Categories

Miracle Fruit

Miracle fruit plants can be tricky to grow, but if done successfully can be extremely rewarding. The miracle fruit plant produces a small red berry that if eaten prior to something sour will mask its sour flavor revealing the underling sweetness. A grapefruit eaten after a miracle fruit berry is an amazing and new experience. Miracle fruit berries can even be used to aid in dieting as a way to cut out added sugar typically used to make sour foods more palatable.

Miracle Fruit Environment

Introduction

Growing the miracle fruit plant isn’t the easiest thing to do.  There are many things that can go wrong and growing miracle fruit takes attention to detail and some hard work.  With proper attention and care, growing miracle fruit plants can be a rewarding and enjoying experience.  In this post I will discuss the environment I use to grow miracle fruit plants.

Substrate

60% Peat Moss 40% Perlite

Miracle fruit plants enjoy an acidic environment.  The soil present in the parts of Africa they are native to is acidic, generally being composed of various types of loose plant matter.  It is this type of substrate that we will try to emulate.

Peat moss is a great base from which to build on.  It is good at absorbing nutrients, loosely packed, cheap and good at holding water, which as I will discuss later is very important for the plants well being.  It is easy to find, and most hardware stores carry some form of it year round.  It sometimes comes with (too little) premixed perlite and or some time release fertilizer, which while not easily controlled and less preferred, can be used in a pinch.  As always, places like Amazon and eBay are good resources if you can’t find it local.

Perlite will be the second major component in the soil.  It looks like white pebbles and helps to keep everything loose and traps moisture well.  It can help save a plant’s life it goes through an irregular watering cycle from time to time.

Peat moss and perlite will make up most of any miracle fruit soil.  I combine 60% peat moss with 40% perlite by volume to make my soils. Adding anything else will depend on the properties of these two ingredients.  Generally miracle fruit doesn’t require fertilizers at first, and adding things like nitrogen fertilizer directly to the soil is a common way people kill their plants.

One of the most important aspects of keeping a miracle fruit plant alive and producing fruit is the acidity of the soil.  Peat moss will be the major contributor of acid to the soil, but it can vary in acidity, as most commercial peat moss is treated in order to raise it’s pH (higher pH is less acidic).  In general the soil should maintain a pH between 4.5 and 6. If the pH is too high, consider adding something like sulfur to the soil, but this is a subtle art and it is easy to go too far as it lowers the pH over time.  I have read of people having some success with used coffee grounds to lower pH as well, but I shy away from them as they tend to attract mold.

If at any point the plant’s leaves start to spot or turn brown on the ends, the pH of the soil should be tested right away.  Miracle fruit plants can die quickly if their soil is not maintained to their liking, but it is completely avoidable if tended to properly.

Temperature

Miracle fruit plants like it warm.  I keep my plants between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21 – 29.5 degrees Celsius).  Prolonged exposure to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or even brief exposure to temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit will result in the death of the plant.

Watering

While most plants are alright with tap water, the miracle fruit plant is not.  The pH of tap water in cities often reaches into the 7’s, which is far outside of the miracle fruit plant’s comfort zone.  Using tap water over a long period of time will raise the pH of the soil enough to stunt or damage the plant.

The easiest way to gather large amounts of water with the properties necessary to make a happy miracle fruit plant is to capture rain water or to melt snow.  Rain water tends to have a pH in the mid 5’s and is easy to come by in most places.  It may be important to check local ordinances when trapping rain water, but unless there are a large number of plants to provide for and the rain is being collected in an arid climate, it will probably not be an issue.

When watering, be sure the vessel the miracle fruit plant is contained within can drain well.  Miracle fruit plants like to be in damp soil, but don’t like to sit in water.  Their roots will rot if they are left in standing water for any extended period of time.

Humidity is also important when considering the health of the plant.  Miracle fruit normally live in areas where it rains daily and as such enjoy humidity of around 80%.  This can be accomplished by enclosing them in plastic or by using humidifiers.  There is some room for error here, as I’ve had miracle fruit plants grow and even produce fruit with an average humidity level of 60%.  For best results, higher humidity is better.

Light

The final ingredient that any plant needs to survive is light.  While miracle fruit plants are picky about most everything else, their light requirements are modest.  The plants enjoy filtered sunlight and can even be grown well with artificial light.  While direct sunlight for long periods of time can have adverse effects on the plants, this is often due as much to dehydration and overheating as it is to too much light.

