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Do oranges take time to mature fruit out right?

Do oranges take time to mature fruit out right?

The first few times it set fruit, it looked good from the outside, but inside it was still colorless and tasteless. I was told the tree will do better once it is larger and more mature.

Well this year the Washington Navels were not ripe at Christmas time, as I am used to them being. Still pretty green looking on the skins and the same goes for the Roberts as well budded on to the same tree.

I tasted a Washington yesterday, pretty good flavor and nice and sweet,but the flesh is way over ripe and you cannot separate the flesh, very juicy and easily tears apart on both varieties.

Was it just the hotter summer or the cool spring or what or do I just need to wait until the tree is older. It has been in the ground for a 4 years or so and is now 7 feet tall and around 5 to 6 feet in diameter.

Did anyone else have late fruit, my young pomegranate tree was late also in ripening, most of the fruit was not ripe until half way through Nov, and that include my early Granada.


The following thread was started by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 11, 2006 at 2:04 pm PST

Cool Summer


Your Summer was way cooler than normal. That's why. Interestingly, some of my oranges are ripe now, way earlier than the usual March time frame.

Something you need to know about citrus. Most citrus will turn color from temperatures below 60F. Temperatures in the 30's and 40's will produce nice orange colored rind while the fruit inside could still be green.

Lots can influence how soon oranges mature. Bloom time is usually Spring, but can also happen in the Fall. Bloom is influenced by weather and watering schedule.


The above followup was added by Axel on January 11, 2006 at 4:44 pm PST.

I forgot to mention, even the fruit on the orange you gave are nearly completely yellow, I thought you said they were a spring ripening var

I have been advised and have noticed that young trees, little trees especially dwarf types can have a problem maturing fruits properly. The fruit has been getting better since it started settig fruit.

Was that a slip or what, I thought here in the valley we had quite a hot summer, hotter then usual, but maybe not hotter and and longer then usual.

The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 12, 2006 at 2:49 am PST.


Hi, David. I have two Washington navel orange trees. Both dropped quite a bit of fruit while I was in England. I think it's because we had lots of wind and rain. In my experience, the Washington navels are ready to eat as soon as they develop the nice orange color. I usually eat them as they drop, rather than pick them off the tree, as they tend to sweeten up a little more the longer you leave them on the tree. Up to a point, that is. If you leave them on too long, they start drying out and getting pithy inside. Washingtons (in fact, most citrus fruits) grown in northern California are relatively thick-skinned and difficult to peel. That's just something you have to learn to live with. They develop best quality in areas with higher heat and less humidity than we have here, particularly when the fruit is ripening (late fall into early winter). Most citrus require a certain amount of winter chill, too, before the fruits will color up. Citrus grown in the tropics rarely or never colors up like it does here. All the citrus I saw in the markets in Brazil was more or less green-skinned, even when ripe. My Minneola Tangelo is a huge tree now and always bears a bumper crop of fruit, but most of it drops before it has had a chance to sweeten to the point where it doesn't make you pucker! Tangelos and Grapefruits require a LOT of heat to sweeten up properly. The fruits that don't drop will eventually sweeten up if left on the tree long enough (without drying out like Washingtons), but like I said, most drop before they get to that point. I also have a Valencia orange, and they need to stay on the tree for 12-18 months before they're ready to eat. The problem is figuring out which fruits are held over from last year (or the year before) and which are this year's fruits, as they all look the same once they color up. Valencias held on the tree too long also get dry and pithy. An interesting book on the origins, history, etc. of citrus is "Citrus'" by John McPhee. Check it out if you get a chance.

The above followup was added by Kurt on January 12, 2006 at 11:45 am PST.

I just thought it was odd that they were late, and now that they are ripe, they ??

Normally when you pick a orange right from the tree, you can easily separate the segments, to eat, but they are juicy and tear apart very easily. Something I don't usually notice in a orange until it has been picked for some time, as it is breaking down.

Now the Roberts are another story, they have never really wanted to separate into segments. Not sure if that is just inherit in the variety or if there is another problem, wondering if the plant is stressing in summer for a lack of something.

I was told that the ripe looking Roberts oranges and others which look good but never ripen up inside was due to a young tree having a underdeveloped root-system, especially with dwarf and semi dwarf types.

Maybe next season will be much better.

Thanks for your comments.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 12, 2006 at 12:33 am PST.

No Dwarfs

My citrus trees are all standards, with the exception of the Valencia orange, which was leafless and one foot tall when we rescued it from my sister's house. It was just labeled "Dwarf Citrus." It's now about 12 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter, with a trunk about 9" in diameter at the base, so I don't know if it was mislabeled or what. While I'm here, maybe you can tell me what's going on with my banana. I had two fruit stalks last year, one that appeared in early June, and another that appeared about a month later, and the fruits just never grew. I'm beginning to think that if I want fruit, I'll have to cut down or otherwise remove all of the stalks except the fruiting ones. Is this your experience, or will fruit ever achieve full size in a "clump" of stalks? I mean, they didn't grow at all. Any suggestions? Thanks.

