Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Both flowers have completely fallen off, along with some more leaves, so it's back to square one. Actually, square one would have been better, because the plant was in picture perfect health then. I've noticed that there hasn't been any condensation in the bag, so I thought that the problem might have been humidity. Before, the bag was sort of pinched under the pot of the plant, and a lot of moisture probably got through. Also, the soil was just as moist as it was months ago, and I thought the roots needed some air, so instead of having the opening of the plant underneath the pot I taped it around the base of the tree.

That was about a week ago, and still no condensation in the bag, so I thought maybe the plants weren't respiring at all. To get the bag humid, and maybe get the plant healthier, I tried to pour water into the sealed bag by making a small hole in the top and sealing it later. Oops! I tour a five inch gash in the bag, and had to use a lot of tape (after pouring water inside)to seal the patch. Hopefully this will do something.

I also sealed the final two seedlings in an aquarium, explained at

Pictures enclosed are a full view of the larger plant and the aquarium setup.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is it fruit?

So a few weeks ago I noticed two healthy, fully formed flowers on my plant, and tried to pollinate them. Usually, the flowers shrivel up, turn black and fall off within a week. One of the flowers has shriveled up, but the base of it is still latched on to the tree, unlike the other flower. I think there's a chance that if the flower has been on so long, it might be because there's a developing fruit inside. I guess its just wait and see for now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hooray! Larger MF plant update

So in the four-ish months since I've had my largest miracle fruit plant, I at first saw stability, then loss of foliage, and for the most part after that, nothing. No new growth, no loss of leaves, and I began to worry that: A, my plant was dead, B: it was defective, or C: I was doing something wrong. Because it was unlikely I would have a "defective" plant, and it would have been obvious if it was dead, I was probably doing something wrong. The obstacle of correcting this is that I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I contacted the seller and in short, was told to keep doing what I was doing. This was about a week ago.

Yesterday, I looked at my plant and noticed that a couple of leaves had turned brown, so I opened the bag and checked to see if there were more dying leaves. I didn't find any, instead to my delight I saw that at the top of the plant there were two perfectly formed flowers! I looked carefully, and found there were actually a dozen or so tiny buds growing on the branches, and a few small red leaves, which I think are newly formed. I took a cotton swab and brushed against both of the flowers to hopefully polinate them.

I think my plant has finally overcome its transplant shock. I just wish I could find what I was doing differently, so I can keep it that way.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tiny cacti and updates

In the month or so since I have last posted, I do have a new blog ( of my current experiment involving the effects of Gibberellic acid with seed germination and growth, which is partly why I have not updated here. The results in there are not posted over here, even though it also involves miracle fruit. So, onto updates!

The tray of dragon fruit seedlings I officially consider tiny cacti now. They've made some very significant growth, and although have the little leaf at the base, the red fruit seedlings are about 1-2 inches high and have the general shape of the larger cutting I have. I can't say the same about the white fleshed seedlings, though... those are puny, looking like they've been starved or something. I can't think of anything I'm doing differently with them, I'm treating them exactly the same; rich potting soil with good drainage, watering once a week drenching the whole thing, same sunny window, so I don't know why. I'm guessing that maybe the white fleshed variety just grows slower..? If that's true, it doesn't make sense to me, because then the red fruited plants grow faster and taste better, but the white fruits are much more popular.

The other day I tried prickly pear fruit for the first time. It wasn't entirely good, it actually tasted a bit like white dragon fruit, but I'm interested in trying to grow it because of how it's a weed in almost every dry environment. I've even seen it growing outside in a Michigan garden. So I saved a dozen or so seeds from the sweeter one I had and planted them in the white dragon fruit tray away from the small cluster of seedlings, and either way I doubt the existing tenants will survive they're just so frail. I also put a few wrapped in a moist paper towel in a small bowl so I can see if that's also a good way to germinate cacti seedlings. Either way, we'll see.

