Grow pepino dulce at home


Pepino (Solanum muricatum) is a plant that belongs to the eggplant family and comes from South America. That tells us that pepino loves sunny weather and cannot survive our winters. But you don’t have to give up, because you can grow it indoors! Sure, you need to plant pepino in a flowerpot or a greenhouse, but during the summer you can place it on your balcony, terrace or at least on a windowsill and enjoy it. Pepino fruit resembles small juicy and tasty watermelons.

Growing in a pot

Choose a sunny location, but if you get plenty of strong midday sun it is good idea to shade it. Pepino will not survive freezing temperatures, so only move it outside when there is no danger of freezing weather. The outside temperature usually drops in September, so bring the plant back inside to protect it. The rule of thumb says that can have pepino outside from the second half of May until September, but not longer.

Use a big pot

The container or pot must be large enough – at least 30 cm in diameter and you should create a drainage layer in the pot to make watering easier. The drainage layer should be about 3 to 4 cm high and you can use expanded clay or fine gravel. Do not forget to make drainage holes at the bottom of the container to make sure that excess water can drain out. Pepino hates standing in water.


Photo: Pixabay


Pepino is a plant that needs good soil (neutral pH preferably). You should also add compost when planting and about three weeks after planting you may add fertilizer (a fertilizer designed for vegetables). Repeat fertilizing after about seven days. Moist the soil before germination and when the germination is over, a gentle trickle of water will do. Do not use too much water!

Propagation by cuttings

If you know someone who has already been growing pepino you are in luck. Ask that person for a cutting. The cutting should be about 10 cm long and must have a small amount of leaves at the end. Plant it in a nutrient-rich and well-drained soil. When it takes root, transfer the plant to a sufficiently large container and care for it as for any seedlings that have grown from seeds.


Photo: Pixabay

Pepino fruit

Fruit grow on overhanging shoots and if you do not want to pick the fruit from the ground, you should tie shoot to a stakes. The skin of the fruit is brindled and usually yellow and the size ranges from 15 to 20 cm. It is best eaten fresh. You may eat it with or without the skin. It is up to you. Pepino fruit is often added to fruit salads, breakfast smoothies or porridges. Surely, you will find your own way how to use this delicious fruit.

Harvest time

As soon as the fruit turn yellow and you notice purple streaks on surface, the fruit is ready to be harvested. Do not harvest too soon because the fruit need to be ripe to be nice and sweet . If you find unripe fruit during harvesting, place it on a sunny spot and it will ripen in a few days. It will not be as sweet as fully ripe fruit, but at least you saved it. Do not worry. It will still be delicious and exotic.

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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