How to Tell if a Watermelon is Overripe: Expert Tips!

Watermelons are delicious, especially during summertime. How can you tell if a watermelon is ripe and ready to eat? On the other hand, how can you determine if it is overripe and no longer good to eat? In this article, we will discuss some tips from the experts that will help you determine if your watermelon is overripe, so you can pick the perfect one every time!

What is an Overripe Watermelon?

An overripe watermelon is one that has been left too long on the vine or in storage. This can cause the fruit to become too sweet and mushy, or even fermented and sour. Overripe watermelons are generally not safe to eat and should be discarded.

How to Check the Color

A watermelon is ripe when it reaches its peak color. This color can vary depending on the type of watermelon, but generally, a ripe watermelon will have a deep green color. However, it can be a bit tricky to determine if it is overripe. One way to do this is to check for discoloration. If the green color has turned yellow or orange, the watermelon is overripe.

Green Streaks Are Good Signs

Green streaks on the watermelon indicate that it is still growing and ripening. Conversely, if there are brown or tan streaks, the watermelon is overripe.

The Sound Check

When you knock on a ripe watermelon, it should give a deep and hollow sound. This is an indicator that the fruit is full of water and is at its peak ripeness. However, this trick may not work with overripe watermelons. If you knock on an overripe watermelon, it may give off a flat sound, which means that it has a mushy consistency.

Overripe Watermelons Have a Dull Sound

A dull sound is a key indicator that a watermelon is overripe. When you tap on it, it feels more like you are hitting a solid object than a hollow one.

The Firmness Test

A ripe watermelon should not be too hard, but it should not be too soft either. You should be able to press your finger slightly into the skin of the watermelon, and it should have a bit of a give. However, if the skin is too hard, the watermelon is not ripe. Conversely, if it is too soft or mushy, it is overripe.

The Squishy Watermelon is Overripe

If the watermelon feels squishy under your press, then it is overripe. This indicates that the internal watermelon flesh has degraded and begun to ferment, and the melon is no longer at its peak ripeness.

The Stem Test

The stem of a ripe watermelon should be dry and brown, indicating that it has detached from the vine. An overripe watermelon may have a green stem that is still attached or a mushy, brown stem. These are signs that the watermelon is overripe.

A Green Stem is a Warning Sign

If the stem of the watermelon is still green, then the watermelon has not detached from the vine when it is ready for harvest. This means the watermelon is not overripe, but it is not ripe either. However, if the stem is brown and crusty, that is a good sign that the watermelon is ripe.

Taste Test

If all else fails and you are still unsure whether your watermelon is ripe, you can always resort to the taste test. A ripe watermelon should taste sweet, juicy, and refreshing. Conversely, an overripe watermelon may taste sour and fermented.

Sour and Bitter Tastes Mean Your Watermelon is Overripe

If your watermelon tastes sour or bitter, then it is overripe. Overripe watermelons can take on a fermented or sour taste, which indicates that the fruit is no longer good to eat.


There are several ways to determine if your watermelon is overripe, such as a color check, sound check, firmness test, stem test, and taste test. By using these tips from the experts, you can ensure that your watermelon is at its peak ripeness, juicy, sweet, and refreshing, every time you enjoy it!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Is an overripe watermelon safe to eat?
  • A: No, an overripe watermelon can be dangerous to consume as it can ferment and botulism toxins can be produced.
  • Q: What is the best time of year to get a ripe watermelon?
  • A: Summer is the best time to get ripe watermelons, as that is when they are in season.
  • Q: Can watermelon be stored in the fridge?
  • A: Yes, you can store watermelon in the fridge. It will last longer and stay fresher. Cut-up watermelon should be placed in an airtight container to keep it from drying out.
  • Q: How long does a ripe watermelon last?
  • A: A ripe watermelon can last up to 10 days if stored properly in the refrigerator.
  • Q: What happens if you eat an overripe watermelon?
  • A: Eating an overripe watermelon can cause stomach upset, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal issues.


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