What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is the strange-looking fruit grown in dragon fruit plant. It is an exotic fruit of various types of cactus native to South America. You might also know dragon fruit such as pitaya, strawberry pear, cactus fruit, Kaktus-madu, night-blooming cereus, and Belle of the night, but whatever the name is one of the best you know you can make yours at home in a few simple steps.
The dragon fruit is white flesh with tiny black seeds and vibrant pink skin. Each fruit weighs between 150 and 600 grams and is commonly used in fruit salads, smoothies, and salads. It has little flavor, and its texture closely resembles kiwi fruit.
Scientific Classification of the Dragon Fruit Plant
Scientific name: Hylocereus undatus
Higher classification: Hylocereus
Types of Dragon Fruit Plant
There are different species of Dragon Fruit; the three types are explained below:
|Hylocereus undatus||White flesh with pink/red skin (most popular in Australia)|
|Hylocereus costaricensis||Purple/red flesh and pink/red skin|
|Hylocereus megalanthus||Yellow skin, white flesh, and black seeds|
How to Grow Dragon Fruit Plant?
Dragon Fruit especially grows in warmer environments, but if you have a greenhouse or solar porch, you can grow dragon fruit in colder climates also.
If you want to grow your dragon fruit in winter, grow in a container so you can take it home for the winter. The ideal growing temperatures for dragon fruit are between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below 32F will kill your plant. Anything over 100F will harm and damage the fruit.
From the seeds
To grow dragon fruit from seeds, you only need a lot of time. Get organic dragon fruit from your local supermarket and scoop the seeds. Wash the seeds and dried them overnight before planting them. Simply put, the cactus seeds in a compost or potting mixture, the seeds germinate within two weeks. The plant can take five to seven years to produce fruit from seeds.
Dragon fruit is a vining cactus, so you will need to provide strong support in your container. Take a container that is at least 10 inches deep and 24 inches wide.
Use well-drained sandy soil made for cactus plants. If your container doesn’t have any drainage holes, you’ll need to add them so that the plant’s roots never become soft.
Choose a sunny location for your dragon fruit plant at-least 6-8 hours of sunshine. The plant will take some shade and may need it in very hot environments. Don’t overwater your plant; it may kill it. So give it a light mist or drizzle when the soil is dry.
You can start dragon fruit seedlings from the seeds inside the fruit, but it is recommended to grow dragon fruit from cuttings.
The best way to grow your dragon fruit is from cuttings. Bring it by a nursery or good friend.
Get ready for the roots of your cut, and try not to disturb them too much. It is enough to gently loosen the small roots on the surface of the root ball. Put your dragon fruit plant in fertile sandy soil at the root.
How to Care Dragon Fruit Plant?
In general, dragon fruit plants don’t have too many pests and animals. But once their precious fruits begin to appear, you need to protect it from bats and birds. Use the bird netting to protect your fruit.
If spots on the stems and leaves of the plant are observed, this could be a sign of infection. The dragon fruit is subject to a bacterial infection, which causes the stem to rot. If you notice points that don’t bother in most cases, the dragon fruit plant will fight on its own.
If your dragon fruit plant is going out of control, cut back in the summer month. You can cut 30 cm branches and finish them or start propagating them in the ground.
Dragon fruit plants can die because of excessive watering. Make sure the soil is never wet if in doubt, keep watering for a day or two. If you water the plant too often, it can cause the roots to rot.
To regularly thrive your dragon fruit plant, fertilize it during the growing season.
Health benefits of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruits are full of vitamins and nutrients and provide potentially fighting antioxidants. It is no wonder that eating these fruits regularly can have a positive effect on health and well-being.
- Improve your cardiovascular health and possibly help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Improve immune system: Dragon fruit contains vitamin C, which can give your immune system a boost and defend your body against the foreign invader. Protect you against cold, flu, and infections.