Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Ripen Plums

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

If you have ever had the misfortune of biting into an unripe plum, then you no doubt felt the keen disappointment and experienced the sour taste of fruit that is not yet ripe. By contrast, a ripe and juicy plum is a tasty treat. If you have harvested plums from a plum tree that are not ripe, it is a simple process to hasten the ripening and get the plums ready to eat.

Place the unwashed plums inside the brown paper bag. Fill the bag not more than half-full of plums.

Fold the top of the bag down once or twice to secure it.

Set the bag aside and keep it at room temperature for one or two days.

Open the bag after two days and check for ripeness. Ripe red plums will be almost completely red and ripe black plums will be almost completely black. The plums should be soft when you press on them gently and should smell like sweet plums.


Things You Will Need

  • Brown paper bag
  • Unripe plums


  • Fresh fruit ripens quickly in a paper bag because the bag holds in a natural hormone that escapes from fruit as it ripens.


  • Never use a plastic bag to ripen fruit because the plastic will trap the air around the fruit and the fruit will have an unpleasant taste.


About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.