My larger miracle fruit plant, in the 2-3 months since I have gotten it, has shown no new growth, so there isn't really a point to taking a picture. I was told by the seller that I should keep the plant in the plastic bag until I see new growth, but I'm wondering if that itself is the problem. If I don't see any growth in a month or so I'll gradually take it out of the bag. Hopefully a problem won't occur, and I really hope that the problem isn't my plant itself, because a forum member of says that he is doing what I am, and has gotten new growth after two weeks. I'll see then.

My first bbatch of miracle fruit seedlings are doing a little iffy. About a month ago, I had three seedlings left with three big, healthy leaves each. Then one died. Then one that looked dead sprang back to life, and now has three leaves. Then yet another one died. The only one that looked alive since the beginning has good growth, about five big leaves. Supposedly this is okay for this plant after a few months. I'll have to see in comparison to the other set of seedlings.

My larger dragon fruit cactus stopped growing after the 1 inch strand when I left it outside, and I figure now it was because of the temperature dropping to around 50 F at night. The strand shriveled and fell off so I brought it inside next to a well lit window. Since then it is showing great growth, in the two weeks since I brought it inside a section coming out of it has grown about 5-6 inches. That's about a half inch a day, maybe a little less. I doubt it will grow this way during the winter, but the growth overall is still considerable.

Remember my original Venus fly trap, pluto? And how it had just one tiny trap? (S)he's made considerable growth, gaining about 15 larger traps and an overall improvement in general health. My other venus flytrap, the larger one, is not doing as well. Many of the traps have died and it looks limp, plus the new ones are much smaller.

Large update, when something interesting happens I'll post again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another update on the dragon fruit seedlings, and a cutting!

It's been a couple more weeks and though the dragon fruit seedlings haven't grown up, their spines have clearly grown down. As I said before, there are two leaves in a cactus seedling and when the middle of it gets covered in spines, the leaves are shed off and it looks like a true cactus. They're not completely down yet, so the leaves are still there, but I give them another month or so before they look like tiny cacti.

Remember the cactus I got a while ago? I replanted it and made it into a bonsai, it actually looks very nice! I'm not sure if the flowers are naturally green, the store may have just dyed it. I hope they're regularly like that, but I don't know. All I did was replanted it into peat moss and perlite in a nice pot, and surrounded the base with regular rocks.

Another thing, thursday, August 13th, I got a rooted dragon fruit cutting from ebay. It's the red fleshed kind, and was about 16inches long from the soil line when I bought it (smaller than the listing, but these are supposed to grow FAST from cuttings, as much as an inch a day.) The first thing I noticed was the packages weight. I was surprised at how light it was, less than a pound. From reading about the weight of cacti and that this was supposed to have a large diameter, I figured it would weight three or four pounds. The root ball was surrounded by peat moss and plastic. If I had know how fast these things root, (because that's how they climb) I would have just bought a regular cutting for cheaper. This thing might have even rooted in the mail.

The cutting had very short spines on the inside of the curves, which was convenient because you could easily hold it without getting jabbed. The general shape of the cactus was a sort of seraded edge, with the base seperated into three parts, and it was much lighter than I expected. Halfway up there was almost a woody time of stem, which I just found out is compacted root. The plant is usually seperated into segments separated by roots, of which seek out nutrients in cracks and trees. At the top of the bigger mass there was a little thread section which looked like another portion of the cactus starting.

I already had a six inch pot with some soil mixture still in it, so I planted it inside and added some peat moss and perlite for drainage plus a little granual fertilizer. If it grows I plan to add mulched organic matter for it to leech from. I stuck in two support sticks and taped them to the top of the cactus. I then taped them to the bottom of the pot, and the whole setup is outside on my front porch that gets a good portion of sun daily. I water them every three days and put in about a cup of water mixed with some liquid fertilizer I got from Mark of . (It's all organic matter, so it might do the trick instead of a solid mass of fertilizer.) I'm watering it this much rather than most cacti because it's supposed to withstand a lot of water since it grows so much. Since I planted it, I think the little strand has grown maybe 1/2 to 1 inch. If it really grows an inch a day when it's settled, it'll get way too big for that pot in just a little while.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just lazy, I guess. Dragon fruit update

While I have had this update for a while, I've just been putting it off. On July 22nd the tray with the red fleshed dragon fruit germinated, about 100 of them. Only about 10 of the white fleshed seeds germinated, though it's okay because I wasn't exactly trying for them.

