Can you eat cucumbers that are yellow?

In this brief text, we will answer the question, “Can you eat cucumbers that are yellow?”. We will answer other questions related to the topic, including why cucumbers turn yellow and how to prevent them, what you can do with yellow cucumbers and more.

Can you eat cucumbers that are yellow?

Yes, you can eat cucumbers that are yellow as they are harmless. But the taste will make you not want to eat them as they are over ripe and are unpleasant to eat.

Are cucumbers considered a  fruit or a vegetable? 

Cucumbers are members of the Cucurbitaceae family and are also called Cucumis sativus. Cucumbers, strangely enough, are classified as fruits because they have small seeds in the middle and sprout from the cucumber plant’s flower.

Why do cucumbers turn yellow? 

There are several reasons cucumbers turn yellow. Some of the possible reasons are below:

You’ve chosen a yellow cucumber variety to grow 

Are you growing a yellow variety of cucumbers? The yellow varieties mature and have white or yellow skin. If this is the case, you should not be concerned. Yellow cucumber varieties include 

Apple cucumbers

Small, round, and have a thin yellow rind. 


This variety is round or oblong and has a thin yellow rind. 

Chinese yellow cucumber 

Oval in shape, these cucumbers start green and as they mature, change to a yellow lemony hue. 

Lemon cucumbers 

This variety is round in shape, has a light green flesh and has a spiky rind that is yellow in colour. 

If one of your cucumber plants starts to produce yellow cucumbers, it’s possible that a seed from the yellow variety accidentally ended up in the wrong seed packet. In this case, simply relax and appreciate the beautiful diversity.

Cucumbers that are harvested too late turn yellow 

One of the most prevalent causes of cucumbers becoming yellow is not harvesting them on time. The rich colour of cucumbers fades away as they mature, revealing a yellow or even an orange hue. 

These cucumbers have a regular shape but are often rather huge. They’ve simply gotten too big and bitter. The simple solution is to harvest them sooner. 

After the female cucumber flowers have been pollinated, check them every day to see how they are progressing. The majority of them will be ready to be harvested 10 days after pollination.

Overwatering can make cucumbers yellow 

If you overwater your cucumber plants, they will lose important elements like calcium and nitrogen from the soil and turn yellow long before they are ready to be harvested. The solution to this problem is to hold off the water. 

Cucumbers only require 2 inches of water per week in hot weather and 1 inch in cooler weather. A rainy season typically results in disappointing yellow cucumbers.

Inadequate nutrition 

Cucumbers require the appropriate balance of nutrients to thrive. The leaves and fruit of cucumbers can become yellow due to the lack of fertilisation. 

The cucumbers that have not been adequately fertilised will remain small and will typically turn yellow instead of growing to their full potential. 

To avoid this, use balanced fertiliser while you’re planting or add compost to the soil. Fertilise again after they bloom and then every month or so during the growing season.

Lack of pollination results in deformed cucumbers that are sometimes yellow 

Deformed, yellow cucumbers are frequently caused by the lack of pollination. For correct pollination to occur, it is important that each flower must be pollinated multiple times before the fruit can fully mature. 

You’ll have more cucumbers of the appropriate shape and colour if you have honeybee pollination. If you do not have enough pollination by insects, pollinate the cucumber plants by yourself.

Viral diseases

Cucumber mosaic virus can change the colour of the fruit, causing it to turn yellow over time. Bitter cucumbers are also caused by this virus. Cucumber leaves get speckled and deformed as a result of this virus.

What can you do with yellow cucumbers? 

Yellow cucumbers are not totally a lost cause. Here’s what you can do with yellow cucumbers 

Save the cucumber seeds

If your yellow cucumbers are overripe, harvest the seeds and save them for the next year. 

Make relish or pickle

Find a recipe to pickle your yellow cucumbers. Or make a yellow cucumber relish.

Compost yellow cucumbers

If you want to do nothing with your yellow cucumbers, simply compost them.

How can you make yellow cucumber relish?

Have you fallen behind on cucumber harvesting and discovered a bunch of overripe cucumbers in your garden? Don’t worry we have a ripe cucumber relish recipe to use them up! Click here to read more.


In this brief text, we answered the question, “Can you eat cucumbers that are yellow?”. We also answered other questions related to the topic, including why cucumbers turn yellow and how to prevent them, what you can do with yellow cucumbers and more.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.