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Preserve Pumpkins & Gourds | An Easy & Quick Method

How to preserve pumpkins, and how to preserve gourds using just three ingredients. Keeps pumpkins and gourds from rotting and is so easy!

fall decorating ideas white pumpkins in basket tray centerpiece

So fall has arrived. It’s your favorite season, and you have been looking forward to it all summer. You purchased your pumpkins & gourds, and brought them home to decorate. They are scattered around your rooms, in little vignettes, and you just love the way everything looks. A week later, you see a pumpkin out of place. You pick it up, only to find out that it’s rotten and smelly!

Read on for a tried and true way to avoid this heartbreak!

*Click {HERE} to learn how to make the pumpkin arrangement pictured above.

An easy and quick method, using just three ingredients, to preserve pumpkins & gourds for your fall decor. This takes just a few minutes! How to make pumpkins last longer.

*Affiliate links (Amazon & others) included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

I’ve included this little trick for how to preserve pumpkins & gourds in a couple of emails to my subscribers, but I wanted to make sure that everyone sees how easy this is. It really works, so your real pumpkins & gourds will last for weeks.

The thing that makes pumpkins & gourds rot in the first place is the dirt and mold that they pick up from the fields where they are grown. In order to preserve them and prevent the rotting, that dirt and mold must be removed. So if you’ve always wondered how to preserve pumpkins easily, here you go!

How to Preserve Pumpkins & Gourds

  • Prepare a mixture of bleach, water and dish soap. 
    (One gallon water, 2 tablespoons bleach, and a squirt of dish soap.)
  • Soak real gourds for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Use a tub or even your kitchen sink.
  • Rinse and dry well.
  • Before adding to your decor, it’s optional to give your pumpkins a quick coat of spray matte sealer. It helps preserve them even longer. 

An easy and quick method, using just three ingredients, to preserve pumpkins & gourds for your fall decor. This takes just a few minutes!

I filled my sink once, and did a batch of white pumpkins first, followed by the big heirloom pumpkin. I rolled them around a little to make sure they got a complete bath, including the stem. You don’t need deep water, because the smaller pumpkins actually float. The larger pumpkins can be rolled, or placed on their sides, in order to soak the entire pumpkin properly.

An easy and quick method, using just three ingredients, to preserve pumpkins & gourds for your fall decor. This takes just a few minutes!

How to Preserve Pumpkins: An Extra Step

After their bath, rinse the pumpkins well, and let them dry on a towel. Make sure they are completely dry before they are displayed. There’s an extra step you can take that will make your pumpkins last even longer. If you have time, spray them with a thin coat of matte sealer. Sometimes I do this and sometimes I don’t…but I do believe it helps preserve them longer.

thanksgiving tablescape ideas white pumpkins in dough bowl

See this Autumn Table Setting

How to Preserve Gourds: how long will they last?

So how long will pumpkins and gourds last after their bath? My best answer is at least a few weeks, but probably much longer. It depends on the heat and humidity in your house, plus the condition the gourds were in when you bought them.

  • Try to choose pumpkins and gourds that are somewhat clean and free from bruises.
  • The sooner you buy your gourds, the better. By getting them early in the season, you will get the best choice, and your gourds will be fresh. Waiting until the week before Halloween will guarantee you’ll go home with a pumpkin that’s been sitting around for a while.
  • For the past few years, I have purchased my real pumpkins & gourds as soon as they are available at the farm stand, which is usually in early September. Without fail, they have all stayed fresh and firm throughout the fall season.

fall gift tag on mini orange pumpkin

The tag featured above is part of my Celebrate Autumn Bundle. Click the button below to find out more!

Fall is, quite possibly, my favorite time of year. It’s really hard to choose a favorite season, but if I had to, it would be fall. My love for fall is reflected in the content on this website. I enjoy making fall printables, there are fall tablescapes, easy autumn decor ideas, and so much more. Fall decor is timeless, and there are so many ideas here for you to use. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, I would love for you to join my email subscriber list. Just click {HERE} for more information. My email subscribers are the first to see everything!

mini pumpkin flower arrangement with mums on cake plate

Thanks for stopping by…see you soon!

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version of this post {HERE.}

Do you love fall and need inspiration
to welcome your favorite season? Look at this!

osp celebrate autumn bundle graphic orange button