Do Watermelons Continue to Ripen After Being Picked? (EXPLAINED)

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Do watermelons continue to ripen after being picked

Watermelon is an edible fruit belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family of flowering plants. Originating from Africa, the trailing vine-type plant is now cultivated around the world. There are currently over 1,000 known varieties of watermelon.

Watermelon is so favored for its sweet and juicy flavor that seeds have even been recovered from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs.

The fruit grows in most temperate regions, though prefers tropical climates. Technically, the fruit inside of watermelon is a single “berry” with no divisions but plenty of little seeds (which are also edible).

But, let’s get to the real question, below, do watermelons continue to ripen after you pick them?

Do Watermelons Ripen After Being Picked?

Unlike the majority of fruit, watermelons do not continue to naturally ripen after they are picked. That means you won’t be able to simply buy one in the store and let it ripen on the counter if it isn’t already ripe. You also won’t be able to pick it from the vine and leave it to continue ripening.

How Do You Ripen a Watermelon?

Even though watermelons don’t technically continue to ripen after they have been plucked from the vine, there is still a way to cause them to ripen more. 

Wrap the watermelon in a paper bag, or in newspaper, and set it somewhere that it will be at room temperature. 

Revisit the fruit every few days and give it a little thump to see if it sounds hollower than when you wrapped it up (a sure sign it has ripened).

How to Tell if a Watermelon is Ripe?

The age-old technique for checking if a watermelon is ripe yet or not involves knocking on the outside of the fruit and gauging the sound that you hear. If the sound is hollow, it means the fruit is mainly juice and is ripe and ready for consumption. If the sound does not resonate through the entire fruit, it is not quite ripe yet. 

Besides the sound test, the first indicator that watermelon is or isn’t ripe is in the hardness of the rine. The harder the exterior of the watermelon, the more likely it is that the melon is ripe. The softer it is, the less ripe it is likely to be.

What Color Are Ripe Watermelons?

Watermelons come in various shades of green, some with stripes of white, green, or black. That said, when a watermelon is ripe, it develops a discolored spot where it has been sitting on the ground. The spot is typically more yellow than the rest of the melon. Sometimes this telling spot is called a “ground spot” or “ground mark”.

What Color Are the Sweetest Watermelons?

The color of the interior fruit of watermelon is often an indicator of how sweet it is. Red and pink watermelon may be the most popular colors, but the sweetest watermelon species are typically the orange or yellow ones.