How Long Do Plums Last?

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Have you ever picked out fresh plums and enjoyed them? That has to be one of the most surreal experiences ever! But did you pick out too many and now wonder how long these plums will last? You are in the right place to get these answers! 

How Long do plums last?

Plums that are not completely ripe can take a few days. Once fully grown, plums can last for up to two days in the pantry, depending on the climate you live in. They can, however, last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, even after they are fully ripe. 

If you like that balance of sweet and sour fruit flavors, it can’t get better than plums! Plums have this sour flavor, which is not intense but looks soothing. This sour flavor balances out very well, with a little bit of sweetness in the end. 

Moreover, plums can be eaten and used in many ways in the kitchen. They can be swallowed whole, chopped, or made into lovely jams, fillings, and other desserts. For anyone who loves this fruit, if you see fresh produce of the same in front of you, it might take a lot of work to pick out just a few. 

So, you may be in a situation where you have quite a few leftovers that will only last for a while. In this blog post, you will learn how long plums last under different circumstances, the signs to tell if your plums have gone bad, and how to know if a plum is ripe! Happy Reading! 

How Long Do Plums Last? 

How Long do plums last? 1
Unripe Plums2-3 Days
Whole Ripe Plums2-3 Days3-5 Days
Cut Ripe Plums4-6 Hours1-2 Days

Here, unripe plums usually take 2-3 days to ripen completely, also when they are at their optimal stage. As you can see, unripe plums should not be refrigerated, as the temperature gets too cold for them to ripen. 

So, if you have a bunch of plums that aren’t quite ready to eat, it is best to leave them on the counter to ripen completely. Once they are ripe comes the critical part. In most cases, whole ripe plums will stay perfectly fine in the pantry for 2 or 3 days. 

However, if you want to increase their shelf life, storing them in the refrigerator is better. Refrigeration will slow their ripening process and ensure that the plums don’t get overripe in a shorter span. 

Cut plums, on the other hand, can go bad much faster than whole plums. It is because more flesh is exposed to oxygen, which could increase the chances of microbial growth. Hence, these can go bad much faster. So, they should be consumed immediately or stored safely in the refrigerator for a few days. 

Can Plums Be Frozen? 

An easy way to increase the shelf life of food, especially perishables like fruits, freezing is a great technique. Freezing is mostly done for perishables like meat, cooked food, and even dairy, for that matter.

So, can plums be frozen as well? If yes, then would freezing affect their quality or flavor? 

Just like most other perishable foods, plums can very well be frozen. Freezing is indeed a great way to keep them fresh for longer. Unripe plums should not be frozen since the cold temperatures will hinder the ripening process. 

However, ripe plums can very well be frozen. The amount you freeze them for depends on whether the plums are whole or cut. Whole plums can quickly be frozen for up to 12 months, whereas sliced plums should be frozen for up to six months. 

How To Tell If Plums Are Ripe? 

How to tell if plums are ripe?

Before storing plums and how long they can generally last, it is essential to distinguish between an unripe and ripe plum. Only if you know this difference can you understand how to store them to ensure they last as long as they should. 

It is not difficult to tell the two types of plums apart from each other. However, when the plum is very close to being fully ripe, it can confuse. Here are some ways to tell if it is grown. 

1. Texture

The easiest way to check the ripeness of plum is based on its texture. Like most other types of fruits, unripe plums are too firm to the touch. A ripe plum should feel soft but also firm at the same time. If it is too weak, the plum is probably overripe. 

2. Smell

Once a plum is entirely ripe, it tends to have a much bolder aroma than an unripe one. If your plum doesn’t smell much like anything, it still needs to ripen. However, there are better ways to tell the ripeness of the plum, as the smell may differ based on the variety of the plum. 

3. Color

Just like the smell, color is an indicator to tell if a plum is ripe or not. However, again just like the aroma, this is not the best indicator of the same. 

