Why Do Some Pumpkins Have Bumps?

There are some reasons why your pumpkin has lots of bumps. It can be caused by viral infections, insect munching, genetically engineered, and edema. Find out more details about these causes. Keep reading!

Reasons Behind Pumpkin Bumps

Viral Issues

An orb-shaped mosaic virus can transform a smooth pumpkin. A mosaic virus can make a smooth pumpkin into one that is bumpy. In this case, the bumps look like they come from under the pumpkin’s skin. In addition to the smaller leaves and vines, this disease can also cause leaves and vines to have light and dark areas. Aphids spread this disease in your garden, and they do so by feeding on nectar. However, the bumpy pumpkins can still be eaten, but they may not taste as good as uninfected pumpkins because of the virus.

Some Pumpkin Varieties Have Naturally Rough and Bumpy Surfaces

Before attributing bumpy pumpkins to a virus, check the variety. According to Southern Illinois University, specific pumpkin varieties are grown for naturally occurring bumps. Those bumpy pumpkins are the result of a genetically engineered process. Each protuberance on genetically modified warty pumpkins appears to sit atop the skin. Pumpkins with no blemishes are now considered the norm, despite the fact that bumps on their skin are perfectly normal and even expected in nature. These include ‘Gargoyle,’ ‘Knucklehead,’ and ‘Goosebumps’ pie pumpkins. The difference between naturally occurring warts and problematic bumps is that warts appear on the pumpkin’s surface, whereas bumps appear to be something underneath the pumpkin’s shell.

Knuckle Head pumpkins are the wartiest pumpkins that the brand Super Freak has ever made. They are the result of ten years of careful breeding. These are bred to be 12 to 16 pounds (5.5 to 7.5 kg) of lumpy, bumpy flesh that is just the right size for carving and tastes deliciously creepy. There are also types of warty pumpkin called Gargoyle and Goosebumps.

Insects Munching by Cucumber Beetles

When insects eat the soft young shells of pumpkins, they can leave bumps on the surface. Cucumber beetles are to blame most of the time, and they can attack all of the cucurbits in your garden. The University of Georgia Extension says that cucumber beetles like pumpkins the most. They sit on their shell and eat holes that are perfect for inserting them during their growing process. The larvae spend 4–6 weeks inside before they emerge as adults, but not all make it out alive without bumps or parts missing from the pumpkin pulp because some may die in the 45 days after hatching.


Most cases of edema happen during cool, wet growing seasons. On the other hand, Edema is not a disease like the Mosaic virus. It is caused by taking in too much water. The plant needs to get rid of the extra water, but the cool weather doesn’t let it evaporate through the leaves or grow more plants or fruit. As the water gets into the plant cells, they get bigger and burst. When the wound heals, it leaves behind a dry, scaly, and raised scar. When it happens to pumpkins, edema is usually not too bad, but it can be bad when it happens to greens or kale. It won’t change how the fruit turns out or taste. It’s just a harmless scar. On the other hand, if you see signs of edema on your pumpkins and the weather hasn’t been too cool and wet, you may need to look at how you water your pumpkins or where you put them. The pumpkin patch might be in a low spot in the yard where water could pool.

Are the Pumpkins With Bumps Edible?

Pumpkins with bumps can still be eaten, but they may not taste as good as pumpkins that don’t have mosaic. Here’s a tip on making them edible: Insert your index finger with a wet paper towel on the concave side of the bump. If it looks like a little baseball in mid-bump, take off and throw away that pumpkin.

It may not taste as sweet (or bad) but still be good enough to eat and enjoy! The orange juice works wonders. Or use syrup from boxes since it’s best for dessert.

All the same, pumpkins with bumps should be used as decorations only – it is still more than likely that they will have a greater number of wormholes and rot after cooking requires care to keep things tasting okay regarding sugars getting into them.