When you grow squash in your garden, it is important to know when and how to harvest. Do something wrong, and the squash will turn yellow and be bitter tasting. But why does this happen?
In this blog post, we will help you figure out what’s wrong with your squash plant so that you can get your garden back on track!
Why Is My Squash Plant Turning Yellow?
Your squash plant leaves are turning yellow because the plant has been overwatered, it hasn’t received enough light, or the environment is causing stress.
Let’s now explore the most common causes of yellowing leaves on a squash plant and what you can do about them.
Yellow Squash Plant from Overwatering
When the leaves of a squash plant turn yellow, it usually means that your plant is being overwatered. This can happen in garden beds or containers.
The key to preventing this problem is to water sparingly and only when you notice that the soil has started to dry out. When watering your plants, try not to wet their foliage as this can cause mold or mildew to form.
If you are overwatering your plants, the solution is to reduce watering and let the garden bed dry out between waterings. You can test the soil by inserting your finger about two inches into the soil. When it feels dry at this depth, you can water again.
Yellow Squash Plant Leaves from Not Enough Light
Another common cause of yellowing leaves on a squash plant is that the light isn’t strong enough. While you will typically see this problem in winter, it can also occur during other seasons if your plants aren’t getting adequate sunlight.
If your garden bed or container doesn’t receive at least six hours of indirect sunlight per day, the plant will not be able to photosynthesize and grow properly.
If you think your plants are getting too little light, increase their exposure to sunlight by moving them closer to a window or adding another source of artificial lighting to supplement what they’re already receiving. If moveable lights are an option for you, this is often a good temporary solution.
Yellowing Squash Plant Leaves from Environmental Stress
Sometimes when a squash plant’s leaves turn yellow, it is because of environmental stress that occurs in the garden bed or container. This can be caused by too much heat or cold, not enough moisture, and more. Each type of stress requires a different treatment option to help get your squash plant back on track.
If you’re noticing yellowing leaves during summer, make sure the garden bed has good drainage and is getting enough water (but not too much). You can also add a layer of mulch to help keep moisture in the soil. If you have a container, be sure it isn’t sitting in a pool of water.
If the yellowing leaves are a result of cold or frost, you can cover your plants with a blanket to prevent further damage and help them recover faster. You can also decrease watering as squash is more sensitive to moisture when it’s colder outside.
Yellow Leaves on Squash Plant from Fertilizer Buildup
If you notice that your leaves are turning yellow, but they aren’t wilting or falling off the plant, it’s likely a sign of fertilizer buildup. This can occur when too much nitrogen accumulates in the soil and prevents other nutrients from getting to the roots.
The best way to get rid of this problem is via leaching, which means that you need to thoroughly water the soil with at least one inch of water. You can then follow up by applying mulch and/or adding a layer of compost on top of the soil before planting your next crop.
If this isn’t enough, it’s best to contact a professional landscaper or horticulturist to help you with your problem.
Squash Plant Leaves FAQs
I will now discuss some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to yellowing leaves on a squash plant.
Should I cut yellow leaves off my squash plant?
Yes, it’s a good idea to remove any yellow leaves from your plant, but you need to be sure that there isn’t another underlying cause of the problem. If other squash plants growing nearby are also turning yellow, it could indicate a nutrient deficiency or other environmental conditions that can spread between them.
Is it normal for my squash plant to lose some of its lower leaves?
Yes, it’s quite normal for your plant to lose some leaves. If you notice that multiple lower leaves are falling off the stem, it could be a sign of temperature shock or another environmental stressor like lack of sunlight.
You can treat this by moving your plant into an area with more light and watering well until the soil is moist but not soggy.
What are good indoor grow lights that will help with yellowing leaves?
You can use LED grow lights or T-lights to help increase the amount of light your squash plants are receiving. If you want something more powerful, make sure it’s at least 1000 watts and has a color spectrum that is suitable for photosynthesis (reds, blues, purples).
Will too little light cause my squash plant to turn yellow?
Yes, if your squash plants are receiving too little light, the leaves will start to turn yellow. If you notice this problem when growing outdoors in summer or fall, it could be because of a lack of water and nutrients due to heat stress.
Will too much water cause my squash plant leaves to turn yellow?
Yes, in fact, this is one of the most common causes when it comes to yellowing leaves on squash plants. If you’re growing in the garden, make sure that your soil is well-draining rather than waterlogged. You can also plant your squash plants deeper to increase root growth and help them access moisture when it’s dry outside.
Will yellow squash plant leaves turn green again?
No, it is unlikely for yellow squash plant leaves to turn green. The good news is that the leaves will be replaced by new ones that are green. However, you can try fertilizing your plant to help it recover faster.
In conclusion, squash plants are pretty easy to care for, but you need to make sure that they have enough light and water. Treating yellow leaves on a squash plant is easy if you simply follow the tips in this guide.
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.