Most varieties of plums tend to develop a darker color on their skin as they ripen. But this is not necessarily true with every type out there, so if you are even slightly confused, go ahead and check the firmness of the same. 

Can You Eat Overripe Plums? 

Plums can sometimes ripen much faster than usual if the atmosphere is so. If they are overripe but have gone right, they can still very well be eaten. However, eating over-ripe plums might be a challenging experience, as they have a very mushy texture. 

In some cases, they can even have a pungent flavor. If your plums are overripe, it is best to use them in cooking and baking and turn them into a jam, compote, or a filling for a delicious plum pie! 

How To Tell If Plums Have Gone Bad? 

How to tell if plums have gone bad

Just like knowing whether plums are ripe is essential, it is equally important to know if your plums have gone wrong. Eating bad food is never a good idea, and here are some factors that can help you determine whether the plums you have are okay to consume or should be thrown out. 

1. Signs Of Deterioration

The best way to check if your plums are still okay to use is by checking for any signs of deterioration on the surface. Unlike some other fruits, plums don’t smell that rancid once they go wrong. 

So, the appearance of plums is one of the best indicators to go by in this case. If the skin shows obvious signs of spoilage, discoloration, insect bites, or any larva, it is best to throw the plums away.

2. Texture Of The Plum

Like checking if a plum is ripe by its texture, you can also check if it has gone wrong the same way. As mentioned, when gently pressed, a perfectly ripe plum will have a firm yet slightly soft texture. However, if the plum feels too soft and mushy, it has gone wrong and should be thrown away. 

Are There Any Adverse Effects Of Eating Bad Plums? 

More often than not, eating food that has gone bad, especially perishable foods, can adversely affect a person’s digestive system. There may be wrong judgment, and only once you bite into a plum would you realize it has gone wrong. So, would that cause any effects? 

Luckily, plums are not one of those fruits that can cause adverse effects on health if you happen to consume one that has gone bad. In most cases, you will only be left with a sour taste. 

Some people could also have little indigestion, as it depends on how sensitive your stomach is. However, you should see a doctor soon if the effects are harmful. 

How To Store Plums To Improve Their Shelf Life? 

How to store plums?

Proper storage is one of the essential aspects of keeping plums’ shelf life intact. Only if plums are stored properly will they last as long as they are supposed to, and in some cases, even longer. Here, let us take a look at how different types of plums need to be stored. 

1. Unripe Plums

Unripe plums should be stored in the pantry, away from direct sunlight and humidity. The temperature should be average so they can naturally ripen at their own pace. Do not store unripe plums in the refrigerator or freezer, hindering their ripening. 

2. Whole Ripe Plums

Whole ripe plums can be stored in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. In most cases, they can be left whole, as they are, in either of the three places. However, be careful where you store them, as excess humidity can spoil them quickly. 

3. Cut Ripe Plums

Lastly, cut ripe plums can also be stored in either of the three places. However, the thing with these is that if they are left out, they should be consumed within a maximum of 6 hours. 

If you want to increase their shelf life, transfer the cut plums into an airtight container or a ziplock bag, then keep them in the refrigerator or the freezer.  


Plums can easily last a few days on the counter and even longer in the refrigerator once wholly ripe. If you want to extend the shelf life of plums even further, they can very well even be frozen. 

However, an unripe plum should never be kept in the refrigerator, as the cold temperatures will mostly hinder their ripening. As long as you pick your plums based on when you consume them and store them correctly, they are good to go! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do ripe plums last in the refrigerator? 

Ripe plums, if whole, will easily last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. 

Can you freeze ripe plums that are cut? 

Yes, you can freeze ripe cut plums in an airtight container or a ziplock bag. 

What can be done with overripe plums? 

It is best to use overripe plums for cooking, as they taste great in jams, sauces, and baked goodies. 

If a plum feels very soft to the touch, has it gone wrong? 

No, not necessarily. If a plum feels very soft to the touch or mushy, it could even be overripe and not necessarily must have gone wrong. 

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