Gardeners Reveal 4 Ways to Ripen Tomatoes Overnight

You need to know how to ripen tomatoes overnight if you urgently need them the following morning or next.

how to ripen tomatoes overnight


Tomatoes’ ripening process slows down when temperatures drop at night. Cold is not a good climate for tomatoes, so you need them indoors under room temperature to coax the ripening process from green to red.

Your tomatoes require warmth and not the direct sun to ripen. An indoor temperature reaching about 70 degrees F will increase the ripening rate overnight.


How tomatoes ripen

Sunlight does not always help the ripening process. Excessive sunlight will toughen your tomato skins, so you may not want to leave them on the windowsill. When growing tomatoes yourself, do not pull the leaves off them to allow more sunshine.

Your tomatoes will ripen with warmth. The warmer it gets, the quicker it ripens. As such, leaving tomatoes in the fridge is not also helpful—you would be getting the degraded texture or mealy tomatoes.

Experts believe that tomato ripening stops when it gets too hot, so keep them on the windowsill can quicken ripening.

Similar to bananas, apples, and avocados, tomatoes give off ethylene (ethylene) gas, a natural plant hormone that regulates their growth, and makes them ripen by converting the stored starch into sugar.


Fruits typically do this, and tomatoes are technically a fruit, so they can ripen other climacteric fruits.

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To ripen your tomatoes overnight will require tomatoes that are starting to naturally ripen. They will have a better flavor when turning red.

Completely green tomatoes may not develop as good a flavor or even ripen overnight. If too green, consider using the tomatoes in recipes including fried green tomatoes with ripe tomato salsa or green tomato chutney.

How to ripen tomatoes overnight

Begin by picking mature tomatoes that are a bit softened with a color blush on the blossom end. It is advisable not to wash the fruits unless you lost the plant to disease—make sure to dry them thoroughly. Only wash when you are ready to eat them since moisture on the tomato can result in mold.

Do the following to ripen your tomatoes from green to red overnight:

  1. Store tomatoes in a paper bag

Put the tomatoes in a paper bag, close, and store in a warm place, making sure the tomatoes are enclosed together so that their emitted ethylene will stimulate ripening.

You can store other ethylene-based fruits such as ripe bananas and apples in the bag to speed up the process.

A night or two nights after when the tomatoes are ripe, remove them from the bag and enjoy. If the tomatoes do not ripen after the first night, inspect the bag for mold or rot and get rid of any spoiled pieces.

Some companies even lock immature green tomatoes in an ethylene-filled chamber to ripen the fruit faster. However, this practice merely forces tomatoes to turn red and not ripen—they do not get to develop flavor.

  1. Cardboard box storage

To ripen several green tomatoes quickly overnight, get a cardboard box. Place the tomatoes in the box, keeping them from touching one another.

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Consider adding a ripe banana to speed things up. Finally, close the cardboard box and, and inspect for mold if the tomatoes do not ripen after the first couple of nights.

  1. Put them on the windowsill

If your tomatoes are starting to show some ripened color, put them on the sill of the window for low sunlight. Avoid high heat and inspect the tomatoes often.

If the tomatoes you have in the bag show signs of ripening put them on the sill of the window as well.

  1. Hang tomatoes upside down

Like some gardeners, you can pull out the entire tomato plant and leave it hanging upside down indoors, under warm temperatures.

The point is that the tomato plant will transfer its remaining energy to the fruits while it is still alive. Ensure to shake off as much soil as possible before hanging the plant. Follow up on the progress.

Note the following:

  • Green tomatoes will ripen faster if you leave the stem on.
  • Your tomatoes should ripen in a couple of nights.
  • If the unripe tomatoes are not mature, they will not ripen quickly when you pick them.
  • Forcing or coaxing tomatoes to ripen faster will not enhance the flavor (but better than allowing them to go to waste).
  • Store the tomatoes at room temperatures and not in the fridge or freezer.

When picking tomatoes, and cannot want to wait to ripen them, eat them green. Consider frying them, if they will not ripen the next morning.

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