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A noni tree with large green leaves and fruit
A tropical superfood with supposed magical powers, and a price tag to boot, noni fruit is easy to grow in its native climate. Fruiting brings mixed emotions, as the ripe fruit smells like blue cheese, but those brave enough to drink the juice sing its praises.

What you need to know about noni fruit

Name: noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia).

Height: 3–6m.

Foliage: glossy evergreen foliage.

Climate: tropical and sub-tropical climates. 

Soil: a free-draining soil enriched with compost and well-aged manure. 

Position: full sun or part shade. 

Flowering and fruiting: produces clusters of white, tubular flowers in spring, followed by lumpy creamy-coloured oval-shaped fruits in summer. 

Feeding: do not over-fertilise, as plants become too lush and subsequently susceptible to pests and disease. Instead, apply compost as a mulch in spring.

Watering: drought tolerant once established, water only when necessary during extended periods of drought. 

Appearance and characteristics of noni fruit

Noni fruit is a large, glossy evergreen shrub or tree with highly pungent fruit. Climate sensitive, while it can be grown in a pot indoors, the smell of the flowers and fruit usually discourages this option.

Noni fruit, some cut in half, on an outdoor table 

Uses for noni fruit

Noni fruit can be grown as an edible hedge in tropical and sub-tropical climates. All parts of this miracle plant are edible, with the fruit, leaves, roots and bark all used to make herbal remedies said to cure everything from the common cold to arthritis and tumours, although there has been no scientific or medical proof to validate these claims.

How to plant and grow noni fruit 

  1. Plant in full sun in a soil enriched with compost and well-aged manure. Do not plant too close to buildings or paths, as the vigorous root system can be problematic in some areas. Noni is a large tree or shrub, so allow enough space for the plant to develop. 
  2. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot and backfill a little soil so that the final height of the tree is the same as it was in the pot. 
  3. Backfill and firm down the soil. 
  4. Water to remove air pockets around the roots
  5. Mulch to reduce weed growth and competition.

Caring for noni fruit

Regular watering (2–3 times a week) is required during establishment. Once established, water only during lengthy periods of drought, or in hot dry weather.

How to prune noni fruit

Prune only to reduce overall size, to create a hedge or to remove unwanted branches.

Diseases and pests that affect noni fruit

Noni fruit can be attacked by sap-sucking insects such as scale and aphids. Fortunately, these can be treated with an eco-oil spray. Take the time to control ants, too, as these increase the likelihood of scale and aphids, as well as sooty mould.

How to propagate your noni fruit tree

Noni fruit can be readily propagated from seed or stem cuttings. Seed-grown plants are more hardy, but they do take longer to grow.

Growing noni fruit trees from seed

  1. Simply take a seed and soak in water. 
  2. Place in a sieve and rub to remove all pulp. 
  3. Rinse with water and repeat. 
  4. Once clean, sow on a bed of seed-raising mix and cover lightly. 
  5. Place over a heat mat and water regularly. 
  6. When plants have developed their first four true leaves, seedlings can be potted up and moved to a protected area in part shade before hardening off by gradually moving them into a position in full sun. 

Growing noni fruit trees from cuttings

  1. Take a stem cutting about 25–30cm long. 
  2. Strip the lower half of the leaves by pinching your fingers over the stem and running them down the cutting. 
  3. Dip the cutting in rooting or cutting hormone, powder or gel and place into a pot filled with propagating mix. 
  4. Water regularly and transplant when visible roots emerge after around 3–4 months.

Safety tip

If using products to deal with pests, diseases or weeds, always read the label, follow the instructions carefully and wear suitable protective equipment. Store all garden chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.

If you like this then try

Dragon fruit: a fruiting succulent and home-grown superfood. 

Quinoa: an abundant, easy-to-grow gluten-free crop.

Bananas: a great landscape backdrop plant with attractive foliage and delicious fruit.

Start growing today

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.