Can oranges ripen off the tree?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “can oranges ripen off the tree?” and the ways of picking the best mature oranges.

Can oranges ripen off the tree?

No, oranges do not ripen effectively off the tree. When oranges are picked, they do not ripen instantly; instead, they must grow on the tree for many months before acquiring flavor. Oranges should be sampled one or two times to evaluate maturity, bearing in mind that the color of the skin changes with temperature. If the oranges are not ripe, they should be sampled again one to two weeks later.

 Even though hard oranges may not be fully ripe, the majority of orange varieties soften somewhat when they are completely delicious. Valencia orange varieties are susceptible to reverting to a green tint after becoming orange but before ripening. Generally speaking, navel oranges become orange while staying sour and acidic for a long time until they are ready to be harvested.

To determine when fruits are ready to be picked from the tree, a variety of techniques are available.


In USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, each of the many orange cultivars has a distinct maturity window that changes according to the time of year and the weather. Oranges are typically harvested between September and May.

The fact that oranges physically respond to cold and heat by becoming green means that determining ripeness only by peel color may be difficult to determine. In the case of the peel, warm air and soil give a greenish color, while impending winter cold adds an orange tint. 


Additionally, you can evaluate the ripeness of the fruits by feeling them without having to remove them from the tree. You can feel the weight of the apple by gently lifting it with your hand. When a ripe orange is squeezed, it feels heavy with juice, but the peel maintains its stiffness and remains unyielding. Fruit that has mushy patches indicates that it is nearly ripe, if not completely developed, at this point. To do this, you must collect the fruits before they become mushy and unsuitable for consumption or juicing.


When your orange tree has reached maturity and has begun to produce an abundance of fruit, you can do a simple taste test to ensure that the fruit is still fresh. During June and July, stay away from all tempting fruits since they will be very sour owing to a lack of sugar. The ideal time to conduct taste testing is in the late fall or early winter months. Rather than plucking the fruit from the tree, cutting the fruit allows you to preserve the integrity of the skin. The presence of nicks or rips in the peel allows viruses to get access to the delicious contents inside. When the fruit has acquired a nice flavor, it is ready to be harvested.

Understanding the Proper Method of Picking Oranges

It may be difficult to choose a ripe orange in the first place. As previously mentioned, the color of an orange does not necessarily correspond to its maturity level. Having said that, it is recommended to steer clear of green fruit wherever possible. Often, ripe fruit will fall from the branches of trees. Visually examine the fruit for signs of mold, fungus, or other defects before eating it. Instead of rotting oranges, choose ones that smell wonderful, are fresh, and have a spicy flavor. To evaluate if an orange tree is ready to be harvested, take a sample of one or two oranges before harvesting the whole tree. Keep in mind that citrus fruits do not continue to grow after they have been picked from their respective trees.

Recognize when the task is over

Each cultivar has its unique harvesting cycle, which may be found here. Clementines and satsumas mature between October and January, while nave oranges mature between November and June, depending on the variety. While ripe fruit often falls from the tree, it is important to examine it for mildew and defects before eating it. A fully ripe orange should easily separate from its stem when it has achieved its optimum maturity level. Choosing and sampling a single orange for testing is the recommended line of action. Depending on how acidic the fruit is, you should leave it on the tree for approximately a week before harvesting another.

Select the Best

It is possible to tell when the fruit is fully mature by the weight of the fruit. In proportion to their size, oranges should be as heavy as possible, and firm to the touch with just a little give. It is more difficult to distinguish between different varieties of orange based on their color, which varies considerably according to the type. Citrus fruits that have a little green tinge to them may be fully ripe. Late in the season, just as the tree is about to bloom again and before the fruit on the tree’s branches is ready to be picked, the spots of fungus emerge.

Other FAQs about Oranges that you may be interested in.

What is the best time to eat oranges?

Can rabbits eat oranges?

Are seedless oranges GMOs?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “can oranges ripen off the tree?” and the ways of picking the best mature oranges.


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