Explore the exotic world of dragon fruit, also known as Pitahaya, and bring this tropical delight to your own garden.
Recognizable for its unique flavor, reminiscent of kiwi but less subtle, dragon fruit belongs to the cactus family and boasts some of the most striking flowers globally. Native to Central America, dragon fruit thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, gracing supermarket shelves with its vibrant presence.
How to Cultivate Dragon Fruit in Your Garden:
1. Provide Support for Climbing:
- Dragon fruit is a climbing cactus that requires support as it grows. Ensure it has a structure to climb upon.
2. Optimal Growing Conditions:
- Flourishing in warm weather and partial sun, dragon fruit is well-suited for subtropical environments. In colder climates, cultivate it in pots, avoiding exposure to temperatures below 28F.
Sowing Dragon Fruit from Seeds:
- Extract black seeds from a fresh dragon fruit, washing them thoroughly.
- Place seeds on a damp paper towel overnight.
- Fill a germination pot with well-draining soil, scattering seeds on the surface and covering with a thin layer of medium planting soil.
- Moisten the soil, cover with a plastic bag for moisture, and expect germination in 15-30 days.
- Transplant germinated seeds into a larger pot.
Caring for Dragon Fruit Plants:
- Ensure well-draining soil that stays consistently moist.
- Position the plant in full to partial sun.
- Monthly fertilization is recommended during the active growing season.
Harvesting Dragon Fruits:
- Harvest dragon fruits when their skin transitions from green to red or pink.
- Mature fruits are typically oval, measuring 10-15 cm in length.
- Harvest 30-50 days after flowering.
While dragon fruit cultivation may take a few years to yield fruit, the spectacular flowering cactus offers a visual feast during the waiting period.
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of growing dragon fruit, let the planting adventure begin!