True cacti germinate and have two leaves which will be the last ones they make. The top of the "cactling" will start to make spines between the leaves and it will slowly grow to the bottom of the seedling at which point the rest of the plant will die. It looks like a very small regular cactus then.

It's been a couple of weeks since they've germinated and they about doubled in height and look like any other seedling. They've just started to make the spines on the top. Pictures of that will be posted once the spines have spread a bit.

Also, I'm doing a small scale experiment with gibberellic acid Miracle Fruit seedlings on . Updates of that will not be posted over here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dragon fruit, back from vacation.

Sorry for my lack of posts, I was away until the other day, and while I was traveling I came upon something interesting! At a chinese market I finally found the elusive dragon fruit. I was just passing by and I noticed a fruit exactly like the pictures, and next to it I saw one about twice as big but without the scales. I purchased one of each, not being cheap ($6 a pound for the smaller ones and $3 a pound for the larger ones.) The larger ones, I was told, were white fleshed, and the smaller ones were red fleshed.

When I got back to the hotel room, After both were in the refrigerator for an hour or so (I was told to eat it chilled) I decided to cut open the white one, the larger one. It sliced easily in half, and had a strange wood smell (best description possible.) I have no idea if it was just spoiled, but I must say I was extremely disappointed. It was slimy, bland, and like my previous description, it had a woody taste. I also strongly not recommend putting sugar on the white one. It just made it taste gritty.

Nevertheless, I saved the remains and put it in a plastic bag, along with a few spoonfuls of flesh in another bag, to be used for planting. I wanted to try it anyway. There was a huge amount of seeds, probably a few hundred in the sample I took.

For about two days, I refrained from eating the red dragon fruit, because I thought it would taste just as horrible. I knew I had to try it soon though, because they spoil very quickly. It looked nicer, but it still had the strange wood smell. I cut it open and hoped for the best.

It decided to be the best! I took a cautious nibble and let me tell you, it was much better than the white dragon fruit. it had a better texture, less seeds, and a strange combination of strawberry and pear taste. It tasted very good, looked better inside and out, and it was almost eaten before I could take seed samples.

This was the one I was going to put more effort on, definitely. I will try to grow both, but this was the one I would tend to a little more often, strain the seeds the right way, and CARE ABOUT.

To seperate the seeds I took the pieces of flesh from each fruit and soaked them in warm water in a bowl for about half an hour. After the flesh is soaked as much as possible. I poured the mixture seperately into a fine strainer and continually ran water over it until it was mostly just seed. when I had both of them fully done, (about 200 seeds for each) I just sprinkled the mass over a two shallow plastic containers filled with regular miracle-grow soil topped off with perlite. I'll transplant them later into a better mixture, but when I did this I was rushed. I got it watered, and it's been by a window for the past few days.

I also got my carnivorous seeds, but that's for tomorrow.

I strongly suggest you get the red dragon fruit if you're at a store but it's too hard to choose.

Pictures enclosed are the fruit, the fruit soaking, and the tray (before I topped off with perlite)



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Good, Good, Meh.

First good. I have another seedling poking up, and it's the only one with true leaves. They're not green yet, but I at least can tell that it's a leaf unlike the green spikes coming out of the other plants.

Second good, is that a couple of carnivorous plants came today. I tried again, and when they were about to ship it I realized that it was likely they would come while I was away. I told them to postpone shipment for a few days, but they shipped anyway, but it worked out in the end because it arrived in less than a day, enough time to unpack it and get it ready.

