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How Long Do Blueberries Last?

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Blueberries are a deliciously sweet fruit with that perfect balance between tartness and sweetness, and if you’re like me, it can be exciting to get baskets of this fruit in its season.

However, the major downside to doing this is that fresh blueberries have a relatively short shelf life and will hardly last longer than two days unless stored properly.

So, whether you pluck them fresh from your farm or buy them from the grocery store, it is essential that you know how to properly store them so you can have them for longer.

In this article, we’ll explore how best to store blueberries and provide some valuable storage tips to help you preserve them.

Let’s go!

blueberries in a woven basket

The Shelf Life of Blueberries

Blueberries are considered highly perishable and, as such, have a short shelf life. They have high moisture content, which facilitates their spoilage or decay. 

Their skin is thin and highly penetrable, which makes them very susceptible to damage, and, consequently, spoilage.

Warm temperatures also make them ripen faster, so if you keep blueberries on your countertop or in your pantry at room temperature, they’ll only last 1–2 days.

Under different storage conditions like refrigeration and freezing, on average:

  • You can expect they’ll last up to 2 weeks if you keep them in the fridge.
  • They can last up to 10 months in the freezer.
hand holding ripe blueberries from its plant

How to Know if the Blueberries Are Ripe?

Before you pick up or store blueberries, you’ll need to know which ones to pick and how to know the ones that are ripe from unripe. 

Here are some tips to help you with that:

Check the Color

Ripe berries have a deep, rich blue/purple color with a grayish-overlying sheen. Avoid blueberries that are red or green, as they are not ripe.

Squeeze Test

Ripe berries should be firm to the touch but slightly yielding.

If the berries pop after a squeeze or feel too mushy, they are too ripe and should be avoided. If they feel too hard, they are unripe.

Check for Uniformity

Ripe berries are almost always uniform in size and appearance. They are plump without any wrinkles or shriveling. 

If you notice wrinkles or shriveling, or unusually small berries, avoid them.


The best way to be sure your blueberries are ripe, though, is to taste them. You can pop a berry in your mouth and assess the taste. 

If it has the signature sweetness blended with a bit of tanginess, it’s perfect. It is unripe or past its prime if it tastes bland or sour.

sorting blueberries in a container in a box

Storage Tips to Make Them Last Longer 

Before taking your blueberries to storage, here are some things you can do to ensure they stay fresh for longer.


It’s important to sort through your fruit basket to remove those already moldy, too soft, or unripe.

Taking out the too-soft ones reduces the possibility of spoilage for the others. Separating the unripe ones from the ripe ones also reduces the possibility of spoilage. 

Moisture Control

Moisture accumulation is very common with blueberries. To reduce this, do not wash or rinse your berries before storage unless it’s a vinegar wash.

Also, carefully pat them dry before storage to remove excess moisture.

Using Breathable Containers

This is very important, even if you’re freezing them. 

Blueberries need air circulation to maintain their freshness.

You can use a basket or sieve to promote air circulation and prevent heat and moisture build-up.

Proper Handling

Blueberries are prone to damage, so you need to handle them carefully to reduce the likelihood of them getting bad down the road.

Ensure you handle them well and keep the jostling to a minimum to prevent them from getting damaged.

How to Store Fresh Blueberries?

You can store your blueberries in the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature. 

Here are some things you can do to preserve them and extend their shelf life.

Storing at Room Temperature

Storing blueberries at room temperature isn’t recommended because it does nothing to preserve them. 

Nonetheless, if you’re just saving them for a day or two, here’s how best to do it:

  1. Keep them away from light or heat sources.
  2. Keep them in a breathable bowl or fruit basket to allow for air circulation and place a paper towel at the base of your basket to absorb excess moisture.
  3. Do not stack the berries. Spread them out to prevent them from being crushed.


Blueberries are a very peculiar fruit. Excess humidity can split them open and cause them to spoil within hours, and too little can cause them to shrivel and dry up. 

So, unlike other berries, they won’t do well in the crisper drawer because of the excess humidity or in the door or front row because of the temperature fluctuations.

Blueberries are best kept in the middle row of your fridge where there is minimal temperature fluctuation, and the humidity isn’t too much or too little.

Ensure they are in a breathable container to allow air circulation and line the container with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

frozen blueberries with two mint leaves

How to Freeze Blueberries?

Freezing your blueberries is an excellent way to preserve them. 

To freeze them without ending up with a mushy texture, follow these steps:

Flash Freeze

Flash freezing helps to prevent your berries from clumping together and allows them to freeze individually. 

Spread them on a baking sheet and freeze them for about an hour or two or until they are firm.

Transfer to Freezer Bags

Once the berries are frozen, move them to a container or bag. Choose a bag that is specifically designed for freezing and ensure it has a good seal.

Do this quickly and return them to the freezer, maintaining a temperature of 0°F or below.

By following these steps, you can freeze your blueberries without them becoming mushy and preserve the natural taste and texture of the blueberries.

When Should I Throw Blueberries Out?

Blueberries have a limited shelf life; if they’re not stored properly, their quality and freshness can deteriorate quickly. Sometimes they can still go bad under the best storage conditions. 

Here are some markers to help you determine when to throw out blueberries: 

Soft and Mushy Texture

If your berries have become soft, squishy, or mushy, you should immediately throw them out.

Mold or Fuzz

Mold growth is a clear indication that the berries are not fit for consumption. 

Molds can appear as fuzzy patches of green, white, or gray spots on the fruit. Dispose of them immediately to prevent the spread of their spores.


If the berries look wrinkled, unusually dark, or dull, they are no longer fresh. It’s best to discard them.

Wrong Odor or Taste

If it smells odd or tastes odd, it’s definitely bad. If the taste and smell are different from that of fresh berries, it’s best to throw out the batch.

Also, berries can go bad without showing any significant change. Ensure you check them well before you eat them.

blueberries in a black bowl


Although blueberries are highly perishable, they can be preserved for longer using the best storage methods covered in this article.

The next time you bring home a new batch of this delectable fruit, remember to handle them carefully, sort them, keep them dry, keep them in breathable containers, and store them as recommended.

That way, you can be certain you’ll have your berries fresh and juicy when you’re ready to use them.