The above followup was added by Kurt on January 12, 2006 at 1:39 pm PST.

Kurt you are correct a mundo on limiting the stalks

In warmer areas where they have no cold temps and you have plenty of time to let the fruit mature, they still limit the number of stalks. They stagger them so, so that you have 3 to 4 ripening scattered throughout a years time.

Here in Central/Northern CA, we usually only let one stalk fruit a year, and maybe two at most.

The rest of the clump is just sucking the life out of the fruiting plants.

Most people keep them cut off, but that is a post all in itself. But I have learned to just keep the extra ones cut off to not far above the soil. Then I harvest super pups/corm slater on.


They are also high nitrogen and potassium feeders, and like to have their soil kept damp, but not wet.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 12, 2006 at 9:34 pm PST.


That's too bad, I guess. I really love the wild, tropical look of my big "grove" of bananas, and I just can't see cutting down all but one or two stalks on the off chance that I might produce an edible bunch of bananas. I don't even like bananas all that much. I did plant one each of "Dwarf Red," "Ice Cream," and "Raja Puri," so maybe I'll try that with them, if they survive the winter.

The above followup was added by Kurt on January 13, 2006 at 1:02 pm PST.

Kurt, leave your banana bunches alone and plant some separates

Leave your nice large banana bunches/patches alone and take one of each and plant it by itself. But then if you don't really care for bananas, then I guess just enjoy what you already have.

I don't have a grove in the same way you do, but mine are planted in rows 8 feet apart and 4 feet between plants in the rows. My banana patch is like 30 plus feet square. It is cool, I can walk down the rows and under the banana trees. It is a real neat experience and elating to inside of the banana patch.

Here is a pic from my banana patch.

The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 13, 2006 at 3:38 pm PST.

Here is another pic after trimming off lower limbs and later in the summer.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 13, 2006 at 3:42 pm PST.

Look at this huge bloom

Even if I never got any fruit to eat, just the beauty of the blooms and the sweat smell they give off would be enough to grow them.

Have you ever eaten the nectar dripping or sitting in the flower cups, very sweet and delicious.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 13, 2006 at 3:51 pm PST.

How big is that farm?

Wow! is that central valley lush green bananas in January???..i wish i could buy stock in the company that makes global warming-it's rising vertical.
And David,what does the Banana flower/blossom taste like? i see it for sale at a premium at the B.B. and the Manila Market.
It was 66 today in Hayward....warm cloudy days....

The above followup was added by Stan on January 13, 2006 at 5:19 pm PST.

Ripe Bananas

David, try wrapping a stalk of bananas in that frost cloth.That should keep any freeze or frost from killing the fruit..even if the leafs get hit the main stalk isnt going to die from cold this late in the winter...In Berkeley i grew apple bananas for a friend. Tasty.

The above followup was added by Stan on January 13, 2006 at 5:24 pm PST.

I wish my banana plants looked like this in dead winter, but sadly not

These were pics taken in mid to late summer which I assume you knew that and your comment was just a rib.

I did sell the male ends of my late bananas this fall to a local Asian market for around $2 a pound. That gave us some extra money to guy some bean thread rice noodles and some nice chopsticks and some chinese treats. The store was out at the time I brought them in, so they were first amazed I grew them and second eager to buy them.

I think if one could manage to grow fresh hardy tropical fruits in some amount, one could make a good living selling to those in the area who have moved in from more tropical areas.

Jeff Earl has told his stories with the fruits he has grown and sold or traded.

There is something a foot. The State Agricultural department has and is running experiments with growing hardy tropical fruits here in the central Valley, in huge fabric or plastic tunnels.


Next season, now that I am aware, I will sell the early season male blooms as well. If we don't have any more severe cold, I should have a lot of them come this next season.

I am finally armed with R-14 bubble wrap insulation this winter just in case.

I had two large bunches still hanging on leafless plants, but they went down in the last bad windy storm, even though they were propped and bagged. I was going to see if they would ripen any more, being they were somewhat mature from last season.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 13, 2006 at 7:29 pm PST.

Nope,i believed-ha

Right now a neighbor down the street has a banana with a stalk and fruit that looks the same as your last picture.Serious. The fronds are still green but a bit shredded after the big storm last week. A picture of it was in the Hayward newspaper last week.
Have you tried the bananan blossoms yourself?

The above followup was added by Stan on January 14, 2006 at 9:13 am PST.

I have never cooked and eaten the banana blossom

I gave one to a Chinese gal who works at the Chinese Buffet we most often eat at. She wanted to try it, had never had it before. She later said it was ok, but not really all that good.

I am not really into eating flowers.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 14, 2006 at 11:56 pm PST.

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