Are you a gardener who wants to know more about how to plant dragon fruit due to its delicious taste and gorgeous look?
Dragon fruit is one of the best Thai fruits that is strange looking. Cut it open and get a juicy pinky-red skin that reveals the white or pink flesh speckled with tiny little black seeds. It grows on cacti, a sort of cactus fruit, and resembles a dragon egg thus the name dragon fruit.
The taste is diverse depending on different taste buds. Some say it tastes like kiwi fruit, pear, strawberry, or watermelon. Others describe it as savory or sweet. Did you know that the growing conditions and ripeness can impact the taste of this fruit? It is packed with Vitamin C, the more reason why most people consume it.
The Cacti has adorable flowers that are about 20 cm wide appearing in the summer season. They are brightly colored yellow-green on the outside and white on the inside. These flowers open in the evening and last only one night.
Types of Dragon Fruit
The term dragon fruit refers to several types of cacti that produce edible fruits. The common types are:
- Red fleshed fruit also known as Hylocereus costaricensis
- White fleshed fruit also known as Hylocereus undatus
- Yellow skin and white flesh is also known as Hylocereus Megalanthus
Step by Step on How to Plant Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruits are native to Central and Southern America as well as Mexico. It thrives in mild winters with no frost. But can tolerate occasional cold weather above 10 degrees. They are able to handle the heat, humidity, drought, and poor soils. They grow tastier with regular watering and rich soil.
The cacti plants grow both in the garden and in a large pot. Be sure to plant against a thick stick or some support. This allows you to tie the stems to the support to encourage straight vertical growth.
Propagation of the Dragon Fruits
Dragon fruit grows from cuttings or seed. To grow from seed, squash the flesh onto a paper towel and keep it in a moist warm area. Do not expose them to direct sunlight. These seeds will sprout within 2-3 weeks and can be potted into punnets for proper growth.
Water the seedlings weekly to develop strong seedlings. Once the seedlings grow some more, pot them in individual pots that are large enough. These seedlings take several years to reach fruiting age.
To use the cutting. Break off a segment of about 30-50 cm long and leave it in a dry shady spot for one week. This allows the cut end to seal in order to prevent rotting. At the end of the week, plant the cuttings in a pot and keep them in a bright shady area. Allow the roots to develop before moving them into the sun. During this time, do not overwater the cuttings, it can make them rot and die. It is best to do the cuttings during warmer months.
Step by Step Planting Guide
- Planting Spot. Choose a spot that attracts a good amount of sun. Dragon fruit thrives in good sunlight.
- Soil. Boost the soil with compost manure or organic fertilizer. You may add lime to the soil to bring it to the right pH level. The soil must be well-drained because this fruit plant rots easily.
- Add Fertilizers. Every 2 – 3 weeks apply organic fertilizer as a foliar spray or mixed with water put it around the plant. Each spring, reapply and replenish the compost manure. Be sure to keep checking the staking to ensure the plant is properly supported. From time to time, remove some of the longer shoots to keep it under control allowing space for new growth to flourish. Less congestion tends to lead to bigger fruit.
- Mulching. Once you plant, mulch them to protect their shallow roots from drying. Water them each week to encourage new root formation.
- Trimming. If left on their own, dragon fruit becomes too messy. A bit of trimming is in order to eliminate any side shoots. Once the stems reach the desired height, trim off their ends to encourage new shoots. These trimmed branches can be allowed to spread out and hang downwards.
Now that you know how to plant dragon fruit and the step by step process you ought to follow, its time to try growing your own. You will not regret this journey even as you learn in the process of growing it. On harvesting this delicious fruit, you will forget the tedious journey and enjoy the produce!