Sherbet berries, by some accounts resembles cherries and by others it resembles grapes, some have even described it as looking like a large blueberry. I would describe it as a clustered cherry. They start out as greenish yellow in color, graduating through reds and purples, and finally turn purple-black when fully ripe.
Sherbet berries are pleasingly sweet and simultaneously sour with a hint of grape and a hint of sherbert flavor from whence it drew its name. In its native South Asia where it is made into a remarkably refreshing drink similar to a smoothie.
It is right up there with some other ‘super foods’ containing respectable amounts of Vitamin A , Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Niacin and Iron as well as a boatload of assorted antioxidants.
They are attractive landscape shrubs as they produce large clusters of fluorescent yellow blossoms in the spring followed by green and yellow berries that morph through varying spectral colors culminating in a black purple berry when ripe. The berries ripen in late summer and early fall.
If I said it was an easy plant to grow I would be lying, it has some issues in getting established. Once it is established and has developed a healthy root system however it requires minimal care.
In North America, it can be grown outdoors year round in zones 8 through 11 and can be grown in any climate zone as a containerized or greenhouse plant. Some specimens reach up to 15 feet in height with a respectable girth, but it is easily trained to more manageable sizes for container growing.
If growing sherbert berries in a pot, be sure that it’s big enough to accommodate the plants brisk growth. In the ballpark of 2 feet wide by 2 feet deep is best. As with all potted plants be sure the container has adequate drainage.
Excess moisture should flow freely out of the pots bottom to avoid rots and mildew. A soil blend containing perlite and or vermiculite is best. A stake within the pot is helpful to allow support for the young plants, they will or can be trained to grow up the stake.
They are tolerable of most soil types, but thrive in moist, well drained soil.
They are described as drought tolerant, but for best results particularly during fruiting ample moisture / watering is advisable. Watering is advisable once the top layer of soil down to about two inches is dry, not bone dry, just dry. In hot climates or warm spells a misting of the foliage will help.
Fertilizer is not a bad idea, just don’t get carried away, you could do more harm than good. Both containerized and in ground sherbet berry plants should be fertilized lightly and regularly during the active growing season with organic water soluble fertilizer. Fertilize when you water using a time released fertilizer designated for fruit trees. Follow the label instructions.
Full Sun when outdoors and a bright and well lit area when indoors is best. 10 to 12 hours of sunlight is optimal for growth and fruiting. They will grow in partial shade but not as well.