The Q&A Archives: Pumpkin Color

Question: How does a pumpkin turn orange. My mother-in-law and my kids planted pumpkins this spring. One of them took and is fairly large. The problem is that it keeps growing and is not turning orange, it has stayed green. Is this a typical problem?

Answer: As pumpkins mature, they begin to turn orange. It's a similar process as with tomatoes and peppers. The process is in coordination with daylength and the variety you're growing. Some of the larger pumpkins can take 120 to mature; smaller pumpkins can ripen in less than 85 days. So, just how long yours will take to mature depends upon the summer weather you've experienced and the variety you're growing. You can't rush the process; pumpkins are mature when the rind is hard and has turned an orange color. If the seeds were planted too late or summer weather was cold and cloudy, they may not ripen at all. I hope your pumpkins ripen before the weather turns too cold!

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