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Did I get a Lime Tree? Why is my Citrus Fruit Still Green?!

We know, waiting for your citrus to ripen can seem like it takes forever. As much as you might be tempted to rush your little citrus buds along, patience really is key here. Let the tree take its time. Try to enjoy the process and pay attention to how beautiful it is. It’s natural to look forward to your fruit ripening, but growing citrus or any of your own food is about more than the end result. Enjoy the journey. More nutrients are getting packed in your fruit day by day while it's still on the tree.

Citrus fruit only ripens on the vine so, if you pick it while the fruit is still green it will stop the ripening process. Citrus ripening times vary significantly which could vary from year to year as it is dependent on the weather in your area. If you have had a lot of rainy and cloudy days this could affect ripening times and cause a delay. Sunshine is crucial for ripening fruit. Your citrus tree should have at least 6-8 hours daily of full sunshine. In the winter if the tree is taken inside use supplemental lighting. There are plenty of growers lights that will work. Nurture your tree while the fruit is ripening and you won’t regret it!

All citrus variety is the same, as far as starting off as a green bud. Just like tomatoes, except citrus cannot ripen off of the vine while tomatoes can.

Here are some photos of the stages of the fruit ripening process of a lemon tree from bloom to being fully ripened. My favorite stage is when the tree is in bloom. The fragrance is wonderful! Very light and floral, with a hint of citrus zing. Mmm.

Green citrus fruit Citrus Fruit Growing from Blossom to Maturity

Pictured below are some small fruit in the process of growth but premature yellowing fruit (which will turn brown eventually).

Baby Citrus Fruit Baby Citrus Fruit

Please do not panic, all fruiting trees go through stages of fruit drop. Fruit drop is when the fruit is still very immature and it begins to drop off the tree while green, yellow or brown.
The tree has shut off nutrients to the yellow fruit and eventually, the fruit will drop off the tree prematurely. This cannot always be prevented, as the tree is still young and has shut off the nutrients and is reserving its energy for growth rather than maturing fruit.
It is important that the tree has appropriate nutrients such as nitrogen because if it lacks nutrients it will cause fruit drop that could otherwise be avoided.

All citrus fruit (including Meyer Lemons ) will be green for about 8-9 months after they bud. It will take an additional 2-3 months to fully ripen and turn to their respective color. The Meyer Lemon ripened fruit color of the yellowish/orangish tint happens in the last month of their maturation process.

The fruit is the sweetest and has the most nutrients when it has that nice orange tint. Then the fruit is ready to be harvested.

The fruit picked prematurely will be more sour than normal. Please be patient, as Mother Nature moves at her own predetermined pace.

Let us know in the comments what you have learned through the process of watching your fruit ripen. We love hearing from you! If you are having problems with your tree, let us know by calling 229-299-5555 or emailing us at support@lemoncitrustree.com

Happy Gardening,
Lemon Citrus Tree

p.s. Our blog readers get 7 dollars off their order until 8/30/2017, use the code: greenfruit

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