Dragon Fruit Dilemma: Can It Continue to Ripen Once Chopped?

Ever cut open a dragon fruit only to find it’s not as ripe as you’d hoped? We’ve all been there. That moment of disappointment is real. But don’t fret! This article promises to alleviate your dragon fruit dilemma, exploring whether or not the exotic treat can continue to ripen even after it’s been chopped.

Can Dragon Fruit Ripen After Cut

Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is not only an exotic and visually stunning fruit but also offers several health benefits. As we shop for or harvest these fruits, whether they can ripen after being cut often arises. Understanding how to store and consume dragon fruit at its peak is essential for maximizing flavor and nutrition.

This article will address whether dragon fruit can ripen after being cut. We’ll also discuss the best practices for selecting, cutting, and storing this tropical treat so that you can enjoy its delicious taste and health benefits.

Can Dragon Fruit Ripen After Cut

In our experience, it is essential to understand the ripening process of dragon fruit to determine whether it can ripen after being cut. Unlike some other fruits that continue to ripen after being harvested, dragon fruit’s ripening process is relatively unique.

Do you know how some fruits continue to ripen and get sweeter once you bring them home from the store? Well, dragon fruit is a bit different. Once plucked from its plant, it says, “That’s it, I’m done!” No more sweetening up or changing the flavor. It’s like hitting the pause button on a favorite song – everything freezes at that point.

But hey! Even though the taste won’t change, there’s still something we can do.

If you’ve ever found a dragon fruit to be too hard for your liking, don’t worry. You can actually soften it up after opening it using the following steps.

Let us discuss some ways to soften the dragon fruit and make it more enjoyable:

  • Leave it at room temperature: If we cut an unripe dragon fruit, we could leave it for a few days, allowing the flesh to soften but not to develop more sweetness.
  • Store it with ethylene-producing fruits: Placing the cut dragon fruit in a paper bag alongside fruits like avocados, papaya, or mangoes can help it soften a bit faster, as these fruits release ethylene gas, which promotes softening. However, again, it will not improve the taste.

Remember, these methods soften the texture and DON’T ripen the fruit for increased sweetness or flavor. Choosing a ripe dragon fruit from the start is crucial, and it is the focus of the next section.

How to Choose a Ripe Dragon Fruit

how to pick ripe dragon fruit

Choosing a ripe dragon fruit is simple. Here are some simple steps we can follow:

  1. Look at the color – Mature dragon fruits have bright, even-colored skin. We want a deep red color if it’s a red-flesh dragon fruit variety (with white flesh). The yellow dragon fruit should be entirely golden-yellow skin.
  2. Check out the scales – The ‘scales’ or leafy spikes on the skin should look fresh and perky. It could mean the fruit is overripe if they seem brownish or dry.
  3. Give it a gentle squeeze – Just like avocados, when squeezed gently, a ripe dragon fruit gives slightly but immediately bounces back to its shape. Be sure not to apply too much pressure; we don’t want to bruise our beautiful fruit!
  4. Size matters, but only somewhat – Dragon fruits come in different sizes, but generally speaking, larger ones have more chance of being ripe as they’ve had a long time on their tree.
  5. Sniff test – Ripe dragon fruits typically have a faintly sweet smell. If there’s no scent or it smells sour or off-putting, it’s best left alone.

Factors Affecting the Dragon Fruit Ripening Process

This section will discuss the importance of temperature, humidity, and ethylene gas in the ripening process of dragon fruit.

factors that affect ripening of dragon fruit


Temperature plays a crucial role in the ripening process of dragon fruit. Warmer temperatures accelerate the ripening process, while cooler temperatures slow it down. After cutting, storing the fruit at the appropriate temperature is essential.

Dragon fruit ripens best at temperatures between 68 – 77° Fahrenheit (20 – 25° Celcius). Storing the fruit within this temperature range can help maintain its quality and prolong its freshness.

However, be cautious not to store the fruit too close to freezing temperatures, as it can damage its texture and flavor.


Humidity also plays a role in the ripening of dragon fruit.

Higher humidity can help prevent the fruit from drying out significantly after it has been cut.

On the other hand, low humidity can lead to fruit dehydration, causing it to lose its juiciness and deteriorate faster.

It is recommended to store cut dragon fruit at a relative humidity of 80% to 85%.

This will help maintain the fruit’s moisture content and support its ripening process, preventing mold growth.

Ethylene Gas

We touched upon this unique gas produced by fruits and plants earlier.

