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How to Grow Dragon Fruit/Pitaya from Cuttings to Harvest: Check How this Guide Helps Beginners

Although it is possible to grow Dragon fruit plants from seeds, the fastest way is to propagate the Dragon fruit from cuttings. Growing Dragon fruit from cutting is simple and easy. You should plant the cuttings about an inch below the soil’s surface. Once you find new growth on your cutting, check to see if it has established roots. If so, it can be transplanted to large pots or permanent locations. You can grow your cutting in a variety of ways.  

How to Grow Dragon Fruit/Pitaya from Cuttings to Harvest
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How to grow Dragon Fruit/Pitaya from cuttings to harvest

How do you start a Dragon fruit from a cutting? 

  • Growing Dragon fruit in hot environments is especially easy, but you can grow Dragon fruit in cold climates if you have a greenhouse or sun porch.  
  • To propagate Dragon fruit, cut the length of the stem by 8 inches or more. You should place the cutting in moist soil or water. The best time to take cuttings is when the plant thrives, likely in spring or early summer.  
  • The Dragon tree doesn’t need a root setting medium, but it can help start the roots. You should place the cut end of the crown in moist soil or water. If cutting is started in the winter, you will need to add heat below the pot to facilitate growth.
  • Treat the cutting with a fungicide. Allow the treated stem segment to dry for 7 to 8 days in a dry, shaded area. After this time, dip the cutting in root hormone and plant it directly into the garden or in a container with well-draining soil.
  • On average, 2 to 3 weeks after planting, you’ll see roots in soil or water. The fastest root in soil and water is about one week, but it is rare. You have to transfer the water-rooted cuttings to the soil, and it takes some time to acclimate them to the soil.

Can you grow Dragon fruit from a cutting?

  • You can propagate Dragon fruit either through cutting or by seed. It’s best to start by cutting, as they grow and bear fruit faster than seedlings. Cut a new piece of growth from the Dragon fruit plant to take the Dragon fruit cutting. The cutting should be at least six to eight inches long. 
  • Dragon fruit seeds are very easy to extract from ripened fruit purchased at a grocery store. Just push the fruit flesh through the sieve to catch the small black seeds. However, you should know that if you grow a Dragon fruit plant from a seed, it can take many years (sometimes five years) before it bears fruit.

How long do Dragon fruit cuttings take to fruit?

  • If you start it in the pot, you can transplant it into the soil after half a month. Growing Dragon fruit from a cutting takes 6 to 9 months to bear fruit in tropical climates.
  • Once pollinated, Dragon fruit forms at the base of the flower. The flower fades as the Dragon fruit grows. Dragon fruit takes about 21 days for bud to bloom and 30 days from flower to fruit.
  • This unique jungle plant usually blooms from early summer to mid-autumn. Dragon fruit cactus is a one-night blooming plant, and the flower only lasts one evening.
  • Plants can start flowering six to eight months from planting, even though container-grown plants may take two years to bear fruit. Once the plant matures, you can see four to six fruiting cycles from a plant a year that can bear fruit for 20 to 30 years. 

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Dragon Fruit Farming
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How often should I water my Dragon fruit cuttings?

  • Under normal conditions, the Dragon fruit cactus should be watered once every two weeks. You must water them whenever the topsoil is dry to touch, usually by adding 1 inch of water per week. Also, you should consider the amount of rainfall in your area to avoid overwatering the plant.
  • Dragon fruit does not require much water, and excess moisture leads to root anoxia and rot. Usually, it doesn’t need to be watered often. Water it only when the soil is completely dry.
  • Bottom-watering is recommended as it allows the roots to soak up the moisture they need. You can water your Dragon fruit bottom by placing it in a sink, dish, or basin that contains about an inch or more of water, and let the plant sit and soak water for about 5 to 15 minutes.
  • Since Dragon fruit is tropical succulent, it should only be watered when the soil is almost dry. You can check the soil moisture by placing your finger or yardstick about 3 inches down in the soil.
  • About 1 to 2 liters of water is enough for daily on dry days. The need for water may increase or decrease depending on your soil, climate, and the health of the plants.

