Apricots are notable for their yellowish-red color and cleavage on one side that resembles a peach. Harvesters also know this fruit for its notable dropping of immature fruit. Unripe apricot fruits are falling off the tree. On several occasions, this might bring a question for some of these unripe fruits can ripen without being in the tree.
Sadly, as soon as apricots are plucked or fallen prematurely, they will not ripen themselves. Unlike tropical fruits such as bananas and mangoes, apricots don’t possess the ability to mature outside the tree. Apricots require to get nourishment from the tree for it to ripe further. If unripe apricots fall continuously, you must check the health of your tree.
The immature dropping of fruits is an indicator of health issues on your fruit. There are several reasons why apricots aren’t ripening on the tree—and it can be explained by the stress level experienced by the tree itself. Trees can experience stress due to the deliberate change of the trees’ atmosphere, including moisture content, sunlight source, nutrients, and pest control.
Do Apricots Continue to Ripen After Picking?
As mentioned earlier, apricots don’t possess the same qualities that tropical fruits have. Since apricots require colder temperatures, it requires gathering nourishment from the tree to replenish itself enough for it to ripen. Stress on trees can be explained for several reasons: temperature, rainfall, sunlight, and other external factors.
Apricots cannot endure excessive heat, lack of moisture, and minimal nutrients on the loam. Another indicator if the apricot tree is not in its good shape includes cankers, leaking sap, light-colored foliage, and limb dieback. Growing an apricot tree can be challenging since late frosts can quickly kill it. It requires space to receive a decent amount of sunlight with well-draining soil in a mild climate.
If not followed, the apricot tree tends to grow smaller and bear immature fruits that fall instantly. While you can try to ripen apricots by hand, it will only produce a soft but bitter aftertaste. It will also have a hard stone pit that cannot be removed easily—since the fruit didn’t mature accordingly.
If plucked colored, you can still make ways to ripen your apricot fruit. Allow the fruit to lay down on a flat surface, away from sunlight and moisture. Flip the fruit from time to time to prevent uneven ripening of the said fruit. It could be enough to soften the fruit, but it will release a muted flavor and a bit unsweetened compared to those ripened from the tree.
How Do You Ripen Apricots Indoors?
Trying to ripen a green apricot will be impossible. It will remain challenging, green, and flavorless—and must be disposed of accordingly. Having extreme patience is the key to have your apricots ripe while it is on a tree. As soon as it bears a fruit that is 2 inches in diameter, you can cover it with a paper bag. You may add slices of apple or banana inside the bag to accelerate the ripening process.
Placing your apricots indoors will only result in an apricot that is forcedly ripened. If you want to regulate the temperature and moisture content of your apricot tree, placing it inside a greenhouse will emulate “indoor gardening.” It will also prevent pests and other flying insects from disrupting the fruits. Prepare a greenhouse enough to fit the apricot trees inside. Use fine-meshed nets instead of larger ones to regulate sunlight further. Larger holes will expose the apricot fruits in direct sunlight.
Fallen apricot trees can still be salvaged if it has enough color to it. Immature apricot fruits with a green hue cannot ripen anymore. However, if you have apricots with a yellow tint to them, you can still make ways to ripen them indoors. There are different methods that you can use to mature your apricots indoors. Please note that it is only applicable for fruits with enough yellowish hue and requires few more times to ripen.
- Naturally, apricots do not ripen away from the tree. If you have immature fruits that are fallen naturally or incidentally, there is no way of ripening them. The first step is to select fruits that have enough yellowish hue to them.
- Prepare a paper bag for your unripe apricots to place with. You can add a piece of apple or banana inside to accelerate the ripening process. The ethylene found on apples improves the ripening of fruits.
- The ripening process depends on how “unripe” your apricot is. Check your paper bag regularly, and inspect if it has mushy spots. Ripening your fruit indoors tends to create uneven areas. That is why regular checking if your fruit is ready to consume, is a must.
- Apricots that are ripened indoors don’t possess the same sweetness level as those mature in a tree. Indoor apricots can be used on fruit preserves like jam, marmalade, and dried candies.
How Long Does It Take for Apricots to Ripen?
Generally, apricot trees bear tiny flowers in late February or early March. These flowers develop into ripe fruit within 100-120 days. Apricot flowers don’t indicate that they will bear fruits already. It will take an average of 3.5 years before it began turning its flowers into edible fruits.
Another fact about apricots is that it doesn’t ripen in sync. This means that fruits mature quickly, while some will remain green for a more extended period. This is why harvesters allot three weeks of ripening fruits to ensure that the green apricots will catch up during the ripening process.
Apricots have the best flavor and texture when they are ripened in a tree. Due to its delicate process, tree-ripened apricots are hard to find in the market. Consider growing your apricot tree in your garden and enjoy the wonders of harvesting fresh fruits.