Monday, 19 May 2014 00:53

How do Grapefruit Grow?

What country is the top producer of Grapefruit?

  • Latin Name:

    Citrus x paradisi

  • Growth:

    USDA Hardiness Zones:  9 and up, although they can succeed in Zones 7 and 8 with proper care.

     

    Click here for USDA Hardiness Zone map.

    There are two main categories of grapefruit that grow in the United States, primarily in Florida and Texas. Florida produces the white variety, while Texas grows the sweeter red and pink varieties.

    Grapefruit trees are warm weather evergreens and moderately tall, growing an average of approximately 15 to 20 feet high (or up to 40 feet if left un-pruned) in sunny conditions. The trees in Florida and Texas blossom in the spring, approximately 6 to 7 months before fruiting.

     

  • Propagation:

    Grapefruit trees can be planted from seeds, but then take up to 6 to 15 years to reach maturity, during which time the juvenile trees are thorny and do not flower. They will begin to bear fruit 6 to 15 years after planting.

    Nearly all cultivated grapefruit trees are grown through propagation, which is accomplished through grafting or budding. Budding is most easily done in the spring. Grapefruit trees that are budded or grafted should begin to produce some fruit within three years.

     

  • Harvest:

    Grapefruit mature as early as October, but are generally considered to be at their best eating quality after Thanksgiving. Once the fruits begin to turn yellow or golden, they are ready for picking. However, the longer they remain on the tree, the larger and sweeter they become. The fruit can be stored on the tree for several months without appreciable loss of quality, and therefore can be harvested into the spring.

     

    Grapefruit, like all citrus, does not continue to ripen after it is picked.

    Many growers prefer to pick grapefruit by hand, as picking hooks can often damage the fruit. Some commercial growers, however, use canopy shakers to remove the fruit from the trees.

     


  • History:

    Grapefruit, a hybrid between the sweet orange and the pomelo, was first reported growing in Barbados in 1750, where it was known as the “forbidden fruit.” It is also rumored to have arrived in Jamaica around the same time, after a legendary English ship commander known as “Captain Shaddock” brought pomelo seeds from the East Indies and bred them with the Jamaican sweet orange. The grapefruit received its name in 1814 due to the way its fruits cluster on the tree like bunches of grapes.

     

    Grapefruit was introduced to Florida in 1823 by Count Odette Philippe, who settled in Safety Harbor on Tampa Bay. In mid-1880s the first shipment of grapefruit was made from Florida to New York and Philadelphia, signaling the beginning of the commercial grapefruit industry in the United States.

    Throughout the 19th and 20th century, various grapefruit varieties were created, including the pink, ruby red and star varieties, as well as tangelos, a hybrid between the grapefruit and mandarin orange.

     

  • Top Producers:

    The United States is the top producer of grapefruits, follow by China, South Africa and Mexico.

    Florida is the leading producer of grapefruits in the United States and internationally. Texas, Arizona and California also lead in United States commercial grapefruit production.

     

  • Varieties:

    There are several types of grapefruit that vary in sweetness and flesh color. The more tart, white-fleshed varieties include the Duncan, Marsh, Oro Blanco, and the pink grapefruit. Sweeter red varieties are the Flame, Star Ruby, Pummelo, and Ruby Red grapefruit.

     

  • Products:

    Grapefruit can be eaten raw, or used for juices and in salads, dressings, and desserts. It is also used in essential oils, natural beauty products, and household cleaning products.

     

     

  • Top Health Benefits:

    Grapefruit has high amounts of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folate, and phosphorus. It also contains vitamin A, B complex, E and K, as well as phytonutrients such as lycopene, bioflavonoids and glucarates.

     

    This powerful combination of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients provides grapefruit with excellent antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering properties.

    Grapefruit also contains fat-burning enzymes that absorb and reduce starches and sugars in the body, making it a popular weight loss snack, as well as a safe choice for diabetes prevention and treatment.

    Grapefruit also helps reduce water retention and swelling of the legs and feet during pregnancy, assists in digestive functions, provides anti-cancer agents, and aid with symptoms of fatigue.

     

     

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