How to Make a Halloween Pumpkin Last Longer

Whether it’s for Fall or Halloween decoration, we all want perfect pumpkins, especially after laborious carving. Nothing more disappointing than a failed decoration on Halloween night, with deformed, half-rotting pumpkins. Learn all about how to make a halloween pumpkin last longer in this article.

Treat it Gently

Choose the cutest and best pumpkin. Broken stems mean less life, choose squash with a long, firm stem. Do not handle it from the stem. Use with both hands, gently, carefully. And be careful how it will be transported in the vehicle.

Try to keep your hands clean and only touch or handle it if necessary.

Once your pumpkins are carved, keep your hands out!

How to Make a Halloween Pumpkin Last Longer: Perfect Location

Secure a spot on your porch or yard that is covered, protected from rain, and with little or no sun. A dry and shady place will be ideal to last the whole season. Rain and sun will accelerate the decomposition of the pumpkin.


Keep your Pumpkin Clean and Dry

Prepare a solution: 1 part of bleach plus 10 parts of cold water

Wash the pumpkin with this bleach water solution entirety with the help of a soft cloth. If it is easier for you, you can submerge the pumpkin for a few minutes. Using a soft cloth, wipe the surface and let your pumpkin dry completely, in the shade. With this bath you will eliminate bacteria and microscopic molds that participate in the decomposition process, prolonging the life of your pumpkin.

You can repeat this cleaning every 3 weeks or wipe the surface with the mentioned bleach and water solution. Especially near the stem, where moisture accumulates. This is the first area to be affected, and it causes the sunken head effect. Always be careful that the entire surface is ventilated and completely dried.

Carved Halloween Pumpkins Protected from Drying

Those who decide to carve their pumpkins should have an additional collection. When carving pumpkins, deterioration and decomposition is accelerated. When you’re done carving, rub some oily material across the carved surface to prevent drying. Some of the substances you can rub are petroleum jelly, coconut oil, or olive oil. The advantage of petroleum jelly is you will not have rancid odors, being completely odorless. Be safe to wash your hands, and do not continue to handle the pumpkin with these substances. Otherwise, the deterioration will accelerate.

halloween pumpkins

Don’t Mess With My Pumpkin

Make sure the inside of the pumpkin is completely free of the gut, this will reduce the chance of mold forming and attracting fruit flies. Inside the pumpkin, you can place a fly sticker, a small glass of wine, or apple cider. This will attract the fruit fly to the glass instead of ruining the pumpkin.

Although I love squirrels, I don’t want them to reach my carved pumpkin.

The most effective way to prevent ants and squirrels is to keep the pumpkins off the ground, with some separation, such as steps, windows, or on top of birdbaths.

Avoid Heat and Candles in your Halloween Pumpkin

Heat and handling will shorten the life of your pumpkin. After laborious carving, you will surely seek to prolong its life. An alternative to using candles and placing battery operated fairy lights inside. They are economical and illuminate adequately so as not to lose the desired effect.

We’ll show you how to extend the life of your Halloween pumpkins protected from rot with this advice.


About Julia Morgan

We are the Morgans, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website. We hope that all our advice will be useful to you and that you will become an expert gardener.