This article will bring you through a dragon fruit growing from cutting till blooming and fruiting. You will understand how to grow it on a balcony easily.
YOU WILL NEED
- A cutting from a mature dragon fruit.
- A plant pot 30 cm deep at least.
- Good soil (well-drained, well-aerated and has a pH that is close to neutral)
Each dragon fruit probably contains 60 calories, and is rich in vitamins, such as vitamin C, B1, B2, and B3. They also include minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Also it has very good fiber and protein. No doubt, dragon fruit is very easy to take care of.
1. Get the right plant to grow
You should get a cutting plant from a mature dragon fruit, it will make the dragon fruit grow faster and generate fruit faster than if you grow from seedling plants. Therefore, when you are going to buy a dragon fruit to grow, ask the seller does it set fruit easily, or does it need to be hand pollinated.
Dragon fruit is a type of cactus, but they do like to grow in an environment like a tropical rain-forest. They are fast growing when they started having branches.
2. Protect them from the afternoon sun
They can grow under a full sun environment, but if you are able to protect them from the harsh afternoon sun, they will grow better.
3. Give enough water per time
Water the dragon fruit about 2 – 3 times per week in summer, and 1-2 times per week in winner. It also depends on the pot size you prepared for it. When you add water to the dragon fruit, keep adding it till you can see the water flow out from the plant pot. That is a good amount of water you should give to it per time. No worries, it’s a very easy to take care of plant. Sometimes, you might forget to water it, it survive well still.
Once the dragon fruit has lots of branches, you should build a extending platform to support it. See the Bamboo platform on balcony for plants to learn how.
4. Dragon fruit likes to grow in a pot
Dragon fruit like to grow in a pot, as it is much easier to get enough water most of the time. For instance, the pot that I prepared for it is about 35 cm deep. The dragon fruit is able to grow roots well inside the container. However, you still need to keep the soil well drained, don’t let it go too damp.
If you would like the plant to grow better, you are able to fertilizer the plant about once per year.
If your dragon fruit has enough water, it will grow spurs well. The hottest months in summer are the time they are starting to get flowers. Therefore, if they have lots of branches growing in other seasons, it will have more chance to generate flowers and fruit.
5. Blooming and fruiting
Dragon fruit flowers bloom in the evening for one night only. If you see ants around the dragon fruit, don’t remove them. They are helping the plant to get fertilized.
After a night blooming, the flower will very quickly dry off the day after, but you able able to see a small fruit behind it.
That small fruit will continue to grow bigger. About two weeks after, you are able to see it start turning red.
When the fruit start turning red, you just need to wait for another 4 to 5 days, it will look more red and ripe for harvest. The sign to tell you the dragon fruit is ready to pick up is the mature and ripe fruit should look evenly red, also the thorns on the skin should look a little bit yellow and dried out, as in picture-10 right hand side.
When the fruits are ripe, you are able to use pliers to cut them off. You might accidentally cut off some stem, but they respond well with that. It will be a good way to cut it off from the end of fruit section.
It depends on what kind of variety you grow, some time the red skin with white creamy flesh inside, and yellow skin also with white flesh. I have the dragon fruit with red flesh inside, it tastes a bit sweeter than the white flesh one that I had before. Therefore, when you are purchasing the baby plant from a seller, you should check the flesh color too.
When the thorns on the sides of the fruit begin to fade in color, be patient to wait for the dragon fruit to be fully ripe before you harvest it. As such, you are able to get a fully ripe fruit with creamy flesh inside.
Can you remove the vestigial flower off while the fruit is ripening?
The answer is Yes. The vestigial flower is OK to be removed from the dragon fruit while the fruit is ripening.