View Full Version : How do I tell when limes are ripe.

12-05-2014, 11:55 AM
Since they stay green.:smack:
I have a little indoor Lime tree(no idea what breed it may be) that has finally managed to grow 2 Limes past infancy. They are about 75% of the normal store lime size, but since I don't know anything about the type I'm not sure if that is meaningful. Also it is a small indoor tree(maybe 4.5 feet tall) which I don't know effects fruit size.
I know the easy answer is to pick one and see if it tastes ok, but with only 2, I don't want to waste one.
Also In the last couple weeks it did re-flower, and re-fertilize and now has a couple new tiny pea sized fruits growing from that if that is any indicator of the first generations ripening cycle.
Do they fall when ripe, or eventually rot on the branch.

Novelty Bobble
12-05-2014, 12:12 PM
I choose mine in the groceries aisle by looking for a decent bit of "give". I have no idea whether that happens on the tree or not, I'm in the UK so Lime (fruit) trees are not an everyday (or anyday) sight.

12-05-2014, 12:30 PM
Do they fall when ripe, or eventually rot on the branch.

They turn yellow like a lemon. Seriously!

That's not what you're asking though, I'm sure. So what you want to do is pick limes when they're immature and still green, and from what I've read, you want to pick them when they're "full sized" for their variety, and not rock-hard, and ideally starting to lighten in color a little bit.

12-05-2014, 01:24 PM
I wait for them to fall off the tree, then use them ASAP. They're usually yellow at this point.

Hello Again
12-05-2014, 01:55 PM
They may be key limes in which case they're as big as they are going to be. Are the more spherical or more pointy oval like store-bought limes?

Squeeze gently - slightly yeilding vs. Rock hard indicates ripening. Some breeds may show yellow, others not. Sadly, it's a crapshoot to some degree until you become familiar with your tree. Good luck!

Hello Again
12-05-2014, 02:10 PM
Just wanted to add -- the fact that's it's containered does not affect fruit size. It should be the same as in-ground citrus. Actually even bonsai citrus yields full-size fruit.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.