Are Yellow Watermelons Natural: Why Watermelon Is Yellow Inside

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Most of us are familiar with the popular fruit, watermelon. The bright red flesh and black seeds make for some sweet, juicy eating and fun seed spitting. But are yellow watermelons natural? With over 1,200 varieties of watermelon on the market today, from seedless to pink to black rinded, it should be no surprise that, yes, even yellow fleshed types are available.

Are Yellow Watermelons Natural?

Yellow flesh on your watermelon might come as quite a surprise since the exterior doesn’t look any different than the red variety. The flesh of watermelons turning yellow is a natural mutation. In fact, the originator of our commercial variety, which comes from Africa, is a yellow- to white-fleshed fruit. The fruit has a sweeter, honey-like flavor as compared to red-fleshed melons, but many of the same nutritional benefits. Yellow watermelon fruit is now widely available and a fun alternative to traditional watermelons.

Produce shopping is more fun than ever when purple kale, orange cauliflower and blue potatoes frequent the produce aisle. Many of these foods have been manipulated and bred to produce their outrageous colors but yellow watermelon fruit is different. There are many naturally occurring hues of melons.

These plants hybridize easily with each other and produce some unique forms and colors, with a wide range of flavors and sizes. A large field of melons may find that some watermelon is yellow inside, while other plants are producing red fruits. Once discovered, someone is going to maximize on the difference, collect seed and, voila, a new hued melon is born.

How to Grow Yellow Watermelons

So you are now sold and want to try a crop of your own? Yellow watermelon seeds are available from reputable seed merchants. Their growing conditions are the same as a red melon and there are several varieties from which to choose. Some varieties to opt for might be:

  • Yellow Crimson
  • Desert King Yellow
  • Yellow Doll
  • Buttercup
  • Yellow Flesh Black Diamond
  • Tastigold

The original fruits, Citrullus lanatus, have become a botanist’s playground, with the flavor and flesh the primary characteristics, while size and rind color may be manipulated. If your watermelon is yellow inside, chances are it is a derivative of the parent and has been carefully bred to enhance certain other traits.

Watermelon is a hot season fruit that requires well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter in full sun. Yellow watermelons need consistent moisture until fruit is the size of a tennis ball. Thereafter, water when soil is dry several inches down. A week before the fruit is ripe, withhold water to intensify the sugar in the flesh.

These plants need plenty of room to spread. Space 60 inches (152 cm.) apart and avoid overhead watering, which can cause foliar diseases. Harvest your yellow melons when the rind becomes dull green and a good rap on the fruit results in a dull thud. Store melons for up to 3 weeks in a cool area.

Now that you know how to grow yellow watermelons, enjoy their golden fruits as a fun surprise to spring on friends and family.

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Read more about Watermelons

When ripe, the color of the rind should be a creamy yellow rather than green, and the rind will become smooth and waxy rather than dusky. If you press on the bottom of a ripe honeydew (the opposite end from where it’s attached to the vine ), it should feel slightly soft or at least a little springy.

Planting a few watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) vines in your garden lets you grow your own desserts or sweet snacks. This member of the Cucurbitaceae family is related to squash and pumpkins. As a tender annual, watermelon vines will not last through winter conditions and will require re-planting each spring.

Nutritional Value of Yellow Watermelon

Yellow watermelons contain many of the same nutritional properties as normal red watermelon, with some notable differences. Recent research suggests that these watermelons contain high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C – 18 percent and 21 percent of your daily requirements, respectively, in each cup of this fruit. There are less than 50 calories in a one-cup serving, as well as moderate amounts of potassium and sodium. While red watermelon is high in lycopene, yellow-colored watermelons are high in beta- carotene , another very powerful antioxidant often found in sweet potatoes and carrots. [3] [4]

Add cubed yellow watermelon to your salads to make them colorful. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Grow Yellow Watermelon

Trying something new spices up life. You may have gardened for just a few years or all your life. If you’ve gotten in a rut by growing the same fruits and vegetables every year, try planting yellow watermelon, which isn't usually found in grocery stores. Most people have never even tried it. You will be delighted with the sweet honey-like flavor. Yellow watermelon is planted and cared for in the same manner as red-fleshed watermelon. It is, however, a hybrid (genetically altered). If you save the seeds to plant next year, you most likely will not get the same shape or flavor of fruit. In fact, many times the seed will not germinate, or if it does, will not produce.

