Dragon fruit plant is a cactus plant that usually grows in South East Asia, Mexico, and some parts of South America. The cactus plant grows tall and thick and bears flowers and fruits, which are pretty amazing.
The dragon fruits are sweet, juicy, and popular, with numerous names like pitahaya and pitaya. You can eat this fruit either in raw form or blend the fruit to make smoothies.
The white flowers of the dragon fruit plant are pretty popular because of their unique features. They bloom only for one night and spread a sweet fragrance in the air. They are even considered as one of the largest flowers in the World.
You can grow a dragon fruit plant by cutting or using seeds easily at home. The article discusses how to plant dragon fruit seeds. So, keep reading this article to learn more regarding the growth of a dragon fruit plant at home.
What Is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruits were primarily cultivated in Central and South America. But later, these fruits are grown in various parts of the World.
Dragon fruits are oval in shape and pink in color. It has green scales, and hence the name is dragon fruit. If you cut the fruit, it has white flesh with black seeds.
Dragon fruit is highly nutritious and hence good for your health. It is enriched with vitamin C, essential for enhancing your immune system. The fruit has no cholesterol, so it is good for your heart. It has carotene, which prevents your body from cancer. Dragon fruit is also good for the digestive system. So, in short, it has immense health benefits.
The best thing you can grow a dragon fruit plant in your garden. It requires a little bit of care and maintenance while growing. But once grown, you can pick fresh and nutritious dragon fruit, which is vital for your health. Ripe dragon fruits are sweet and have a texture quite similar to kiwi.
What Are the Three Types Of Dragon Fruit?
There are mainly three species of dragon fruit. We are listing them below.
1. Hylocereus Magalanthus
The dragon fruit of this species has white flesh and a yellow shell. The shell is a bit thorny compared to all other species. So this species is rarely found in gardens.
2. Hylocereus undatus
The dragon fruit of this species has white flesh like the first species. But its outer covering is red in color.
This species is red both inside and outside, almost like red blood color.
Conditions Required For Proper Growth Of Dragon Fruit Plant.
We have listed below a few conditions necessary for the proper growth of the dragon fruit plant.
1. Soil Requirements
The soil must be well drained as possible for proper growth. Additionally, the soil needs to be slightly acidic. Its PH value should lie between 6 and 7.
Sandy soil is best for growing dragon fruit plants. But if sandy soil is unavailable, you can consider growing in good drainage soil.
Try to give fertilizer every month for the proper growth of the dragon fruit plant. But stop giving fertilizer in the cold winter months.
You need to water the plant only when it is dry. Never allow the plant to soak thoroughly in water.
The dragon fruit plant requires a good amount of sunlight for proper growth. Ensure that the plant’s tip receives adequate sunlight for 6-7 hours daily.
Dragon fruit plants will not grow in cold temperatures. Ensure the temperature is within 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit for proper growth.
How To Plant Dragon Fruit Seeds?
You can propagate a dragon fruit plant directly from its seeds. But remember that if you choose to grow dragon fruit by its seeds, it will take many years to develop, bloom, and bear fruit.
We are discussing below in steps how to plant dragon fruit seeds.
1. Purchase A Fruit From The market
Your first duty is to purchase fresh ripe dragon fruit from the market so that you can remove seeds and plant them. Dragon fruits are readily available in grocery stores, and you will not have any problem finding them.
2. Separate Seeds From The Fruit
Your next duty should be to remove seeds from the flesh fruit. Cut the overripe dragon fruit and extract its pulp. You need to scoop all the pulp from the fruit and put it in a kitchen strainer with good mesh.
Show it just below the faucet so you can rinse the pulp properly. You need to rinse until all the fruit pulp is washed in the water. The Black seeds will remain, which are essential for planting a tree. Once your rinsing work is over, you have to dry the seeds. You can lay all the seeds in a paper towel and allow them to dry for 12-14 hours.
3. Prepare Soil In A Pot
If you are planting the seeds directly in a pot, choose soil that is well-drained and enriched with nutrients. Dragon fruit plants require more water compared to other cactus plants. But that does not mean your plant needs to be completely soaked in water.
You need to keep the soil moist for growing the plant. Keep the pot always in a place where the plant will receive good sunlight for almost 6 hours.
4. Start Sowing Seeds
Now sprinkle the seeds on the soil surface and cover them with a thin soil layer. You don’t need to place the seeds deep into the soil because it will hinder germination.
You need to provide water to the soil whenever you find it dry. But if the soil gets dry frequently, cover it with plastic to confine all the moisture and speed up the germination process.
6. Remove The Plastic Cover
The seeds will start to germinate within one or two weeks. So, once you see the sprouts then, remove the plastic cover. Additionally, check the soil moisture constantly. If you find it dry, then water the plant.
Once you observe that the seedlings have grown adequately, transplant them to a bigger pot or garden. Remember, a fully matured dragon fruit plant will require a 20-gallon pot for growth.
If you observe that the dragon fruit plant has become 12 inches tall, it needs support. Remember, the dragon fruit plant is a climbing cactus. So you have to support the dragon plant with wood or a trellis so that it will grow properly.
How Can I Plant Dragon Fruit Plant From Cuttings?
You can propagate a dragon fruit plant also from cuttings. We have discussed below in steps.
1. Trim Cutting From A Matured Dragon Fruit Plant
You can grow more plants from its branches if you have a fully developed dragon fruit plant.
Now trim a 12-inch branch from a dragon fruit plant with the help of garden shears. You need to be very gentle in this procedure. If you cut harshly, it can stop or hinder the growth of the primary plant.
2. Cut The Cutting
You need to cut the branch into three pieces. Each of these pieces is suitable for growing another dragon fruit plant.
Apply fungicides at the end of each cutting to prevent diseases. It is a mandatory step, but doing so can promote better growth of the plant.
3. Allow The Cuttings To Dry
The cuttings should be allowed to dry for one to seven days. You need to stop drying when you observe that the tips of the cutting have turned white.
4. Plant Cuttings
You need to place the cutting about one or two inches deep inside the soil and press the ground so the cutting can stand upright securely.
Additionally, remember that the cutting needs to be planted in the direction the primary branch was developing. Always plant the cuttings where they will receive sunlight for 6-7 hours.
5. Provide Water To The Plant
You need to water the cuttings whenever you find the soil dry. The cuttings will develop roots within 3-4 weeks.
You have to transplant the cuttings to the garden area or pot once you see that the cuttings are developing appropriately.
7. Provide support
Once you observe that the dragon fruit plant has grown to 12 inches tall, it needs support. The support can be given either by trellis or wood.
It will take almost one to three years for the dragon fruit plant to produce fruit if it is propagated by the cutting method.
How Can I Harvest Dragon Fruit?
Harvesting is relatively easy once your plant starts to develop fruit. You need to look for the fruit whose flaps have begun to wilt and then simply twist it from the stem.
If you don’t peel a dragon fruit and keep it on your countertop, then it will remain fresh for almost numerous days. The fruit will stay fresh for at least two weeks if kept in the refrigerator.
Pollination In Dragon Fruit Plant
Bees and other insects usually pollinate dragon fruit plants. But some plants cannot be self-pollinated. You need to collect the pollen from two different plants and then use a cotton swab to put the pollen in opposite plants. It will help to pollinate and grow fruits within one month.
Dragon fruit has numerous health benefits. So, if you like the taste of dragon fruit, then you can simply grow it in your garden. It requires little maintenance and care while growing.
We have discussed below the methods that need to follow for propagating a dragon fruit plant. You can follow them and enjoy eating fresh fruit from your garden.