Is a Yellow Cucumber Bad – The Truth About Yellowing Cucumbers

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Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Griselda M.

So, I was recently asked this question, is a yellow cucumber bad? I am sure that many others are wondering the same. That is why I thought it fit to address the issue and reveal the truth behind yellowing cucumbers. Therefore, if you have cucumber plants in your garden and you are wondering why they are turning yellow, you might want to take a look at this guide.

A couple of factors such as over-ripeness, pollination problems, water inconsistency, or even a virus can cause your cucumbers to turn yellow. Have a look below as we discuss more on why your cucumbers may be turning yellow, what you can do to achieve a green healthy cucumber, and whether or not the color change is an indication of a rotted or overripe vegetable.

If a Cucumber Turns Yellow is It Bad?

If a cucumber turns yellow is it bad? Firstly you need to know that chlorophyll fades from the green skin of cucumber as it becomes botanically mature. The yellowing color is an indication of an overripe fruit which does not make it necessarily bad to eat. This; however, will depend on your preferences because while some don’t mind consuming an overripe yellow cucumber, others may be a bit pickier and only eat green ones. 

That being said, I think that it is right to inform you that the taste of a yellow cucumber differs substantially from that of a green one. Although they are amongst the easiest edibles to grow in home gardens, it is essential to know if yellow cucumbers are good or bad for you, especially if you harvest large amounts.

However, there are several ways to prevent them from yellowing on the tree or after you have cut them. Crisp delicious cucumbers are usually afforded enough sunlight, regular watering, and fertile soil to thrive.

Can You Eat Yellow Cucumbers?

Can you eat yellow cucumbers? Although they are quite safe to eat, there are a few additional aspects to take into consideration before consuming them. This is because they are not very pleasant on the tastebuds when they are overly mature. When cucumbers ripen, they have a bitter taste compared to when you harvest them green. The change in taste is not very enjoyable, especially if you look forward to the refreshing taste of a sparkling green cucumber.

However, there are some notable benefits to yellow cucumbers. These include the fact that overripe cucumber seeds are loaded with essential and beneficial nutrients. These include vitamins K and C, antioxidant properties, and much-needed fiber. For this reason, it is advisable to not discard yellow cucumbers, but instead, eat them if you can tolerate the bitterness. But, if the cucumber has lost its firmness and becomes soft to the touch after it has yellowed, chances are that it has rotted. In this case, or if mold growth is evident, throwing the yellow cucumber away would be your next step.

What Causes Cucumbers to Turn Yellow?

If you’re wondering what causes cucumbers to turn yellow, then you should know that there are several reasons for this occurrence. There are a few notable mentions that can cause yellowing cucumbers. These include overly mature fruit, a yellow cucumber variety, over or underwatering which can stress the plant, disease, and nutrient deficiency amongst others.

Therefore, it is best to harvest cucumbers that are slightly immature if you want excellent quality. This will afford you mild-flavored crisp fruit that is pleasing on the palate. But all is not lost when it comes to overripe cucumbers as they can be used to make pickles which will get rid of the bitterness and enhance their taste. However, keep in mind that there are also yellow-skinned varieties that are often grown in home gardens.

These include the lemon cucumber, martini, Boothby blonde, and Itachi varieties that are quite delicious. These fruits are also best harvested when they are slightly mature or have a dull yellow color. Take heed of the reason why your cucumbers are turning yellow discussed in detail below.

Reasons Why Your Cucumbers are Turning Yellow

It can be pretty disappointing when your cucumbers turn yellow, orange, and ugly. When this happens, you should throw them away because they are bitter and not healthy for consumption.

Below are some of the reasons why your cucumbers are turning yellow:

Pollination Issues

Unsuccessful pollination can cause your cucumbers to turn yellow. Usually, the female flower bears a small cucumber-like fruit with a flower at the top.

Note that this is just the female flower with an ovary at the bottom and not a growing cucumber. This female flower will need to be pollinated by the male flower (pollen grains) which is also on the same line as the female flower. When successfully pollinated by the male flower, the ovary will begin to grow and become a cucumber. But if pollination fails to occur, the female flower will wither away and the cucumber-like ovary will turn yellow and fall off.

