Bitter Cucumber: Causes and Remedy - Veggie Grow

Bitter Cucumber: Causes and Remedy

Chances are that you have tasted a bitter cucumber before. What really causes cucumbers to taste bitter? This is a question a lot of cucumber growers ask.

It can be distressing for a cucumber farmer to cultivate cucumbers, only to harvest and see that the cucumbers have a bitter taste.

In Nigeria, people hardly buy bitter cucumbers. Once, your harvested cucumbers taste bitter, you stand the risk of not selling them, this is in spite of the efforts you have put in your cucumber farming venture.

Cucurbitacin is the compound found in cucumbers that make them bitter. This compound is mainly found in the leaves and other vegetative parts of the cucumber plants. However, during stress and other adverse conditions, the compound can be transported to the cucumber fruits.

bitter cucumber

What causes bitterness in cucumbers?

The following are some of the factors that are responsible for bitter cucumbers:

Inadequate Water

When your cucumber plants do not get enough water during the growing season, the cucumbers when harvested are likely to be bitter.

Water is an important substance that reduces the concentration of cucurbitacin in cucumber plants. When water is not adequate, this compound gets into the fruits and makes them bitter.


Extremely high temperature can lead to stress in cucumber plants. This can lead to a surge in the production of cucurbitacin. When this happens, the cucurbitacin is transported to the fruits and the cucumber fruits may taste bitter.

Fluctuation in Temperature

Steep changes in temperature level can also cause cucumber fruits to be bitter. Cucumber plants do not like situations when temperature fluctuates at a high range.


Some varieties of cucumber produce bitter fruits. This is a form of hereditary in plant science. There can be a recessive trait that can make a cucumber plant produce bitter fruits.

Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases create stress for cucumber plants. This stress can lead to bitterness in the produced fruits.

How to prevent bitterness in cucumbers

The following are some of the ways you can prevent the occurrence of bitter cucumbers:

The Use of Irrigation

You should ensure that you have irrigation preferably drip irrigation on your cucumber farm. This will ensure that your cucumber plants have access to water all year round.

With adequate water, the occurrence of bitter cucumbers can be avoided.

Plant when temperature is in the normal range

To avoid the production of cucumbers, cucumber growers should cultivate this crop when the temperature is not too high or too low.

Pest and Disease Management

You should ensure that you effectively and efficiently manage pests and diseases. Pests and diseases cause stress for cucumber plants, this may lead to the production of bitter cucumbers.

Now that you know how to avoid bitter cucumbers, please go on and have a fantastic cucumber growing season.

Ayo Akinfolarin

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