UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County

Edible Plants

Citrus, harvesting

Nvel orange
Fruit should be harvested when it has developed full color and, most importantly, full flavor. Some varieties, such as Valencia oranges, may be greenish in appearance but still fully ripe. Citrus turn color in fall when exposed to cold temperatures, but this does not affect the fruit sweetness. Navel oranges may not be ready to harvest until the late winter, and Valencia oranges are usually mature in the summer.

The best place to store the fruit is on the tree. Once you pick the fruit, it does not increase in sweetness or ripen more fully. However, if you do pick the fruit, it will keep for about 4 to 6 weeks under refrigeration.

Juice from lemons, limes, and Valencia oranges can be frozen for up to 4 months

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