The Amazing Miracle Fruit

 
 
(Synsepalum dulcificum) Miracle fruit is an evergreen shrub that can also be trained as a standard tree. This truly amazing plant produces tiny red berries that when the pulp is eaten, turns sour foods sweet. The fruit has no scent, sort of a bland taste that’s hard to describe. You might wonder what’s the big deal? Well the fruit will surprise you when you discover its magical effect.The fruit’s white pulp tricks the taste buds to make lemons taste sweet as lemonade. But thats not all. Many other sour foods suddenly taste amazing when miracle fruit pulp coats the tongue.

Having your own miracle fruit tree is fun 

Today more and more people enjoy getting together and having great parties with the fruit. Imagine tasting a little sip of balsamic vinegar and enjoying it as a delicious sweet wine! The effects of the fruit can last from 30 minutes to as much as an hour. Today more and more people are discovering and enjoying this fruit all over the world. From San Francisco to New York, Miami and most major cities around the world, flavor tripping has become all the rage.  

Growing your miracle fruit tree 

The Miracle Fruit Plant is the perfect patio plant and can also be  an attractive house plant. Why not consider adding a Miracle fruit tree to your  plant collection. Miracle fruit grows best in filtered light away from direct sunlight. We always recommend that you grow these trees in bright filtered light. Some nurseries suggest they should be grown in full sun, we don’t find full sun to be ideal conditions. Our trees are always container grown and produce plenty of berries. We don’t have to worry about watering as often either because the direct sun can really cook the soil and stress the roots. Full sun also requires much more fertilizer applications.

You can keep a miracle fruit plant in a container for many years. We have several seven foot tall ones in 15 gal containers. Once a year we inspect the roots and prune them and the canopy. We also add fresh soil and fertilizer in the spring.

As an indoor plant, provide it with bright light such as a well lit window. In the summer the plant can be moved outdoors to a warm, lightly shaded spot. Take your indoor miracle fruit plant outside once in a while so it can enjoy fresh air and a good rainstorm. Consider watering your plant with rain water or natural spring water. Miracle Fruit plants, as do most plants do not like chlorine. Your plant will grow best if kept slightly moist and occasionally misted to keep a little humidity around the canopy. Be sure to use an acid based fertilizer because they love a rich organic soil with an average pH of 5.5.  

Miracle fruit trees average five feet but may over many years grow as tall as twelve to fifteen feet high. Large trees are found most often when planted in the ground in tropical regions of the world. 

Container grown trees are generally maintained at 6-7 feet tall. 

Here in Florida our sub tropical climate and in many areas our alkaline soils limit the growth considerably. This is part of the reason we grow them in containers. Container grown plants can also be moved indoors away from high winds and possible cold weather in the low 30’s. 

Miracle fruit plants are slow growers and can be slow to die. Don’t let them die. Keep them healthy by giving them the conditions they require. Think organic, they will appreciate it very much. Organically grown miracle fruit trees will reward you with a long life and hundreds if not thousands of miracle fruit berries per year.

How to propagate Miracle Fruit Plants

Most growers propagate miracle fruit from seed so some variation exists. A seedling will produce fruit in almost all cases and we have yet to find a seedling that matured and did not fruit. Airlayering is another method and works well when you know how. Click here for video.

You too can grow miracle fruit trees from seeds. Seeds must be fresh! To grow miracle fruit seedlings you can scatter (sow) your miracle fruit seeds right after enjoying them. Simply grab a handful and spread them on the surface of a container filled with damp potting mix. Cover them lightly with potting soil.

You can also plant seeds in one gal containers using one or two seeds per pot. Your success rate will generally be very high. Start them out during the spring or summer. Grow them indoors in winter using fluorescent grow lights.Try planting many seeds together. Set the seeds two inches away from each other around the perimeter of a 3 gallon container. Don’t forget to use all the space in the container. The Idea is to create a pattern planting, working in towards the center of the container. When your seedlings are a few inches tall gently poke them out with a finger or two and transplant them to one gal pots. We like a mix of coconut fiber (coir) and pine bark conditioner with added perlite. 

Try a 1,1,1 ratio for the mix. You can substitute peat for coir if you can’t find the coir. Be sure to use a high quality horticultural coir that has been rinsed of all salt residues.Trust me not all coir sold is free of salt residues. Coconuts and the (coir) fibers are often washed and soaked at the shore line on a beach.

While your miracle fruit seed is germinating it is busy sending down a very long tap root.  Most of the time people give up and toss out the pots with actual germinating seeds. Have patience and keep them warm. Many times the seeds are planted and over watered till they rot or emerge and then quickly dampen off.

You might toss out your little seedlings if you don’t look at them carefully. The tiny little plant emerges as a thin hair follicle and later the first leaves emerge. Now when the first set of leaves emerge it’s critical to keep the leaves moist. Don’t let the wind beat up and dry out  those little miracle fruit leaves!

A seedling that is less than eight inches tall could be a year old. When planting  seeds the germination can take up to 16 weeks.  In general these plants are very slow growers.

 As an indoor plant, provide it with bright light (not strong direct sunlight) such as a well lit window. In the summer the plant can be moved outside to a warm, lightly shaded spot. While indoors your plant will grow best if kept moist and misted a few times a day to keep a little humidity around it. Be sure to use an acid based fertilizer because they love an average pH of 5.5.