When Is the Best Time To Buy Oranges?


Winters feel incomplete without eating citrus fruits like oranges, but you may wonder when buying them to enjoy their tangy flavor is best.


The best time to buy oranges is from winter to spring.

However, various varieties of oranges have different peak seasons, such as:

  • November to January for Navel oranges and Clementines.
  • December to March for Temple oranges and Honey Tangerines.
  • December to April for Blood Red or Cara Cara oranges.

For choosing the best oranges in the market, do a sniff test, check their weight, and avoid buying fruit with soft or spongy spots.

Keep reading the article to learn when is the best time to buy oranges and get helpful tips on choosing suitable and fresh produce.

Best Time To Buy Oranges

Instead of consuming processed food, many people are shifting to raw, organic fruits and vegetables for health purposes. Oranges, for instance, is one of the best cure for vitamin C deficiency.

Although cold-store oranges are available around the year, not all varieties are ripe and available in the market simultaneously. You may struggle with the bland-tasting ones if they are out of season.


According to USDA, an average American eats about 15 pounds of fresh oranges yearly.

To make smoothies and desserts, you may need to know when to buy oranges for the most refreshing taste.

The best time to buy oranges is generally from winter to spring in the harvesting period to get fresh fruit. Also, you can find the best prices for oranges only at certain months of the year described below.

1. November to January

Navel Oranges

You can find Navel oranges in stores throughout the year, but the best time to buy them is from November to January. However, the peak period of these oranges can vary a month early or late, depending on the rainfall in the growing season.

Navel oranges are a popular variety to eat fresh because they are seedless, sweet, and juicy. In addition, they have thick but easy-to-peel skin so that you can enjoy them at most winter festivals.

Apart from navel oranges, Clementines or “Christmas oranges” are available in the November to January peak season. They are a cross between a mandarin and sweet oranges and are relatively small, making them a perfect and healthy snack.

2. December to March

Muccort Oranges

If you want to buy Temple oranges or Honey Tangerines, the best time is from December to March. Although Temple oranges look like Navel oranges, they have a unique taste.


You can differentiate between the Temple and Navel oranges at the supermarket since the prior one has thin, soft skin, and the latter has a relatively thick one.

Honey Tangerines, known as Murcott oranges, are also in season until early spring. They taste sweeter than most oranges, making them perfect for beverages, smoothies, and frozen desserts.

3. December to April

Blood Red Oranges

Most oranges lose their taste and vigor at the beginning of the summer season. But you can often find fresh Blood Red or Cara Cara navel oranges, which are best to buy from December to April.

Blood Red oranges have a semi-sweet taste that suits cocktails, whereas Cara Cara navel oranges have undertone flavors of sweet cherry that you can use for making preserves like jams or jellies.

Tips To Buy Good Oranges

The best time to buy oranges is when they are in season. A taste test is an ultimate and fool-proof way to determine an orange’s quality, but most superstores don’t allow tasting fruit before purchasing.

However, you can use the following tips to buy good oranges without wasting your money

1. Sniff Test

Sniffing Orange

Fruit fragrance is vital in choosing the best oranges, so look for ones with a strong, sweet smell. If you sense a sharp or moldy odor, the orange still needs to ripen, or the decay has started.

2. Size and Weight

Hand Picked Oranges

To buy the best oranges, choose the ones that feel heavy for their size in your hand. Generally, ripe and flavorful orange will feel heavier than a baseball.

In addition, look for a firm and fine texture of orange without any damage to its skin.


The bigger the button-like navel on the top of an orange, the sweeter it will be.

3. Avoid Soft Spots

Spoilt Orange

Before buying oranges, hold them in your hand to see if there are any soft spots or spongy feel. If so, avoid such fruit and only purchase the ones with firm, unbroken skin.

A soft and mushy texture or a shriveling rind on an orange means it has gone bad and is not suitable to eat anymore.

4. Skin Color

Citrus Skin Color

Contrary to popular belief, the skin color of an orange is not the best indication of its flavor or ripeness. However, oranges with reddish and yellow hues are more likely ripe than dark green or green-yellow ones.


If you have bought fully ripe oranges from the market, store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for up to 2 weeks.


In conclusion, we’ve discussed the best time to buy oranges and shared tips, like a sniff test, firmness check, etc., to ensure you purchase the good ones.

We hope you can now eat as many fresh juicy oranges as you like by knowing the yearly peak season of each variety.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Store Oranges for a Long Time?

You can store oranges for a long time in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. If you need to wash them, dry the oranges before putting them in the fridge to reduce the chance of mildew or fungal growth.

Where Do Oranges Grow Best?

California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona have the most conducive environment in the U.S., so oranges grow best in these states.

Do Oranges Last Longer in the Fridge or on the Counter?

Oranges can last 7-10 days at room temperature but stay edible for a month when stored in a fridge. However, if you don’t want to eat them within a month or so, it is better to freeze them and make them last over a year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *