Squash Mosaic Virus

Oh no.  I think I have a virus – squash mosaic virus!  I went out to the garden a couple of days ago and found the squash on the left hand side of the picture below.

Squash Mosaic Virus
Nuts! It looks like the squash on the left has squash mosaic virus, which is supposed to be fatal for the plant. But, the two squash on the right were harvested two days later and look okay! Does anybody know what is going on?

They are supposed to be a yellow squash, but had all these weird green markings on them.  So I quickly decided to do a little research on the internet and what I found was very disheartening.  Apparently I have squash mosaic virus, which can be transferred by squash bugs or aphids, or it can apparently be in the seed.  Since I know there were a few aphids on the plants when they were young, I am betting that they were the culprit!  According to several of the articles I read on the internet, a plant cannot heal from the virus and will eventually die.  Boy, was I sad to read this.  But this morning when I went out to see if there was any squash to harvest, I found the ones on the right.  These look fine!  Go figure.  If I do have squash mosaic virus and it does kill the squash plants apparently it won’t be any time soon.  Besides, I already have a drawer full of them in my refrigerator.

The squash plants are getting huge and are still producing tons of squash, but I have noticed the leaves getting a bit off color and the edges getting kind of crinkled or even ruffled this past few days.  I sure hope it isn't the beginning of the end of my squash.  It isn't even officially summer yet!

The squash plants are getting huge and are still producing tons of squash, but I have noticed the leaves getting a bit off color and the edges getting kind of crinkled or even ruffled this past few days. I sure hope it isn’t the beginning of the end of my squash. It isn’t even officially summer yet!

The zucchini looks like it may be infected also, but those plants are also still producing like crazy!  In this picture you can see that the new leaves on the squash (zucchini on the left, yellow squash on the right) are looking a bit strange – a bit crinkled.  You might even call it ruffled.  However, take a look at one of the monsters that must have been hiding from me the last few days!  Without exaggeration I can tell you that from squash blossom to harvest time is only about four days!  If anyone knows more about the squash mosaic virus or has had this happen to their squash, please leave me some advice in the comment section below.

Zucchini gone wild

Uh-Oh. Big zucchini – BIG ZUCCHINI! This one was apparently hiding from me the last few days! “Zucchini gone wild” Oh well, it will still be good in muffins! See recipe below – it’s a good one.

I would like to know if that is definitely what is happening to my plants and, if so, if this virus can be overcome. I’m hoping that my plants are healthy enough to withstand the virus for at least another month!  Or, should I just bit the bullet, pull them out, and plant new ones that are resistant to the virus?  I think poor hubby is already a tad bit tired of squash, so I have been looking for new ways to fix it and came across a recipe for zucchini squash muffins!  I have already made them a couple of times and have tweaked the recipe a little bit.  Here is my version:


1-1/2 cups of flour (I used 1 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt (sea salt is best)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (we love cinnamon, so I used 1 tsp)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (again, adjust to your taste)

In a bowl sift all these dry ingredients together.  Start heating your oven to 375 degrees.  Now, in another bowl, mix together:

2 eggs (beat them a bit first)

1-1/2 cups grated zucchini

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup olive oil (original recipe called for canola oil, but I stay away from that now)

Once all wet ingredients are mixed together, add the dry ingredients and gently stir together, just until moistened.  Careful!  If you stir muffins too much, they can become too rubbery!  Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until they are golden brown on the top.  You can eat as is, with butter, or with cream cheese frosting.  Yum!

shredded zucchini muffins

These muffins are absolutely fantastic! You can adjust the recipe a bit to suit your own taste. They are moist but not too dense and are really good straight out of the oven with a pat or two (or three) of butter.

The next recipe to try is a lasagna that uses zucchini squash sliced thinly lengthwise instead of pasta!  I also found a recipe for zucchini chips!  In the meantime, I am shredding my zucchini and freezing it in one cup bunches.  I am using my sucky machine (that’s what I call my Food Saver 🙂  lol) so that the frozen shredded zucchini will last longer without an off odor or freezer burn.  I will be able to make these muffins along with zucchini bread or even the zucchini lasagna (I will have to freeze some slices of zucchini) in the winter!  I know that frozen zucchini can sometimes be mushy when it thaws, but if you are baking it anyway – who cares!?  If anyone else has another great recipe for zucchini, please pass it along!  My hubby would be ever so grateful!


Shared at:  Tuesdays with a Twist; Frugal Days Sustainable Ways; Simple Living Wednesdays; Healthy 2day Wednesday; Wildcrafting Wednesday; Wicked Good Wednesday; Fabulously Frugal Thursday; Home and Garden Thursday; Natural Living Link-up; Homeacre Hop; Think Tank Thursday




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13 thoughts on “Squash Mosaic Virus

  1. I make stuffed squash when I find one that big hidden in the bush. Cut it in half, scoop out the center seed area, then fill it with a meatloaf mixture and back. Tastes yummy with great zucchini flavor and no problem being so overgrown. I love the idea of Zucchini muffins too…mmmm!

    • Apparently they are safe to eat. I guess it’s not like a human virus, but everything I have read is that you can eat them – and we have! So far I’m not sick or anything, and they don’t taste any different. It’s just disappointing to know that these plants might not make it through the whole season. Thanks for stopping by. Vickie

    • Yes, viruses are specific to it’s host. Human vs squash DNA is drastically different, so you don’t need to worry….unless you are human/plant hybrid, you’ll be ok

      • Yup – still human! Thanks for the insight, Jennifer. Hey, I used to know a Jennifer Covington years ago – she was my son, Stephen’s, girlfriend. Is that you?

  2. Hi Vickie,

    So nice to meet you! My gosh, we grow squash every year and have never seen this before! Hmm…does NOT look very appetizing, does it? BUT, your shredded zucchini muffins sure do! I make something very similar to yours, but add a dash of cloves, (the Greeks love this spice!), and the whole house smells sweet and cozy! Thanks for sharing!


    • Ooooo, cloves! Yum, that sounds really good – I will try it in my next batch! Nice meeting you, Poppy! I envy you living in Greece. I haven’t been to Europe yet, but Greece is definitely on my bucket list! Thanks for checking out my blog and giving a kind comment! Vickie

  3. I had no idea this could happen! How disheartening – I know you were looking forward to a wonderful, delicious harvest! Great, informative post! So delighted you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,

    • Yes, the squash have seen better days. I don’t think I’m going to get much more from them at this point! It’s funny – they must have known they were to have an early demise so they grew squash after squash after squash so quickly! The vegetable crisper is bulging with yellow summer squash and zucchini right now. I think I will have to get busy and freeze a lot of it today. Thanks for your comment – see you tomorrow!

  4. Hi Vickie! I’m so sorry about your plants. That is so frustrating when you’ve worked so hard. I don’t have any advice 🙁 This isn’t something I’ve dealt with. I have more issues with the squash vine borer and bug.

    Thanks for linking this up to the HomeAcre Hop. Hope to see you back today! We just went live with the new one: http://blackfoxhomestead.com/the-homeacre-hop/the-homeacre-hop-23-a-fun-giveaway-and-the-arrival-of-the-chickens/

    • Squash vine borers? Holy cow that sounds bad! I don’t think we have any of those, but I have seen a few of those squash sucker bugs. I think my squash plants are completely done. Today (June 13th) they look pretty bad and the little squash that is forming doesn’t look like it’s going to make it to harvest. I am actually considering planting some new ones that are mosaic virus resistant because so much of the growing season is still to come! Thanks for having a great hop. BTW – love your website!