Where is citrus grown in Florida?  Much of the citrus is grown in the southern two-thirds of the Florida peninsula, where there is low probability for a freeze. After a series of freezes in the 1980s, citrus growers gradually migrated southward from central and northern regions, although Polk County in the Central part of the state remains the top citrus producing county.

When is Florida citrus in season? Florida oranges are plentiful from October through June, although the largest quantities are available from December through May. Fresh Florida grapefruit is shipped from September through June, with the height of the harvest occurring in February. Tangerines, tangelos, and temple oranges are available from October to March depending on the variety. For a complete seasonal/variety chart, please click here.

What is the proper way to store fresh Florida citrus? Florida citrus is not picked until it has reached maturity, nor does it ripen further after picking. Florida citrus always reaches your local supermarket ripe and ready to eat. All Florida citrus should be stored in the crisper of your refrigerator where it will keep at top quality in flavor and nutrition for up to three weeks. Unrefrigerated, Florida citrus will remain fresh for four to five days.

What should I look for when selecting the best Florida citrus? When selecting Florida citrus at the supermarket, remember the saying "never judge a book by its cover." No matter how it looks on the outside, you can count on Florida citrus being flavorful and juicy on the inside. Even when Florida citrus isn't bright orange on the outside, the fruit on the inside is still deliciously ripe. The color of the peel (ranging from orange or yellow-orange to greenish-yellow) is simply due to Florida's subtropical climate. Small blemishes on the skin, called wind-scars, result from the fruit rubbing against the tree's branches, and do not affect the taste.

How much juice or fruit will a medium-sized Florida orange yield? Medium oranges are ideal for wedging and juicing. Three or four medium oranges will yield 8 ounces of juice. Two medium oranges will yield one cup of bite-size pieces.

How much juice or fruit will a medium-sized Florida grapefruit yield?  One medium grapefruit will yield 8 ounces of juice and three cups of bite-size pieces.

What is the difference between white and pink grapefruit?  All grapefruit have a similar tangy-sweet flavor and are very juicy. Florida grapefruit varieties may be divided into two groups -- white and pigmented.

Where can I find information on growing citrus in my backyard?  County Cooperative Extension Service (CES) offices are a valuable resource for information on growing citrus. Every county in every state has one. Your CES will also help identify problems with existing citrus trees or fruit. For a list of Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices, please click here.

Where can I find information on touring a citrus grove?  For a complete list of Florida citrus groves offering public tours, please click here.

Grapefruit Juice & Drug Interactions 

Is drinking grapefruit juice with all medications dangerous? Grapefruit juice is safe to consume with virtually all over-the-counter medications and most prescription drugs. For further information on grapefruit-drug interactions, click here.

How can I find out whether my prescription interacts with grapefruit juice? The Center for Food-Drug Interaction Website, www.DrugInteractionCenter.org, has a comprehensive list of drug-interaction information. Please consult your pharmacist or physician for more information.

If my medication does interact with grapefruit juice, do I have to stop drinking it? Not necessarily, there is often a non-interacting, alternative medication that can provide the same therapeutic effect with no need to avoid grapefruit juice. Of course, you should always consult with your prescribing physician to discuss these options.
 
Does fresh grapefruit also interact with certain medications?  Yes, the components in grapefruit juice responsible for the interaction with certain medications are also found in fresh grapefruit. The components are found in all grapefruit juices regardless of brand or whether the juice is fresh, pasteurized or made from concentrate. Interactions are also associated with both white and red/pink grapefruit.

Which drugs interact with grapefruit juice? Certain immunosuppressants, cholesterol-lowering “statin” medications, calcium-channel blockers to treat high blood pressure, HIV, hormone, antihistamine and psychiatric medications are among the drugs known to interact with grapefruit. Non-interacting, alternative medications are available within many of the most commonly prescribed drug classes. Usually, these medications provide the same therapeutic effect with no need to avoid grapefruit. Always consult your physician or pharmacist with questions about specific drugs.

Does grapefruit juice interact with over-the-counter medications? It is safe to consume grapefruit juice with virtually all over-the-counter medications. Check with your physician or pharmacist.

How does grapefruit juice interact with certain medications? Grapefruit juice and fresh grapefruit contain natural substances called furanocoumarins that suppress an intestinal enzyme (CYP3A4) responsible for metabolizing certain medications. When the enzyme is suppressed, the body may absorb more of the medicine, which may increase the effects of the drug. Increased drug effects may lead to side effects or an adverse reaction to the higher level of the medication. Whether you will experience drug interactions is dependent on many factors, such as individual genetic make-up, the type of medication, the dosage and the amount of grapefruit that is consumed.

How much grapefruit juice needs to be consumed to cause an interaction? The amount of grapefruit juice necessary to cause an interaction can vary significantly, depending on the type of medication and the individual. Check with your physician about switching to a non-interacting, alternative medication so you can continue to enjoy the health benefits of grapefruit and grapefruit juice. For more information click here and contact your physician or pharmacist.

Is it safe to drink grapefruit juice if a certain amount of time elapses between medication doses? Scientific research suggests that interactions may occur for up to 72 hours after consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Check with your physician.

I’ve been drinking grapefruit juice with an affected medication for some time with no ill effects. Should I stop drinking grapefruit juice now? Talk to your physician who can assess the potential for an interaction and determine whether discontinuing grapefruit consumption or switching to an alternative, non-interacting medication is necessary.

How would I know if I’m experiencing the effects of a grapefruit-drug interaction?  An interaction between grapefruit and affected heart or blood pressure medications might lead to irregularities in heart beat, called arrhythmia. An interaction with affected cholesterol-lowering statins may increase the likelihood of painful muscle disorders. A few of the medications used to treat psychiatric illnesses may cause similar problems. If you notice side effects from taking any of your medications, regardless of whether or not you are consuming grapefruit, you should consult your physician.