Dragon fruit is a popular strange looking plant that produces extremely delicious fruits. Since it is a cactus, it is a highly adaptive plant that can grow in many environments and conditions. Learning how to grow Dragon fruit is not hard once you are provided with a detailed guide.
This plant is easy to grow and it can grow in garden and pots. You could also grow it from seeds and from cuttings. Although it looks scary and intimidating, this plant, in fact, is very soft. This delicious plant is native to Central America, but, due to its exotic yummy taste, it is grown in many subtropical and tropical regions such as China, Israel, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Nicaragua.
Besides producing delicious tasty fruits, Dragon Fruits is one of the healthiest plants on earth. It contains antioxidants, easy to digest carbohydrates, and omega fatty acids in the seeds. Although most people prefer eating the fruits of this plant directly with spoons, you could use in making sauces, salsas, and smoothies.
If you are interested in learning how to grow dragon fruit, just keep on reading this informative article.
1. Choosing seeds or cuttings
First of all, we are going to tell you what is the difference between grow dragon fruits from seeds and growing dragon fruits from cuttings. If you opt for seeds, your plat will take around two years to start producing fruits. However, if you opt for cuttings, it takes less time.
For cuttings, you can buy the dragon fruit cutting from professional growers or on Amazon.com. Plant it in your garden or in a deep wide pot a watch it grows. But before planting it, let completely dry in a shady place.
For seeds, you need to buy a dragon fruit pulp, cut it with a sharp knife into to halves and extract the seeds. Wash them good and put them on a damp paper towel for a whole night. Then choose a small container and fill it with a well-draining mix. A mix of peat and perlite is perfect for the seeds to germinate. Scatter the seeds in the pot and lightly cover them with soil.
Then, water them carefully and make sure that the soil is moist. Wrap the top of the container with a plastic wrap and keep the soil moist for the next two to four weeks. Once the seeds germinate, remove the plastic cover and transplant them into your garden or a bigger container.
If you are going to use a container, you should use one that is at least 10 inches deep with a diameter of at least 15 inches. Since dragon fruit is similar to succulent, choose a succulent planter.
2. Choosing a spot
Since dragon fruit is a subtropical plant, naturally, this plant prefers warmth, heat, and sun. However, for the dragon tree to grow and thrive fast, it is better that you grow it in a partial sun. Therefore, you should choose a spot where your plant remains dry and receives only partial sun.
However, if you live in a cold area, you should grow dragon tree in a pot so you can move it inside during frost and extremely cold climate. This plant can’t handle temperature degrees below 28F.
Dragon tree can tolerate poor quality soil. It requires well-draining sandy soil and it is acceptable if it is a poor-quality soil. Mix your garden soil with some sand and you will have an appropriate soil to grow dragon tree. You could also add some potting mix and compost.
Dragon fruit is a cactus and as a member of the succulent family, it is not a fan of excessive watering. Water it moderately, that is to say; water only when the soil completely dries. Be careful, overwatering will kill your plant. Succulent varieties are not tolerant of overwatering. It leads to the rot of their roots.
If you are growing dragon fruit in a container and you are afraid that you might overwater it, you could use one of these self-watering containers.
If you wish to learn how to grow more decorative succulent varieties, check out these fabulous ideas for succulent gardens.
Dragon fruit is not a heavy feeder. It requires only occasional watering. When the plant is active during the growing season, use a slow-time release, low-nitrogen cactus fertilizer to fertilize it once a month or once in two months. Too much fertilizing may kill it so be wary. You should also stop fertilizing the plant in winter. If you want your plant to grow fast, don’t apply more fertilizing but rather add aged manure or compost from time to time.
6. Add support
Dragon fruit is a vine cactus thus it needs support to climb on. When the plant becomes mature, use a climbing pole to give it structure. This will help your plant to reach its maximum growth.
Dragon fruit trees are known to be self-pollinating plants. However, there some plants that are not able to self-pollinate and require cross-pollination. Therefore, make sure that you plant two or three plants next to each other to facilitate cross-pollination. Cross-pollination is done by moths and bats because dragon tree has a nocturnal nature.
There are some varieties of Dragon fruit that can grow up to 20 feet tall. When it is tall and mature enough, you should start pruning it by cutting branches and pinching off suckers. This will make it stronger and help it to flower. The branches you cut off from your plant can be planted to grow other dragon fruit trees.
You will know when to harvest from the change of the dragon tree’s color. When the fruits become red or pink or sometimes yellow, it means that they have ripened and they are ready to be harvested. The fruits are usually formed 30 to 50 days after flowering.
Once you pick the fruits, open them and eat their inside with a spoon, they are extremely delicious.
This is the best guide to learn how to grow dragon fruit. Apply this guide and you will enjoy this lovely fruit in two years. It is easy to grow and it is definitely one of the most delicious and tasty fruits on earth. If you have never tasted it before, its taste will definitely amaze you.
Enjoy growing your dragon fruit and if you ever feel confused, contact us for more tips and information.