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How To Tell If A Watermelon Is Ripe

Watermelons are a great refreshing treat, especially during the hot summer months. There is nothing like trying to figure out if a watermelon is ripe or not.

The truth lies inside and can’t truly be seen until it’s cut open. In this post, I am going to go over a few different ways to determine if a watermelon is ripe.

Seedless and seeded watermelons are going to have the same characteristics when deciphering if it is ripe or not.

Whether you are buying a watermelon from your local farm stand, grocery store, or even growing your own, there are a few simple tests to try out to help you get the ripest watermelon.

Bunch of whole watermelons stacked on top of each other.

Best ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe

It is important to know that when a watermelon is picked off from its vine it will no longer ripen.

Unlike other melon fruits, they will not ripen while sitting on the counter. So you want to buy a ripe one from the get-go.

This goes for all watermelons from the local grocery store to the home garden watermelons that are grown.

There are a few different things to look and listen for when you are in the market for a juicy refreshing watermelon. You want to make sure to pick it up, look it all over, and listen to it.

Also, make sure to look for any imperfections on the watermelon. You want to avoid buying one that has any cuts or

It is best to check a few of these methods and not just one to make sure you pick a ripe one! Let’s get into all of the different methods for picking out a ripe watermelon.

Once you have picked out your watermelon and are ready to cut it and enjoy it, you can look at my post on how to cut a watermelon for my tips to make it easier.

Thump test

Go ahead and knock on the watermelon like you are knocking on someone’s door. This method is called the “thump test”. When you thump on it you are listening for a hollow or low-pitched sound.

It should sound like a “punk” rather than a “pink” noise. If you hear the deep, hollow, punk sound then you have picked a ripe one!

Also, take into consideration the other methods below to ensure that you have picked the right one.

The Color

The more ripe the watermelon the darker the stripes of green will be on it. The color of the watermelon will become duller as it ripens on the vine along with darkening.

You’d think that you want to get the brightest most colorful one but in actuality, ripe watermelon is going to look more faded and have pale and contrasting dark green stripes.

If you see that both stripes on the watermelon are light then chances are that it may have been picked off the vine too early.

This is really important when you are harvesting watermelons from your home garden.

Buttery field spot

When watermelons grow, one side of it lays on the ground which is referred to as the “field spot”.

When you inspect the “field spot” it will be a buttery yellow color if it is ripe. If you look at the field spot and you see that it is white, then that particular watermelon isn’t ripe.

A white field spot on a watermelon is an indicator that the watermelon was picked from the vine too early and wasn’t fully ripe yet.

The blossom end will all get softer. I can also have a sweet smell and this is a very good sign.

Lift for weight

The heavier the better in the watermelon world. The weight of a watermelon can be an indicator of its ripeness. Pick a few that look to be similar in size and then determine which one weighs the most.

All watermelons seem heavy so having others to compare them to is going to help you decide which one seems like it weighs more. Don’t choose your watermelon by this method alone.

Make sure that it looks good and try the “thump test” also.

If you have had a watermelon hanging around for a little bit and you don’t know how to tell if a watermelon has gone bad, then I have just the post for you!


  • Knock on the watermelon and listen for a hollow sound.
  • Look for faded pale colors with dark stripes.
  • Check the “Field Spot” where the watermelon was laying on the ground. You want it to be buttery yellow in color.
  • Pick it up. It should feel heavy for its size.

When is the best time to buy watermelon?

Late summer is the best time to buy a watermelon. This is when they are in season and at their peak of ripeness. It’s important to know how to store watermelons to help maintain their freshness.

The best time to buy watermelon is in the morning if you’re picking it up from a farm. This is because they have been sitting out in the sun all day and are at their sweetest.

How to pick a ripe watermelon: Look for a watermelon that has a dull, matte finish. Avoid ones with shiny, waxy skin as this means they are not ripe yet.

Also, check for a uniform shape and size as this indicates it was picked at the peak of ripeness. Finally, thump the watermelon – it should have a deep hollow sound indicating that it is nice and juicy on the inside!


Now that you’ve got the secret to picking a ripe watermelon, why not perfect your technique with all fruits? Our complete guide to fruit ripeness offers valuable advice to enhance your shopping experience.


A ripe watermelon will have a strong, consistent stripe pattern. The sheen to the rind will disappear and the rind will become dull as a watermelon ripens. Ripe watermelons are typically dark green.

The color of watermelon can tell you how sweet it is. If it’s green, the fruit will be less ripe and sweeter than if it has yellowed stalks or blue-green splotches on its skin.

Check the sugar content:

To test for sweetness, use a refractometer to measure what percentage of sucrose (a type of sugar) your watermelon has. The higher the reading, the sweeter your watermelon.

A ripe watermelon has a golden yellow color and will knock when hit in the middle. A good way to know when a watermelon is ripe is by listening for a hollow sound.

Bunch of watermelons stacked on top of each other

How To Tell if a Watermelon is Ripe

Four simple ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe so that you aren't disappointed when cut into it. You will be sure to have a juicy ripe watermelon if all these boxes are checked off when picking one out.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 minute
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 1350 kcal


  • 1 watermelon


  • Knock on the watermelon. If you hear a deep hollow sound then the watermelon is ripe.
  • Look for dull faded colors and dark green stripes on the watermelon.
  • Find the spot that the watermelon was lying on when it was growing on the ground. You want this spot to be yellow in color, not white.
  • Lift it. You want to pick a watermelon that is heavier than it looks for its size. A dense watermelon is a ripe watermelon.


Serving: 1gCalories: 1350kcalCarbohydrates: 340gProtein: 27gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 45mgPotassium: 5040mgFiber: 18gSugar: 279gVitamin A: 25605IUVitamin C: 365mgCalcium: 315mgIron: 11mg
Keyword Buying a ripe watermelon, How to tell if a watermelon is ripe, Ripe watermelon, Ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe
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