Water Inconsistency

Cucumber plants do love water. But when there is too much water in your cucumber plants, it can cause your cucumbers to grow fast, turn yellow and create mildew.

Mosaic Virus

The mosaic virus can cause your cucumber fruits to turn yellow and taste bitter.


Cucumbers grow very rapidly. It is important for you to always keep a close watch on your cucumber plants. Pick your cucumbers when they are due and don’t leave them too long on the vine as they may turn yellow.

Bacteria and Fungi Issues

Bacteria and fungi issues can cause yellow cucumbers and leave your plants wilted. Choosing resistant varieties is a good solution.


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Solutions to Growing a Healthy Cucumber

Ideally, when you grow healthy cucumbers, they should be green and about 6 to 12 inches long.

Below are some solutions to the problem we listed above:


Pollination issues can be solved by hand pollinating. Identify the male and female flowers on your plant. Pick the male flower and put the pollen grains in the middle female flower. Simple as that. For better clarity check out the video below.


When it comes to watering your cucumber plants, you want to water them moderately. Cucumber plants should be watered often but not too much.


The appropriate solution to the mosaic virus is to eliminate and destroy any plants that are exhibiting signs of the virus. You should also monitor the rest of the cucumber plants in your garden and act fast when they develop any symptoms of the virus. There are also some mosaic-resistant cucumber varieties. So we suggest you go for these varieties when picking the type of cucumbers to plant.

Solutions to Growing a Healthy Cucumbers

With that said, I hope this article has answered the question, of is a yellow cucumber bad, and was useful to you. If you have any questions, kindly leave a comment and we will give you a response.


Is it bad if cucumbers are yellow?

Many consumers might be confused when they see a cucumber that is yellow and think that it is bad. However, they are actually not toxic as long as they are fresh.

The reason why some cucumbers turn yellow is due to the amount of chlorophyll they have stored in their leaves. In order to get rid of this chlorophyll, some vegetables need to be placed in the sun for a certain period of time before the color change takes place.

Can you pickle cucumbers that have turned yellow?

Yes, but you need to make sure that they are not too soft before you start. If the cucumber is extremely soft when submerged in the vinegar solution, it will not take on any color or taste as effectively or as quickly as one that is still firm enough for good pickling.

Why are my cucumbers yellow and fat?

Cucumbers are meant to be green on the outside and white on the inside, but it's not uncommon for them to turn yellow, brown or even red if they don't get enough sunlight and proper care. Other reasons could be because you're overfeeding them or too much moisture is present in your soil.

What does an overwatered cucumber plant look like?

An over-watered cucumber plant will look wilted. The leaves will droop. The leaves will turn a darker shade of green. The color of the cucumber plant will be dull, not bright green.

A well-watered cucumber plant is bright green with leaves that are puffed up. There are also more spikes on the cucumbers which mean that there is more water in them and it's getting all of its nutrients from the soil.

Should I water cucumbers every day?

One of the most common questions that home gardeners have is whether cucumbers need to be watered every day or if it’s okay to water less.

Cucumbers are a warm season vegetable, meaning the best time to plant them is when you can plant warm season vegetables in your area. In the US, cooler regions should wait until June-July and warmer regions should plant their cucumber vines in March-April. In warmer climates, water your cucumbers every day to ensure they stay moist and healthy. In cooler climates, one watering a week is enough, but make sure it’s a deep watering that fully saturates the soil down at least 10 inches.

Do cucumbers like full sun?

Cucumbers are plants which need to grow in an environment with enough sunlight for photosynthesis, and cucumber plants like full sun because they need for their photosynthesis process to work properly, without any shade or insufficient sunlight.

What fertilizer is best for cucumbers?

I recommend using nitrogen fertilizer for cucumbers.

Nitrogen fertilizer is ideal for cucumbers because it produces healthy leaves and fruit, which are great for growing a bountiful harvest.

Do cucumbers do well in shade?

Cucumbers do well in both light and shade. While they do need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day, you can place them in partial shade if you want them to grow slower.

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