What is the best fertilizer for Dragon fruit?

  • Dragon fruit plants require regular fertilizer, lots of space, and stout trellising to grow Dragon fruit as a garden crop rather than an ornamental one.
  • An inorganic type 6-6-6 or 8-3-9 is a good fertilizer for your Dragon fruit. A 20-20-20 mix can also be helpful at some times. You should fertilize the plants once in early spring, and after removing the flowers with the fertilizers dissolved in the plant water, such as 20-20-20. 
  • Fertilize young, 1 to 3-year-old plants once every two months. You can apply both traditional fertilizer and manure or compost to your plant at the same time. Apply 4 to 6 times the chelated iron or ferrous sulfate between March and September. 
  • You should add 3 to 4 inches of composted chicken manure to the soil and up to 6 inches on top. These plants require many nutrients to grow and produce fruits or flowers.
  • However, most experts agree that some balanced fertilizers, such as 16-16-16 or 13-13-13, are a good choice for your Dragon fruit. You can use granular fertilizers or spread the fertilizer through your irrigation system. 

How deep do you plant Dragon fruit cuttings?

  • You can add some earthworm castings to the soil for extra nutrients. Then stick the Dragon fruit cutting directly into the soil about 1 and 1/2 to 2 inches deep. Water the soil well. Cuttings grow in a week or two. 
  • In the middle of the pot, you should dig a hole and keep the cutting 1 to 2 inches deep. Backfill the soil and compress it a bit to keep the cutting straight. 

What kind of soil do Dragon fruit like?

  • You should choose potting soil that is well-drained (Dragon fruits are sensitive to wet feet or consistently wet roots) and is rich in organic matter. Don’t use cactus soil as tropical plants; Dragon fruits want more water-like than other cacti and something that keeps moisture a little better.
  • You can grow Dragon fruit on almost any soil; sandy soil with good irrigation is generally preferred. The soil pH for growing Dragon fruit is in between 5.5 and 6.5 for a good harvest. The plant can grow in any well-drained soil, but it prefers to grow in slightly acidic soil. Sandy soil is the ideal option for growing Dragon fruit plants; if it is unavailable, ensure it is draining well.
  • For soil, choose potting soil that is well drained because Dragon fruits are susceptible to wet feet and rich in organic matter. Water-collecting soil can cause root rot, and you can mix soil with sand or small stone gravel to make drainage easier to avoid this deadly element.

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Dragon Fruit Harvest
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Does Dragon fruit ripen after picking?

  • Unlike many other fruits, Dragon fruits do not ripen as much after harvest and should be harvested when they are almost completely ripe. Once the color of the fruit changes from green to yellow or red, it is ready for harvesting.
  • Dragon fruit turns bright pink color with smooth skin when it ripens. Dragon fruit should not be rock hard. 
  • Dragon fruit will only sit outside for a couple of days, but make sure you don’t cut in or peel it in advance. Putting Dragon fruit in the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process. Place the Dragon fruit in a sealed container or bag first. 

How fast does Dragon fruit grow?

  • Cuttings grow quickly, and many produce fruit 6 to 9 months after planting. Long cuttings usually reach a trellis that supports faster than shorter ones.  
  • Dragon fruit plants grow up to 20 feet in height if there is a structure to help them. However, harvesting Dragon fruit is much easier if they are kept small with annual pruning. Cut back the heavy growth at least once a year, and select a few thick stems as the main vines and thin small fruiting stems to improve air circulation and increase the size and quality of fruits.

Why are my Dragon fruit flowers falling off?

