Cucumbers are a popular summer vegetable.
They are easy to plant, grow, and harvest. Mostly, if you provide the right conditions, these vegetables can proliferate in large numbers. In their natural and healthiest form, cucumbers have a lovely green color. They are firm and juicy and taste refreshing in the summer heat.
However, sometimes the crop of this vegetable turns out in a different color.
You may notice that the cucumbers in your garden have turned a shade of yellow or orange. Since cucumbers are not usually found in this color, it can leave you wondering: why are my cucumbers orange?
There could be a few different reasons for the change in color of the cucumber into orange.
However, there is one most apparent cause, which leads to a batch of orange cucumber. You can easily prevent this and ensure your vegetables turn out healthy. But first, you should know everything about dealing with an orange cucumber.
Keep reading as we explore the details and causes behind orange cucumbers!
Why Are My Cucumbers Orange?
You may face more frustration if you have never dealt with decolored cucumbers. You must know that cucumbers change color based on their growing conditions and the part of their lifecycle.
When a cucumber turns orange, it is because you have left it on the plant for too long, and now it has overripened. An overripe cucumber usually turns yellow or orange depending on how long it has been left hanging.
The color change occurs because after the cucumbers reach their peak maturity, the plant stops producing chlorophyll. As there is no green pigment, the vegetables change their color.
Besides wondering, “why are my cucumbers orange?” you may also be curious about the consumption of orange cucumbers.
When the cucumber turns orange, it becomes unsafe for consumption by humans.
You should not add it to salads or any other meals. The taste gets destroyed too.
To save your cucumber from turning orange, you must always harvest it on time. A perfectly ripe cucumber is green and heavy.
The green vegetable’s shape, size, and shade can vary depending on environmental factors.
Signs that Show Your Cucumbers Have Become Overripe!
Sometimes overripening of the cucumber happens by pure chance.
If you are growing this vegetable for the first time in your garden, you may not know much about the signs of ripening in a cucumber. This can lead to ignorance on your part, and the cucumbers may end up with an orange tinge.
You must be vigilant regarding the cucumbers turning orange as they reach maturity quickly. A cucumber will become completely ripe and ready to harvest within 50 to 70 days after you plant it in the soil.
Leaving the crop in the soil without harvesting it even for one or two days can cause a change in color and overripening.
What about eating the overripen cucumbers?
It is recommended that overripened cucumbers should not be eaten. You can check by taking a bite; they will be too bitter to swallow.
If your cucumbers have turned orange this summer, you can still use the seeds to grow these vegetables the following year.
The overripe cucumbers can also be used as compost for the rest of the vegetables in the garden.
All you have to do to prevent this condition in cucumbers is to learn all the signs that show that the vegetable has reached full maturity and that it is time for you to harvest it.
An overripened cucumber will also have some prominent signs.
- The vegetable does not turn orange directly after becoming fully green.
- First, when you leave the cucumber on the vine, a few yellow spots will appear on the vegetable.
- The sparse yellow color will then turn into a slight shade of orange, which will take over and turn the cucumber entirely orange if you haven’t harvested it by then.
- Besides the color change, the cucumber will also keep growing in size.
- The skin and texture may become less firm and change into the cucumber being more squishy from the outside.
- If the cucumber is left on the vine for too long without harvesting, it will soon show cracks and wrinkly lines on the skin.
Now, let’s talk about the best time to harvest cucumbers.
Signs the Cucumber Has Reached Maturity!
There are clear signs to show that your cucumbers have become overripe, but there are also visible signs to know when these vegetables have reached perfect ripeness.
The best way to tell whether the cucumber has reached full maturity is by looking at the information on the package in which you bought the seeds.
Producers print out information like vegetable size, ripening duration, etc.
Usually, the cucumber grows to a length of 12 to 15 inches. The skin is smooth without any bumps, wrinkles, or cracks. If you press the cucumber lightly, the skin will be firm but bouncy and not squishy. The color of a ripe cucumber is usually dark green, but the exact shade of green can vary.
Even cucumbers that are light green can be healthy and safe to consume.
These attributes indicate that your cucumbers have reached full maturity and are ready to be harvested.
Many times, cucumbers are consumed slightly before they become fully mature. These immature cucumbers are safe to eat but may have fewer seeds than fully ripened ones.
So, even if you don’t see the clear signs of maturity on a cucumber, you can still harvest them early, and they will be perfectly fine.
Why are my cucumbers orange, you asked? I hope you have your answer!
The primary reason for the cucumbers to turn orange is that they have been left hanging on the vine significantly past their ripening stage.
Overripening causes this color change.
There may be a few other reasons for the changing shade, such as overwatering, but they are not usually behind the orange color of cucumbers. The good news is that it is easy to prevent the next batch of cucumbers from going down the same fate by noticing the subtle and dominant signs.
This will help ensure that you harvest your vegetables at the right time when the cucumbers are bright green, firm, and delicious.
Enjoy your crunchy cucumber salad!