The Growing and Harvesting of Honeybell Oranges

By: Pittman & Davis | On: | Category: Grower Insights
Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orang...

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Until you have tasted honeybell oranges, you can never know a fruit that is so sweet and juicy. Its unique taste combined with its shape and limited availability makes it a very popular choice among those who have the good fortune to taste honeybell oranges.

Unlike ordinary oranges, honeybell oranges are actually a hybrid fruit that is a cross between a tangerine and grapefruit. Both the Duncan grapefruit and Dancy tangerine that make up honeybell oranges are well known for both sweetness and juiciness. In fact, in spite of the fact that both grapefruit and tangerines have seeds, honeybell oranges have no seeds.

Honeybell oranges are officially called Minneola tangelos and got their nickname because of their shape. Honeybell oranges do not have the round shape of the grapefruit or tangerine but rather bulges at the end thus forming a bell shape hence the name “honeybell.”

The combination of sweet taste and its bell shape are what have caused these delectable fruits to be known as honeybell oranges. They are the type of fruit that once you have tried it you will definitely want to go back for more. This is one of the reasons it is so essential to make sure you place your order for honeybell oranges well in advance of the time they are ripe for harvesting in January and perhaps early February if conditions are right.

Since honeybell oranges belong to the citrus family of fruits, they grow best in climates that are sunny and warm. The trees require regular watering and plenty of room for growth. The best conditions for production of honeybell oranges include moist, sandy soil and the application of fertilizer in the months of March, June and October. Since honeybell oranges must be harvested in January, most regions are too cold for the trees to withstand the weather making Florida one of the best places in the United States for growth, production and harvesting of honeybell oranges. While there are a few other states that fit the criteria for honeybell orange production, most of the groves are in the state of Florida.

You don't have to worry about being too late to properly harvest honeybell oranges. These fruits have the ability to self-harvest: when they have reached their ripest stage of growth, they will fall from the tree thus letting growers know they are ready for harvesting. This prevents the potential for the fruit to remain too long on the trees and causing them to become overripe before they are picked.

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