Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Growing Pepinos

A few years ago I received some seeds from Fair Dinkum Seeds as I had written a post promoting this family company and among the seeds were Pepinos which I had never heard of before but thought I would give them a try. I had them growing in a pot and only ever saw one fruit which never got a chance to ripen so I gave up on them and stuck the plant in the ground out of the way and watered it when I remembered. Imagine my surprise when I found a half a dozen or so pepinos hiding under the leaves when I checked the other day.

I really didn't know much about the fruit and thought that they must turn purple when ripe as they had purple stripes on them until I came across some comments by Gavin in one of his posts
in which he says that the fruit is ripe when it turns a custard colour and has purple lines that haven't faded. When ripe they have a flavour which is a cross between a banana and a rockmelon (cantaloupe).

 None that were growing looked like Gavin's so I picked four that looked like they were fairly ripe to check out their taste.

They are a bit hard to find under all the foliage.

 Of the four pepinos there was one that was a custard colour but the purple lines had really faded, another that was turning custard but the lines were still quite dark, one green and custard coloured one and a fairly greenish one.

Of course the greenish ones had no taste....

The custard and green one had a more pleasant taste....

...and the outright winner was the custard coloured one with the faded purple stripes. It was quite sweet so I must have picked it just at the right time before it started tasting like cough medicine like Gavin mentioned.

If you would like to know more about these unusual fruit there is some good information on Good Life Permaculture in the article Growing Pepinos and Pepino - a perennial fruiting shrub on  Sustainable Gardening Australia. You can grow them from seeds and if a friend has a plant they might layer it for you or give you a cutting.

If you like growing unusual plants then check out Fair Dinkum Seeds.  They certainly have a wide variety. 

Let me know if you have grown or tasted a pepino. I'd love to know what you think of them.


  1. I have never heard of these fruit before - I learn something new every day. And to think it is a perennial too.

  2. i love them! but unfortunately they don't grow here, it's too hot
    they are cerainly unusual fruit & the little shrub is quite pretty
    thanx for sharing

  3. I enjoy reading stories such as yours. Forgetting about the plant thinking it isn't growing and then it surprises you.
    I'd never heard of Pepinos until now but the flavour sounds great. A bit of banana with cantaloupe flavour sounds yummo. I know the custard describes the colour but looking at it I keep thinking custard creaminess and flavour. I wonder how it would go with custard.
    Enjoy your Pepinos and perhaps a bowl of custard ��.

  4. I've never heard of Pepino. Learned something new today. :)
    By the way, I love your plates, Chel. They are beautiful.

  5. I grew them, I think I harvested them too early, they were kind of bland and soapy. But the bushes are amazing, they grow vigorously and perfect to cut and drop for compost and mulch.

  6. I have heard of Pepino before but if they won't grow in Selina's neck of the wood it is not likely they will grow here either. Darn.

  7. I grow them too, although they have to fend for themselves. The past few years, they haven't had a lot of natural rainfall, so fruit has been small and the chickens often get them. But I have learned through trial and error, over the years, when they're ready to eat. I picked the orange one in your test group, because I knew it would be sweet and juicy.

    I've moved a new plant onto a hugel bed, and it seems to be going gangbusters. So hoping to have more success growing them, this year. Any fruit that gets attacked by insects, or you just don't want to eat yourself, give them to the chooks. They'll devour them!

    Glad to see you managed to grow them, and eat them! They are quite lovely, when picked at the right time.

  8. My Dad used to grow Pepino's and take them to market in NZ. They are delicious, however, frost tender. We took cuttings in autumn and kept them going season to season that way. We would add them to fruit salad, preserve them with pears, peaches, pineapple and passionfruit or simply cut them length ways, scoop the seed out and fill them with passionfruit pulp - yummo. Snails and rats like to eat them too.


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