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Everything You Should Know About the Ruby Red Grapefruit Tree

A grapefruit is a large and round citrus fruit that grows on trees, usually found in subtropical climates. However, there are over a dozen varieties of grapefruit trees; for example, similar to its gemstone namesake, the Ruby Red grapefruit tree is considered particularly valuable and desirable ever since it randomly appeared on pink grapefruit trees in Texas in 1929. The vibrantly reddish inner flesh inspires this grapefruit’s name. Still, the color isn’t the only characteristic that distinguishes it from others in its species—and from other fruits in general.

Keep reading to discover all there is to know about the Ruby Red grapefruit tree!

A Ruby Red grapefruit tree.

Characteristics of the Ruby Red Grapefruit Tree

Though Ruby Red grapefruit trees grow wide, thick, and lengthy green leaves, their trunks and branches tend to be rather thin. To distribute the weight of the fruit and foliage, the branches are long and numerous. A healthy tree will reach at least 20 feet in height and 10 feet in width, but it would take around 20 years; the average rate of growth is 12 inches per year.

How to Grow a Ruby Red Grapefruit Tree

Since Ruby Red grapefruit trees are drought and disease resistant in addition to being low-maintenance, they’re regarded as excellent choices for the casual gardener. Even so, you need to learn how to how to care for grapefruit trees properly.

These trees naturally thrive in subtropical climates, so plant your seed in warm, moist soil. Choose an area that faces south from your home, which allows the tree to absorb direct sunlight for eight hours per day while avoiding the worst of the wind, frost, and snow of wintertime. Give them at least a 12-foot diameter of space to allow their branches and foliage to spread without hitting your home.

Springtime is best for planting if you live in a moderate climate, but fall works well if your winters are warm. In any case, the temperature should hover around 55 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider growing your tree in a pot so that you can bring it inside when the temperature drops below 45 degrees, which can kill or damage the tree. Learn how to prune your grapefruit tree, and then do so in late winter or early spring.

To help the tree absorb nutrients, apply a two-inch layer of mulch around the trunk every spring and fall, maintaining a foot of space between them. Water the trees every seven to 10 days, too. A strong grapefruit tree is better able to ward off pests and disease, but you should still educate yourself on grapefruit tree pests and diseases.

Characteristics of the Ruby Red Grapefruit

As Red Ruby grapefruit trees were originally discovered by Texan growers, the state of Texas boasts three trademarked varieties—Ruby-Sweet, Rio Star, and Flame. Despite the subtle differences among them, they have certain traits in common.

A Red Ruby grapefruit.

Appearance

A ripe Ruby Red grapefruit is roughly four to six inches in diameter, and encased in a yellow or orange skin. In fact, many people mistake them for oranges at first. The inner flesh has a famously bright red hue, thanks to the antioxidant lycopene.

Taste

Though known for its refreshing sweetness, the Ruby Red variety still has a touch of the bitterness typical of grapefruits. There’s also a certain tanginess that gives the juice a pleasant spark as you eat it.

Health Benefits

You’ll find that eating Ruby Red grapefruits will improve your health in many ways. Vitamins A and C are among the most prominent nutrients in grapefruits; they’re known for boosting the immune system, vision, and production of blood cells, muscle tissue, and collagen. The fiber regulates cholesterol, blood sugar, and gut health as well, while the lycopene combats cancer cells.

Grapefruit juice is also very healthy. It contains a high volume of water, which promises hydration and assists with weight loss. Also, the calorie count is low.

Ideas for Eating Ruby Red Grapefruits

Like all grapefruits, the Ruby Red variety makes a great addition to salads and smoothies. However, your creativity doesn’t have to stop there. We can count at least 21 amazing ideas for incorporating grapefruit into your meals, but I’ll get you started with a few fun recipes here!

Woman eating a grapefruit with a spoon.

Salad

The Ruby Red grapefruit has a versatile sweetness that lets it fit in well with many salads. Nevertheless, the most exquisite grapefruit salad may be a combination of grapefruit slices with red onions, feta cheese, walnuts, and pomegranate dressing. Eat it as a snack or appetizer before a meal!

Broiled

One of the most popular ways to eat grapefruit is to put it on a baking sheet and broil it. To add flavor, sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon; you’ll know when the grapefruit is ready when the sugar starts bubbling. Include a slice of butter to give it a smooth texture and rich taste. Learn how to make broiled grapefruit!

Ruby Red Grapefruit Bars

If you love lemon bars, this recipe may be your next favorite dessert! Learn how to make Ruby Red grapefruit bars that strike a perfect balance between sweetness and tanginess. Plus, the shortbread crust works with the filling to create a tantalizingly diverse texture. Top it off with some powdered sugar, and you’ll soon be in bliss.

Meringue Pie

Made primarily from egg whites and sugar, meringue has a mild flavor and soft yet crispy texture that pairs beautifully with the bold tartness of a citrus like the Ruby Red grapefruit. Add a graham cracker crust, and you’ll get a luscious meringue pie. It’s perfect for the holidays, or as an everyday dessert.

Buttermilk Muffins

Looking for a unique breakfast or snack? Combine Ruby Red grapefruit juice and zest with buttermilk, butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract to bake a batch of delectable muffins. It’s easy to pop one of these muffins into your mouth and start your day on the right foot.

Marinated Salmon

Prized for its many health benefits, salmon is a great food to work into your diet. Ruby red grapefruit can make it especially tasty and interesting when combined with ginger to create a marinade. As with other citrus fruits, the tart flavor of the grapefruit complements the mellowness of the fish.

Grapefruit can enhance other meats, too, like chicken and ham.

Cocktails

Fans of alcohol will be glad to know that Ruby Red grapefruits also pair well with alcohol! Learn how to make two delicious grapefruit cocktails. One includes rye, brown sugar syrup, and Angostura bitters while the other uses an IPA and ginger beer. Both make delightful additions to a meal.

Tea

If you’ve struggled with stomach problems or losing weight, warm grapefruit tea can help you feel better and shed pounds. Mix it with lemon juice and mint to have the perfect beverage for relaxation.

Grapefruit tea and slice with a white background.

Where Can You Buy Ruby Red Grapefruits?

Of course, you won’t be able to make any of these scrumptious recipes without knowing where to purchase the fruit. Since Ruby Red grapefruits are widely popular, they’re available at most local grocery stores. But first, learn how to tell if a grapefruit is ripe!

If you want to grow your own, you should buy young Ruby Red grapefruit trees online, at your local nursery.

Growing a Ruby Red grapefruit tree from a seed is tougher, but not impossible. Should you feel up to the challenge, you’re can also find seeds online.

Enjoy Ruby Red Grapefruits Every Day!

Now that we’ve whet your appetite, you are ready to make Ruby Red grapefruits part of your regular diet! Considering all the health benefits and ways to enjoy them, you can’t go wrong with this special fruit. Even better, you may love nurturing a Ruby Red grapefruit tree of your own so that you can have full control over the juiciness of each fruit. Next, learn everything there is to learn about other varieties of grapefruit!