Tag Archives: yellowing leaves

Squash Issues – Yellowing Leaves on Some Plants

In one of my raised beds, I have some squash plants – both summer yellow and zucchini – that are turning yellow.   In the neighboring bed some of the late planted squash appears to be stunted.  This is affecting the older leaves first.  The edges turn yellow and the leaf surface is splotched with yellow areas.  (This year I am growing some of my summer squash – both yellow and zucchini – in tomato cages to see if I can get a better control over the plants that would otherwise sprawl all over.)

The little squash plant to the front left of this caged plant appears to be stunted.  The plant to the back, right of the center caged plant is OK.  The problem plants are intermixed with plants that are just fine and looking good.  This is a pointer to mosaic virus as opposed to a nutrient deficiency.  I have a hard time thinking that a nutrient deficiency would only affect intermittent plants when the soil was turned over and mixed before planting.
summer squash leaves are yellowing

And a closeup:  The younger leaves are OK so far.
summer squash leaves are yellowing

After spending hours searching for an answer, the 2 most promising answers are either a nutrient deficiency or a mosaic virus.

Below is a broader view.  Some of the plants are affected while others aren’t.  To add more confusion, I only made note of the varieties that I originally planted, not the subsequent 3 re-seedings that I had to do because of poor germination.  (I don’t know why the seeds did not germinate well, the original planting was 2 year old professional seed that has been stored in the refrigerator.)  The 2 original varieties were Superpik yellow and Obsidian zucchini, both on the Cucumber Mosaic Virus Resistant list at Cornell’s Squash resistance lists.

What is affecting my squash does not look exactly like any mosaic virus images I found, neither does it look exactly like Zinc deficiency, although it does look a wee bit more like the zinc deficient images.  It could also be magnesium or manganese deficiency.

So what to do?  I am not ready to pull the plants because I don’t know for sure if it is a mosaic virus.  I am going to water the squash with a handful of Epsom salt in the water.  Maybe I can crush a few zinc vitamin pills and add it to the magnesium sulfate mix.
summer squash leaves are yellowing

Oh what to do?  I have squished a few squash bugs and scraped numerous batches of eggs off of the leaves.  My research has revealed that aphids and cucumber beetles are the culprits that transmit mosaic viruses, not squash bugs, although squash bugs are blamed for transmission of some plant diseases.  No clear answer.

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Update of Yellowing Leaves

I scattered Blood meal around the yellowing plants – squash and peppers.  Blood meal is nitrogen.  I also fertilized with full label strength Miracle Grow.  I then watered even more.  This seems to have helped.  The new squash growth is dark green, so I am assuming the fertilizer helped.  For now.  I am still worried about all of the sand in these new beds – and the lack of organic matter.  I have to find an affordable way to load these beds with organic matter – then I need to get earthworms.  In my last location, I had so much organic matter in the soil that I was over-run with pill bugs (rolly-pollies) that were actually damaging my plants.  Also, I believe the soil was diseased – my beans and tomatoes yellowed with what I believe was virus issues.  That is why I didn’t bring any of my old soil over to this new location.

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Something Is Turning Squash Leaves Yellow and Killing Quickly

I am still researching this problem, but have yet to find a definite answer.  Some leaves start to turn lighter green, then yellow.  The yellow seems to start around the edges and spread to the entire leaf.  You can see Basil on the right in the pic – I have interplanted Basil all thru the garden – hope it isn’t causing problems for the curcurbits or peppers that it is planted all through.

yellow starting in squash leaves

These zucchini leaves are turning yellow – it spreads to the entire plant, then onto the neighboring plant.  I can’t find any pictures online that look like this to help me diagnosis the disease – I think it is a disease.   It doesn’t really seem like Zucchini Yellow Mosiac virus, or Curly Top virus, or a bacterial wilt. This site, Cornell University Vegetable MD Online is a good diagnostic site, but I couldn’t find anything that looked like my yellowing leaves.

yellowing starting in zucchini leaves

Whatever this is, it appears to be contagious.  The next plant over is showing signs of yellowing around the leaf edges.  It has spread to several plants so far.  You can see the wilted, dying plants around this yellowing plant – those plants up and wilted in one day, and died without turning vivid yellow.  Perhaps I have several issues at play here.

more yellowing in zucchini leaves


I have managed to keep the squash bugs under control this year and haven’t seen very many other bugs or aphids, so I don’t see how it could be a bug transmitted disease.  (I also have terrible yellowing on my chinese long red beans, but that is another post).

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