How To Ripen A Papaya: Getting Sweet Papaya In 4 Easy Steps


Papayas need to ripen before they can be enjoyed. These amazing fruits contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and also a lot of flavor. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who do not like them because the papaya they tried were unripe, not knowing the fact that ripe papayas change in color and flavor.

Papayas turn from green to yellow as it ripens. The best tasting papayas are those that have been ripened on the tree. But unless they grow in your own backyard, you will have to opt for ones that are sold in the market. These papayas however, are picked before they ripen so that they will last longer in storage.

As soon as you bring the papaya home, the waiting game begins. In most cases, you will have to wait for a couple of days or at least a week until the papaya ripens at home. Fortunately, with the help of these easy tricks, you might be able to enjoy the fruit with your family in a few days’ time.

Things You Need To Prepare

1. Refrigerator


This will be where you store the papaya so that it will not attract flies and ripen too fast or end up getting rotten.

2. A Paper Bag

paper bag

This will be used to cover the papaya so that it will ripen more quickly. If you do not have a paper bag readily available, you can opt to use a paper towels. You can also wrap the papaya in newspaper.

3. A Ripe Banana

ripe bananas

Ripe fruits can emit gasses that will allow the papaya to ripen quickly as well. If you do not have a ripe banana, you can use a ripe apple or a ripe orange to hasten the ripening of the papaya.

4. A Paring Knife


This will be used to score the skin of the papaya. You can also use other knifes for as long as they are sharp and easy to wield.

How To Ripen Papayas

Step 1: Picking The Right Papaya

picking papaya

Before you think about how to ripen a papaya, you need to focus on choosing one that is in good condition. This is because papayas that are too green will not taste good even if you try to hasten its ripening process. If you buy ones that are bruised, you will end up getting a rotten papaya.

When buying a papaya, look for one that is of the right size and one that is already mostly colored. The papaya should be firm and not hard or too soft. This will help ensure that you will get good results after the fruit has ripened. Ripening this kind of papaya will usually take 2-3 days.

If the papaya already has spots of yellow on its skin, you might just want to put it inside the fridge and allow it to ripen in its own time. Keeping the papaya in the fridge will help protect it from insects who will be attracted to its aroma. Do not freeze the papaya, just keep it in a cool place so that it will not rot.

Step 2: Use The Paper Bag Method


After picking a papaya, you need to put the fruit in a paper bag. This will help keep the humidity down and it will also help keep the papaya away from moisture. Inside the paper bag, the papaya will release ethylene which will trigger the ripening process. The bag will also keep the ethylene from escaping.

This technique is ideal for papayas that have begun to ripen, since the fruit can produce the ethylene on its own. It should not be used on very green papayas. If you are going to use newspaper, you need to wrap the papaya carefully so that the gasses will not escape. Do not wrap the fruit too tightly.

Step 3: Lightly Score The Skin Of The Papaya

score papaya

If the papaya is still too green, you can score the skin or the peel of the papaya so that it will release ethylene. After scoring, you should put the papaya in a paper bag and allow it to sit in a cool dry place. Check the papaya after a day or two so you will be able to eat it when it has fully ripened.

Keep in mind that scoring the papaya’s skin can cause the fruit to rot, this is why you should keep an eye on the fruit. You should also make sure that you will only score the skin of the papaya and not let the knife go through its flesh so you will allow it to ripen and not rot.

Step 4: Put A Banana With It Inside The Paper Bag

papaya and banana

If the papaya is still very green, you should let another ripe fruit release the ethylene gas inside the paper bag. Put the papaya inside the paper bag and add a ripe banana before you close the bag. The banana will release the gas which will help hasten the ripening of the papaya.


ripe papayas

Papayas can be eaten while it is still not ripe, but if you want to taste its sweetness, you should wait for the perfect time to open it. Ripe papayas have the color of yellow and they will feel soft to the touch. If possible, I highly recommend that you let the papaya ripen on the tree before harvesting it.

But if it is not possible, you should buy one that is in good condition so you can let it ripen at home. Put the papaya inside the fridge if you think it will ripen soon. If not, put it inside a paper bag with another fruit so you will be able to enjoy its sweet succulent flavor in a couple of days.

Have you tried to ripen a papaya at home? Share your experience with us in the comments section.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

Leave a Comment:

AC Doyle says Dec. 2017

Is it either the refrigerator or the bag? Or do you put the bag in the refrigerator?

jagatjyoti says Mar. 2018

happy to read your article.I want to know how some business people use chemicals to ripen the fruits that are injurious to health.

Jacqueline says Oct. 2018

We have grown 10 Papaya trees from seed & the Females are prolific but we cannot ripen on the tree before the insects get them. Putting the fruits in the crisper box of the refrigerator with an apple didnt work either. I will go get a paper bag & a banana & try that.

Janice britz says Apr. 2019

Do you put the papaya and bag with banana In the refrigerator if it’s still green?

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