Conclusion

Here is  a quick list of things that help make a miracle fruit plant successful:

  1. Use a soil mixtures of 60% peat moss to 40% perlite with a pH of between 4.5 and 6.
  2. Keep the soil moist, but avoid letting the plant stand in water.
  3. 80% humidity is a good goal to shoot for, but a little lower won’t be deadly.
  4. Don’t use tap water, as its pH tends to be too high.  Using rain water is much preferred.
  5. Don’t fertilize unless one knows what they are doing.  Many plants have died from unnecessary fertilization.
  6. Keep the plant warm.  Good temperatures are 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and bad temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Avoid direct sunlight if possible.  Filtered sunlight works great.

With those tip’s a miracle fruit plant should have a shot at a decent life.

65 comments to Miracle Fruit Environment

  • ATOMickey

    Thanks for these tips, now I know to stop using tap water when I water my miracle plant. I got it 4 days ago, and so far I only watered it twice, but now I know to water it everyday and to only use rain water, I live in the Philippines so the humidity is no problem.

    • Congratulations on getting your plant.

      Depending on the humidity in your growing area, it may not be necessary to water every day. I generally water between every two and every five days. Sometimes in the winter I have a harder time maintaining proper humidity levels and I will go to every day waterings, but you may can save yourself some work there. I assume you are using a pot, so as long as it has proper drainage it won’t hurt to water it more often.

      That all being said, if your plant is new to its pot or you have transplanted it lately it is a good idea to water it more generously until it has a chance to overcome any shock.

      A little tap water here and there isn’t likely to hurt your plant noticeably. Sometimes in dry weather I will run out of rain/snow water and use tap water until the next precipitation.

      Good luck!

  • Erich

    Hi Jeff, my wife is a diabetic and I’d really like to get some of these fruits or tablets for her to try. I think it would make a great birthday present. I’ve read conflicting reports about the tablets but I’m not sure if it’s a supplier issue or not. I’m hoping you have time to answer a few questions.

    I’m in Cincinnati OH but I’m not sure where I can get these berries. Do you know any reputable places?

    Have you found any tablets or powders that are fairly close to the actual fruit? It’s hard to trust reading other websites because most forums are owned by a company selling the tablets.

    I’d like to try the berries or tablets out prior to trying to grow the plants.

    • I have had limited experience with the tablets. I ordered some on eBay and they did have the effect of the fruit, but it was less pronounced. I could eat a grapefruit without pausing but a lemon was still a bit tart.

      Granted I’ve never ordered miracle fruit online so I’m not the best source for information there. I can say that fruit fresh off the plant is, in my experience, about twice as potent as one of the tablets. I can only assume the age of the tablet or the dehydration process used to make them mellows the effect out somehow.

      There are a large number of sellers on eBay who sell both the tablets and the fresh fruit. If I were going to try it for the first time I’d go for the fruit. Even if they are a few days old they are still fairly potent, if less visually appealing. Other than that I don’t have a lot of information on the online fruit sellers. Beyond those reasons, if you order berries that haven’t been frozen and aren’t too old, you can plant their seeds just for kicks, just don’t expect them to fruit for a long while.

  • Brian Mantel

    Thanks for all the info Jeff.

    I have been using tap water that is filtered by the refridgerator although I doubt that changes the PH. I should probably start using rain water and since I live in Oregon, that shouldn’t be a problem (thanks for the tip). I’ve had my Miracle Plant since December (about 5 months) and, unlike most people on the web, I have had to put my plant in direct sunlight as much a possible. I think the clouds here have been acting as my sun filter. Maybe in the summer, I will have to move it. I am going to the store tonight to see if I can find the soil ingredients you posted. I’ll try to remember to post back later to tell people what I’ve learned, if anything.

    Brian

  • hey,I find that your site is really beneficial and helpful and we were interested if there is really a possibility of acquiring More articles like this on your web log. If you willing to aid us out, we can be willing to compensate you… Sincerely, Aleida Fryou

    • I do plan on updating the blog more. I have tried to stay on top of comments as much as possible, but miracle fruit is mostly a hobby and I have a new son, excuse, excuse :)

      As far as paying me to write, I’m not sure what I have to say is that interesting. If you waited around long enough you could probably get it for free off my blog.

      I’m currently trying to grow plants from cuttings with hydroponics, rooting solutions, etc. With miracle fruit being as slow growing and fragile as it tends to be though, these things take longer than I’d like and are more error than trial. Feel free to contact me if there is something specific you are curious about however and I will try and answer as best as I can.

  • Colin

    Jeff, I am curious about what you have found with GA and seed germination. If you dont mind, what are your findings with GA concentrations, treatment times, and % germination? Have you tried planting the fresh berries with pulp on them, and if so have you seen any difference between that and a cleaned seed? Im curious if the degenerating fruit tissue would put off sufficient GA, or be more effective than a synthetic treatment. Thanks Jeff (my email is c o d a v i s @ u c d a v i s.e d u, if you would contact me directly, without the spaces of course)

    • I don’t believe I’ve done a scientific enough study of gibberellic acid to answer your questions in good faith. I can say that when I plant my seeds I don’t tend to clean them all that throughly. My testing with GA is still ongoing.

