The lemon tree is no stranger to anyone with the image of bright yellow or fresh green lemons.
But to reap this fruit, you might have to wait until it becomes ripe, so how long does it take for lemons to ripen?
This article will solve this question by presenting several signs of mature lemons, coupled with feasible solutions to make them ripe on time. Keep scrolling down for further information!
About The Lemon Tree
Lemon is an evergreen flowering plant that belongs to the Rutaceae family, native to Asia countries like Myanmar, China, or Northeast India.
It is famous for an ellipsoidal yellow fruit, which has a special sour taste due to the 2.2 pH level and could be used for different purposes.
This distinctive taste is key to boosting the flavor of many beverages, foods, and dishes.
Apart from that, the plant is typically small, with a height of only 3.5 meters. Its branches have an irregularly spiny shape; on them are numerous large, pale green, and broadly oblong leaves.
The lemon flowers show diverse colors, depending on the lemon species.
For instance, the Corsican species have creamy white blossoms, while the Diamante is white on the inside and purple on the outer layers.
So how long do lemons take to ripen? The answer is right below!
How Long Does It Take For Lemons To Ripen?
Your lemon tree’s flowers might need from 4 months to a year to transform into a fully ripened fruit.
However, this duration could greatly vary, depending on your lemon species, age, size, and external factors, like soil conditions, weather, temperature, etc.
For instance, if you plant your tree on well-drained soil, it could mature well, and its development occurs as normal. This is an important contributor to the tree’s proper flowering.
A yield of three fruit boxes in a season denotes a productive and healthy tree.
Yet, suppose your tree only has one or two boxes of fruit; take prompt measures to boost productivity, like improving soil conditions, giving it more water, etc.
How To Make Lemons Ripen On Time?
Here are various ways to ensure your lemon tree is ripe on time. Let’s check them out now!
Know Whether Your Plant Is In Good Health
The top priority is to ensure that your plant has no problems with its environment, and nothing goes wrong with its health.
To gain the answer, do the following things, and you will be surprised by the outcome.
Choose A Warm And Sunny Location To Grow
The lemon plant needs plenty of sunlight to thrive. Its fruits also require sufficient direct sunshine to turn yellow after the blooming season has passed.
The proper number of sunlight hours should range from 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.
The weather should not be too hot, with an ideal temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Your lemon garden should face the South, so it will receive bright morning sunshine and partial shade in the afternoon.
The Soil Is Well-Drained
Unlike many evergreen trees, including Hawaii evergreen species, lemons cannot withstand bad soils, such as clay or compact types.
They prefer the soil with optimal water drainage capacity so their roots can develop well and absorb nutrients.
You’d better remember that you avoid pouring much water on the soil, which could hinder its ability to drain water well. Waterlogged soil is not a good contributor to the fruit’s ripeness.
Monitor The Soil’s PH Level
pH level in the soil plays an important role in tree growth by affecting its nutrient uptake.
In an environment where the pH level is too low or high, numerous nutrients in the soil might change form during the reactions in the ground.
Even some will go lost or turn into negative substances that are harmful for your plant’s health. After absorbing them, it cannot mature properly, delaying the fruit’s formation and ripeness.
That’s why you must maintain the soil pH between 6.5 and 7.0 for optimal growing conditions.
Water The Lemon Tree Regularly
Never forget to water your lemon tree frequently because it can die within a few days if seriously lacking water.
One useful tip is that you should not water directly on the tree. Alternatively, giving water to the soil is more recommended.
It would be best not to water it every single day.
Instead, pay close attention to the soil surface, and you should let the first 4 to 6 inches (corresponding to 10.2 to 15.3 centimeters) of soil become dry prior to the next watering time.
Avoid overwatering and underwatering your plant. Giving it too much water is conducive to the problem of root rot, while underwatering does not provide enough nutrition for the lemon ripening.
Feed The Plant With Right Food Frequently
This is a helpful method of supplementing vitamins and extra energy for your tree during and after a blooming season.
At this flowering stage, it often takes up much energy to produce and transform flowers into tiny fruits.
However, you should opt for organic food for your plantation, which is safe for its health and the environment.
Many choose to use fertilizer. It is not a bad option when used in moderation, but this product can wreak havoc on the environment in the long run.
Check The Tree’s Pollination
Different lemon species might not have the same way of pollination. Some need bees, birds, and insects to help them pollinate, while others could perform self-pollination.
And this stage is key to the flowers’ formation and development, so you should find information about your lemon tree and understand its biological mechanism, especially the pollination.
Get Rid Of Disease Threats
Some threats, such as aphids, fungus, mold, and harmful insects, can disrupt the lemon’s growth and affect its blooming rate.
It would be best to frequently prune your tree by removing tilted branches or dead leaves before the season comes.
This is the best preparation for the stamen to form. And if flowers bloom on time, there is a high chance that the fruit will ripen properly.
How To Tell If Lemons Are Ripe?
Below are common approaches to see whether your lemon fruit is ripe enough.
The Fruit Shows A Bright And Yellow Color
Lemons ripen from the inside. That means its flesh starts to ripen first before the outer layer. So when you see a bright yellow lemon, I’m sure this fruit is ripe and juicy inside.
The Lemon Seems Heavy For Its Size
Size is another factor that helps you determine whether your fruit reaches the proper ripeness.
Except for small lemon species, the fruit only ripens when its size is equal to your palm, with a typical length from 2 to 3 inches in diameter.
Suppose its size is too small; your lemon does not develop fully, and there is less water than average.
The Fruit Has Smooth And Glossy Skin
Smooth and shiny are two adjectives people often use to describe the texture of a ripe lemon. Some species are even famous for the waxy shine on the surface, attracting lots of attention.
Under-ripe lemons have a bumpier texture, and you should watch out for wrinkling, which is a sign of over-ripeness.
You Should Check The Lemon Firmness
Ripe lemons often give you a firm feeling when handling yet tener once you slice them in halves and squeeze them.
Likewise, you must use force to some extent when trying to squeeze unripe fruits, which is also a bit harder.
Know How To Pick Lemons Off From The Tree
When to harvest the plant? Lemons ripen enough if you have no difficulty twisting them from the tree. On the other hand, suppose you need much force to do so; it is probably not ripe yet.
Taste The Lemon
Feeling the lemon taste is not a pleasing experience but a good way of helping you know whether your fruit is ripe.
Although a typical lemon is sour, the under-ripe fruit is even sourer and more bitter, causing much discomfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Lemons Ripen After Picking?
The answer is yes.
Lemons will continue to ripen after being twisted from the tree.
However, the fruit cannot ensure the best taste and quality for you because it has no longer received any nutrients from its mothering tree since then.
When Does The Lemon Tree Bloom?
As mentioned earlier, lemon is an evergreen tree, so its foliage remains green throughout the year, and the same is true for flowers.
Lemon blossoms could appear all year round, yet they become more profuse during late winter or early spring.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, you have enriched more gardening knowledge, especially solved your worry about the question: How long does it take for lemons to ripen?
If your tree is grown in a good environment, the time could range from 4 months to a year.
However, this duration might be prolonged given bad conditions, like weather, humidity, cold temperature, or watering ratio. So watch them out carefully!