Some of my cucumber plants have leaves that are yellowing and curling, as shown in the pictures below.

yellowing cucumber leaf three yellowing leaves

It may be hard to tell from the pictures, but the leaves have small yellow spots on them, and have turned from a rich, deep green to a somewhat sickly yellow-green. They use to be flat. Now they curl.

The fruit is deformed too. It looks like the cucumber may have hit the side of the container and bounced, leading to the deformation.

deformed fruit

These are Japanese cucumbers and are supposed to be slender and straight, not bent and bulging as seen here. (see UPDATE below)

I had to go out of town for a week and left the plants on a watering timer with drip watering. I'm not sure what the weather was like, but there was at least one hot day and some windy days. These cucumbers are in a 25-gallon fabric container filled with what was billed as raised-bed gardening soil.


I should add that the blossoms no longer open fully and sometimes even turn gray and papery and fall off without even blooming.


I harvested the two cucumbers on the plants that were bulging. The issue appears to have been uneven pollination rather than disease. The slim part of the cucumber had no seeds. The bulging part had oodles of seeds. The taste of the cucumbers was quite good.

2 Answers 2


Daanii I am seeing in your cucumbers a major lack of chemistry in your soil. I am also seeing this virus that is rampant among cucumbers, even cucumbers with resistance.

A 25 gallon fabric container works great ONLY if you've used potting soil. Sterilized soil in a bag. Did you? I see a bit of vermiculite or pearlite? Garden soil should never be used in pots and that includes 25 gallon fabric, wood sided raised beds...these are effectively 'pots'...

Luckily for you your cucumbers are just getting started. What are you using for fertilizer if anything? I need the 'formula' rating if you've used anything, with the 3 numbers for the three chemicals critical for the plant to use to do photosynthesis which is how plants make their own food.

I had this virus this year as well. On Cucumbers bred to be resistant. That spotting should slow down on the newer leaves. What little nitrogen your soil MIGHT have had gets sent to the new growth. When older leaves yellow one reason is that Nitrogen (being soluable) is transferred to the most important growth. These symptoms tell us that plant needs more nitrogen and soon other symptoms will show phosphorus and potassium deficiency or excess.

A plant trying to survive without the necessary chemistry in the soil that humans have to add CAREFULLY is susceptible to disease and insects. Get some basic fertilizer on your plants, tell me more and I could give you better formulations. I made this dumb ditty that NO ONE has mentioned one way or another...grins; Less is Best, More is death and None is Dumb concerning adding chemistry (NOT nutrients) to the soil for plants to uptake.

Healthy plants are a gardener's most highest goal. Healthy plants like healthy animal bodies are designed to 'cure' themselves of MOST maladies.

  • So you think it is the cucumber mosaic virus? That's disappointing. I heard that is a nasty one that pretty much wipes out every cucumber plant in your garden. And I have nine. Three in this 25-gallon fabric raised bed, and six in the ground. Do you think I should dispose of the ones in the raised bed to save the others?
    – Daanii
    Jun 28, 2018 at 2:37
  • To answer your questions, I did use a potting soil type of mix in the raised bed. I don't know if it was sterilized or not. The soil had a lot of organic material in it. I have also added some 4-6-3 fertilizer.
    – Daanii
    Jun 28, 2018 at 2:41

Due to the streaking on the cucumber, I agree that it does look like CMV.
The virus is predominately spread by aphids and contact via hands or tools.
Also, weeds in the surrounding area can harbor the virus through the Winter.
It's not clear to me where the affected plant is planted. raised bed or fabric container..so not sure regarding pulling all of them out.

For now, here's what you should do:
1) Discard of affected plants. Do not put in compost pile.
2) Soak all garden tools in a 2/1 bleach solution.
3) Remove and maintain a weed free area.
4) Do all that you can to control aphids.
5) Plant resistant stock. Please note that the plant might be resistant but will still be suscsptible:(

Next year, plant plants in the spot that are not hosts for the virus and try your best to keep the area Aphid and weed free.
By year two, you should be able to plant cucuberts back in the are.


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