Ethylene gas is a natural plant hormone that promotes ripening in many fruits, including dragon fruit. Exposure to ethylene gas can stimulate the ripening process and influence the development of flavor and color in the fruit.

After cutting a dragon fruit, storing it with other ethylene-producing fruits, such as bananas or apples, would be helpful in a loosely sealed container.

This will increase the concentration of ethylene gas around the fruit, encouraging it to ripen faster. However, be careful not to store these fruits too close for an extended period, which could lead to over-ripening.

How to Cut Dragon Fruit

To cut a dragon fruit, slice off both ends and incision from top to bottom. Then peel away the skin and cut up the dragon fruit flesh. How do you like to consume this delicious fruit – we love to eat it in cubes!

how to cut dragon fruit

It may sound simple, but there’s real art to it! Discover more details and tips about this process in our comprehensive guide at How to Peel a Dragon Fruit.

How to Properly Store Cut Dragon Fruit

This section will discuss the proper methods for storing cut dragon fruit to preserve its freshness and taste. We will cover refrigeration, freezing, and suitable storage containers.


To store cut dragon fruit in the refrigerator, follow these steps:

  1. Place the cut fruit in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil.
  2. Store the container or wrapped fruit on a shelf in the refrigerator, away from raw meats or fish, to prevent cross-contamination.
  3. Keep the temperature of your refrigerator between 40° – 45°Fahrenheit (4 – 7° Celcius) for optimal freshness.
  4. Consume refrigerated cut dragon fruit within three to five days for the best taste and texture.


Freezing cut dragon fruit is another option for longer storage. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.
  2. Spread the cut cubes of dragon fruit in a single layer on the lined baking sheet, ensuring the pieces do not touch.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours or until the fruit with black seeds is completely frozen.
  4. Transfer the frozen fruit pieces to freezer-safe airtight containers or heavy-duty resealable plastic bags.
  5. Label the containers or bags with the date and return them to the freezer.
  6. Frozen dragon fruit can be stored for up to 12 months. Consume it within this timeframe for the best quality.

Proper Storage Containers

Choosing the proper storage containers plays a crucial role in preserving the freshness of cut dragon fruit. Here are our recommendations:

  • Airtight containers: Using containers with airtight seals helps to prevent the exposure of the fruit to air, which can cause it to dry out or become stale.
  • Heavy-duty resealable plastic bags: These bags are a convenient option for storing cut tropical fruit, as long as they are completely sealed to prevent air exposure.
  • Freezer-safe containers or bags: If you choose to freeze your cut dragon fruit, it is essential to use containers or bags specifically designed for freezer storage to protect the exotic fruit from freezer burn.

Following the methods described above, you can ensure that your cut dragon fruit remains fresh and delicious for future consumption.

Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

We will delve into dragon fruit’s essential health benefits, including its high antioxidant content, fiber, and essential vitamins.

fruit salad with dragon fruit cubes benefits


Dragon fruit is like a bodyguard for our health, packed with antioxidants that work like superheroes. They battle against harmful invaders that can damage our cells and cause us to feel unwell.

The fruit’s vibrant color comes from betalains, which make it look cool and protect our cells. They’re supported by flavonoids and polyphenols, their loyal sidekicks in maintaining our health. So with every bite of dragon fruit, we’re actually fueling up on these wellness warriors!


Dragon fruit is like a bodyguard for our health, packed with antioxidants that work like superheroes. They battle against harmful invaders that can damage our cells and cause us to feel unwell.

The fruit’s vibrant color comes from betalains, which make it look cool and protect our cells. They’re supported by flavonoids and polyphenols, their loyal sidekicks in maintaining our health. So with every bite of dragon fruit, we’re actually fueling up on these wellness warriors!


Dragon fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C and the B-vitamin group. Here’s a list of some critical vitamins found in dragon fruit and their benefits:

  • Vitamin C – This essential nutrient boosts our immune system and helps our body repair damaged tissues.
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – Thiamine aids in converting carbohydrates into energy and helps maintain a healthy nervous system.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Riboflavin benefits our skin, hair, and nails and helps produce energy within our body.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – Niacin assists in digestion, nerve function, and maintaining healthy skin.

By incorporating dragon fruit cubes into our diet, we can enjoy its numerous health benefits while treating ourselves to its delightful taste and texture.

We recommend enjoying your ripened dragon fruit cut using a melon baller in a fruit salad or smoothie bowl. The unique appearance and mild flavor make it pop out against the other fruits!

References Used

  • Pitaya. (2023, June 28). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitaya
  • Ethylene. (2023, July 1). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylene

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