hometrix

Growing and Caring for Miracle Berry Trees

The miracle plant produces a berry that, when eaten, causes subsequent sour foods such as lemons or limes to taste deliciously sweet with no trace of sourness. It requires only partial sunlight and occasional watering. Perfect for patios, and also an attractive house plant. Fruiting typically starts when only one foot tall and produces year-round. Scientific name: Synsepalum dulcificum.

Miracle berry trees prefer acidic soil and a pH of approximately 5. Peat moss is a great base. Perlite is another important component in the soil as it helps to keep the soil loose and traps moisture well. Peat moss and perlite should make up most of any miracle fruit soil, approximately 50/50 or slightly more peat moss. Miracle berry doesn’t usually need fertilizers when first planted, in fact, it should be used with caution even after the tree is established.

The acidity of the soil is one of the most important considerations in keeping a miracle berry tree healthy and producing fruit. Peat moss adds acidity but can vary in acidity by a wide margin because commercial peat moss is typically treated to raise its pH.

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. Miracle fruit plants can die quickly if their soil is not maintained to their liking, but it is completely avoidable if tended to properly.

Pollination

The plants typically begin flowering at a height of about 1.5ft and begin to fruit when they are about 2 feet tall, which is the approximate maturity of the 3 gallon plant we sell.

They self pollinate and the process can be aided by gently shaking the tree to help distribute the pollen while they are flowering. This can be especially effective if the plant is located indoors, where natural pollination may be more of a challenge.

Watering

Avoid watering with tap water, use non-chlorinated water or, if the water is chlorinated, let it stand for 24 hours. The pH of water from the tap is usually higher than the plant likes and the chlorine does not help. Rain water is better. Be sure the plant has good drainage. Miracle berry trees like the soil damp but they do not like swimming in water. Their roots are susceptible to rot if left in standing water for an extended period of time. Excessive dryness will kill or damage the plant. Do not allow it to dry out.

Humidity is another important consideration. The higher the humidity, the better, but 60-80% is OK.

Light

Miracle berry trees like filtered sunlight and can make good houseplants because of their modest light requirements.

Warning Signs

Miracle berry trees are highly sensitive to fertilizer levels. Never fertilize when if the soil is dry. Evidence of too much fertilizer or other impurities such as chlorine or salt buildup, is often indicated by the leaves turning brown at the edges. Use a balanced fertlizer such as Dyna Gro 7-9-5, but bettr to use sparingly if you are not sure.

Summary

  • 50-60% peat moss to 50-40% perlite with a pH of approximately 5.
  • Requires well drained soil, likes moisture, but hates standing in water. 
  • Using rain water is much preferred. Avoid tap water if possible or let it stand for 24hrs.
  • Excessive dryness will damage or kill the plant. Do not allow it to dry out!
  • Self pollinates can be aided by gently shaking the tree to distribute the pollen while they are flowering.
  • Keep the plant warm. It loves humidity.
  • Filtered sunlight works great.