Dragon fruit, also known as Pitaya (Spanish), is a tropical vine that produces beautiful red fruit with green scales and white or red flesh.
This fruit is native to the humid regions of Central and South America and has USDA zones between 9 and 11.
In its natural habitat, it grows as a small tree with thorny branches to protect itself from predators. However, in other areas, it can be grown in containers to limit its size.
You can grow dragon fruit plants in pots in your home, so you have fresh fruit all year round. The key is to take cuttings from your existing plants and grow them from cuttings in pots.
Growing dragon fruit from cuttings is an easy process that only takes a few weeks before you start to see the stems sprout and take root in the planted part.
For more information on how to grow dragon fruit plants at home, check out our article below!
- Preparing the Cuttings
- Cutting Media
- Plant the Cuttings
- Watering the Cuttings
- Planting Dragon Fruit Plants into a Bigger Pot
- Growing Dragon Fruit Plants (1st year)
- Quick Tips on How to Grow Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit plants are thorny plants. It is recommended that you wear gloves before doing stem cuttings. Also, prepare special plant scissors to cut the stems.
Also, read about 4 Types of Dragon Fruit Plants that Have Good Prospects to Grow.
Preparing the Cuttings
First, the cuttings must come from plants that are quite mature. To note, prepare cuttings from dragon fruit plants that have fruited at least three times.
This requirement is practically absolute because if you choose cuttings from plants that are not yet mature enough, the probabilities are that the plants you are planting will begin to bear fruit in a long time.
Second, choose plant stems that are healthy and old enough. It is better to choose stem cuttings from stems that have already produced fruit (optional).
Third, choose a stem length of at least 30 cm. Cut at the end of the stem segment (on the narrow part of the stem).
Fourth, peel around the bottom of the stem cuttings so that only the hard stem is obtained.
After the stems are cut, you can immediately plant them.
However, to increase the success rate of root growth, it is best if the bottom of the stem to be planted is peeled first. The lower stem cuttings are peeled until the hard stem is found on the inside.
To help root growth, you can also apply a root stimulant on the hard stem of the dragon fruit plant that you have peeled.
Plant stems that have been smeared with root growth stimulants can be directly planted in the prepared media.
Actually, dragon fruit plants like ordinary potting soil. You can provide planting media in the form of any loose soil with additional sand or perlite.
Plant the Cuttings
In the prepared media, you can plant stem cuttings in polybags or on the ground in the yard. The needed planting must be bright and shady, with about 0-10 percent direct sunlight.
You can plug the bottom of the peeled plant stem into the plant media. Wait until the stem cuttings sprout and take root in 2 to 3 months.
Watering the Cuttings
Water the plants to retain moisture. Dragon fruit plants do not like saturated (stagnation) water. Dragon fruit plants are a type of cactus plant, so they don’t like too much water.
Also, read about 16 Best Varieties of Fruit Trees You Can Grow in Pots.
Planting Dragon Fruit Plants into a Bigger Pot
After the stem cuttings are at least 2-3 months old, you can check whether the stems have grown roots and new shoots appear on the stems of at least four stems.
If you feel your plants can be moved, please carefully pull out the stem cuttings. The cuttings you have removed are ready to be moved into a larger pot for maintenance until they mature and are fruitful.
The pot needed to maintain dragon fruit plants to maturity is a larger pot measuring at least 40 cm. Dragon fruit plants are vines, so they need a support pole placed in the middle of the pot.
Tools and Materials
- Pots with a minimum diameter of 40 cm.
- Growing Media + Dolomite Escape.
- Support Pole can be a Paralon pipe measuring 3-4 inches.
- Seedlings of dragon fruit plants from your previous cuttings and plantings.
You can use a mixture of planting media with the following composition:
Loose soil: sand: manure: fermented husk: roasted husk, with a ratio of 1: 1: 1: 1: 1. You can add a little more sand and manure to make the soil more porous and fertile.
Dragon fruit plants grow optimally at a pH between pH 5.8-6.8. To make the soil PH more neutral (for acidic soils) and to add calcium and soil minerals, you can add about 1 ounce or one handful of dolomite lime.
