around the tenth year of bearing fruit. This is where color is another indicator of ripeness. This can take as little as seven or as long as 11 months. It was introduced into the United States in 1823 and is now a major commercial export of the state of Texas, which has designated the red grapefruit as its state fruit. He has written professionally since 2009 with articles appearing on LibertyMaven.com, Penguinsightings.org, Pepidemic.com and various other websites. The grapefruit is a man-made cross between the pummelo and sweet orange. While growing a grapefruit tree may be somewhat tricky for the average gardener, its not impossible. For mature trees, scatter 1/2 inch of aged manure on the soil in fall in the area of the tree's drip line, which i… For that reason, it is not commonly grown today in the United States. Read on to learn more. However, other factors should be considered when trying to decide when to pick a grapefruit. Any fruit developing before this should be picked early to allow the tree to focus its energy on growth. Remember, the longer the fruit stays on the tree, the sweeter it becomes; so be patient. Grapefruit, a popular hybrid originally resulting from a cross between sweet orange and pummelo, is a large sour fruit in the citrus family. As of 2011, the United States produces the majority of the world's commercially sold grapefruit. Grapefruit does not ripen after it has been harvested. When ready to pick, simply grasp the ripe fruit in your hand and gently give it a twist until the stem detaches from the tree. Sign up for our newsletter. Brought to Florida at the beginning of the 19th century, the nutritious fruit quickly gained in popularity. He is a theater major at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Several factors can affect the growth time of both the trees and fruits. Grapefruit is tropical, and as such, the fruit is usually harvested during the milder winter months of December and January. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Grapefruit most probably originated as a natural hybridization between the orange and the pummelo (pomelo) or Citrus maximus. Grapefruit trees can grow to maximum heights of between 20 and 50 feet. It is the leading cultivar grown around the world. Grapefruit does not ripen after it has been harvested. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images, University of Illinois Extension Plant Palette; Grapefruit; Jennifer Schultz Nelson; January 2008, Purdue University; Grapefruit; J. Morton; 1987, Floridata; Citrus X Paradisi; Steve Christman; Oct. 2008. Grapefruit, either white or red, starts out green and gradually changes hues, which is somewhat an indicator of when grapefruits are ready to pick. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! For that reason, the fruit must remain on the tree until it is fully mature. This means growing them in temperate or tropical-like regions in full sun preferably in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and up, though some suc… Legally, grapefruit can be harvested as early as September according to Florida law, but it first must be sprayed with lead arsenate, which reduces the acidity of the fruit. Grapefruit should be harvested when at least half of the peel has started to turn yellow or pink. The grapefruit is a man-made cross between the pummelo and sweet orange. So, how to tell if a grapefruit is ripe and ready for harvest? Grapefruit trees generally bear a crop each year. Grapefruit does not ripen after it has been harvested. Late freezes in fall and winter right before harvest time can destroy the fruit before it can be harvested. Mature fruit may be left on the tree and, in fact, will sweeten throughout the winter. This is where color is another indicator of ripeness. Grapefruit trees are not disease hardy, either. The fruit first matures in late October and continues to grow until May. Fruit. Scatter it into the soil beneath the tree, dig it into the top 1 inch of soil and water thoroughly. Each type of grapefruit can range anywhere from bright yellow, to blush pink, to deep orange. The trees are considered mature when they start to produce flowers and fruit. Grapefruit trees generally bear a crop each year. "Duncan" was the first ever commercially grown grapefruit tree. Most grapefruit trees do not produce any fruit during the first two or three years after transplanting and take up to five years to grown from seedling to fruit-bearing tree. Successful gardening usually depends on providing plants with ideal growing conditions. This can take as little as seven or as long as 11 months. We know when to pick grapefruit, but not all of the fruit will be ripe at exactly the same moment. Grapefruit trees are widely grown in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida, with Texas alone raising more than a million tons of fruit annually. So, late fall into the winter or early spring is when to harvest grapefruit. The downside is that storing on the tree reduces the yield the succeeding year. Grafted trees on rootstock will bloom more quickly; as soon as two years after planting. The time it takes for them to reach this point varies. Therefore, temperature fluxes affect grapefruit harvest time. of fruit. All Rights Reserved. Grapefruit is sweeter in regions of hot days and warm to hot nights and more acidic in cooler areas. Redblush" began as a mutation of "Thompson" but is now one of the top cultivars grown in the United States. For trees 2 to 3 years old, scatter about 1 gallon of aged manure under the tree in fall. This method enables you to “store” the fruit for a longer period of time than if you picked it all at once. Mature grapefruit may still be green in color, but a better bet is to wait until the fruit turns hue. This quantity will usually increase each year, reaching 250 lbs. So, late fall into the winter or early spring is when to harvest grapefruit. "Duncan" was the first ever commercially grown grapefruit tree. For that reason, the fruit must remain on the tree until it is fully mature. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Even healthy trees are susceptible to viruses and canker diseases, but trees that have been weakened by cold winds and drought conditions are much more likely to succumb and fail to grow. We know when to pick grapefruit, but not all of the fruit will be ripe at exactly the same moment. The exact harvest season will vary depending on where you live and what the climate is like. A grapefruit tree's first crop often amounts to as much as 25 lbs. For that reason, the fruit must remain on the tree until it is fully mature. Trees vary in their rate of growth depending on their origin. Grapefruit trees (Citrus x paradisi) are relatively new to the United States. Mark Keller has been writing everything from short stories to political commentary over the course of the past decade. Grapefruit harvest time may take place in seven to eight months in one area and up to 13 months in another area due to temperature differences. Grapefruits can be picked any time between these months. How fast the grapefruit itself grows and ripens varies, but on average it takes around nine months. It might be tricky to tell when a grapefruit is ripe based on its color. Temperatures that are only just slightly cooler than normal can slow or halt growth. Lastly, the absolute best way to know when to pick grapefruit is to taste one, you’ve been dying to anyway! How to Tell if a Grapefruit is Ripe. As heat lovers, grapefruit is cold sensitive. Desirable for its cold hardiness, it also produced fruit with a lot of seeds. The downside is that storing on the tree reduces the yield the succeeding year. If you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b-11 or any tropical to subtropical region, you may very well be lucky enough to have a grapefruit tree. "Redblush" began as a mutation of "Thompson" but is now one of the top cultivars grown in the United States. Ripe grapefruit are sweet and delicious, especially from a home garden. Read more articles about Grapefruit Trees. Grapefruit is tropical, and as such, the fruit is usually harvested during the milder winter months of December and January. But you need to be sure the fruit is ready for harvest. Height does not equal maturity, however. Generally speaking however, late autumn is when grapefruits are ready to pick. Grapefruit trees are grown in the American South and West, and the ripe fruit is sold worldwide. It is also known as "Ruby Red" and is notable for its red flesh. In order to properly grow grapefruit, you need to provide relatively warm conditions both day and night.