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Orchid Cactus: Does anyone grow Dragon Fruit?

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Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

November 24, 2004
4:45 PM

Post #1163409

I know someone on the suculents forum might know better, but thought I'd ask here first. I just got two different varieties, they are rooted cuttings about 3 ft long. Do they go in the sun? I have the special pole with burlap they have to grow on but wasn't sure if they needed a bit of shade. How close together do they have to be planted for cross pollination(better fruits) to occur?
In case someone didn't know, Dragon Fruit is a cactus related to the night blooming cereus, they climb trees and don't bear fruit till the branches hang down. They have huge white flowers and a big ugly fruit that tastes like watermelon(sort of).
Brugie
Chariton, IA
(Zone 5b)

November 24, 2004
5:09 PM

Post #1163449

Sounds like if they climb trees, they would be getting some shade. Very interesting sounding fruit.

rose318

rose318
(Patti) in Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

November 24, 2004
5:36 PM

Post #1163498

Calalily,
I have a night blooming and other epiphyllums. I put them in partial shade under a tree to protect them.
Patti
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

November 24, 2004
5:41 PM

Post #1163508

OK, that makes sense. I'll have to figure out how to plant the cactus under the tree with it's pole to grow on. They grow them on 4 ft poles with burlap wrapped around cactus and pole for the air roots to attach, then at the top of the pole is an "X" for the cactus to drape over.
AlohaHoya
Keaau, HI
(Zone 11)

November 24, 2004
9:08 PM

Post #1163871

They are grown in full sun here... They also work growing up walls - there is a stone wall, facing E. with the HUGEST plants I have ever seen. Glorious when they bloom... They are also used to plant on steep banks, like a ground cover...

Carol
Clare_CA

(Zone 10b)

November 24, 2004
11:16 PM

Post #1164053

Mine didn't like full sun and had holes burned through them. You can plant them fairly close to each other -- maybe two or three feet apart. Here are some links for Hylocereus: http://davesgarden.com/pdb/go/54131/index.html and http://davesgarden.com/pdb/go/59626/index.html and http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/dragon_fruit.htm and my favorite: http://www.geocities.com/wenjin92014/foto2001/dragon.htm
robinz
PNW, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 25, 2004
2:47 PM

Post #1165110

That last picture looks like someone hung Christmas onimants on a cactus. Neat contrast in color between the plant and the roots. Very interesting fruit. I think I like that better than the pics I saw of it actually blooming.

Robin
Clare_CA

(Zone 10b)

November 25, 2004
4:29 PM

Post #1165251

Here are more pictures from that same site, and there are even more if you look through the site: http://www.geocities.com/davidschow/pitahaya/Pitahaya.htm They are very interesting plants indeed.
robinz
PNW, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 25, 2004
6:04 PM

Post #1165354

I meant of course nice contrast between the plant and it's fruit...not roots.

Robin
dmichael619
Murrells Inlet, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 25, 2004
8:54 PM

Post #1165542

is dragon fruit the same cactus that they use to graft the little neon colored heads onto?
Clare_CA

(Zone 10b)

November 26, 2004
1:57 AM

Post #1165811

Catsmeow, yes, it is usually either Hylocereus undatus or Hylocereus polyrhizus that serves as the scion.
dmichael619
Murrells Inlet, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 26, 2004
2:35 AM

Post #1165855

I have a rather large plant of one of those scions but don't know which. It started out as a grafted cati at a local nursery,the colored ball on top died and they just potted up the rootstock and put it in one of their greenhouses with a for sale sign on it. . It is about 6ft tall now and growing like a weed. It had a bud on it when I bought it but I managed to knock it off.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

November 26, 2004
2:49 AM

Post #1165863

Maybe this will help ?
and since you will be sooo gratefull , You can send me a cutting next year * rubbing hands greedily* LOL

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/dragon_fruit.htm

This message was edited Nov 25, 2004 9:55 PM
Clare_CA

(Zone 10b)

November 26, 2004
5:53 PM

Post #1166497

I bought two failed grafts from Home Depot also. I have read that the most common base that is used for those red ball Gymnocalycium mihanovichii grafts is in fact Hylocereus undatus. Here's a link: http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Cactaceae/Gymnocalycium_Hibotan.html
dmichael619
Murrells Inlet, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 26, 2004
7:46 PM

Post #1166645

The single bud that I knocked off of mine looked like the buds in one of the pics from the link that Scooter posted above.

Scooter are you rubbing your hands together greedily at me or Susie? Doesn't sound like Sue's is big enough yet to cut on but you know I don't mind sharing anyhting I have. But as I mentioned above I can't promise that this is in fact dragon fruit,though from all the pics i've seen it does look like it could be.

My plant is large enough to take one or two small cuttings now. They are unbranced and would come from the lower part of the plant. It would probably be best to wait until spring to take some though because of risk of freezing someplace in transit. And come spring the plant should be much larger than it is now because it seems to be in a constant state of growth.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

November 26, 2004
11:50 PM

Post #1166868

Oh David, It is wonderful to have you posting again. Still the same ol' good hearted sweetie .
You are right about the weather .
Anyway with all the brugs I started, I really shouldn't take on anymore right now (famous last words , eh ?)

Sending warm thoughts to you and your family.

Drop me a note if there is anything I can do for you.
peterson89
El Cajon, CA
(Zone 10a)

November 30, 2004
7:57 PM

Post #1172149

Dragon fruit [pitaya] must be kept in the afternoon shade here where we live, [it is hot and dry]...sometimes they have to be hand pollinated in order for them to bloom [and fruit] of course...There are so many different varieties, the best fruit is the [red] Hylocereus undatus, there is also Hylocereus polyrhizus, I use the yellow one to pollinate
[Selenicereus megalanthus]
They should be staked as they grow very tall.. and protected from any road pollution.
In Israel they are trained like grape vines, and in Vietnam they are trained like a fountain [ weeping effect] They also can be container grown, and must be protected from frosts...
[flowers 18 months from a cutting and usually fruits in 2nd or 3rd year]
A good compost and top soil is beneficial, also vermiculite or pearlite can be used to help improve water and air absorbtion...
Once the flowers sets fruit,soil moisture must be maintained...Fruit should be ready in approx 7 weeks...[dry and wet cycles can cause fruit to split]
Also you can crowd plants together apparantly, they will all grow together.. [bone meal is a good fertilizer]..someone also told me to use epsom salts, l tablespoon per l gal water...[ fertilize in spring]
[Bandini and Superbloom also work but I prefer organic so have not purchased any of above..only bonemeal and good organic mulch]

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