Why Are My Cucumbers Bitter?

Category Growing Food
The growing conditions or vegetable variety may affect the flavor of a it. This page concerns why are my cucumbers bitter?.


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My cucumbers do not turn green; they are yellow and bitter. This is the second year this has happened, the fruit is large, the plants have many flowers, and are producing, but this yellow cucumber is all we get.
What can I do to correct this, or do I just give up?
Thank you.

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By jeanne from Warner Robins, GA


June 3, 20102 found this helpful

Cucumbers are not meant to get large. Allowing them to get too big makes them yellow and bitter. All cucumbers start out green from the time the blossom drops off the immature fruit. For the best flavor, you should pick them when they are 4 to 5 inches long and still green.

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June 3, 20100 found this helpful

I've had yellow cucumbers, they were called "lemon cucumbers." They were round and anywhere from light to bright yellow. If you do a google search, you'll find information.


I agree that cucumbers are best when they're younger. They'll have fewer seeds that way, too. What variety are you planting? Look at your seed packet (or the tag, if you purchased plants). Are they getting enough strong sun? The only yellow cucumbers I've had were the ones that were supposed to be yellow.

If you don't get a good answer here, check out (lots of good information!):

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June 3, 20100 found this helpful

Check out cucumber info from Organic Gardening at www.organicgardening.com/.../0,7518,s1-5-16-1576,00.html
It indicates that you need very even water supply and shade since you are in a hot zone. They suggest you give 50% shade to prevent bitter cucumbers in your type of area. Wish you all the best. We love cucumbers too.

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June 7, 20104 found this helpful

This happened to me when I planted squash plants near my cucumbers. They cross-pollinated and the results were off-color and not tasty.

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August 2, 20160 found this helpful

Squash cannot cross pollinate with cucumbers. Different species. Squash and other squash, yes, they can cross pollinate.

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August 7, 20160 found this helpful

Leaving them on the vine - over ripens - they turn from green to yellow and do not taste good

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September 5, 20160 found this helpful

same exact thing happened to me

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June 15, 2009

These are cucumbers straight from my little garden. The plants are two months old. I know that I over soak the plot. These cucumbers are like all the rest I have harvested. They grow green except for along the top surface, where they grow an off white color and have a soft texture on all or part of that surface. They taste bitter as well. Any thoughts about this?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Don


June 16, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Woodysgood,
I found a really good website for you that lists the problems, possible reasons and pictures.

from this it looks like it could be from poor pollination - apparently honey bees are essential for proper growth, the other thing it could be is a fungal infection such as scab or belly rot. In this case you would need to use some sort of fungicide.

The other thing it could possibly be is that your cucumbers have a cucumber mosaic virus, what do thier leaves look like? are they yellowing at all? do they show a mosaic pattern?

Have you noticed any bugs hanging around the plants such as aphids? Aphids are well known for transmitting many viruses.
This site may be useful:


If it looks like a virus, your best bet it to cut the whole lot down and get ride of it, you cant use virus infected plants for compost either as they will still carry the virus.

The picture I have uploaded is of cucumber mosaic virus which I think could really be your problem but Id need to know more details about the leaves before I decide.

Cucumber mosaic virus is a BIG problem as the disease can spread to farms growing cucumbers or any curcubit so if it does seem to fit the symptoms you definitely need to destroy it. Good luck! Hope to hear more about it soon! :)

P.s the other reason I worry about the virus is because your cucumbers are bitter.

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June 20, 20090 found this helpful

I was just wondering. Do you have them climbing on a fence or are they just laying on the ground. They look like the spots a watermelon gets from laying on the ground. My mother and everyone else I know who used to grow cucumbers always grew them on a fence and let them climb on that.


I have some although their not in the ground yet. I'm going to get 2 post and staple chicken wire to it and let them climb on that because I don't have a fence. Maybe you could try that and see if it helps.

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August 17, 20130 found this helpful

I too have small victory garden from decades of learning. Every year you learn something new and growing in Canada especially in Ontario it is near impossible. 2013 as of 10 years prior, ON Gov't leader decided he's smarter than all by
breaking laws, now he's near jail time. I mention this because, he believes food comes from a store (not grown)

Yellowish white spots; disfigured cukes; etc are different probs. Spots are generally means it is touching a damp area; disfigured is sign of poor pollination; white spots around cukes prickles is over watering or not enough.


Check the vine for cukes on vine closest to root; if no cukes then its over watering; if there are - the closest to root is taking the water or something is wrong.

Same goes for rotting/fuzzy duke on vine, pluck the good fruit even if it is a little small; rot throw out and lay off watering for a bit. regular observation is important, mother nature has much to say, if only someone will take time to listen - let alone decipher. Congrats on listening, now decipher.

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February 26, 2012

My cucumbers the past two years have been very bitter. Any suggestions?

By Ramona W.


February 27, 20120 found this helpful

My former mother-in-law said that happened when the cukes were allowed to get too large. I don't know if that is true or not, but I have never had any cucumbers that were bitter.

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March 5, 20120 found this helpful

Here is a link to show the possible resolution. It also lists cukes that don't become bitter.

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