  • Trying something new spices up life.
  • If you’ve gotten in a rut by growing the same fruits and vegetables every year, try planting yellow watermelon, which isn't usually found in grocery stores.

Start your yellow watermelon seeds indoors. Watermelons are long-growing-season crops, harvested from 70 to 100 days from seeding. By starting your seeds indoors, you shave off as much as three weeks off the outdoor growing time.

Fill peat pots with commercial potting soil up to ¼ inch from the top. Mist the soil and stir it around to moisten.

Make three holes, with your finger, ½ to ¾ inch deep. Drop a yellow watermelon seed in each and cover, gently, with soil. If your seed packet directions suggest planting at an alternate depth, follow those directions. Every seed variety is different.

  • Start your yellow watermelon seeds indoors.
  • Fill peat pots with commercial potting soil up to ¼ inch from the top.

Place your peat pots into a metal or plastic tray. Add 1 qt. water to the bottom. The peat pots will draw the water up into the soil. Spray top of soil with a water mister, just to moisten. Place a sheet of clear plastic wrap over the pots on the tray to keep in the warmth. Place in a sunny window.

  • Place your peat pots into a metal or plastic tray.
  • Spray top of soil with a water mister, just to moisten.

Remove the sheet of plastic wrap after the seeds germinate (when green sprouts pop out of the soil). Continue to mist the tops, keeping the soil moist. When you pick up a peat pot and it feels light, add 1 qt. water to the bottom of the tray.

Transplant the yellow watermelon seedlings when they are 2 to 3 inches tall and the last frost has passed in your location. Add compost to your garden soil for nutrients. Work the soil into mounds, 2 feet wide and spaced 6 feet apart. Use your hoe to create a mote around the mound for watering.

  • Remove the sheet of plastic wrap after the seeds germinate (when green sprouts pop out of the soil).
  • Use your hoe to create a mote around the mound for watering.

Dig a hole at the top of the mound, with a trowel, at the depth of the peat pot in a full-sun location. Drop the peat pot in the hole and gently move the soil around the sides, making sure the entire pot is covered. Peat pots are biodegradable, so you don't need to remove the seedling from the pot.

Fertilize your yellow watermelon plants every two weeks with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. When the blooms appear, switch to a high-phosphorus and potassium fertilizer. Add the fertilizer to the motes when you water. Water through the season about once a week.

  • Dig a hole at the top of the mound, with a trowel, at the depth of the peat pot in a full-sun location.
  • Peat pots are biodegradable, so you don't need to remove the seedling from the pot.

Harvest your yellow watermelons. Use a combination of indications for ripeness: The green curly tendrils, close to the melon, turn brown, the rind color turns dull and hard and the bottom (touching the ground) turns light green or yellow. Use a hand clipper to cut the melon off at the stem.

Popular yellow watermelons include baby yellow, yellow doll and honey heart.

Yellow Watermelon - A Healthy Pumpkin

Watermelons are loved by almost everyone. At the word "watermelon", most people think of a slice of watermelon with red juicy pulp, dark seeds and a green crust. However, breeders have bred many varieties of watermelons that differ in various parameters: the color of the flesh, taste, color of the bark, thickness of the bark, the shape of the fruit, etc.

Today, watermelons can be purchased at any time of the year. Even in winter, there are both regular and yellow watermelons brought from Thailand. By the way, watermelons of this color in Thailand are in high esteem, because, according to Thai beliefs, yellow color brings good luck and attracts money.

Yellow watermelon is the result of crossing a wild watermelon, which has yellow flesh, with an ordinary one. Compared to red, it is sweeter and has a honey flavor. There are much fewer seeds in yellow watermelons than in red ones.

