber Safe to Eat?

Yes, yellow cucumbers are safe to eat. However, you may not want to eat them. Generally, overripe cucumbers are tougher to chew and bitter to the taste. The seeds are larger and harder, which makes them also not pleasant for eating.

Try to pick your cucumbers before they turn yellow!

What Can I Do with Yellow Cucumbers?

All is not lost on account of a few yellow cucumbers! Here are some suggestions for what to do with yellow cucumbers:

  • Save Cucumber Seeds – If you’ve determined your yellow cucumbers are overripe, simply harvest and save the seeds for next year!
  • Make Pickles or Relish – Perhaps you feel as though you’re missing out by not eating yellow cucumbers you grew. If this is the case, you may wish to find a recipe for pickle relish or pickles and give it a whirl.
  • Compost Cucumbers – Lastly, if you want nothing to do with them after your cucumbers turned yellow, consider composting yellow cucumbers! They will break down quickly and moisture derived from their decomposition will help to break down other things in your compost.

Removing yellow cucumbers from the vine is important so new cucumber flowers will continue to blossom, making way for more cucumbers. When cucumber plants start producing seeds, they generally stop trying to grow more cucumbers.

Do you have other ideas for what to do with cucumbers turning yellow? Please share in our comments!

What Else Could It Mean When a Cucumber Turned Yellow?

If you’re certain this cucumber in question isn’t overripe, something else could be going on. Here are some possibilities:

  • Too much watering – If cucumbers get too much water, they may turn yellow. Check the rest of the plant and surrounding soil for clues to suggest this is the case.
  • Nutrient deficiency or imbalance – If the soil quality isn’t right for cucumbers, they may start giving you visual clues. Yellowing cucumbers may be a sign of a nitrogen deficiency. You may be able to correct this with a specific fertilizer that adds nitrogen to the soil.
  • Viral disease – It’s also possible that your cucumber plant contracted a disease. Cucumber mosaic virus is one example of a disease that could cause changes in the color and appearance of cucumbers.

How to Prevent Yellow Cucumbers

Knowing how to prevent yellow cucumbers can make your garden’s harvest even better! Try these tips to keep your cucumbers from turning yellow.

  1. Avoid overwatering your cucumbers. Too much water can stress your cucumber plants.
  2. Monitor the plants to watch for unusual changes. Checking the leaves, stems, and fruits may help you detect signs of a virus or other plant disease.
  3. Pick cucumbers frequently and check often for new ones. You may want to pick daily or twice per day, as they do grow fast. (Better to pick when they’re small than yellow and overripe.)
  4. Watch for pests like cucumber beetles that could be messing with your plants. If you find evidence of a cucumber beetle infestation, treat your garden accordingly.
Yellow Cucumber Overripe on the Vine

Cucumber Turned Yellow: Final Thoughts

Finding a yellow cucumber or two is all part of this gardening game. When you notice a cucumber turned yellow in your garden, take the time to deal with it.

Save the seeds, at the very least! You can also try your luck with pickles or relish, or simply compost it and be done with it.

Also, if you wish to increase your yield next time, try to harvest cucumbers every single day while they’re producing.

You will notice your cucumber plants keep putting out more flowers as long as an overripe cucumber doesn’t interrupt their rhythm!

Do you have any other questions or tips to share about why a cucumber turned yellow or what to do about it? Please share in the comments below!

By the way, you might also enjoy our post on Cucumber Leaves Turning Yellow!

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