Dragon fruit (Scientific name – Hylocereus undatus) goes by many names like pitaya, pitahaya, and strawberry pear. The two most common types of Dragon fruits have bright red skin with green scales on the skin that resemble a dragon — hence the name “Dragon Fruit”. It grows on the Hylocereus cactus also called the Honolulu queen, whose flowers open only at night. Since the end of the twentieth century, it has been developed financially as a natural product crop in numerous tropical regions, particularly in Vietnam and other South-East Asian nations.
Different Types Of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is a desert flora-like plant that depends on aeronautical roots that assist it with moving over the ground. The dragon fruit is local to Central and South America, Mexico, China, and different parts of Asia. There are three significant assortments of dragon fruit which are:
- Hylocereus Undatus or Pitaya Blanca
- Hylocereus costaricensis, otherwise called Costa Rican Pitaya
- Hylocereus Megalanthus, otherwise called Pitaya Amarilla
1. Hylocereus Undatus (Pitaya Blanca)
Hylocereus undatus is a red and pink skin dragon fruit with white tissue and dark seeds. This dragon fruit is a spreading cactus with wings that can reach up to 6 metres in length. On the branches of these shoots, there are little moles with five short thistles. The Hylocereus Undatus is a local of Southern Mexico, and the Westside begins from Central America. The Pitaya can reach 20 centimetres long. The Pitaya Blanca is significantly more fragrant and better.
2. Hylocereus Costaricensis (Costa Rican Pitaya)
Hylocereus costaricensis has pink/red skin with red tissue with dark (black) seeds. Dragon fruit is a cactus plant local to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. This is named out of appreciation for Costa Rica. The Costa Rican Pitaya is found in dry seaside woods at elevations of 0 to 1400 metres.
3. Hylocereus Megalanthus (Pitaya Amarilla)
Hylocereus Megalanthus, also called Pitaya Amarilla, has yellow skin, white tissue, and dark (black) seeds. It is by large accepted that this dragon fruit is the tastiest among the three. It is better in taste, and it is additionally more fragrant and shares a ton for all intents and purposes with the Kiwi fruit. The Hylocereus Megalanthus comes from Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.
How To Grow A Dragon Fruit Tree?
In contrast to most cactus species, this plant is a climber that requires some support to thrive. It is a subtropical plant that requires lots of humidity and heat, and here’s an easy outline for seniors to cultivate, nurture and grow dragon fruit trees.
Soil Requirements – This plant can thrive in any soil drainage type. However, it prefers slightly acidic soil, which has pH levels between six to seven. The sandy soil would be the ideal choice for this plant.
Fertiliser – To make sure that your dragon fruit thrives, every month you should feed it with fertiliser throughout the growing season.
Water – Since the dragon fruit plant is a cactus plant, it is crucial to ensure that it is watered properly. Make sure to water it only when the soil’s top feels dry, and don’t let the plant remain in the water. The soil must be moist, not wet.
Lighting Requirements – The bottom of the plant may get some shade, but the tops of the plant require the full sun to ensure the plant blossoms properly.
Temperature Requirements – Dragon fruit won’t develop in cold climates, so ensure to maintain temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid the destruction of the plant.
Dragon Fruit Tree Height
The dragon fruit plant might live for 20 to 30 years. The plant’s stems might grow to a most extraordinary length of 6 meters, and the plant is projected to reach a height of 40 feet before it passes on.
Dragon Fruit Plant Care
Caring for dragon fruit plants can be carried out in terms of the following categories –
In general, dragon fruit plants aren’t susceptible to pests, but when the prized fruit begins to grow, you’ll require protection of your plant from predators like birds and bats. Utilize bird nets to ensure your fruit is safe.
If you see marks on the stems or leaf of this plant, this could indicate an infection. Dragon fruit can be susceptible to disease by bacteria that can cause the branch to turn brown.
When your plant’s dragon fruit is becoming somewhat out of control, cut it during the summertime. Look out for rot on the dragon fruit plant due to the extreme weather conditions.
One of the simplest methods to destroy dragon fruit plants is over-watering them. Be sure the soil isn’t overly wet and that the uppermost surface is dry. If there is doubt, water the plant for an extra few day or two.
The plant’s natural habitat is rich in nutrients, so it needs an extra boost of fertiliser to flourish in your garden.
As a climbing plant, it is essential to support it, and a trellis is a good choice. However, you could also consider a wall or a wood post when you’re limited on time or materials.
How Do I Get My Dragon Fruit To Bloom?
Follow the subsequent 6 steps to encourage fruiting in your dragon tree plant.
Place your plant in an indoor nursery. Most dragon fruit plants sprout during summer when the environment in their nearby natural surroundings is lovely. Assuming temperatures in your space are underneath 65° F, your plant probably won’t grow due to cold temperatures.
Ensure to broaden the time your dragon fruit plant gets. Dragon fruit plant grows better when the day is long. If the days aren’t long in your place, you can falsely expand the length of your days by focusing light around your nursery for a couple of hours at daybreak or soon after dusk.
The plant can be prepared to develop into a tree. Prune any sidelong stems growing underneath the space in which the plant has arrived at the lattice. This will guarantee that all energy is coordinated towards blooming and natural product creation instead of making incidental stems.
Cut the edges of the plant’s highest stems whenever it has scaled the lattice. The branches will keep on developing.
Eliminate any harm or infections passing onto stems and branches from the dragon fruit plant. This will assist your plant with centring its energy and nourishment onto creating blossoms and organic products instead of squandering energy to fix the harmed segments of your plant.
The dragon fruit plant will encounter half a month of the dry season in the spring. Even though it ordinarily requires a critical volume of water, during the time of dryness, ensure that no decay gets set in the foundations of the plant.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Dragon fruit plant is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America (Crane and Balerdi n.d.).
One can easily purchase dragon fruit plants in India at plant nurseries.
Dragon fruit is a monstrous climbing cactus that produce tall, thick branches with leaves and bears shaded yellow or red/pink dragon fruit.
The Dragon Fruit desert plant is consumable. Like avocado, one can eat the flesh and dispose of the skin. It is best eaten raw.
Dragon fruit’s desert flora might grow up to 20 feet in height and have aerial roots to adhere to the surfaces and help them in crawling and climbing.
How much sun does a dragon fruit plant need?
Dragon fruit requires the full sun, so pick the sunny area in your garden or bright window that receives a minimum of six hours of sunshine every day. When it comes to soil, ensure a potting soil type that drains well (dragon fruit can be vulnerable to “wet feet,” or consistently wet roots) and is rich with organic material.
Dragon fruit can begin blooming in only six to eight months, however, plants grown in a container can take up to 2 years to produce fruits.
If you’re developing the dragon fruit plant from the inside home, keep them moving to bigger pots. The grown-up dragon fruit plant would expect at least a twenty-gallon pot (less than 20 in width) to be sound and healthy.