Let’s face it – if you’re as pumpkin obsessed as me, you want them to last! I find myself buying up all the pumpkins I can find, only to have to throw them away when they inevitably start to rot.
It’s the same thing with flowers… I always want all the alive things, but I always wish I could keep them alive forever!
While I haven’t yet figured out how to keep my pumpkins alive forever (if you know, tell me!), I do have three simple hacks to keep your pumpkins thriving as long as possible!
Because when you spend so much time meticulously placing your pumpkins to look like you just dumped them out of a crate or tossed them in a pile, that pile better last a while, am I right?
So let’s keep this quick and easy, because I know you’ve got pumpkins to buy!
3 SIMPLE HACKS TO KEEP YOUR PUMPKINS FROM ROTTING TOO SOON
The first hack is less of a hack and more of a step to take to ensure your pumpkins survive as long as possible.
KEEP YOUR PUMPKINS OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT
This might be obvious, or it might not be. But make sure you keep your pumpkins out of direct sunlight if you want them to stay healthy for the long term!
Choose a spot to display them on a covered porch or a corner where they won’t get constant sunshine, or simply display them in your home instead! The more temperate the climate, the better.
Pumpkins seem to thrive in the cool fall 50-60 degree weather (almost like they were made for fall or something). So the hotter the days, the more shade they need so they can get some relief!
This next step can be pretty effective…
GIVE YOUR PUMPKINS A BATH
You heard me! Toss them in the sink and give them a bath in an antibacterial solution. A lot of people use bleach for this and simply add a teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water used.
If you go this route, make sure you wear some gloves!
I for one am not a fan of bleach, so I tend to go with vinegar water or create my own Thieves solution to bathe my pumpkins.
If you haven’t heard of Thieves, it’s an all-natural household cleaner that is powerfully antibacterial.
I use Thieves to clean all surfaces of my home as I’m making a push to remove chemicals and harmful substances from my home! So why not use it for my pumpkins too?
I have the Thieves concentrate, so I just added 2 capfuls of Thieves solution to my sink full of water and gave those pumpkins a bath!
You could do something similar with white vinegar, but you should probably know that it won’t be quite as effective as a bleach bath!
The jury is still out on the Thieves bath as this is the first time I’m doing it, but I’ll be sure to let you know how well it works!
An additional step you can take to ensure your pumpkins are in it for the long haul is…
SPRAY THEM WITH A CLEAR SEALANT
Once your pumpkins have been bathed and dried and are looking nice and spiffy, spray them with a clear sealant!
I had a Krylon acrylic craft spray on hand, so I chose to use that, but there are several varieties that would do the trick!
Give your pumpkins a nice coat, and it’ll help seal in the moisture and allow them to keep their shape as they age!
This step takes seconds but makes a huge difference. Plus it leaves your pumpkins looking a little glossy too!
Try out these three pumpkin saving hacks this year, and let me know how they work for you!
But wait, there’s more!
BONUS: A TIP TO SAVE YOU TIME AND ENERGY WITH YOUR MUMS
You know what goes hand in hand with pumpkins? MUMS!
I don’t know about you, but I bought up so many mums at my local garden shop this year. Pumpkins + mums = one happy Lauren!
But you know what I don’t always love doing? Repotting!
Let’s be honest for a second… mums don’t last all that long. You buy them and plant them in the fall, but they don’t last through the winter. You can really only enjoy them for so long.
So I don’t love spending all my time and energy repotting them when I know I’ll have to toss them out in a few short months after the first freeze!
So what do I do instead, you ask?
PAINT YOUR PLASTIC POTS (YOU READ THAT RIGHT!)
I’ve been known for chalk painting my terra cotta pots in the past. I love distressing them just a touch with swipes of white chalk paint to give them a chippy look (that only costs a few dollars!).
I did this for my entire herb garden in the spring and adored the chippy pots all summer long.
So I had a thought…
Most of my mums came in plastic containers that were the same color as my terra cotta pots. (Do you see where this is going yet?)
So I thought – why not try to ‘distress’ the plastic pots with chalk paint so they blend in with my other pots to save time while hiding the ‘plastic’ look?
What was there to lose?
So I grabbed my white chalk paint, a dried paintbrush (one that was hardened by old, dried paint), and my mums.
I simply dipped my brush in chalk paint and swiped it up and down on the plastic pot, rotating it as I went, making sure not to leave any brush stroke patterns but instead straight up and down lines.
It took all of 3 minutes, and they turned out great!
Let them dry in the sun fully before you water them again so the paint doesn’t drip, and you’re all set.
I didn’t seal mine because they’ll live under a covered porch, but you could always spray them with a clear acrylic coat (just like your pumpkins) if you’re worried about the weather!
So instead of repotting your mums, paint the plastic! It’s as simple as that!
What was your favorite tip? Let me know in the comments!