The miracle fruit, scientifically known as Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been used for centuries to sweeten sour foods.
This incredible berry uniquely makes sour and acidic foods taste sweet, making it a popular natural sweetener. In recent years, the miracle fruit has gained popularity in Florida due to its adaptability to the state’s climate and its various uses.
This article will explore the history of the miracle fruit, how to grow it in Florida, where to order a miracle berry tree, and its health benefits, including its use for cancer patients.
Good Products For Growing Miracle Berries
Miracle Berry Quick Care Guide (Synsepalum dulcificum)
|Common Name(s)||Miracle Berry, Miracle Fruit|
|Scientific Name||Synsepalum dulcificum|
|Days to Harvest||3-4 years from seed, but may take up to 5 years|
|Light||Partial shade to bright sun|
|Water||Water regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged|
|Soil||Well-draining soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5|
|Fertilizer||Fertilize with Hollytone and Osmocote + during the growing season. Twice, once before Spring and second in the mid Summer.|
|Pests||Aphids, spider mites, mealybugs|
|Diseases||None of major concern, but watch for root rot|
History of the Miracle Fruit
The miracle fruit has its origins in West Africa, where it has been used for centuries by locals to enhance the flavors of their foods.
The fruit’s unique properties were first documented by European explorers in the 18th century, and it was later introduced to Florida in the 20th century.
Since then, it has become a popular addition to the bounty of fruits that grow in the Sunshine State.
Growing Miracle Fruit in Florida
Growing miracle fruit in Florida is relatively easy due to the state’s tropical climate. Here are some tips for successfully cultivating these unique berries:
Miracle fruit plants grow better in partial shade rather than full sun. Providing shade will help the plant thrive and produce more berries.
Maintain Acidic Soil
The miracle fruit prefers acidic soil, with a pH between 4.5 and 6.5. To ensure the soil is acidic enough, use an acidifier like Epsoma Organic Holly Tone, which is specifically designed for acid-loving plants.
Ensure Proper Watering
Miracle fruit plants require well-drained soil and consistent watering. It’s important to avoid both overwatering and underwatering to maintain healthy plants.
Grow in Pots
For those with limited space, miracle fruit can be grown in containers. Be sure to choose a well-draining pot and soil mix, and provide the plant with the proper nutrients and care.
Growing Miracle Fruit from Seed
If you want to grow your own miracle fruit plants, you can start by germinating seeds. Here are the steps to follow:
- Obtain seeds: You can purchase miracle fruit seeds from online nurseries or seed companies. Alternatively, you can try harvesting the seeds from fresh fruit.
- Soak the seeds: Before planting, soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours to help soften the seed coat and promote germination.
- Plant the seeds: Plant the seeds in a well-draining soil mix, covering them with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
- Provide warmth: Miracle fruit seeds need warmth to germinate, so it’s best to place the pot in a warm location, such as on top of a refrigerator or near a heat source.
- Be patient: Germination can take several weeks to a few months, so be patient and keep the soil moist during this time.
- Transplant seedlings: Once the seedlings have developed several leaves, they can be transplanted into larger pots or into the ground. Remember to choose a spot with partial shade and acidic soil.
Your miracle fruit plant should produce fruit within 2-3 years with proper care.
Tasting the Miracle: Fruits to Pair with Miracle Berry
The miracle fruit is known for its ability to enhance the flavors of other fruits. Some fruits that pair well with miracle berries include:
- Sour fruits: Miracle berries can make sour fruits like lemons and limes taste sweet.
- June plums: The tartness of June plums is balanced by the sweetness of miracle fruit.
- Sweet fruits: Regular store-bought fruit can be elevated in taste when combined with miracle berries.
Health Benefits and Use for Cancer Patients
The miracle fruit has several health benefits, including its use as a natural sweetener for those looking to reduce sugar intake. Additionally, miracle berries have been used to help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as they can alleviate the metallic taste that can result from treatment.
In conclusion, the miracle fruit uniquely adds to Florida’s fruit gardening landscape. Its ability to transform sour flavors into sweet ones has made it a popular addition to many kitchens and gardens.
Growing miracle fruit in Florida is a great option, as the warm and humid climate is perfect for its growth. Following the tips mentioned in this article, you can successfully grow and enjoy your miracle fruit plant.
Whether you’re using it to enhance the flavor of sour fruits or provide relief for cancer patients, the miracle fruit is truly a great plant worth exploring.