Do Strawberries Ripen After Picked?



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If you are growing strawberries, you know it is incredibly important to pick them when they are perfectly ripe.

If you miss the peak ripeness of a strawberry, you will never be able to get it back to this state.

Do Strawberries Ripen After Picked

Because of this, a lot of people tend to pick their strawberries before they are ready so they can make sure they do not get too ripe, and assume the strawberry will continue to ripen once it has been picked.

But is this the case, and will your strawberries still ripen even after they have been picked? 

It turns out that if you pick an unripe strawberry, it will stay unripe and not ripen after it has been picked. The only way for a strawberry to ripen is when it is still attached to the whole strawberry plant.

This means that if you pick strawberries that are not perfectly red and ripe and pick them when they are still a little green, you will be stuck with the strawberries in this state.

Because of this, you will want to ensure that you pick your strawberries only when they are red and shiny. Once your strawberry looks ripe, it is the perfect time to harvest it.

You can usually find a perfectly ripe strawberry in spring all the way till late summer.

However, even with this information, there is a lot about growing strawberries that people still do not know.

Because of this, we will continue the rest of this guide with information about planting and harvesting strawberries so you have all the key information you need!

So, if you are planning to grow strawberries but there are still some pieces of information you are unsure of, keep reading to get the answers!

More On Strawberries

There is plenty more information throughout this article, which focuses on when you should pick your strawberries and how to tell when your strawberries are ripe (if you need to know if your strawberries have gone bad, read here).

There is also some advice to help if you have prematurely harvested your strawberries and want to make them more ripe. So, if any of this is information you need, keep reading!

When Should You Be Picking Strawberries?

The best time for you to be picking strawberries is when they are full-looking and have an incredibly bright red color.

Generally speaking, the best time for harvesting strawberries will be between the later weeks of May and the early weeks of September.

This period is seen to be the peak of when to pick your strawberries.

Make sure that you leave any still green berries; this will ensure that they can finish the ripening process, and you will get the best results!

Also, avoid strawberries that have blemishes; this could mean that your plant is diseased, so make sure to throw it away and check any strawberries that are close to it.

What Color Is A Ripe Strawberry?

What Color Is A Ripe Strawberry?

A properly ripe strawberry will have a lush red color, and there will be no noticeable dark spots on it.

If you notice the pop of red in your strawberry plant, this is the sign that your strawberries will have the strongest and juiciest flavor possible.

If your strawberry has not got this color, there is more of a chance that the strawberry will have a noticeably sour or tart flavor that is not as enjoyable.

So, your strawberry will only be ready to pick once it is bright red. There is a chance that your strawberry could turn a different color, like white, which is quite rare.

If the strawberry is white, it should be ripe, too; finding this is rare.

You can often find white strawberries where they are grown specifically in Japan; they are known for having a softer texture and a slightly sweeter taste.

Can You Make Strawberries Ripen Quicker?

The only way you can ripen your strawberry is while it is still on the plant, and the only thing you can do to keep it ripening is to look after it.

Unfortunately, there is no trick to make this faster artificially; you must be patient. However, if you nourish your plant properly, it should grow at a suitable pace.

If you want to ensure abundant results from your strawberry harvest, there are a few steps you can take to get the best result.

You will want to make sure your strawberries are planted in a soil that is sandy and well-drained. The ideal acidity is between 5.5 and 7.0 pH.

You can try to use a berry fertilizer like the popular one we use, Espoma Organic Berry-Tone 4-3-4 Natural & Organic Fertilizer, to get the best results possible. Make sure that the top inch of your soil stays moist!

*For our detailed and tested organic fertilizer recommendations, please see the article Best Organic Fertilizers for Strawberries: Boost Your Crop Yield Naturally.

The plant will grow at its best when it is in sunlight, and you will want to prune the stray runners when you notice them.

Can You Make Picked Strawberries Ripen?

There are no ways to make your strawberries ripen once they are off the plant. Unfortunately, common methods for making fruit more ripe, like putting it in a paper bag, will not work for strawberries.

However, this method is well known for working with mangoes and some citrus fruits as well. This works because the gas exogenous ethylene that is released by some fruits is trapped in the bag.

This does not work for strawberries because they only react to the gas when attached to the plant!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has given you all the information you need to know when you should pick your strawberries.

It is common for different fruits to continue to ripen once they have been picked, so if you have already picked your strawberries, do not worry too much, as it happens often.

However, in the future, remember when the strawberries are perfectly ripe, so you know exactly when the best time to pick is!

Further Recommendations:

Video: Do Strawberries Ripen After Picking?

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