How long does watermelon last after plucking?

“When one has tasted a watermelon, he knows what angels eat.”  

– Mark Twain

It is one of the most delightful fruits that will make you forget the scorching heat.

But isn’t it difficult to pick the juiciest watermelon?

Let’s assume you got that part right, still, the question arises – How long does watermelon last after plucking?

Well, a watermelon will last for only 7 to 11 days max if left at room temperature. But there are other factors that contribute to the shelf life of watermelon.

So, let’s dig a little deeper and get the most out of the watermelons this summer.

How Long does watermelon Last Before It Starts to Taste Off?

Apart from having immense water content, watermelons last for a longer time. On average, watermelon can last up to three to four weeks after plucking it. One thing that needs your attention is the temperature you store the watermelon in. 

How long does watermelon last

An ideal temperature to ensure the longevity of your watermelons is between 50-59°F. When placed at room temperature, a fresh watermelon lasts about 7 days. For the first 2 days, you will not find any significant change in the watermelon’s taste. But after 2-3 days, you will notice that the watermelon has an off-taste. You will also notice a change in the watermelon’s color after 3 days. It will appear pitted and will lose some of its bright colors. 

Have you ever picked up a watermelon from a refrigerated source? Many vendors store it in freezers to keep them from going bad. So what do you do if you pick up a frosted watermelon? If that’s the case, don’t break the cycle. Ensure you keep it in a freezer to continue the cold chain. After freezing the melons, you will notice a significant change in their texture. It is because freezing watermelons create a grainy and squishy texture. This will also make the watermelon’s skin break down and mushy.

Also Read: Does Worcestershire sauce go bad? 

Different ways to store a half-cut watermelon

half cut watermelon

Ever places a half-cut watermelon in the fridge? Noticed how a half-cut melon loses its sweet and savory taste? Whether it is a full or a half melon, storing it in a fridge will increase its shelf life. But once a melon is cut open, wrap it up before popping it into the refrigerator. Also, make sure the temperature is between 9-36°F before you store it.

Brought a huge watermelon and didn’t know where or how to store it. We got you covered. The most convenient way to keep a whole watermelon is on your kitchen top. The only thing you must remember is that you store the watermelon at or below room temperature. Ensuring an optimal temperature will also preserve the watermelon’s texture and taste.

Tip: When buying a watermelon, ensure you know how long the watermelon has been plucked from the vine. This will give you an exact idea of how long the watermelon will last. 

plucking watermelon

Worried that your fruit will rot if you leave it on your kitchen top? Or want to keep the watermelon thriving for a longer period? In that case, you can put the whole watermelon in the fridge. This will not only keep it fresh but will also extend its life for up to three weeks. Although storing the watermelon in the fridge will increase its shelf life, will lower its nutritional value. Thus, you must store it at room temperature if you plan to store it for weeks.

But once you cut it, you must store it in the fridge. It is because when sliced, the watermelon starts to degrade in quality. The most you can wait is up to 3-4 days before it goes completely bad. 

Tip: Ensure you put the watermelon slices or cubes in an air-tight container if you want to store a portion of a half-cut watermelon. 

Ways to Distinguish A Rotten Watermelon

Want to know how to differentiate a fresh watermelon from a rotten one? Read further to know more.

It’s light in weight and has a squishy feel

watermelon pulp

Fresh watermelon is heavy and solid due to its water content (90%). If you feel your watermelon is light or soft, it has been resting for a long time. Either consume it in a day or two or toss it aside if it is very mushy.

Discoloring exterior or color fading away

If your melon is a dull brown or green, it is time to toss it away. The color change is a clear sign of rotting. If the spots are minor, you can remove the particular area and consume the rest.

It gives off a rotten or foul odor

A fresh watermelon gives off a fresh and pleasant scent. So if your watermelon gives off a foul odor, it is time to say goodbye.

The pulp of the watermelon appears dry

Watermelon is a great delicacy for a hot summer. And if you find the watermelon pulp turning dry or mushy, it is going bad. If you notice the pulp pulling away from the seeds or turning a deep pink shade, it is time to throw it away.

A half-cut watermelon that’s been resting for 4-5 days

Even if you store a half-cut watermelon in a fridge, it will lose its sweetness after 2-3 days. Although you can consume watermelon, it no longer has nutritional value. Therefore, discarding it is better than consuming it.

storing watermelon in fridge

The points mentioned above are the main issues to look out for when you are still determining the quality of the melon. But if you find anything apart from the above-mentioned points, trust yourself and toss it away. It is easier and more fun to buy a fresh watermelon than to visit a doctor!

Also Read: Does parmesan cheese go bad? 

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Does watermelon go bad in the fridge?

Ans. Yes. If watermelons are kept for weeks in a fridge, they can go bad. But keeping them in a fridge can significantly increase their shelf-life up to 10-24 days. A half-cut watermelon can easily last 4 – 5 days in the fridge. But make sure you wrap it properly or seal it in an airtight container.

Q2. Is watermelon still good after 2 weeks?

Ans. If you store a whole watermelon in your refrigerator, it can last for up to 2 weeks. At room temperature, a watermelon can last for up to a week. Cut watermelon in a fridge can be consumed within 3-4 days. 

Q3. How long is an uncut watermelon good for?

Ans. A whole watermelon in a fridge is good enough for two weeks. In a fridge, it can last for about 2 weeks before losing the water content.

Q4. How long does watermelon take to go bad?

Ans. A watermelon can last for 7-10 days when stored properly. If the temperature is too hot/cold, it can start to go bad soon.

Q5. How do I know if watermelon has gone bad?

Ans. The easiest way to identify a rotten watermelon is by examining the exterior. The presence of soggy spots, discoloration, and dry pulp are signs of a bad watermelon.


Now you know various ways to keep your watermelon fresh for a long time. So whether you want to purchase 1 melon or several, store them carefully. But make sure to consume them before they go all bad. Keep in mind the temperature you keep your watermelon in. Storing it at a cold temperature will lower its nutritional value. 

Whereas keeping it on your kitchen top for a long will make it mushy and soft. So, ensure you know how long the melon has been sitting before you finally consume it. Remember, consuming a rotten melon will only increase your doctor visits. Instead, buy a small melon you can finish at once to get all its benefits.

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Melissa Baker

Melissa Baker

I am a food lover and the founder of FoodQueries. I have years of experience when it comes to food. I have been cooking since childhood and I know a thing or two about storing, cooking and freezing food in the right way.