5 December 2023

You bought your first honeydew at the grocery store and now are you thinking about its useful life. How long does sweet melon last?

EITHER not sure if you can leave it on the counter or if you should put it in the fridge.

Sounds familiar? If so, you will find this article interesting and useful. In it we talk about:

  • shelf life and storage of whole honeys, and whether or not you need to refrigerate them
  • what to do with cut molasses
  • tell if yours is still ok to eat or not

Interested? Come on.

whole sweet melon

How long does sweet melon last?

Whole cantaloupe maintains quality for about a week on the counter and two to three weeks in the refrigerator. Leftover cuttings and molasses slices keep up to five days.

Like watermelons (and other fruits), honeys retain their quality much longer if you store them in the fridge than if they sit at room temperature. They do hold up pretty well on the counter though, so that’s my go-to spot for them. Unless of course you need them to last like two weeks.

In the case of leftovers, they are kept between 4 and 5 days in the refrigerator. And as always with leftover fruit, the sooner you eat it, the better it tastes.

honeydew ready to eat
honeydew ready to eat

If you are buying honeys knowing that they will have to last a long time in storage, choose those that:

  • feels heavy for its size
  • they do not have blemishes, brown spots or any other lesions
  • are uniform in color (greenish to yellow)
Worktop Fridge
Sweet melon (whole) 1 week 2-3 weeks
Sweet melon (cut) 45 days

Please note that the periods in the table above are estimates only.

Molasses: brown spots
Brown Honeydew Stains: Avoid When Buying

How to store honeydew

You can store honeydew on the counter or in the refrigerator. The latter is a better option if you need them to last longer. When it comes to cutting honeydew, close it tightly and put it in the fridge.

The optimum temperature for these melons is 45°F (7°C) ((OSU)), slightly higher than what’s in your refrigerator. For this reason, your refrigerator is the best option, especially for long-term storage.

If you know you’re going to eat the molasses within a couple days of buying it, leaving it on the counter is fine (that’s what I do). That’s because they are quite bulky and take up a lot of space in the fridge.

Half of honeydew in a freezer bag
Half of honeydew in a freezer bag


There is no need for plastic bags or anything to store whole honeydew. Just throw it in the fridge, possibly near the door where it’s a little warmer, and that’s it.

When it comes to leftovers, they should be stored in the refrigerator ((SDSU)) where they are kept safe.

For storage, I use freezer bags and airtight containers.. The former are great if you need to store a half or quarter of a melon, while the latter work well for slices and cubes.

honeydew cubes in a bowl
honeydew cubes in a bowl

How to know if sweet melon is bad?

Discard honeydew melons that:

  • Feel light or empty. That means they have lost most of their water and are not good at the moment.
  • You have large bruises or damaged areas. As usual, you can cut some smaller ones, but if the rotten part is like a third of the fruit, it’s probably time to let it go.
  • They are cut and left to rest in the refrigerator for more than five days. At that point, they might still be safe to eat, but you never know. Better safe than sorry.
  • Smell or taste Honeys that are stored for long periods soften and lose flavor. If yours doesn’t taste fresh and sweet, throw it out. There is no point in eating stale or tasteless fruit.
Honeydew: brown spot on the bark
Honeydew: brown spot on rind – cut them off

As you can see, some of the points above are up to you to judge.

One piece of advice I can give you is: follow your gut. If that slightly older molasses still looks and smells pretty good, go ahead. But if it’s already unpleasant, accept your losses and get rid of them.

That works the same way for other melons, like cantaloupe or watermelon. Or pretty much any fruit.

Finally, Honeydew melons last a little longer and hold quality a little better than other melons.. So the week-old molasses in the fruit basket probably still tastes pretty good.

honeydew slices
honeydew slices


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