When to Pick Lemons

fumirousFebruary 22, 2007

Hello Citrus Forum!

I have been growing my Lemon tree for seven years now --planted it from seed, and I have about 15 palm size lemons through out the tree. I need to know when is the right time to pick them off the tree. By color? Squeeze them? The tree had flowers last June and I have heard to wait 9 months to pick. Any information on the right time to pick? I have been waiting a long time for this day and a shot of Tequila is ridding on this.


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rickjames(9 Cali)

Well, commercially lemons are deemed ready for harvest generally by size. However, I live in a climate with cool nite temps and low humdity, and citrus colors up very nicely here and that is how I see if my lemons are ripe. That may not work for you depending on your growing conditions. I'd say it takes on the order of 6-10 months for mine to mature. With lemons you want a certain level of juiciness, and so it is reasonable to pick one and test it--especially for your first lemons. Unfortunately, testing is the only method to check for ripeness with many citrus. Lemons generally store well on the tree, and so if they are not yellowing you can also leave them for a while and see if there are changes.

Another clue is if they are still enlarging--if they are growing signficantly in size they may not be quite ready.

Strong work on keeping your tree healthy all the way to fruiting maturity. You must have a great deal of patience :)


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 10:52PM
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Thanks RJ. I lived in the LA / Orange County area for 15 years and I grew them from seed out there as well. I grew them for a couple years until they had little lemons, but I had to move back east and gave them to a neighbor so I had no idea how they did. I decided to try again, and this time it took several years longer, but here they are. Thanks for the input RJ.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 12:05PM
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Hi,i have a meyer lemon in the ground.It fruits all year round,which is nice.I find with this tree,the fruits start to
go yellow and when yellow all over,they are good to go but if
left longer,they go shiny and almost an orangey yellow.Thats
when they are most ripe.cheers

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 4:41AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

How long did it take to get fruit from a seed-grown lemon tree? They've been in pots the whole time? TIA

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 7:32AM
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yeah and how large are they now? any pictures?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 11:06PM
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