The Q&A Archives: Meyer Lemon Tree

Question: I purchased a Meyer Lemon Tree already bearing some Lemons. We planted it in the garden and the fruits have ripened. But I was told the fruit will easily come off the plant when you give a light tug. The fruit stays on when given this light tug. Does it need to ripen more? Do I need to clip the fruit off the tree? What are the best indicators to take the fruit off the tree? The Fruit has been on tree now 3 months.

Answer: Lemon trees flower continuously and can have fruit in all stages of development most of the year. Most lemons ripen naturally in autumn and winter when market demand is low. Therefore the growers pick the lemons green and store them for sale in the spring and summer. The lemons are picked when they reach a satisfactory size and juice content.

In storehouses, the lemons are cured and ripened. The fruit shrinks a little; the skin becomes thinner and tougher and develops a silky finish. When the process is completed, the lemons are washed, dried, and sometimes wrapped. They can be kept in this condition for months.

Probably the best test for you is to cut a lemon from your tree and slice it open to see if it's ripe.

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