I got a venus fly trap and a drosera capensis, a cape sundew. I was originally going to just get the sundew, because I have a project in mind for getting several different species, and seeding them all over a terrarium to get a forest of the glistening insect eaters. I decided to get a fly trap anyway, even though I have heard they can be tough growers, and I don't like the dormancy issue. Both were well packed, and mostly healthy though most of the traps were closed and the sundew had no dew, but that's something affected by the sun, which they don't have in a box.

I still have no idea where to permanently keep them, as the light requirements are high. I'm currently keeping them outside in the day for full sun with a cut soda bottle over them for humidity, and at night I put them on a windowsill. I hope they do okay, and while I'm gone they get enough light inside.

The bad is that my large miracle fruit plant has lost some more leaves. They just turn a crinkly brown and shrivel up, some falling off. It's still not more than 20% of the leaves, so I sincerely hope that it is just transplant issues.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A little bad, a little good, a small change to setup

My larger plant has some leaves turning yellow and turning off, maybe ten percent or so. The seller said that about 20% of the leaves falling off from transplant shock is normal, so I hope it's that. I noticed a lot less condensation in the inside of the bag, so I went against the sellers advice and opened the bag, added some more water and misted the plant. I hope this doesn't void my warranty!

On a better note, two of the seedlings have two structures now that I'm pretty sure will open into leaves. They've also grown a bit more, and they're apparently two or three times as tall as they should be (currently three inches each.) This gibberellic acid must be strong stuff. It's too bad that all of the others have either died back or shown no growth. I guess it's not too bad, I have two healthy seedlings, which is infinitely more than I expected.

I'm also changing the grow light setup. I'm replacing the compact with two 24 inch flourescent grow lights, and going to add mirrors around it later. I hope that with this, and the 2-3 hours of sun the ledge gets, I'll have enough light for everything.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lots of photos, scattered. also for people.

I have lots of photos in this one, for the miracle taste people. The pictures shown will be the current ones, except for the one where the seedling is just poking out of the soil. I simply like that one. :)

I waited a while, because I had no idea how anything would turn out.

My plant arrived Thursday June 25th, In a surprisingly light package even though the plant was shipping bare root. After wildly ripping open the packaging, I saw a very healthy about 20 inch plant, with it's roots wrapped in moist paper towel. I was actually surprised at the condition of the plant, because there was not one dead leaf throughout the entire thing even though it had been the mail for ten days. The entire plant was tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, and when I opened it I saw a few flower buds! I have pictures below, but afterwords, I had a bit of a process. I had to get the entire plant completely submerged in water for about an hour to get everything hydrated, and let me tell you that is much harder than it sounds. After several tries in getting containers, I finally found one that was just big enough to fit the plant.

I went outside and decided I didn't have nearly enough distilled water to do the entire thing (duh) so I settled for filling it up with a garden hose, and I had to be very gentle with the plant. Once I got the entire plant covered, I added maybe a fourth cup of root starter to the mix, as was recommended by the seller. I let it swirl around for about an hour, when it just started to rain (I was outside, remember.) but I still had a crucial step to do. After intense searching, way more work than I needed to do, I found a maybe too big pot, but I supposed it would work. I mixed up another batch of peat moss and perlite, using a bit more peat this time, added a scoop of miracle gro dirt, some coffee grinds for acidity, and a small of diluted ascorbib acid. I then cut the ends off of two coat hangers, and stuck it in the soil in two sides, took the plant after soaking, dug a hole just a bit bigger than the root ball, and unceremonously stuffed it in. I took the original plastic bag, and following the sellers advice, made sure the soil and plant were wet before tieing the plastic bag over the whole thing. It was a bit of a squeeze, but most of the foliage was free to move. I had to edit my grow setup, so I moved pluto to a different window and raised the seed tray up so it could get an equal amount of sunlight as the larger plant. In the few days it's been set up, one leaf has turned yellow and fallen off, but it looks as if it will be okay. The plastic bag has condensation every day, so I'm prety sure I held it tightly.