The function of dolomite lime is to increase the pH of acidic soil and increase the calcium and mineral content of the soil.
Because dragon fruit plants are vines, you can prepare a Paralon pipe as high as around 1.5-2 meters to support dragon fruit plants in the middle of the pot.
To make it stronger, the hole in the Paralon pipe can be filled with a mixture of cement and sand. In order not to fall easily, the bottom of the support can be cast with a mixture of cement and sand as well.
Place the plant support in the pot’s center, so its position is balanced and does not fall easily.
Next, put the prepared planting media into the pot. You can add about 1 ounce of dolomite if your soil is acidic. Stir the planting medium until evenly mixed.
Continue by planting the seedlings close to the poles. Plant the rootstock about 10 cm into the soil.
To propagate upwards, you can tie the plant stems to the poles. In one pot, you can plant two seedlings of dragon fruit plants.
After the young plants are planted, water the soil with water until the water reaches the bottom of the pot (saturated).
You can add side supports (plant holders) to the pot on all four sides (optional). This is done to avoid the thorny dragon fruit plants from spreading far outside the pot.
Connect the four poles or plant holders with wire around, and adjust to the desired conditions so the plants will propagate in the supports area.
Growing Dragon Fruit Plants (1st year)
Dragon fruit plants do not need much water because this plant is a type of cactus that lives in the desert in nature. You only need to water it 2-3 times a week.
What needs to be considered between watering the soil must be dry first, so the soil condition must be porous.
Clean the plant of nuisance plants that grow in the pot, if any.
There are two types of fertilization that need to be given to treat dragon fruit plants, which are:
Provision of balanced NPK fertilizer (16:16:16)
Provision of balanced NPK fertilizer can be given since the plant is approximately two months old. This fertilizer can be given every three months with a dose of 2 spoons (50 grams) of feeding once.
This fertilizer can be applied around the soil surface as deep as approximately 5 cm. Immediately after being given NPK fertilizer, do watering on the part given fertilizer.
Give Manure or Compost
Give manure or Compost as much as 5kg-10kg every six months. Place manure or Compost on the surface of the soil in the pot.
If the plant is 2 or 3 years old, you can increase the dose of fertilizer by two times.
While there are no specific pruning rules, the pruning principle you need to know is to reduce branches that are not very productive (not bearing fruit) or too sticking out (long).
This is to help meet the nutritional needs of other plant stem parts so that they flower and bear fruit more quickly.
These pruned stems can be planted again to produce new dragon fruit plants.
Harvesting Dragon Fruit
It will take approximately a year to reach full maturity and another year or more to bear fruit.
Usually, dragon fruit can be harvested on the 35th day after flowering.
Reduction of Plant Flowers on Stems
Usually, some flowers are lined up on adjacent segments in one stem on a dragon fruit plant. For example, one stem has more than three flowers (will fruit).
You can reduce flowers by removing those close together to ensure that there are only a maximum of 3 flowers (fruits) on each stem.
Usually, the flowers that are kept too much will cause the flowers to fail to become fruit. So, you must leave only 2-3 flowers (will fruit) on each stem.
Dragon fruit plants include types of plants that are rarely attacked by pests. However, a kind of fungus can cause dragon fruit to rot when attacked.
For organic exterminators, you can use Neem Oil.
You can buy this organic ingredient online or make your own from neem leaf extract.
In addition to fungal pests, you can also use this Neem Oil to prevent insect pests.
You can use them 1-2 times a week to eradicate pests. As for prevention, you can use it every 2-4 weeks.
Quick Tips on How to Grow Dragon Fruit
Dragon Fruit is a tropical fruit and requires sunshine and a warm environment. If you want to grow Dragon Fruit, you need to follow these steps:
1. Place the dragon fruit in a sunny place in your house or garden (full sunlight).
2. Plant the plant in well-drained (porous) soil.
3. Water regularly (2-3 times a week) and make sure the soil is moist but not soggy.
4. Give balanced NPK fertilizer (dose of 50 grams) every three months and manure or compost (quantity of 5 kg) every six months. If the age is two years or more, the dose can be increased two times.
5. Moisture is essential for Dragon Fruit plants, so you can place it near a water source or spray it occasionally.