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Altitude. The plant seems unaffected by altitude. It grows from sea level in Chile, New Zealand, and California to 3,300 m in Colombia.
Low Temperature. Once established, the plant experiences frost damage at temperatures below −3°C. Seedlings are even more sensitive. Cool, wet weather during the harvest season results in skin cracking.
High Temperature. The plant performs best at 18–20°C. With adequate moisture, it can tolerate intermittent temperatures above 30°C. However, fruit production then declines, particularly if both day and night temperatures are high.
Soil Type. The plant thrives in moderately moist soils with good drainage. Soils should be above pH 6.0 to avoid disorders such as manganese toxicity and iron deficiency. If soil is too fertile, there can be problems of fruit set and fruit quality.
Solanum caripense (tzimbalo) is a possible wild ancestor, which crosses readily with pepino and bears edible fruit. It is a sprawling plant, more open and smaller than the pepino, that is fairly widespread in the Andes between 800 and 3,800 m elevation. Its fruits are elongate and slightly smaller than ping-pong balls. There is, however, little flesh to eat, for they are mostly juice and seeds. Some are rather intensely flavored, sweet, and occasionally leave a bitter aftertaste. The plant's advantages are early fruiting, abundant yields, and fairly tough-skinned fruit.
Solanum tabanoense is a rare plant found between 2,800 and 3,500 m in southern Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The fruit has an appreciable amount of flesh and is similar to the pepino in size and taste.
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