Reasons why zucchini leaves turn yellow

Zucchini is one of the most prolific and easiest crops to grow. They grow so fast that they can almost outgrow the garden with their fruit-laden climbing vines and large shady leaves. They may be fast and easy, but even courgettes have their problems. A common problem is yellowing of the zucchini leaves. The yellow leaves on zucchini, also called chlorosis, are a symptom that can have multiple origins. The following article looks at some of the causes of yellow leafed zucchini and what you can do if your zucchini has yellow leaves.

Help, my zucchini has yellow leaves!

If you notice that your zucchini leaves are turning yellow, it may not be too late to save the plants. The likely culprits are insects or disease, and sometimes diseases caused by insects.

Cucumber mosaic virus

One of the most common diseases caused by the presence of insect pests is Cucumber Mosaic Virus, which, as its name suggests, also affects cucumbers and they are of the same family.
The disease manifests itself in the form of yellow zucchini leaves, usually along the veins. The culprit? The aphids feed on the underside of the plant’s leaves. The cucumber mosaic virus is transmitted by these small insects, resulting in stunted growth and poor fruit development. The bad news is that once the plant is infected, there is no cure.
You can try to stop the progression of the disease by removing and destroying any part of the infected plant. Ideally, you should monitor your plants for aphids before they become infected. Any sign of aphids should be treated immediately with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Spider moths

Another insect pest, spider mites, also suck sap from the leaves of the plant, causing the leaves of zucchini to turn yellow. Again, treat the plants with insecticidal soap. Spray the entire leaf, including the underside. Similarly, introduce or encourage ladybirds and lacewings that will feast on spider mites (and aphids too).

Fusarium wilt

Another disease that can cause yellow leafy zucchini is fusarium wilt. This fungal disease affects the vascular tissue of the plant. The spores live in the soil and can be carried by cucumber beetles, which do not care if it is a zucchini or a cucumber.
Unfortunately, once the plant is infected, fungicides are ineffective. It is best to remove and destroy infected plants.

Attaching the yellow zucchini leaves

It is best to try to prevent the yellow leaves of zucchini by planting disease-resistant varieties and preparing the bed properly. Before planting, correct the soil with fertilizer and other organic matter. This will improve the overall structure of the soil. If the soil is dense, clayey and heavy, add peat and compost to lighten the soil and improve drainage.
In addition, the soil should be tested prior to planting to identify any nutrient deficiencies and check pH levels. Zucchini like slightly acidic or neutral soils (pH 6.5-7.0).
Zucchini are also very heavy, so any deficiency in manganese, sulphur or iron can cause yellowing of the young leaves, which gradually spreads to the more mature leaves.

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