I have been growing cucumbers for family consumption for over ten years. It was fun until I started experiencing cucumber plant leaves turning yellow. The sign was an indicator of something wrong with my plants.
So, why are my cucumber leaves turning yellow? Yellow cucumber leaves occur due to inappropriate watering routines, nutrient deficiency, low-light conditions, pest infestations, and plant diseases.
Continue reading this article to learn the reasons behind cucumber plants turning yellow. The information will help you identify the exact causes, hidden symptoms, and ways of reviving yellow cucumber leaves.
Why Is My Cucumber Plant Turning Yellow? (Causes & Solutions)
Cucumbers are refreshing summer treats rich in vitamins, minerals, and hydration. Appropriate conditions make these cucumber plants produce mightily.
If your cucumber plant begins to turn yellow, it is time to examine the growing condition and find the exact cause. Cucumber leaves turn yellow due to the following issues:
Inappropriate Watering Routines
The water problem is the leading cause of cucumber leaves turning yellow. Cucumber plants thrive in soil with moderate and consistent moisture content throughout the year.
Inconsistent watering habits and overwatering can be problematic to cucumber plants. The cucumber yellow leaves occur due to any of these factors.
Overwatering deprives the cucumber plant roots of oxygen and results in root rot disease. The condition later inhibits the roots from undertaking their physiological activities.
Overwatering occurs due to poor soil drainage. I recommend adding sand to loosen the soil or grow your cucumbers in raised garden boxes.
Inconsistent watering habits (under-watering) make the cucumber plants to wilt due to dehydration. The best solution is to soak the soil to hydrate the cucumber plants.
The golden rule is to test the soil moisture content before watering your cucumber plants. Insert your index finger in 2-3 inches of topsoil; soak the soil if it is completely dry.
Pest Infestations on Leaves
Insect infestation is inevitable when growing cucumbers. The juicy cucumber leaves make the plant attractive to pests like whiteflies, spider mites, potato leafhoppers, and stripped beetle.
These sap-sucking creatures munch on the soft and delicate leaves to cause plant shock. Tissue destruction is the reason behind yellow leaves on cucumbers.
Aphids tend to stick to the underside of the leaves. These tiny insects suck out sap from the leaves and leave behind a sticky substance that causes mold or an infestation.
Spider mites suck the juice from the cucumber leaves to cause yellow stippling. Investigate the leaves’ underside to see a sign of silvery and fine-webbing left behind it.
Potato leafhoppers love to stick on cucumber leaves and inject toxins. The venom makes baby cucumber plant leaves turn yellow. The damaged yellow cucumber leaves later fall off the plant.
Whiteflies move in small clusters over the cucumber plant leaves. These tiny flies suck the sap and leave behind honeydew on the cucumber plant.
Examine the cucumber leaves to identify the exact pest behind the yellowing problem. Use insecticidal soap to eliminate these insects.
Cucumber Plant Diseases
Cucumber plants are more vulnerable to diseases. Bacterial and fungal conditions make the leaves start turning yellow and dry.
Mosaic virus is the leading plant disease that affects cucumbers. These viruses thrive in damp soil and keep infecting the plant throughout the year. It causes yellow spots on cucumber leaves.
Verticillium wilt is a fungal disease that makes one side of the cucumber leaf turn yellow. The fungi can live in the soil for over ten years.
Downy mildew is the most destructive foliar disease. Yellow spots on cucumber leaves and grey mold underneath are the signs of downy mildew on cucumbers.
Fusarium wilt is a ground-dwelling disease that causes yellow cucumber leaves. The virus is more common in older cucumber plants and leaves.
Take the time to examine your cucumbers to identify the exact disease. Use fungicides to treat the condition and revive your cucumber plants.
Soil Nutritional Deficiencies
Cucumber plants thrive in nutrients rich soil. The nutrients are essential for vegetative growth and fruits formation. It also keeps the plant healthy and happy.
The golden rule is to undertake the soil test to figure out the missing nutrients. Research shows that insufficient soil nutrients are the reason behind yellow cucumber leaves.
Nitrogen deficiency is the leading cause of cucumbers turning yellow. Nitrogen helps the leaves to stay healthy and foster better plant growth.
Potassium deficiency is another cause of cucumbers yellowing leaves. The cucumber leaves begin to turn yellow at the edges and tips. Use a balanced fertilizer to resolve the problem.
Insufficient irons in the soil make the baby cucumber plant leaves turn yellow. But these yellow leaves on cucumbers maintain their green veins.
Use ammonium nitrate fertilizer to resolve nitrogen deficiency issues in the soil. Besides that, sprinkle granular iron around the roots to fix the iron deficiency problem.
My cucumber leaves are turning yellow due to low light conditions. The yellow cucumber leaves occur on both indoor and outdoor plants.
Cucumbers need six to eight hours of natural light daily. I recommend the use of LED lights (Check Best Deals on Amazon) when growing indoor cucumbers.
How Do You Fix Yellow Cucumber Leaves?
Growing and caring for cucumber plants is relatively easy. But some things are inevitable, like pests and diseases. These problems usually result in low yields and even complete damage to the crops.
Here are possible tips to consider when fixing yellow cucumber leaves:
Remove the Affect Leaves
Yellow leaves in cucumber occur due to several reasons such as nutrient deficiencies, pests, and diseases. Dealing with these problems is relatively easy and straightforward.
It is advisable to cut off the leaves that are affected immediately. It will help inhibit the spread of disease if it is the possible cause of the problem.
Apply Fertilizer Rich in Nutrients
Nutrient deficiencies usually make cucumbers experience the yellowing of leaves. Keep in mind that the cucumber plant is a heavy feeder.
Therefore, consider applying fertilizer rich in potassium, nitrogen, iron, and calcium in the garden soil. These nutrients are quite vital during the various growing stages of cucumber plants.
Soggy soil tends to leach nutrients deep into the ground. Besides that, excess water in the soil deprive root oxygen, and this results in the yellowing of leaves.
It is advisable to mix your poorly garden drained soil with sand. It will help facilitate proper aeration and drainage to avoid sogginess.
Spray with Pesticides
Pests and diseases are the leading cause of yellow cucumber leaves. Therefore, consider using reputable insecticides to help eliminate pests that are causing the problem.
Maximum Light Exposure
Cucumbers are green plants. It is an indication that they make their food in the presence of sunlight. Keeping the crop under the shade is likely to cause yellowing of leaves.
Therefore, ensure your garden is adequately exposed to natural light. Those growing cucumbers in containers should take the plant outside for about six hours to experience natural light exposure.
Chlorosis is indeed a big issue for cucumber growing. Chlorophyll is a green pigment in leaves that capture sunlight to enhance food manufacture in plants.
Lack of chlorophyll in green plants causes starvation. The yellow cucumber leaves indicate this. If the problem persists without fixing, then the cucumber plant will die in the long run.
So, if you notice yellow leaves on cucumber plants in containers and backyard garden then consider following the above guidelines for assistance.