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​​​​​​​​Miracle Fruit

  • Common name: Miracle fruit, miracle berry, miraculous berry, sweet berry
  • Scientific name: Synsepalum dulcificum
  • Family name: Sapotaceae
  • Origin: Tropical Africa
  • Height: 5-18 ft
  • Width: Varies depending on how it’s grown and pruned
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: USDA zones 10b-11
  • Light needs: Full sun or part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Needs moist, well-draining soil with a very acidic pH between 4.0 and 5.0.
  • Moisture: Should be planted in a humid area. Soil should be kept consistently moist, but not too waterlogged.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs and mites may occasionally be a problem.
  • Growing conditions: Should be grown in a warm, humid area. Can be grown in full sun but it does best with some afternoon shade. This plant requires very acidic soil, so a peat-based substrate is ideal. Soil should remain moist and should be irrigated during dry spells. It can be grown in a container, but it will need to be moved to a larger container every 2 or so years. Regular pruning and fertilization are needed to produce the best fruit.
  • Characteristics: This shrub usually only reaches around 5 ft, but can grow up to 18 ft in its natural habitat. Leaf shape and size can vary between individual but are generally glossy green and ovate. Flowers grow in small clusters along the stem. The flowers are white and produce a sweet fragrance at night. Fruits generally appear 3-4 weeks after flowering and are bright red and elliptical. The fruit is edible and, although it is not sweet itself, it has a chemical property that causes sour foods to taste sweet after one has eaten the fruit.
  • Propagation: By seeds or by cuttings. Seeds are the most commonly used method, as cuttings take longer to root and aren’t as successful. Seedlings grow very slowly, taking 3 to 4 years to reach 20 inches, and then begin to grow more rapidly.
  • Facts: The fruit contains miraculin, a protein that causes sour foods to taste sweet. After eating a miracle fruit, one may experience the effects of miraculin for over 30 minutes. It has been proposed to be used as an artificial sweetener.
  • Designer considerations: It makes for a good porch plant and conversation piece when planted in a container. It can also be trimmed into a hedge.


Tropical Fruit Point

Miracle Fruit