And to the seedlings, two of them look dead, but three are pretty tall and are finally making leaves (at least I'm pretty sure.) None of the two leaf like structures actually formed in any of them, and I'm thinking that it's a side effect of the gibberrellic acid, since they're pretty tall for a week old (biggest one is 2 1/2 inches).

All pictures are in newest post, as people should help.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pictures of setup, and seeds

For the people at miracletaste, I also have pictures of seeds from before.

New cactus, new setup, new things

Well, now that a few of the seeds have germinated I knew I had to make sure the growing conditions were optimal. The window that I had didn't get nearly enough light, only about an hour a day, plus we have had a lot of cloudy days so nothing was constant. I bought a compact fluorescent light made to simulate daylight, so I assume it has all ends of the spectrum. If that's not true, and it's missing red light, a little bit of true sunlight can go a long way, so the setup next to the window should keep that clear. I got a chain and attached it to the ceiling, and hung the light about a foot or so from the seed tray.

I'm only using distilled water now, since it's only 70 cents or so a gallon anyhow and I need it for my flytrap. I have a little plastic container I use to cover the seedlings which have germinated, which by the way still just look like sticks. No leaves yet. I open it up and spritz with distilled water maybe 5-6 times a day. I've changed the bottom of the aluminum container to moist paper towel to add to the humidity. the main things I'm worried about are the seedlings themselves, one looks dead, it fell over, another looks dry, and the other three haven't opened leaf yet, and I'm worried about the soil acidity, It's PH is 7 while it should be 5 or so. I need to counteract this.

Also, I went to home depot and saw a bigger cactus that was flowering green, and I got it. I replanted it into a larger pot with a pixture of peat moss, small amounts of garden soil, and perlite. I also put it under the grow light, and I'm afraid I'll need to get a second bulb! I'm running out of room if I want to keep them healthy. I took a good picture of the cactus flower though. Pictures here are of the cactus, next post is of MF and setup.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Actually, I'm really surprised.

A couple of interesting things have happened over the past few days, since I posted about not doing just miracle fruit. You know how I said I didn't expect any of the seeds to germinate? I was right up until today, there was no sign of germination yesterday, but I looked at the little seed tray today, and just like that, five seedlings were poking out of the soil! I was really surprised, as nothing like this usually works for me. I'm sure some others will also germinated if in one day five do, so I'll be waiting! it already proves that the gibberellic acid had an affect... the seeds are supposed to have a germination rate of 24 percent, but already it's 36 percent. I needed to take off the plastic bag covering the seeds, as one of them was pushing against it, so I'll put the tray in my room with a sheet of plastic covering the tray suspended with sticks. It was a really good surprise, as I was in a bad mood today.

Also, a few days ago, I was at lowes, and in the plant section I saw this tiny little venus fly trap! I had read that you shouldn't buy carnivorous plants at chain stores because they have been treated badly (given regular water, wrong soil, not enough sunlight, no dormancy, ect) but it was only five dollars and I figured I could nurse it back to health. It had only one tiny trap and some of it's leaves were black, so I pinched off the black leaves, and after coaxing it out of the container got a larger container, poked holes in the side, and mixed some peat moss and some perlite. The soil mixture is actually close to what you use for miracle fruit, except you use zero fertilizer. Only use distilled water, keep humid, good light, and bad soil. Also, every winter, keep it colder and with less light/water. They're perrenials, it's necessary for their health. To water it, I keep a bowl under the pot with water in it, and it soaks into the soil.

The first pictures are of my Venus fly trap, Pluto, the second pictures are of the new miracle fruit seedlings.

Also, the larger plant will probably be arriving sometime next week, and I cancelled the order of sundews, the customers service is terrible.