      In all honesty I’ve not noticed a huge difference between soaking cleaned seeds in GA at 500ppm and just pushing a pulpy seed directly into the dirt. I’ve not grown a huge number of plants fully from seeds (yet) and I’ve only fooled with GA a hand full of times. I may just be lucky but I have a good record of germination both with and without GA when planting seeds fresh from the tree, however I’ve not collected any good numbers. I’ve still yet to put the serious work in to comparing them that I plan to.

  • I recommend the fresh fruit to try it just the best. But if you wanna use it often then I recommend tablets. Easier to store, longer shelf-life, etc.

  • Miracle Fruit trees are hard to grow, so tablets are handy I guess. I have some trees see my site…

  • Brady

    I am planning on growing my plants indoors under artificial light. I wanted to know if I should turn off the light every once and a while or just leave it on.

    • Miracle fruit plants, as with all things living, need a time to rest. 24 hour light won’t likely kill your plants, but it doesn’t do them or your electric bill any favors. Timer switches are inexpensive and sold at most hardware stores. The only problem with them is if I don’t get myself into the habit of turning the lights on and off manually I will sometimes forget to water the plants as well, and that never turns out well! I suppose an adventurous person could rig up a timed watering system as well… I wonder if I’m not lazy enough to work something like that out myself.

      The story for seedlings is a little different. At first, young plants can take 24hour light and ask for more, but as your plants mature the day night cycle will help your plant better produce. The miracle fruit plants I grow under artificial lighting spend 16 hours a day in the light.

  • John

    Hey Jeff, great forum post here; some of the most informative work I’ve been able to find on the web. I’m from the Bluegrass, and I’ve had quite some issue getting my plant going. I dealt with a nearly fatal infestation of scale bugs in Northern Kentucky (potted, indoors), I recently moved to Cincinnati and thanks to the pot’s tantalizing appeal for a squirrel to bury his nuts in it, I was forced to permanently bring my plant indoors under artificial lighting. the lighting is one of few issues that still pose a threat to my plant’s health, along with temperature and humidity. I suppose that my pH levels aren’t monitored and optimized to well either; regardless these are all issue that I can resolve, I’m simply battling with the budgeting issues of a college student. In the mean time I have quite the ghetto rigged grow box, which I intend to improve upon. I greatly look forward to any updates you may post regarding your indoor efforts, as I am obviously quite interested.

  • Al

    I’m in Tampa FL and have 2 plants. My large one is producing a ton of berries. I keep it in a greenhouse on the nights below 40. I have noticed this time of year some leaves turn res. Is this from the cold? Thanks and great site.

  • Al

    I meant the leaves turn RED

    • Do the red leaves dry up and fall off? It is natural for a miracle fruit plant to loose leaves sometimes. If several leaves die at once or if they start turning brown from the tips that is a sign of trouble. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen red leaves though. They are a purple color when they are new and tender and green with they mature. When the leaves die for one reason or another, I would call the color brown.

      Miracle fruit plants do not tolerate cold temperatures well. I’ve never tried leaving one of mine out in the 30-40 degree weather, but it is possible this is a symptom of the temperature dropping low on some night.

  • cindy h

    Hi Jeff,
    I am in California and have had my current miracle fruit tree for about 5 years.This is my third: the other two each died after repotting them after 1-2 years. It has been in a 1 gallon pot near a window receiving filtered water about 1-3 times a week. Sometimes it was fertilized with worm casting tea. About 9 months ago, the tips of the leaves were turning brown and the roots were coming out of the one gallon pot. Reluctantly, I repotted it into the largest pot I could buy and used miracle gro soil with moisture control. After a few weeks I had a horrible problem with fungus gnats. I cured the fungus gnat problem with mosquito dunks (BTI) however the leaf tips developed another stripe of brown. Since the soil never seemed to dry out, I repotted again using azalia potting soil. Again, the leaf tips developed another stripe of brown (About half the leaf of 1/3 of the leaves have brown at his point). I tried watering with filtered water plus apple cider vinegar. Slowly another stripe of brown appeared. I repotted again using the same pot and added 1/3 perlite powder (it was in flakes rather than beads for some reason).
    At this point 3/4 of the leaves have brown tips, some are 80% brown. I showed the tree to another gardener who said it looked like avocado leaves when they get a salt build up. A gardener who did not see the tree said it could be salt build up or too much water. However, I have always used filtered water. Any ideas for my poor tree? It has brought so much joy to my kids and I.
    Thanks,
    Cindy

    • First of all, I’d say you were given good advice. It sounds as if the plant is being burned by salts (fertilizer) in the soil. In addition to that, re-potting a miracle fruit plant is always very traumatic; the larger the plant the more so. You could try flushing out the soil but that too is somewhat of a shock to a plant that may already be on the edge, but it may be your only real chance. One thing I’d make sure not to do is give it any more fertilizer or re-pot it for a while.

