Oranges feature a delicious combination of tartness and sweetness. When they are ripe, oranges are good enough to serve as desserts even if you don’t do anything to them.
Picking oranges at their peak is critical if you want to enjoy their full flavor. You don’t want to mess up that timing because the quality of your oranges will be affected.
Learn more about the importance of picking oranges at the right time by continuing with the rest of this article.
Do Oranges Continue to Ripen after Being Picked?
Oranges do not ripen any further once they are picked. Farmers rely on taste, smell, and texture to determine if oranges are suitable for picking. They also rely on established harvesting seasons for specific types of oranges. Picking oranges too early can impact their quality. Waiting too long to pick an orange will also lead it to deteriorating quickly.
Will Oranges Continue to Ripen After They Are Picked?
Fruits can vary in terms of how forgiving they are during harvesting season.
On the other hand, you also have fruits that will stop ripening the moment they are picked. These fruits include apples, grapes, and pineapples.
So, which group do oranges belong to? Oranges belong to the latter.
If you are growing oranges on your property, you need to be certain that they are ripe before harvesting them. Once you pluck an orange off a tree, it will stop maturing.
How Can You Tell if Oranges Are Ready to Be Picked?
Since oranges stop ripening once they are plucked from a tree, farmers need to be certain that they are ready before proceeding with harvesting. You need to do that as well if you have your own set of orange trees.
Be mindful of the things detailed below so you can accurately tell if your oranges are ready.
Arguably the most reliable indicator of ripeness in oranges is their flavor.
Go pick one orange and slice it open. Give it a taste and see what flavor it presents.
If an orange is ripe, then it will be sweet and bright. Ripe oranges are also known for being juicy.
Oranges that don’t taste as they should are not ready for picking. Leave them on the tree and allow them to mature a bit more.
Using one orange to determine the current status of your crop is worth it considering the potential alternative.
The current condition of an orange can also be determined using its aroma. There are two qualities you should look for if you’re looking to determine an orange’s ripeness based on its aroma.
First off, you want the aroma an orange releases to be somewhat sweet and citrusy. The sweetness will highlight the citrus notes in the orange’s aroma.
Ripe oranges also have a strong aroma. You should be able to detect the sweet scent easily.
Once you’ve observed those qualities in the scent of your oranges, then you can be confident that they are ready for picking.
Texture is another thing you should examine if you want to know if an orange is ripe or not.
Ripe oranges feel firm. The fruit should bounce back if you apply a bit of pressure on it.
If the orange feels soft, then it’s probably not ready to be picked yet. Leave it on the tree for a bit longer so it continues to develop.
4. Harvesting Season
Lastly, you can also refer to the dates on the calendar to determine the ripeness of your oranges. Harvesting seasons can vary significantly.
Per this article from the Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence, harvesting season for Valencia oranges goes from March to July. The harvesting season for Navel oranges is a bit later into the year as it ranges from October to January.
Pineapple oranges have a short harvesting window that runs from December to February. Meanwhile, that same window extends from November to March if you have Hamlin oranges.
Keep close tabs on your oranges so you have an idea of when they might be ready.
What Happens If You Don’t Pick Oranges When They Are Ripe?
Whether you plan on selling or just consuming the oranges you’re growing, picking them at the right time is incredibly important.
We’ve already mentioned that oranges don’t ripen any further once they’re picked. That means your oranges will feature substandard quality if you pick them at the wrong time.
Beyond that, there are other issues that could arise due to early or late picking.
Oranges that are picked early are more prone to drying up. They are also more susceptible to damage so they may not handle transportation well.
Wait too long and your oranges may start turning into mush. Eating an orange that was picked too late is also an underwhelming experience because they are noticeably lacking in flavor.
Conclusion to Do Oranges Continue to Ripen After Being Picked?
Be cautious when picking oranges because you only get one opportunity to lock in their ripeness. Use the information you gained from this article to time your harvests and ensure that you have delicious oranges available.
Frequently Asked Questions about Do Oranges Continue to Ripen after Being Picked?
How Often Should You Check Oranges for Ripeness?
If your oranges are not ripe the first time you check them, go ahead and give them some time. Wait for at least one week to see if the condition of your oranges has changed. Conduct the taste test to see if your oranges are ready for picking.
How Should You Harvest Oranges?
You can harvest oranges by grabbing them and gently twisting them off the branch. If that doesn’t work, you can also try shaking the tree and catching the oranges. Some ripe oranges may also fall from the tree so you don’t have to do any extra work to get them.
Are Oranges Ripe When They Change Color?
Oranges that change color are not automatically ripe. Avoid using that as a ripeness indicator for your oranges.
Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)
Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.