Lychee (litchi) fruit is a delicious, sweet treat that you can eat on its own or add to your favorite recipes. But did you know that at the grocery store, lychee fruit is often sold in boxes of one or two pounds? What does that mean for your shelf life?
The answer is not much. Lychee fruit is a tropical fruit native to China and Southeast Asia. It’s grown in warm climates and picked while it’s still green—which means they’re perishable!
The lifespan of lychees depends on a few factors: how long they were harvested after being picked, where they were grown and how they were stored during transport to the stores where they’re sold.
How long do lychees last?
Lychee, also known as litchi, has a short shelf life. Most lychees are available starting in mid-to-late November and lasting through January or February. However, some varieties are available year-round. The shelf life for lychees stays the same regardless of their type.
- Refrigerator: 5 to 7 days
- Freezer: 6 months (best quality)
Fresh lychees should be refrigerated after purchase and eaten within five to seven days of purchase. They should not be kept longer than that because they will start to lose flavor and soften after that point.
If you’re planning on having them longer than that, don’t worry—they can still be enjoyed as long as they are kept in the freezer for up to six months.
- Room temperature: 6 to 12 months
- Refrigerator: 6 to 12 months
- Freezer: 12 to 18 months (best quality)
Dried lychees should be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry place. They can last up to six months when kept away from light and moisture.
If you’d like them to last even longer than that, place each one individually in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator where they will last for up to 12 months.
If you’re looking for something more long-term, we recommend freezing dried lychees—you can keep them for up to 18 months!
How to keep lychees fresh for longer
We know that lychees are one of your favorite fruits, and we want to help you make sure your lychees stay fresh as long as possible. Here are some tips:
- Store fresh lychees with their skins in the fridge. This helps them stay firm and keep their beautiful color.
- Freeze fresh lychees with their skins on in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. This method keeps them from drying out, which can cause them to lose their flavor more quickly than if they were stored properly from the start.
- Store dried lychees in a cool, dry place after opening the packaging. If you keep them in a fridge or freezer, they’ll last longer than if they’re kept at room temperature—but don’t let them sit too long or the flavor will start to go downhill!
- Refrigeration of dried lychees is recommended in a hot and humid environment (such as during the summer months) since it helps slow down spoilage bacteria that can cause mold or mildew growth over time as well as increase shelf life by keeping moisture levels at bay (and also prevents sweating).
How long does peeled lychee last?
Peeled lychees are good for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. They can be frozen, but they will lose some of their flavor and texture. If you want to freeze them, put them in a resealable freezer bag or container.
Can lychee be stored in the fridge?
While lychee has a short shelf life, it is still possible to keep them fresh for at least 7 days if kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
In the refrigerator, do not store them near other foods that may cause cross-contamination (like dairy products)
If you want to keep them longer than 1 week, you will need to freeze them. To do this, cut open the lychee and put each half into a freezer bag before sealing it tightly. You can then store your lychees in your freezer until ready for use!
How do you know if lychee is good?
It’s easy to tell if your lychee is good because it should have a firm skin that isn’t too soft or too hard (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever tried to peel one).
If there’s any green around the outside of the fruit, it means that it was picked too soon before ripening; if there’s any brown color around the outside of the fruit, then it means that it was harvested far too late into ripening.
This makes sense: if you pick your fruit before it’s fully ripe (or even slightly under-ripe), then its flavor won’t be as strong as if you wait until it’s fully ripened—which
How can you tell if lychee is spoiled?
Look for these signs if you want to know whether your lychees are rotten:
- If it turns brown or gray – it is spoiled or rotten.
- Mold growing on any part of its surface (including any exposed flesh), don’t eat it!
- If it is still green or yellow – it can still be consumed.
- If the skin is dark – it is best to throw it away and compost it.
- Look at the inside of the lychee: discard lychees that smell bad instead of fragrant because they will rot quickly.