As one of the most exotic tropical fruits, accompanied by its extravagant flower and sweet taste; many will be interested to know that you can actually grow your own dragon fruit in a pot at home during the summer! It is actually pretty simple if you follow our step by step guidelines, and take good care of your plant. If you are interested in finding out more, read on to find out what kinds of pots are ideal, the soil type, planting, and harvesting process!
Growing your dragon fruit
There are actually two methods that you can use to grow your fruit in your pot or container, and the two methods are either putting dragon fruit cuttings in your pots or buying dragon fruit seeds from the nearby nurseries.
- Dragon fruit cuttings
The first step requires you to cut out a 12 to 38cm stem from the parent plant of at least one-year-old at a slight angle. Dip the end into some fungicide to get rid of bacteria and allow it to heal for about a week in an area with no direct sunlight. After this, plant it in a container that is suitable for its length. Add some holes to the bottom of the container as well to allow excess water to drain out.
- Dragon fruit seeds
As simple as you think it may be, this method is not recommended as it can take up to six years for your seed to finally bear fruit. This is compared to the use of dragon fruit cuttings which only require a period of up to one year. Furthermore, seed germination and transplanting are rather tedious for beginners.
Choosing a suitable pot or container
Regardless of whatever instrument you choose to house your plant, it has to be at least 20 to 24 inches deep and it has to hold about 25 to 30 gallons of soil. On top of that, it has to have holes at the bottom to ensure a good drainage system and high durability to hold the mature dragon fruit over a period of time.
When you check if the size is enough for your fruit, you can use a ball that is of a similar size as the plant’s root ball, but about one or two sizes more to be safe. Place the ball into your pot or container at about 10 to 12 inches deep. If your pot or container appears to be too small or just nice for the ball, consider sizing up to ensure that your plant has adequate space to grow.
Climate and Weather
Dragon fruits typically thrive in warmer weather and indoors are usually the better bet. However, growing it outdoors is also ideal if the temperature is not too low; but bring it in once the weather cools. If you are planting your dragon fruit in winter, you can grow your fruit in a greenhouse to protect it from the harsh cold. For reference, the USDA Zone 10/11 is the most ideal environment for your fruit to flourish in, as it is the warmest region in the US.
Dragon fruits can bear fruit from summer until late fall. Though it can also be cultivated during spring and winter, they typically grow better in higher temperatures.
Boasting of its high adaptability, dragon fruits can grow in any soil types that are well-drained, though the most ideal pH range for the soil is from 6 to 7. The cactus mix is usually used for growing dragon fruit, and this can be easily prepared at home. Mix sand or perlite with organic manure and compost in portions of 2:3:1, and voila! Your sand mix is done. However, a key thing to take note is that if you fill your container up with soil containing organic materials, the mixture has to be siphoned well in order to prevent any damage to your fruit.
Planting your dragon fruit
Once you have added your soil mix, add some water and leave it to rest for a while. Ensure that all the water is absorbed properly before putting your cuttings or seeds in. Meanwhile, you should apply a wettable fungicide solution on the root. Dig a hole of about two to three inches deep into the soil and place your cutting in. Cover up the empty spaces with soil and pack it firmly around your plant. Make sure that the hole is deep enough so as to allow your plant cutting to stand without having to support it.
- Grow it in a dry area with ample sunlight
- As your plant matures, it will start climbing. Hence, it is important to place items near your pot to provide support during the early stages
- Ensure that your soil is loamy, sandy and well-drained. You can mix different types of soil together to achieve these qualities
- Water it only when the soil is dry
- Conduct frequent shaving to prevent a fungal infection of your plant, and to facilitate air circulation and promote healthy growth. Trimming regularly is also essential to get rid of dead and overcrowding stems so that they do not block out sunlight for your plant.
- Remove aphids as well as they will cause damage to your plant
- Cross-pollination is quite common for dragon fruits and hence, growing at least two dragon fruits near each other will help fertilization
- Fertilize your plant about once a month with a balanced fertilizer during the dry seasons. In cold temperature, adding some aged manure and compost will help to retain moisture.
If your fruit is oval-shaped, pink or red in color and about 10 to 15 cm in length, your dragon fruit is ready to be harvested. In a suitable climate, they will be able to bear fruit multiple times over summer and late fall. It should take approximately 30 to 50 days after planting for it to be ready to harvest.
With all this information that you need to help you in your dragon fruit farming journey, you will be able to see the fruit of your labor in no time. As long as you take good care of your plant and follow the steps closely, you will be a seasoned farmer who is all ready to harvest your precious dragon fruit!