      The other possibility is extremely basic soil. This is somewhat less likely, but a cheap pH meter you can get at any garden center can help you tell if this is the case. Soil with the pH of 8+ can be known to do similar thing to what you describe, but I’ve never experienced this myself so I have less advice to give.

  • Peter

    Hi Jeff, thanks for the great information. I’ve tried to grow miracle fruit plants (unsuccessfully) 4 times… it’s been several years since my last attempt and there is more information out there about how to grow them now — your site included — so I’m about to make another try.

    Question for you, what if you live in an area that doesn’t get much rain? What is the best way to acidify the water for the plants? I’ve seen some recommend adding small amounts of vinegar when watering other acid loving houseplants, do you think the miracle fruit plants would tolerate that?

    Thanks for any info or opinions!

    • I’ve not tried putting vinegar in my water, and I don’t think I will in the future. I am hesitant to suggest any water additives since I rarely do so myself. I can tell you that I’ve heard of people having success with adding coffee and or tea to their watering routine to help with tap water issues. I don’t have good ratios to help you with, but a Google search turned up quite a few articles on similar topics.

  • Rose Lady

    I live in northern CA and just my new miracle fruit plant in a 4in pot. What is the next size pot I shoulf transfer the plant into and I don’t have rain water so what filtered water should I use for watering? Thanks in advance….

    • I’m not the greatest of experts on pot sizes, but I can offer basic advice that works for most plants. One of the first question one must answer when deciding to re-pot or not is to know the general root density of the pot it is already in. If you see roots growing out of the drainage holes on your pot it might be time to start considering a new, larger pot. If you are fairly sure that it is somewhat root bound, you can also tip your plant on its side and slide it out a bit to see how much the sides are covered in roots. If it is almost entirely encased in roots, it is certainly time to upgrade pots.

      Since you are in a 4″ pot now, I’d probably move to an 8″ or 10″ pot. Be as gentle as possible though. Changing pots is a stressful time for most plants and the already delicate constitution of miracle fruit plants makes it even more so.

      Watering with rain water can be an easy solution for some people, but it isn’t viable for everyone. If you are using raw peat moss (some store bought kinds are treated to reduce acidity) you can probably get by well enough with tap water. Peat is somewhat naturally acidic, and even from batch to batch can vary to some degree. Try tap water alone and keep an eye on your pH and correct accordingly or do some research on water additives (ex: tea, coffee) to lower the pH.

  • Dan W

    Hello, I have two young miracle fruit trees, probably about 1.5years old. I live in Lakeland, Fl (between tampa and orlando.) I have them outside in pots, partial shade. We are in the rainy season and they are also hooked up to a drip line set for twice a day. I may have over fertilized them. One of them is doing great and is growing its first berry. The second has lost most of its leaves and is not doing well. It is still alive, but looks terrible compared to the other. I brought them inside during the cold months but they were definitely exposed to some 35-50 degree weather. Any ideas on how I can save the one that is not doing well? Also, they seem to be growing fairly slowly, is this typical? Thanks.

    • If you are treating them both the same way, that is an odd situation. It is hard to imagine what could have happened to one and not the other. If it isn’t getting worse, maybe it will snap out of it and recover. I’ve heard of people caring for plants that had no leaves and managing to bring them back to health so there is still hope.

      As far as their growing rate, they do grow relatively slowly. Fertilizer can speed up that process, but as you seem to be aware, it can be a dangerous street to go down.

  • Miracle Fruit Man

    I really like this post. If only more dietitians were aware of the good that Synsepalum offers. Anyway, I just wanted to say great info!

  • Hi, i just bought a 1 and a half year old miracle plant and i’ve had it for almost a month and it looks healthy except a brown spot just formed in the middle of one of it’s leaves and i’m wondering if it’s some kind of fungi or something. If you know how to treat this or why it happened please help.

    • Spotting on the leaves can be a tricky problem. Often it is attributed to over-watering, over-fertilization, poor drainage, root damage (like that from transplantation) or rarely extremely out of bounds pH levels. I’d suggest avoiding those things, but unless lots of leaves start having issues, maybe a bug got a bite of it.

