Orange pumpkin turning green!

Asked September 29, 2020, 5:45 PM EDT

We grew a pumpkin in our garden and we picked it once it turned completely orange. It has now been inside for a couple weeks, and is slowing starting to turn green! What causes this? What can we do to turn it back to 100% orange?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

We aren't certain what is causing this greening, though influencing factors may depend on the variety in question (some may be more responsive to environmental changes than others). Warm, sunny (or well-lit) exposures may be triggering the formation of chlorophyll, so try storing it in a cool, darker location (as it is recommended root vegetables are) if you aren't already. It might be the warmth factor more so than the light that's causing the greening; after all, pumpkins in full sun outdoors tend to stay orange. Interestingly, some references of this phenomenon suggest sunlight exposure helps to keep them orange. Given the time of year pumpkins ripen, temperature (especially an overnight chill) is probably the more influential factor.