How To Ripen Tomatoes Indoors With The Best Techniques

We know that cold is not good for the tomatoes and if you planted your crop in the late season, then it’s a must for you to know how to ripen tomatoes indoors. To ripen the tomatoes inside may seem like coaxing, but it is the only option to save them withering and die out totally. In this article, we are going to help you learn how to ripen tomatoes in the house for getting the best out of even that late-season plantation.


Factors essential for ripening tomatoes

Tomatoes don’t need much to be artificially ripened and you just need to provide these two elements in the right proportion to them-

Warm temperature

The main element that you will find common in any best way to ripen tomatoes indoors is warmth. You need to pick a dry, enclosed, and warm environment. The temperature should be somewhere around 70 F g inside the chosen room.

The average ripening time for tomatoes in different temperatures can be-

2 weeks at 65-70 F

3-4 weeks at 50-60 F

Don’t keep the temperature lower than 50 F as it will only give you bad quality produce.

Ethylene gas

Many botanical fruits like bananas and apples release a natural gas called Ethylene. It also means that these fruits ripen better with more amounts of this gas surrounding them. Since we know that tomatoes are also one among such plants, we can ripen them better by putting them in an Ethylene infused environment.

The formula that we are going to use is to keep other ethylene releasing fruits with the tomatoes. Choosing fully ripened bananas for this purpose is great as they are power-producers of Ethylene.

The tomatoes self ripe too with the ethylene they produce but that will be a slower process. It will also vary according to their variety and condition. Watch this video to know more.

Preparing the tomatoes for ripening

You need to take care of these few things before setting them in to ripen.

Pick the right ones- The mature tomatoes are the right ones to pick before you move on to the process of how to ripen tomatoes in the house. They are mostly the ones that have undertaken the ripening process themselves while on the vine.

Pick the tomatoes that have grown full to their size or close enough. They must be already exhibiting a tinge of orange-yellow color at the end of the blossom. You can also check if they have softened a bit by squeezing them and see if the tomatoes ooze a little.

The green ones can also be ripened successfully but they will take longer and the result would not be very tasty either. Skip the marred or decaying tomatoes as they won’t ripen nicely no matter how perfect the conditions are.

Clean them nicely- Wash the tomatoes nicely as any dirt or wilt over them can harm them and disrupt the ripening process (use a vegetable cleaner equipment). Similarly, you also need to dry them up thoroughly because water can also rot them up.

Set the right conditions- The last step for starting with how to ripen tomatoes inside is to select or make a suitable place for the fruits to be kept at. Select a room that has proper ventilation and the temperature warm enough.

Picking the tomatoes and ripening it then is a better option. If you are willing to ripen them over the vine only, then you must cover the trail with blankets or row covers during the night time. Don’t do this when the frost has almost arrived.

You should avoid keeping the tomatoes under the direct sun as they don’t require a lot of light to ripen too much sunlight make their outer skin harder. Keep the place humidity-free too as to prevent any chance of rotting or insects.

5 best methods for ripening the tomatoes

These five methods will help you to know how to ripen tomatoes indoors and you can pick any out of these that suit you.

how to ripen tomatoes indoors

Use a bag

This method works best for ripening few tomatoes, like 5-10, together. Place these inside any paper bag along with a ripened banana or any similar ethylene producing fruit. Close the bag and then place it inside any warm room or small place.

The ethylene effect will take place nicely and ripen the tomatoes soon. Keep checking the box daily for any rotting or spooling that might be occurring.

Use a cardboard box

Take any cardboard box (normal wooden box will also do) and then cover it with the newspaper on the inside. Layer down the tomatoes and put a newspaper over them if you need to add another layer over them. Now put this box in a warm room.

This method would work for a large number of tomatoes.

Use plastic bags or big glass jars

Choose this method if you are dealing with a few large tomatoes. Place them inside a jar or plastic bag and seal it. Just be careful about controlling the warmth and moisture for which you can make holes in the bag and keep opening the jar regularly.

Hang the plant upside down

You can choose this method if you want flavorful tomatoes and make the best use of the plant’s natural energy for that. Just uproot the entire plant and hang it overturned anywhere inside the house where it’s warm. If you have potted plants, you can just directly place the pots indoors like in the basement or garage.

Be careful to remove the soil to the maximum extent.

Keep them near a window

This approach can be used for pre-ripened tomatoes or the ones brought out of the box. The sunlight will ripen them further. However, be careful to not let too much sun shining over them because it can make them harder.

Storing tomatoes post ripening

The ripened tomatoes can be stored anywhere with a mild temperature like the kitchen counter, shelves, boxes, or shallow containers. The key is not to overcrowd them while you try to ripen tomatoes indoors. You need to also remove the leaves and stems at this stage.

You must take care as to use the ripened tomatoes within a week as they start losing their flavor after that.

Additional tips

You must follow these tips while ripening as well as storing the tomatoes to not let your entire hard work go into vain.

  • Keep visiting the tomatoes regularly or every alternate day to keep removing the ones that have ripened and also check for rotting or diseases.
  • Not every tomato has the same ripening rate, so examine every tomato and then put them under a suitable condition.
  • Take care to use a breathable container as too much humidity can cause rotting or bring in fruit flies.
  • It is advisable to keep some space between the tomatoes as it allows better air circulation that accelerates the ripening. You can wrap the tomatoes individually if they are too big for space.
  • The tomatoes with little stem intact ripen best.
  • Never put the tomatoes inside the refrigerator as it kills the flavor. You must only freeze them to store them for later use.


It is important to learn how to ripen tomatoes indoors for enjoying them even during the fall. The only drawback is that they are not going to be as flavorful as the naturally-ripened ones. Nonetheless, you can still use them for making a lot of dishes and this is going to be better than letting them go wasted.

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