  • There are a few reasons why the Dragon’s fruits fall before the flower blooms; the plant has not yet matured enough to give flowers and fruits. Consistent rainfall or excess water. Dragon fruit cactus is a night-blooming plant, and the flower lasts only one evening.
  • It’s also possible that your Dragon fruit won’t produce fruit due to lack of moisture. Since it’s a cactus, many gardeners assume that Dragon fruit doesn’t need much water. It likes to keep its soil consistently moist and water it about an inch per week.
  • Dragon fruit cactus likes heat because it is a tropical plant. If the temperature is below 18°C, your plant is unlikely to flower. If it’s cold, bring your plant indoors or move it to a greenhouse to try to affect the production of flowers and fruits.

How do you pick a Dragon fruit?

  • Grab the Dragon fruit and use your hand to twist it 1 or 2 times. Then pull the fruit until it is completely separated from the plant’s stalk. If the fruit doesn’t come out of the stalk easily, it hasn’t ripened enough yet. Leave the fruit and let it ripe for a while.
  • When ripened, Dragon fruit tastes mildly sweet, often described as a combination of Pears and Kiwi, and its texture is as soft as ripened kiwi. On the other hand, under-ripe Dragon fruit is essentially tasteless. 

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Dragon Fruit Flowering
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How many Dragon fruit does a tree produce?

  • The fruit of the red Dragon is round, the ears are curved towards the stalks of fruit, and the red makes up the majority. Meanwhile, white flesh Dragon fruit is elliptical-shaped, long-eared, and generally green.
  • The first fruit takes about 6 to 9 months, and initially, farmers get only 1 to 1.5 kg of fruit per plant. However, it gradually increases to 8 kg per plant. The life span of a plant is 20 years.
  • It is a vegetative fruit plant that usually bears fruit during or after the monsoon. It thrives in 3 to 4 waves during a season. Each pole fruit has about 40 to 100 fruits per wave.

How tall do Dragon plants get?

  • Dragon fruit trees can reach 6 feet long. You may want to clip the upward growth a few times each year to keep its height under control. 
  • Generally, a 3-5-foot-long trellis is recommended for Dragon fruit plants. These plants can be 6 to 20 feet tall, so maintaining them at a manageable height makes things easier during pruning and harvesting.
  • The best Dragon fruit cacti planted in spring can be up to 20 feet long. Dragon fruit plants produce aerial roots that allow them to cling to surfaces, creating their habit of crawling and climbing.

Why is my Dragon fruit not growing?

  • A Dragon fruit requires a lot of light for the fruit, and especially if you’re keeping it indoors, it’s probably not getting enough. Make sure your plant is in a place where the area receives six hours daily. If you can’t manage it indoors, put it under grow lights instead.
  • Dragon fruit cacti reach maturity rapidly and should yield fruits for 20 to 30 years with proper care. Proper care is key, though. Plants are very tall and can reach up to 20 feet in length. To encourage fruit, you should give your cactus a long, sturdy trellis to climb. Always remove damaged or dying branches. You should prune the tips of the topmost branches to encourage more side growth and fruit growth.

What time of year does Dragon fruit grow?

  • The Dragon fruit plant is a fast-growing, semi-epiphytic vine that needs vertical pole-like support with a ring at the top. Dragon fruit has an economic lifespan of more than 20 years, and the plants are loaded with fruits during the entire period. Dragon fruit is available throughout the year, but different varieties may be available at different times.
  • Summer (From June to September) is the main season for fresh Dragon fruit. The peak months for most varieties are August and September; however, in the winter months of November to February, varieties of Selenecereus megalanthus produce fruit.

Can Dragon fruit grow in pots?

  • You should choose a container at least 10 inches deep and 24 inches wide. This is equivalent to about a 10-gallon pot. Dragon fruit is a vining cactus, so you’ll need to provide strong support in your container.
  • You can plant Dragon fruit cut directly into the ground, in decorative containers, or large hanging baskets.
  • If you have a location with plenty of sunlight in your home, such as a sunroom or a large window where the plant receives six to eight hours of sunlight, you can grow a Dragon fruit plant indoors.
  • For growing Dragon fruit, you can use plastic, clay, or even terracotta pots. Ensure that your Dragon fruit plant gets 8 hours of good sunlight daily.

