Introduction: Growing Your Own Miracle Fruit - Synsepalum Dulcificum
An attempt to help anyone willing to grow the exotic and highly rewarding Miracle Fruit.
Step 1: Means of Success
What is Miracle Fruit you ask, well Miracle Fruit is a plant that produces somewhat tasteless red berries, HOWEVER, if someone where to eat the berry, then consume a sour substance ex. Lemon, Lime, Battery Acid(not recommended) it will taste like a deliciously sweet candy with no trace of sourness. Lemon juice will turn into lemonade, vinegar into nectar, etc. The effect can last half an hour to 2 hours, and does not impede any other part of your nervous system other than your taste buds and is in no way harmful.
You might have some of these on hand, others you may have to order such as the seeds
Bag of Perlite
Bag of Sphagnum Peat Moss
Gibberrelic Acid United Nuclear Not necessary but very helpful
Miracle Fruit Seeds (Check around if you live in South Florida because some nurseries carry the whole plant, otherwise here's where you can buy seeds Miracle fruit seeds
small pot (preferably a biodegradable one, to protect roots during transplanting) an egg container will also work. You may also use a Jiffy seed starter from a nursery. Follow the directions on the package
With all planting PATIENCE is needed
Step 2: Shaken Not Stirred
For the seed to germinate it has to be placed in a medium and because Miracle Fruit plants need an acidic enviroment (4.5-5.8pH), we'll be using peat and perlite. Once you've obtained a small pot(s) for seed germination place an equal(50/50 amount of peat and perlite in the pot until full. I've always found placing the ingredients in a larger container and shaking them until completely mixed works faster and is less messy.
Step 3: Planting the Seed
Miracle Fruits aren't notorious for their germination, only around 24% do, but we can increase these odds to nearly 100% by using Gibberelic Acid http://unitednuclear.com/chem.htm Whether or not you use it is up to you but if you don't you'll probably need more seeds.
With the peat mixture in the container it can now be moistened and the seeds pushed GENTLY into it so that its just barely visible, this would be the time to spray with gibberelic acid, one spritz for each seed should do.
You are going to want to keep the soil moist and warm, this is easily achieved by placing plastic wrap over the pot to hold in humidity and warmth. Place in indirect sunlight.
Step 4: Rooting Out
Hopefully you've attained sprouts and if you haven't just remember that it can take a couple of weeks for the seed(s) to germinate. Once you have your sprouts they will soon outgrow their birth place and will need to be transplanted. To do this you will need more 50/50 mixture of peat/perlite and a pot, 1quart should be plenty big enough.
After you have the pot filled with the mixture, dig a hole for the transplanted sprouts.
Now carefully remove the sprout "package" and place it in the hole, being careful not to damage the roots.
Fill in the hole making sure the plant is level and soak with water to remove any air pockets.
Step 5: The Waiting Game
This is the hardest part, waiting. The plants take their time growing but they do begin to fruit a one foot in height. We can provide many factors that will help to speed the process a bit.
Blood Meal- Sell it at most garden stores, it is blood so when it is applied it will smell while it is decomposing, the more flies around it the better. Provides nitrogen and will make the plant grow faster and healthier.
Bone Meal-Same as above only this provides phosphorus which aids in root development and blooming.
Watering- Water when the soil is getting dry, keep moist.
Sun- The plants are from the rain forests of West Africa, so hot and humid is the way to go. A clear plastic bag over the entire plant sometimes work as long as it does not get too hot inside of it. They do not tolerate cold well, 65 F and below
Step 6: It's Not All Magic
I don't want to keep you guessing, so I'll tell how it works. Contrary to popular belief the effect isn't magic or even a divine intervening, as far as I know, what I do know is that there is a large glycoprotein chain called Miraculin. Miraculin isn't just any protein chain, in fact it was so large scientists had a hard time finding it, ironic but its the truth. When the miraculin is consumed it binds to the taste buds and is activated by acidic/bitter foods, releasing sugars onto your taste buds, creating the pleasurable sensation which is Miracle Fruit.