It’s not only attractive and easy to grow, but the miracle plant produces a very interesting berry that upon eating makes things taste sweeter. Learning more about growing miracle berries can make it easier for you to experience this unusual phenomenon for yourself. Keep reading to learn about caring for a miracle fruit plant.
Miracle Plant Info: What Is a Miracle Berry?
Miracle berry (Synsepalum dulcificum) is an evergreen shrub that is native to tropical West Africa. Outside of the tropics, it is a houseplant that is also known as sweet berry and miracle fruit. This interesting plant bears attractive and edible red fruit that are ¾ to 1 inch (2-2.5 cm.) long with a seed surrounded by fleshy pulp.
The miracle that this fruit performs is to make everything taste sweet. When you eat the fruit and allow the pulp to coat the inside of your mouth, it masks the real taste of bitter foods for a few minutes to several hours, depending on how much fruit you eat. This includes foods that are normally very sour, such as vinegar or lemons.
Scientists are still unsure of how the fruit alters a food’s taste, but they think that it may have something to do with a protein with sugar molecules attached. The receptors on the taste buds seem to be temporarily altered when the fruit is eaten as a result of these molecules.
Miracle Berry Growing
In its native environment, the plant will reach up to 20 feet (6 m.) in height at maturity but only 5 feet (1.5 m.) when grown indoors, so make sure to locate it in a suitable area to accommodate this fairly large size.
Growing miracle berries indoors requires a room with very bright light. However, it can be placed outside in a shady location when the weather is warm.
This humidity-loving plant thrives when placed in a room with a humidifier or with a clear plastic bag wrapped around it to conserve moisture. Misting daily with water or setting the plant on a water-filled pebble tray can also help with raising humidity.
Use only well drained, slightly acidic soil whenever you are growing miracle berries.
Caring for a Miracle Fruit Plant
Caring for a miracle fruit plant is not difficult as long as you keep the soil acidity constant. This can be done by using peat and perlite planting mediums and providing a fertilizer for acid-loving plants.
Water the plant regularly but do not let the plant sit in water or it may become waterlogged and may develop root rot. Always feel the soil before watering.
Now that you know the answer to, “What is miracle berry?” you can begin your own miracle berry growing and explore the wonder of this interesting fruit.