The Q&A Archives: Ripe Lemons

Question: I have a Ponderosa Lemon tree which I purchased earlier this year. How do I know when the lemons are ripe? I have about 4 really large lemons only the tree which are still very green but are getting soft.

Answer: Lemons are green as they develop, turning yellow when first ripe. (Extremely ripe Meyer lemons actually take on a lovely orange hue.) Once mature, most varieties will hang on the tree for several months slowly growing larger and developing thicker skins. It's difficult to say exactly how long it takes a lemon to ripen, but I'd wait until the skin turns a lemony yellow before harvesting! Best wishes with our lemon tree!

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