Star fruit is a delicious tropical fruit that bears on the Carambola tree. This fruit has a firm texture and star-like cross-section. That’s why people called as star fruit. Also, the sweet and tart flavor of this fruit attracts most people’s interest. Hence, star fruit has high demand worldwide.
How to pick a good star fruit?
These days most people are using transplants trees. Thus, these trees have small to medium height. Therefore, handpicking is the best protective method to pluck the star fruit. Also, it reduces the damages, clashes of the fruit. Hence, hand-plucked fruits have a long shelf life.
The best time to pick star fruit is when it has a pale green color. Also, the fruits just beginning to turn yellow is good to harvest. Because in this stage, fruit is not overripe. Hence, you can easily pack and transport them.
Overripe fruit has smooth structures. Therefore these types will easily damage when picking, storing, and transporting. Further, if you need to store your harvest, the ideal temperature is 50 oF (10oC).
If you do not pick fruit at the correct time, it will fall to the ground. Then may damage and spoil within a short time. Thus, picking fruit at the right time is essential.
How to choose a ripe star fruit?
Ripe Star fruits have a smooth bright yellow surface with slightly browned edges and firm to touch. Dark brown edges indicates that they are overripe,flesh will be mushy and mealy. Occasional patches with green color are suitable to choose but mostly green color ones are not unripe.
Generally, unripe star fruits are a dark green color. When it rips, it covers to pale green color. The pale green color to light yellow color fruit is best for eating.
Also, well ripe starfruit has a vibrant, shining outer layer. Also, its outer edges are a light green color.
Further, this outer appearance looks like a waxy texture. Moreover, the well ripe starfruit has not rough texture. It has a bit smooth texture. But unripe fruit is rough. Therefore you can select ripe star fruit by observing the above signs.
In addition to that, sometimes you may notice the edges of the starfruit turn in to brown color. It is the sign of overripe fruit. But in the beginning, these fruits are edible.
But when fruit converts to brown color completely, it is not suitable to eat. Also, the overripe starfruit has a juicy texture and acidic and rotten flavor.
The best time to harvest star fruit
The morning slot of the day is best to harvest star fruit. Because lower ambient temperature will help to increase the shelf life of the fruit. Also, you must pluck the fruit when it starts to ripening.
How to store ripe star fruit?
You can store starfruit at room temperature. A place that has a dark environment and efficient airflow is ideal for a fruit store.
The star fruit has a maximumly of one-week shelf life after it ripened. But the shelf life of the fruit can vary with stage of ripening, environment, temperature, way of harvest, etc.
Generally, underripe starfruit can store at room temperature for two weeks. On the other hand, if you put them in a refrigerator, you can enhance the starfruit shelf life to four weeks.
But fully ripe star-fruits turn to mush quickly. Thus, you can store them in a refrigerator. The cool temperature can take fruit in good condition maximumly for one week.
Furthermore, please do not watch the fruit before storing it. Because extra moisture gradually rot the fruit. Only wash if it is essential.
Star fruit season
Generally, star fruit has two different blooming periods. In the first season, their flowers bloom from April to May. The crop takes around three months to grow well. Hence, you can pluck starfruit in August, September, and October.
In the second season, star fruit flowers blooming from September to October. Thus, harvest can collect from December to February.
Besides that, some starfruit plants are blooming throughout the year. These trees give small crop harvest almost any time of the year. Also, some starfruit trees provide their yield three times per year.
Additionally, starfruit grows in warm climates. Therefore, they do not require a chill period to promote blooming and fruit production.
How to preserve star fruits longer?
Apart from the above storage methods, you can preserve star fruit beyond 2 to 4 weeks. Please follow the below guidelines to keep them more longer.
Step 1: First wash and clean star fruit properly
Step 2: Secondly, cut the brown edges
Step 3: Next, you should cut star fruit horizontally and get star-shaped slices
Step 4: Place a single layer of these slices on a baker’s sheet
Step 5: Then keep it inside the freezer
Step 6: After a few hours, take frozen slices and add them to the container or bottle.
Step 7: Finally, Put this bottle/container again into the freezer
You can store starfruit for three months using this frozen method.
Besides the above method, you can practice this simple method to preserve your delicious star fruit.
Step 1: First, watch and cut the star fruit into star-shaped slices
Step 2: Remove the seeds and brown edges
Step 3: Next, blend these slices using a blender or mixture machine
Step 4: Then pour thick star fruit pulp in ice trays
Step 5: Finally, place these ice trays back inside of the freezer
In this method, you can take starfruit pulp cubes when you want. Keep in mind that thawed starfruit pulp will convert to brown quickly, just like bananas. Therefore use it in smoothies.
How to grow a star fruit?
Star fruit plants are commonly found in Asian regions that have warm temperatures. This plant needs good sunlight to grow well. Thus, you should select a place that free of other trees, buildings, and power lines.
Moreover, the star fruit plant needs well-drained soil. They can not survive on salty or high pH soils. If your plant leaves may appear yellowish, it may be a poor pH condition.
If you notice that the leaves are yellowish, it happens due to alkaline or limestones conditions. This plant also needs supplemental irrigation. Because star fruit plants, not drought tolerant.
Here I mention basic steps to grow star fruit plant
Step 1: First, select a suitable place that has at least 25-30 space around it
Step 2: Next, dig a hole that has length, width, and height around 1ft x 1ft x 1ft
Step 3: Add some topsoil, organic debris, and compost to the pit
Step 4: Then gently place your plant in a pit
Step 5: Finally, fill the hole back in and add water to remove air pockets in the soil
Step 6: Add water regularly until the root system well-grown and established
These plants averagely grow 12 to 30 feet in height. But you can prune the star fruit tree occasionally to control the height. Then you can pick the ripe fruits easily by hand.
Starfruit plants grow successfully in tropical and subtropical climates. Also, extremely high temperatures and low temperatures do not suit them. Generally, older trees more tolerant to frost. But freeing temperatures can kill immature plants.
How to fertilize the star fruit plant?
The best N, P, K ratio for star fruit is 10-10-10. It is better to fertilize the star fruit plant 4 to 5 times per year until the plant is established. The slow-releasing granular fertilizer is best for the growing season. Also, you can use liquid fertilizer too.