In Russia, as well as abroad, they are engaged in the selection of watermelons. In Astrakhan, a variety of yellow watermelons was bred, which was called "Lunar". The creator of this variety is Sergey Sokolov, who spent more than 10 years on its breeding. The yellow Lunar watermelon is very sweet with an interesting aftertaste. Some believe that the variety has a taste of mango, while others are inclined to the fact that lemon. The variety “Lunar” is a thin-bark, cork layer poorly developed. From the point of view of the consumer, this is good, but there are problems with the transportation of such watermelons, special devices are required.

Since recent times, yellow watermelons began to grow in the Kuban. The Kuban experimenter Igor Likhosenko became known for his yellow cubic-shaped watermelons. When growing watermelons, Likhosenko puts them in special glass forms. With marvelous watermelons, the melon-gutter tries to attract the attention of vacationers on the Black Sea coast, he succeeds.

Choosing a quality yellow watermelon is easy. It should not weigh more than 5 kg, the peel should have a bright color, when pressed with a fingernail, a scratch should remain. Otherwise, the same principles apply as when choosing a red watermelon.

Yellow watermelon is often consumed fresh. In addition, from such watermelons you can cook unusual dishes. For example, fried watermelon in a protein batter or a Margarita drink.

Yellow watermelon varieties

There are many types of watermelon.

Rinds can be light yellow to rich gold tones. The fruits can be oblong or round. The melons can be seeded. There are also seedless varieties.

  • Buttercup
    • Also called Yellow Buttercup and Buttercup Yellow
    • Considered one of the best tasting yellow watermelons
    • Medium green rind
    • Germinates in 4 – 14 days
    • 90 days to maturity
    • Grows 14 – 16 pounds
    • Seedless grow with sidekick pollinator plants
    • Dense yellow flesh
    • High sugar content
  • Cream of Saskatchewan
    • Round
    • Pale yellow flesh, can be almost white
    • Each vine produces 2 – 3 melons
    • 80 – 85 days from when sprouts appear to mature fruit
  • Desert King
    • Light green pea color rind
    • Oblong shape
    • Yellow flesh
    • More drought-resistant than other varieties
    • Grows up to 15 – 20 pounds
    • 85 days to maturity can remain on vine longer
    • Juicy and sweet
    • Stores well
  • Gold in Gold
    • Yellow and gold melon rinds
    • Yellow flesh
    • 80 – 85 days to maturity
    • 8 – 10 foot spread (area to grow)
    • Grows 5 – 8 pounds
    • Burpee exclusive hybrid
  • Lemon Krush
    • Hybrid variety
    • 16 – 18 pounds
    • Yellow-fleshed
    • Mature in 85 days
  • Mountain Sweet Yellow
    • Heirloom variety
    • Oblong
    • Dark green rinds
    • Dark yellow flesh
    • 20 – 35 pounds
    • Mature in 100 days
    • Very high sugar content
  • Red in Gold
    • Yellow and gold rind
    • Pink inside this is the only one on our list that doesn’t have yellow meat another variety is Golden Midget (yellow rind red meat)
    • 80 – 84 days to mature
    • 8 – 10 feet spread
    • 4 – 7 pounds when ripe
    • Burpee hybrid
  • Tastigold
    • Yellow and gold rind
    • Pink and red flesh is crisp
    • 8 – 25 pounds when ripe
  • Tohono O’odham Yellow-Meated
    • Also called Gepi
    • Yellow to orange flesh
    • Grow to 35 pounds
    • Tolerates hot weather
  • Yellow Baby
    • Thin rind
    • Grows up to 9 pounds
    • Few seeds
  • Yellow Crimson
    • Rind is medium green with light green and yellow stripes
    • Early variety ripe in 80 days
    • Weigh up to 10 pounds
    • Similar to Crimson Sweet (red variety)
    • Open pollinated
    • Climate zones 3 – 12
  • Yellow Doll
    • Extra early hybrid matures early
    • Round and oval shaped
    • Medium green rinds
    • 5 – 7 pounds at maturity
    • May start indoors 2 – 3 weeks if live in cooler climate
    • Germination: 4 – 14 days
    • 68 days to mature
    • Soil temp 75 – 80 degrees
    • Sweet
  • Yellow Flesh Black Diamond
    • Long and oblong
    • Thick rinds
    • Mature weight is 30 – 50 pounds
  • Yellow Petite
    • 65 – 80 days for ripe watermelons
    • Grows to 4 – 7 pounds
    • Called icebox watermelon or personal watermelon
    • Ideal for small gardens
    • Ideal for shorter growing seasons
    • 36 – 48 inches apart
    • Plant seeds at one inch depth
    • Hardiness zones 3 – 10 use
    • High sugar content

Yellow watermelon uses

You can enjoy it just as you would traditional watermelons. Cut it up for a sweet treat, as a snack, and as part of a meal. You can cube it as part of a fruit salad, appetizer, and more.

Here are some popular questions and answers about this unusually-colored fruit.

Is yellow watermelon safe to eat?

Yes, there are varieties that produce yellow flesh instead of red.

What’s the name of yellow watermelon?

There are several varieties, including Yellow Baby, Yellow Doll, Yellow Crimson, and many more.

Where do yellow watermelons grow?

Yellow watermelons grow much like red watermelons. Each variety will do better in a specific hardiness zone. For example, the Tohono O’odham is loves heat, and grows well in growing zone 9b.

Can you buy yellow watermelon?

You may see yellow watermelon occasionally in the grocery store. It will likely be in the refrigerated section pre-cut into chunks. You’ll be more apt to find it at more specialty grocery stores.

Buy yellow watermelon seeds to grow at home. Buy online from a reputable seed company. You can also check garden centers, home improvement stores, and nurseries.

Is yellow watermelon sour?

No, yellow watermelon fruit is not sour. In fact, many yellow watermelons have a higher sugar content than red ones. They taste sweet and have a firm texture like red melons.

How long has yellow watermelon been around?

Many believe it’s been around longer than red varieties and pink watermelons. Part of the Cucurbitaceae family, it was originally domesticated in Africa.

Are yellow watermelons rare?

While you won’t find them often in the grocery store, they aren’t rare or more difficult to grow.

Where do you buy yellow watermelon?

Look for it pre-cut into chunks and sold in clear plastic containers. You can check with the produce manager if it’s something they carry. Look for it during the summer months.

Also check out farmers markets.

What is yellow watermelon?

Yellow watermelon usually means the fleshy part you eat is yellow or gold in color. There is yellow fruit inside. They have a sweet taste with notes of honey.

There are also watermelons with yellow rinds that have red flesh.

Why is my watermelon yellow?

You might be like me… someone who grew a watermelon and didn’t realize it was yellow-fleshed! Check your seed packet and research the variety.

How do you get yellow watermelon?

Choose seeds that produce a yellow flesh instead of red.

Is a yellow watermelon genetically modified?

No, it is naturally occurring.

What color watermelon is best?

Some watermelons are sweeter or firmer in texture than others. It comes down to personal preference. If you don’t want it to be too sweet, avoid varieties that state it has a high sugar content which is more important than the reddish-pink color or yellow color.


There’s nothing like homegrown yellow watermelon in the summertime. Kids will find it fun and your guests will enjoy tasting it. It’s nature’s candy!

Buy some seeds and sow them in your garden in the spring. In two weeks or less, you will have yellow watermelon plants growing. In less than three months, you will have sweet melon to enjoy on a hot summer day.

One of the best things to be successful growing is to ensure you have enough space. They will thrive with plenty of space to sprawl.

Also, there is orange watermelon. Tendersweet Orange is a variety.


What did you plant? There a few cultivars which turn yellow when ripe. Royal Golden, Golden Crown, Golden Midget, Yellow Lucky, Dianna, Funbell. Sunscald will be a spot not the whole melon turning. If you don't have a pumpkin rind type and the whole melon is turning yellow , you have a problem.


Farmerdilla, I have never grown watermelons before and I was so excited about having a in ground garden this year while I was at lowe's at just picked up a 12 pk and didn't even think about what kind they were. They were green with light yellow strips now the are turning yellow. I will pick one tonight to see. I will let you know what happened, I thought they might be sunburned because of the 100 degrees days we had.

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