  • Alicia Y

    Hello, I received my tree about a month ago. I re-planted it in a peat moss/perlite mixture. I mist it twice a day and water once a week. It is in our sunroom and gets a lot of indirect sunlight, temperature does not go below 70 or more than 85 F but the leaves are shriveling up and turning yellow. Any suggestions?

    • It is often hard to tell what could be going on in any individual situation without a ton of information. I assume you aren’t fertilizing it since you didn’t mention it. I doubt you are over-watering it either if you are truly only watering it once a week, assuming you aren’t pouring an entire bottle of water into it through your spray mister or have poor drainage. You didn’t mention the pH of your soil though, so I’d suggest checking that. Depending on what you are watering it with, pH can shoot up pretty quickly if left unchecked. It is also important to note that sometimes leaves yellow and die on the healthiest of plants and transplanting is always a shock. Good luck!

  • Jennifer

    I got miracle fruit seeds and i have had 9 now sprouted. they all have 2 leaves. I have put just very very little worm tea in the rain water when i water my miracle fruit trees. i try to interval with regular water. i haven’t seen any problems with this but do you reccommend anything else? thanks.

    • Sounds like you have a nice littler nursery going. I’d say there shouldn’t be an issue with what you are doing and I would hesitate to tell you to do anything differently if it is working for you. It is easy to do too much when it comes to trying to care for delicate plants. Unless you start seeing problems, keep up the good work!

  • Tim

    Great article!
    I’ve had a miracle berry plant for about 6 months now, and he hasn’t grown very much since I got him, but he did grow a little. He started out with about 3 leaves when i got him, and he’s since lost those and has about 5 leaves now that are all newer. I live in upstate NY so the cold can sometimes be an issue, though i don’t believe he was exposed to temperatures below 55 Fahrenheit.
    Anyway about a month and a half ago his leaves started browning, so we got a pH meter and figured out he was sitting in pH 7 soil, so we got some sulfur, and made him a new batch of soil with a pH of ~4.8. We re-potted him in a bigger pot with the new soil, and much to our surprise, he didn’t get much better. In fact he was getting worse. After a week, his pH had somehow fallen to pH 3.5 and more leaves were dying. We recently got some lime to counteract the sulfur which we must have overdone.
    So we’re worried about keeping the pH consistent, keeping him warm and humid during the cold and dry winter months ahead here in NY, and whether we should get a “grow-light” and what kind of grow-light that should be since we can’t get him much consistent sun-light in our apartment.
    Any advice you might have would be much appreciated! thanks!

    • Keeping good pH levels can be tricky, but if you are having trouble keeping leaves around, I’d not get too terribly concerned about a slightly high pH. A pH between the mid 4’s and all the way up to high 7’s will likely not cause your plant serious harm. Where pH becomes more important is when you want to start making sure it produces a good yield of fruit. I would say that a pH of 3.5 is much too low. A pH of 3 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 4. That is strongly in the danger zone.

      I’ve seen other have trouble keeping leaves on their trees by adding too many things to the soil. Sometimes it’s fertilizers, sometimes it’s sulfur and the like. Sometimes it is just over-watering and improper drainage. It is hard to say exactly what you may have going on, but I wish you luck!

  • Jeff, thanks for your information on growing the miracle fruit trees. I just got 20 of them that are rooted and about a foot tall. Beautiful looking slightly red tinged green leaves and tons of roots.
    They were sent to me by a dear friend in the Northeast that was growing them, but sent them to Florida so they would have a chance this winter. They just made it out the day of the snow storm up there, the first and nasty one of the season. I promised to watch over them for him, and thanks to you, I should have better luck. I will keep you posted.

  • lUIE

    can i use seeds from my plant to grow new ones? if so , how?

    • Yes! I do this often actually. At any given time I have a number of plants growing of various sizes due to my compulsion to not waste seeds. The viability of the seeds can be low, but proper treatment and use of germination aids such as highly diluted gibberellic acid can help with that problem. You can plant the seeds bare or with the flesh still attached. I don’t have good numbers on which might be better, but both will work.

  • zehra

    Is it self pollinating or should i purchase 2 plants?

  • CG

    I want to start growing a miracle fruit plant but I live in Georgia where are climate is all over the place. 2 days ago it was 80 degrees outside while today it’s in the high 50’s.

    I want to grow it indoors mainly because we live in an area of my complex that doesn’t get any sunlight so I am planning on getting a sun lamp (any suggestion of what kind).

    Would I be able to help it grow if I bought a little humidifier and sun lamp and did as you instructed above?

    Would I need more than these things or is this not in the least big possible?

    • I grow indoors. A humidifier isn’t even all that important. Sun lamps or even inexpensive 5000k or 6500k fluorescent lamps will work to keep your plant alive. I’ve not tried growing entirely with artificial light, but I’ve heard of people having success. I wouldn’t recommend leaving your plant in 50F for extended periods, but I doubt a day or so of it would kill it. Insect can also be a problem in some parts, but usually they can be caught before they become too much of an issue if they are going to be.

