Meyer Color at harvest

Randy31513(Georgia 8b)May 7, 2012

Am I color blind? On another thread, Patty and John suggested of a ripe Meyer's to be yellow to dark yellow. I always wait for them to have an orange color.

I noticed in the stores Meyer's are mostly yellow.


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If you leave them until the dark yellow/orange color, the fruit is technically overripe and will have less juice than if harvested earlier. For me the darker the color the better to eat, especially the skin; but when picked you will notice the fruit has a very thin skin and will only last a few days after harvest. Not a problem if you are going to consume them when you pick them. The darker skin color in part depends on how cool your nights are and also on the difference between day and night temps... the greater the difference and the cooler the nights the faster the lemon will color and the darker will be the final color.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:09PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

John thanks so much for the answer. As you posted I do notice when the nights get cooler the color deepens quickly.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Actually the color is there from the time the fruit reaches 8.5 brix; you don't see it as the chlorophyll hides the yellow. As the fruit matures further and nights get cooler, the combination degrades the chlorophyll and exposes the underlying yellow. Somewhat technical and unimportant to hobby growers; but it might pop up on a trivia quiz someday and you will know the answer.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:05PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Randy, for me, my Meyers store extremely well. They can last weeks in my house, compared to my unknown lemon (probably a Sorrento or some Italian lemon of some sort), which decidedly do not store well, and will rot. Waiting until they're over ripe - and for me here in Calif., where I probably have more temp separations than does John in Guatemala, they will turn an orangish yellow if over-ripe, and they do develop that piney flavor. Some folks call it an "off-flavor". I just let my over ripe Meyers sit in the house for about a week, and that off-flavor goes away, and they actually get a bit sweeter. And, if you've ever seen oranges in Jamaica or Hawaii, they're pretty much green due to very little temperature divergence. Perfectly ripe, just green :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:06PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

Patty and John that is interesting. I have tried different colors when picking but to me the more orange the better. John from a commercial stand point I can see why orange would be overripe.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:07PM
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