How to keep a carved pumpkin from rotting

Knowing how to keep a carved pumpkin from rotting will help preserve your fall decor throughout the entire season, and keep your home looking festive for much longer.

Carving pumpkins isn't just a cute tradition you do with the little ones in your family. They’re wonderful, necessary additions when trying to capture that picturesque Halloween farmhouse decor that will make your neighbors stop and smile. However, as with all living decor items, pumpkins eventually rot, sink in on themselves, and have to be thrown away. Many people may not find the carving process worth the short-term gain, but there are easy ways to extend your pumpkin’s shelf life.

Keeping pumpkins fresh

If you want your fall decor to last for as long as possible, we’re bringing you a few simple tips and tricks to keep your pumpkins looking great until Halloween - or later!

Halloween farmhouse decor

Keeping Pumpkins Fresh

Keeping pumpkins fresh is important for your home decor this fall. It’s always disappointing when the pumpkins you worked so hard to select, scoop the seeds out of, and carve a spooky design into start to rot. Although some might argue that rotting pumpkins only make scarier Halloween decorations, no one wants a slumped-over gourd on their steps that could attract bugs and make a slimy mess.

These tips and tricks for keeping pumpkins fresh will come in handy until you’re ready to take down your Halloween decorations.

1. Wash your gourds with soap and bleach

As soon as you get home from the pumpkin patch (or wherever you purchased your gourds), fill the sink or tub up with warm water, 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. Soak your pumpkins for about 30-minutes and scrub them with a rag if there’s viable dirt. This will help remove mold and bacteria that could make them rot faster.

2. Spray sealant

After you’ve washed and carved your pumpkins, spray them with a sealant. You can use matte or shine, whichever you prefer. Make sure to do this step outside or in a well-ventilated area, and away from little ones and pets.

3. Spray with peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is an amazing way to keep bugs away from your plants, and it’s an all-natural alternative to pesticides. Grab a spray bottle and add a1/2 tablespoon of liquid castile soap, 6 drops of peppermint essential oil, and water. Spray your pumpkin generously and let it dry in a cool, dark spot (the fridge works, too!)

4. Coat with petroleum jelly

Scoop about a tablespoon of petroleum jelly onto a rag. Coat the outside of your pumpkin, inside, and the cut edges with the petroleum jelly to seal the entire gourd and protect it from bugs and the elements. Make sure your pumpkin is completely dry before you add the petroleum jelly or it won’t stick.

Pumpkin styling

Pumpkin Styling Tips and Tricks

Pumpkins are an iconic part of contemporary fall decor, even if you aren’t carving jack o’ lanterns. With so many different shapes, sizes, and colors of gourds, there are so many options for styling them throughout your home.

Here are a few tips for implementing pumpkins into your contemporary fall decor:
  • Decorate your mantle with mini gourds
  • Use a variety of different sized pumpkins and gourds to create a centerpiece for your dining room table
  • Line the walkway to your house with pumpkins to create a “pumpkin patch” look in your front yard
  • Select different sized pumpkins to represent each member of your family and place them on your front porch with each family member’s initial painted or carved
  • Place mini gourds on your windowsill with an electric candle that can be seen from outside
  • Add extra small gourds to wreaths and flower arrangements

Contemporary Fall Decor from Magenta

Magenta has the perfect elements to complement your home’s fall decorations this season. View our line of decorative serveware, the perfect serveware and fall decor for entertaining guests during parties and holiday events.