  • Luke

    mfjeff, epic knowledge bestowed to me through discovering this site tonight and my subsequent gratitude to you Sir (I’m assuming). Most details aside, just bought my first-ever miracle fruit tree today out of Bradenton, FL (would guesstimate around 16 inches from a local nursery). I have bookmarked this page and will certainly ask some questions along the journey if they shall arise. I appreciate the obvious work you’ve put into this site. Passion. Thank you and have a nice day.

  • Nathan Bevilacqua

    I recently bought a 18 inch miracle fruit plant and it arrived in great condition with flowers already forming. I planted it in Miracle Grow Potting Soil and put it out the first night. The next day I noticed some of the flowers were turning brown, I thought it was possibly just shock so i left it alone. The next day all the flowers were dead/brown, I didnt know what to do So I emailed the guy who sold it to me. The next morning I walk outside to see it and about 40% of the leaves are turning brown. This is when I started to take measure into my own hands, I put it in a new soil type, 50/50 of peat and perelite. I moved it under the shade. Since I have done this no more leaves have gotten brown but it looks ugly now.

    I love in Ohio and i left it out on the nights and im pretty sure it was in the 50s those nights. So what I was wondering is what exactly do you think might have caused my leaves to turn born and also if i cut them off to make it look healthier will the grow back?

    • Flowers turning brown is a tricky one, mostly because the flowers darken naturally even in a healthy plant. They go from white to a dark red brown in the fruiting cycle. As far as leaves falling off, transplanting and re-potting are very stressful on any plant. Planing it in the wrong medium was stressful as well, especially when coupled with two transplants.

      If you are keeping it outside and it gets below the 50s, I’d first bring it inside. I’d also be careful not to over/under water it while it gets used to its new environment. Don’t transplant it again until it has had a long while to recover. There is still hope for your plant, just be careful and read up on its proper treatment.

  • Rus W

    hi,
    I have been researching the miracle fruit plant, hoping that I can grow it indoors (I live in the Rockies, with climatic extremes that would render growing it outdoors difficult ,or of the year.) I am contemplating placing it in a western or eastern window, supplementing with fluorescent lamps, or perhaps using artificial lighting exclusively. Do you recommend compact fluorescents, or tube style? If the latter, do you use t 12, t 8, or t5? I see that 5000 k or 6500 K are recommended above in terms of spectrum.

    Your is one of the few sites that recommends rain or distilled water…thank you for providing this vital tip. most sites don’t address this issue.

    • When using artificial lighting, your budget and size limitations will determine what you should use. I don’t know of any issue with using using CFL lights from a strictly botanical standpoint. The same applies to tube fluorescent varieties. There are going to be varying amounts of light from different setups and tube types to take in to account, but any of them can work if applied correctly.

      Light temperatures can have an impact on how your plants grow and produce. Higher temperature lights, in the ranges around 5000K and 6500K, put out a wide spectrum of light and are meant to mimic sunlight. This is an all around good growing condition and if you want to pick just one light, that’s the range to aim for. Lower color temperature lights, in the 3000K range, are useful to encourage flowering and to help in the development of fruit, but in general shouldn’t be used all the time or if a plant isn’t in prime health.

      Rain and distilled water are useful tools in managing soil pH. Tap water, especially in urban areas can raise soil pH in potted plants dangerously high. That being said there are other, sometimes easier ways to combat this problem as I have mentioned elsewhere. Everyone has to find the right solution for themselves. Distilled water is a fairly impracticable solution.

  • Shane

    Hi! I’ve had my plant for about three years now and it is yet to flower! I’ve repoted it to a larger pot as it was getting root bound, but even this didn’t help. I live in a tropical climate and it gets watered by the rain regularly. Please help! What am I doing wrong? ?

    • mfjeff

      If the plant is healthy other than it’s lack of flowers, it could just still be too young. I have three year old plants that don’t bloom as well. Miracle fruit plants take a long time to produce fruit. Even once blooms start to show up it can be years before a fruit will grow.

      Transplanting will always shock a plant to a degree. That could further stunt growth and production, but it should only matter in the short term. If the tree is less than 1 foot (30cm) tall, it probably won’t bloom until it’s older. It could even be twice that tall though and I wouldn’t worry too much if it wasn’t producing blooms, but I would be checking its soil pH. My suggestion, if it is healthy otherwise, is to wait it out and see. There are fertilizers that can encourage blooming too but I’m not experienced using them.

