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How to Grow Miracle Berry

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Eat a miracle berry, and for at least 30 minutes, even the sourest lemons and limes will taste as sweet as candy. These unusual berries grow on an evergreen shrub that is native to West Africa and rapidly becoming a popular houseplant. The plants are slow starters, and can take up to three years to bear fruit. But once they start, you'll have an ample supply of berries. The best way to start a miracle berry plant is from a fresh seed. Each berry will contain one single seed.

Acquire a fresh miracle berry seed. If you know somebody who has a plant, ask them to give you a fresh seed. The seeds are very perishable and need to be planted within a few days. You might be able to find a local grower, but be careful about ordering miracle berry seeds on the Internet because they might not always be viable.

Fill a planting container with a mixture of half peat moss and half perlite. Set the container in a dish of water and let it self-water until the soil is slightly damp clear through. Although the miracle seed needs constant humidity, standing water will cause the seed to rot.

Push the seed carefully into the soil far enough that the tip of the seed can barely be seen above the soil. Put the container in a zip-type bag and close the bag. Put the container on a heat mat that will hold the temperature at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the container in a sunny spot, but avoid direct sunlight. In its natural conditions, the miracle berry is usually partially shaded by larger plants, so indirect, but bright light, is best.

Check the soil every day. If it appears dry, remove the container from the plastic bag, water it from the bottom, and put it back in the plastic bag.

Remove the container from the plastic and take it off the heat mat when the seedling emerges from the soil. The germination time is unpredictable, and could take from a few days to a few months.

Continue to keep the miracle berry plant in a warm, humid environment. Water it from the bottom as needed, and mist it two or three times a week. If the tips of the leaves turn brown, it's an indication that the air is too try. Increase the humidity by misting, or return the plant to the plastic for a few days. You can also increase the humidity by placing the plant on a plate of pebbles, and add water to the top of the pebbles.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Miracle berry seed
  • Planting container
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Dish
  • Zip-type bag
  • Heat mat

Tip

  • If possible, plant two or three miracle berry seeds. Seed germination isn't guaranteed, and planting more than one seed will increase the chance of success.

About the Author

 

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.