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Dragon Fruits
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Does Dragon fruit need full sun?

  • Dragon Fruit requires full sun, so you should choose a sunny area that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. For soil, choose potting soil that is well drained and rich in organic matter.
  • You should choose a sunny location for your Dragon fruit plant. The plant will tolerate shade and may even need it in hot environments. Remember, anything more than 37°C will harm your Dragon fruit.
  • Temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C are considered best for growing Dragon fruit crops. If your outdoor climate is too cold or too hot for Dragon fruit, you can also successfully grow a pot Dragon fruit plant.
  • Dragon fruit plants enjoy warm weather and are often planted in full sunlight. But, too much intense sun in dry or especially hot areas can cause stem damage.

When should I prune Dragon fruit?

  • If you’re starting with Dragon fruit, remember that they shouldn’t be pruned until at least a year old, and ideally not until they had a good flowering and fruit season.
  • You should cut the main stem 5 inches when you reach the top of the trellis, leaving a single central stem.
  • The Dragon fruit plant needs pruning for balanced growth. Two types of interventions are necessary to achieve maximum yield: training pruning and production pruning.
  • Dragon fruit plant grows very fast, forming a dense mass of stems. Therefore, pruning is essential to keep the plantation in good condition.

How do I make my Dragon fruit bear fruit?

You should give your cactus a long, sturdy trellis to climb to encourage fruit. Always remove damaged or dying branches. You should prune the tips of the upper branches to encourage more side growth and fruit growth. Dragon fruit requires the sun to produce fruit so plant it in a full sun place or a place that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. When located indoors, make sure your plant is in a warm and sunny place. Unlike most cacti, Dragon fruit likes to keep its soil on a slightly moist side.

Can you plant different varieties of Dragon fruit together?

  • To increase fruit yield and size, plant at least two varieties of cacti in the same area that can be cross-pollinated. Since the flowers bloom mostly at night, moths primarily pollinate them. 
  • Some species of Dragon fruit are self-pollinated, while others require another plant for cross-pollination; check to see which variety you have and if you need more than one plant to produce fruit.
  • Dragon fruit is self-fertile, so technically, you only need one plant to produce fruit, but more than one will increase the size of your crop.

Does Dragon fruit need a trellis?

  • Trellising increases production and makes harvesting easier. You must provide a supporting structure for your Dragon fruit plants to reach full production. This will cause the branches to hang down, encouraging the budding and fruits while making the harvest easier.
  • Dragon fruit is a climbing cactus plant that needs vertical structures to support its growth. The elevated height provides proper air circulation around the plant and keeps the fruits away from the ground.
  • To support a small Dragon fruit plant, you can use some supporting bamboo sticks so they don’t collapse. For large Dragon fruit trees, people make cement, plastic, or cedar trellis to hook up to 4 plants on each side. 
  • Once your Dragon fruit plant is twelve inches tall, it will need a support system to keep growing. Finally, the Dragon fruits are climbing cacti. Set up a trellis or part of the wood that your plant can grow.

How do I get rid of aphids on my Dragon fruit?

Remove aphids, mites, and ants with a forceful spray of water from the garden hose. You should pick beetle grubs if you see them. Trim the trunks of Dragon fruit infested with thrips or scale insects to prevent the further spread of insects. Spray pruning tool blades with household disinfectants and wash them to avoid spreading disease or pests.

In case you missed it: Dragon Fruit Growing Tips, Techniques, and Secrets

Dragon Fruit
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Before growing a new Dragon fruit plant, it is essential to know a few things about its needs. Dragon fruit is a climbing cactus that will require some support to grow up on. Dragon fruit doesn’t like the cold weather and can only survive the short spurts of frozen temperatures and frost.

If you have a cool climate or an apartment without access to the garden, don’t fret, Dragon fruit plant propagation is still possible. Dragon fruit plants adapt well to the growing container, and the beauty of propagating Dragon fruit in the pot is its ability to move overwintering plants indoors.


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