  • Stephan

    Jeff,

    I love your site and am super grateful that it exists. I do have a couple questions though:
    Where are you located, roughly? Farming or Gardening in zone 5 is different than zone 9. You may have said so somewhere, but I missed it.
    How did your hydroponic experiment go?

    I see that you’re on here often, but haven’t added a new post in years. Why no update post?
    Thanks again for your information; I’ll use it to start growing my own trees soon.

    • mfjeff

      I’m in Kentucky right now. I grow mostly indoors.

      My hydroponic experiment didn’t go so well. I tried getting cuttings to root and wasn’t successful. I didn’t try a great deal though and I plan to experiment more later, but I’ve since had a son and he takes up some of the time I’d normally use to do those sort of things.

      I haven’t made a new post lately because I haven’t come up with any great tips that I haven’t at least touched on above. I generally treat (spray) my seeds with gibberellic acid at around 500 parts per million, but it would be a stretch to make that into a whole post. I need to run some numbers on with and without treatment. I generally have enough seeds to do a passable job at getting good numbers. Of course all that takes time, especially with how fickle miracle fruit is in general. It is often much easier to help out with specific needs in comments as I have time. I guess that makes me a bit lazy. I haven’t given up on making new posts though. I just have to decide on the right topic and find the right inspiration.

  • brandon

    Hi Jeff,
    I got an approxinately 2 ft tree two weeks ago and i transplantrd it into a pot of topsoil at first, thrn mixed in peat into the top 5 or 6 inches. I also added a tablespoon of vinegar per gallon of water to acidify the medium a bit. However, the green leaves are suddenly turning whitish pale and one turned brown in a matter of one day, perhaps from being put in direct sunlight. Is there any other possible cause and methods to accurately measure ph? I have universal idicator strips that work on soap, lemon, and sosa but in muddy soil water the yellow dye just washes off. I also got a cheap batteryless ph meter that doesn’t move fromthe base measure of 8 regardless of media. Any suggestions on how to measure ph without expensive equipment or sending it to labs?

    • mfjeff

      Generally speaking, most of the pH tests you get from your local hardware store aren’t going to be all that accurate for testing soil. Even the ones that say they are designed to do so. Some of the chemical ones can do a barely passable job, but if you want numbers worth relying on, you often need to consult a professional. That can be a lab or sometimes lawn care services can do test soil samples upon request as will farmers’ co-ops.

      If you just need a general idea of the soil pH, you can look up guides online that involve vinegar and baking soda. I haven’t tried them myself, but people seem to think they work enough to tell you if the soil is acidic or basic in broad terms.

  • tim

    I have 2 miracle fruit trees, seem to be doing well but the leaves are a bit light color. Any suggestions

    • mfjeff

      If they are just lighter and not yellowing I’d say maybe they need a bit more light. I’ve had plants grow in less than ideal lighting conditions look pale green. Sometimes if they are getting a little too much fertilizer they can grow a bit thin too and make them appear lighter in color and less leathery. It is hard to say based on the limited information you gave but maybe that is a little help.

  • Doreen

    I Read All Post W/The Miracle Plant. And Have One As Well. It’s So Small- And Berries Are Already To Bloom. I Use: Citrus Tone Plant Food. Regular Water, And Sun. Just 1-2 Tbls Per Month-On Top Of Soil Works Well. (Little Less- Like Miine.) I Also Have: A Lemon, Lime, And A Pomagrante , And A: Self Bearing: Necterine Tree. And Without The Food, They Won’t Produce. Rain Water Is Not Needed…..But Does Help. So Far: 3. Lemons, 4 Limes, No Pomagrante , And 3 Necterines!

  • Pepito

    So i have a miracle fruit tree thats almost 3 feet tall (from a cutting) it has produced many fruits since i have had it about 5 months ago. Over the past 3 months the new growth has stayed a light green and never matures into the dark green. The tree continues to produce fruit but i worry the continual light green leaf is a signed of health decline. I have it in a 7 gal container with a mix of perlite and peat moss. I water it with rain water with ph of about 5.5 to 6.0. I fertilize with dynimite 13-13-13 slow release. I apple a weekly dose of compost tea with liquid sea kelp and fish fert totaling NPK 6-2-2. I have had it in a shaded area on my outside covered patio since i got it. I think its also important to note that i have another miracle tree that i got at the same time that looks very healthy with dark green foliage. On the flip side this one has only fruited 2 berries in the 5 months i have had it. The healthy looking one seems to have no flower buds as apposed to the “unhealthy” looking one. Sorry for the long post but feel a vivid description would help understand the situation better. Im wondering if its not getting enough light or fert?

    • Pepito

      Oh forgot to mention i live in south florida

    • mfjeff

      I don’t fertilize as much as you, so I’m thinking that wouldn’t be the issue. I have noticed plants that aren’t getting enough light will make thinner more tender leaves that can be pale in color so you may be on to something there. I’m not sure I would worry about it unless the leaves are showing signs of damage or falling off. If it is producing fruit it can’t be too bad off.

  • Lawrence Lim

    Hi Jeff, I live in Singapore with my wife and recently bought a miracle plant about 4 feet tall. As We’re staying in an apartment on the 6th floor, rain water is not accessible and we’ve been using tap water. We’ve also repotted our plant on the advice of the florist we bought the plant from, from an 8 to 12 inch pot. The problem now is that the leaves are turning brown and we lose many leaves on a daily basis. Humidity is high in Singapore and we get direct sunlight. We water the plant twice a day to keep it hydrated. Why are we losing so many leaves ?

    • mfjeff

      Re-potting is traumatic for any type of plant, including the miracle fruit plant. That being said, you may have more going on here than just that. Watering twice a day may be a bit excessive. Generally speaking if you are watering your pot and water leaks out the bottom, you probably overdid it. Repeatedly flushing the soil that way is bad, not only because it washes out nutrients, but also because it will most likely be damaging the fine roots by causing them to rot due to over saturation. This is a tricky balance to strike.

  • Natasha

    Hi Jeff,
    I seem to have a problem with my miracle plant. Here in NY this winter we had a times when it was -30. My problem is the plant is at work in the sunny kitchen. I have taken care of this plant for the president of the company for 3 years now. I came to work on a monday and all the leaves were green and crispy. Not falling off the plant though. I have tried to resurect this plant , I have 1, yes 1 green leaf left on the whole plant! The stem is still green . I think what happened was the week-end previous to this was one of the coldest weeke-ends -30 something and it was near the window. Do you think there is a chance this will come back??? If so please tell me how. Thank you , NAtasha

    • mfjeff

      That sounds like a bad situation. The office would have to get very cold over the weekend for it to be an issue. Generally when leaves dry out it is an issue with how the plant is being watered, as in too little. Leaves damaged by cold tend to wilt before drying up, but each instance is different and unique.

      If it is cold damage, it is important to make sure the plant receives a normalized temperature and should be watered right away, but not too much, the loss of leaves means loss of natural evaporation as well. Do not fertilize the plant until it has recovered. After it has recovered for a couple of months, trim back the dead limbs and leaves to encourage new growth.

      There is some hope for a plant damaged in this way, even if it has no leaves, but it requires special care. There are several good online guides for treating cold damaged trees that are written by people very familiar with this topic that are worth checking out.

  • zeke

    hi jeff, i bought a 3′ plant, i have done alot of research and read all i can but it does not say how much water to give the plant. i dont want to under water it and dont want to over water it. i have it in a room that has temp of 67-77 and humidity between 60-79. the sun hits the room for most of the day but does not come in the room. guess its cause its the way its made. plant does not get direct sun . its the only room that gets hot and the rest get really cold (big house with tile). i have it in a 5 gallon black plastic pot has peat moss and perlite. i only give the plant bottle water since right now we have a not had any rain here in the central cost (California) and tap over here is known to have alot of chemicals and pesticides. when i got the plant in the mail it had nice light green leafs. when i transplanted the plant and added water and put it in the room the leafs turn dark green. some of the small leaves seem to light green but no new growth. came with some flowers but have not open up yet just starting out. over all nice plant. before the guy had it in a 3 gallon pot so im not sure if the water they used was good and was told buy the guy he gave it tap water from Florida. any help would be nice, also i have read in your blog that the ph readers in the store are not really good at reading it. what hp and other soil/water readers do you trust/use also what company’s would you send your soil to, to find out. i may go that way since its more of a better choice , would like to buy something that works and not waist time hurting my plant and sending soil out is a potion too. thanks for your info really like your page.
    p.s congratulation on having a baby. my baby girl is 1 and i know how it is to take care of a plant and a baby at the same time.

    • mfjeff

      The best watering advice I can give is just make sure the soil is damp; not soggy, not crispy. I know that isn’t specific, but the main goal is to not rot the fine root structures. Standing water is just as bad as dry soil so proper drainage is important.

      Electronic pH testing devices tend to be unreliable categorically. There are some more expensive ones that some claim can pull off decent performance, but I’ve never used one I thought was up to snuff. There are kits that can be purchased online. Amazon sells litmus paper with sufficient accuracy to be reliable. Adding distilled water to a sample of soil can produce a solution that can be read using those. If that is the solution chosen, make sure the range the strips test is detailed enough to give you clear and detailed readings. The above kit measures 5.5 to 8 and has 12 measuring points, which is a good start.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>