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Dragonfruit support and care

Fulton, MO

I have a dragonfruit about 12" tall. After several weeks of watching this plant do nothing since I got it, I've finally got some nice new growth!

What do you use for support? I was thinking of using an old locust branch, as it would be slow to decay. I've read of wrapping the support in burlap which, when soaked with dilute liquid fert, would permit uptake of the fert by the aerial roots...anybody tried this?

What is your preferred growing medium? I currently use a cactus mix on the rich side.

Thanks

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

I treat my dragonfruit like a cactus and neglect it! It's doing fine but I live in a hot & humid area with mucky soil. Most people here grow them on a cabbage palm tree.

Geneva, FL(Zone 9b)

Mine is growing all over my cypress board fence and has had to be trimmed several times to keep it out of the grapefruit tree nearby. In Central Florida we put them on palm trees or you put a 4 X 4 in the ground with 2 feet in and 6 or more feet out (depending on length). On top of this attach a large horizontal square shaped piece of thick gauge wire, or other very sturdy wire mesh. It should stick out on all four sides about 2-3 feet on all four sides with the post attached to it in the middle underneath. Plant the dragon fruit a the base and let it climb. Train it to the top and let it spill over the sides of the wire. Keep it trimmed away from touching the ground. This makes harvesting easy and many commercial growers use this method or similar here. I don't feed mine often, except for a shot of Miracle Gro or Peter's from the liquid hose sprayer when I am fertilizing other plants nearby and it got a couple of fruits in its scend year already--the solid red ones.

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

Good info! I have cuttings to plant, I think I will try that 4x 4 way

Springfield, MO(Zone 6a)

Ncasselberryfla - that reminds me of grape growing techniques (but not quite that tall) although the plants couldn't be more different.. I too have some small dragonfruits rooted and waiting for the growth spurt.

Fulton, MO

Dave, do you plan to keep yours in containers? I'm also trying to figure out if this would ever be a plant for the ground bed in the GH. Thanks.

Springfield, MO(Zone 6a)

Interesting you should mention that. It is amazing how well certain plants do in the ground in the GH (for me usually escapees or volunteers). Perhaps that suggests that they really don't like being in pots (or they don't like my light mix or they dry out too fast.)

I really don't know what to do with the dragonfruits, or the papaya seedlings, or the Key Lime seedlings, or the bananas, or any number of things that won't fit back into the greenhouse at frost time. As fast as people say thay grow, mine are still so small that I won't have to face this problem for another year.

As neat as they are, when my daughter from Orlando comes up for Christmas these may be some of the tropicals that go back with her.

Fulton, MO

That has been my experience. Plants that struggle in pots grow better in ground beds. Plants that grow OK in pots really take off in ground beds. I have banana leaves growing right up into the roof.

It sure would be easier to support a dragonfruit with it planted in a GH ground bed, but I don't know how it would tolerate the well-amended loam I have in those beds.

SB

Concord, CA(Zone 9a)

Gosh, could you guys post pictures . Mine is growing in a pot and I can't seem to control it. I would love to see how yours are supported.
Thanks
Linda

bundaberg, Australia

For JItbaw,
If you do not have a lot of space a dig a two foot hole stand in a single post say six/seven/eight foot pole and place the pot at base and let climb. Secure with soft rope and away it goes.

For All Dragon FRUIT Lovers.
The best type of fertiliser is the foliage type. Here we have "Seasol" but any seaweed based type will do . Make the spray on the "weak" scale and spray every month until flowering and then stop. the fruit will follow. once again on limitede space if you wish to keep in pot place at base of a tree. I have also used "CHARLIE CARP" made from fish to bring Dragon Fruit in to flower. Spray as weak solution once a month. Worked for me !!.

Successful growing everyone from===Bazza==Bundaberg==Qld==Australia.

This message was edited Jun 3, 2007 2:59 PM

Fulton, MO

Here is what I ended up with. Do you think it will work?

Thumbnail by stressbaby
Fulton, MO

Detail

Thumbnail by stressbaby
Fulton, MO

The wood is cedar and I treated the ends. Here is the plant, still in its little pot, set inside the new contraption just for fun. It has grown a little. ;-) I plan on getting some named varieties in the spring and planting maybe one on each cedar support.

Thumbnail by stressbaby
Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

SB,
Here's how I use to grow my epipyhllum before I planted in the ground in the greenhouse.
I went and bought one of those white round 13 gallon trash containers,at the dollar store,it was at least 2ft tall,and made a 3 prong trellis,similar to what you have,but was about 6 ft tall,believe me these plants get real heavy,in a couple years.
Right now,mine is about 10ft tall in the greenhouse,it was growing up the wall reaching over to the banana plant about to pull it over.

Fulton, MO

Tropicman, how is yours doing in the ground in the greenhouse? What sort of soil did you use? I considered doing that, but my beds have a fairly moisture-retentive clay.

Bushland, TX(Zone 6a)

SB,
I amended the soil,with a lot of peat and sand and compost,I just planted it in August,in the ground,it was already 6ft,and now you can see in the pic it has hit the 10ft ceiling and starting it's way back down,I had a weak ruby
glow passiflora cutting,that I didn't think was going to survive,and planted it a couple feet away,and to my surprise it has grown to the ceiling as well.
My compost must have had a little extra nitrogen,for the epie,has only flowered once and that was right after I planted it,and I haven't fertilized any since planting.

Pittsburgh, PA

a grower told me to place tomato cages into big pots & let the dragin friuts grow thru that & just tie for support as it grows,....

Merritt Island, FL

I have mine in a raised catus bed, competing with fruiting Opuntia (prickly pear). I made the soil very sandy and hardly ever add any organic matter to it. The dragon fruit has been flowering (beautiful) white flowers which open at night. I've never gotten a single fruit out of the blossoms.
I'll try to post an entry in my rare fruit photo blog http://myrarefruitphotos.blogspot.com/ real soon.

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

My dragon fruit has never flowered. Can you take a picture, kevino?

I found a great link of all the varieties of dragon fruit!
http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/dragon/index.htm

This message was edited Dec 26, 2006 6:20 AM

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

That is a beautiful site, cyberageous.

I bought a dragon fruit the other day and have no clue when or how to eat it. Can anyone tell me? Thanks

Thumbnail by Kell
Fulton, MO

Just what I have read...

Slice in half and scoop out the center with a spoon...often better chilled.

Edited to add a couple of questions...

My dragonfruit (above) now is 7.5-8 feet tall. Cutting off the top of the plant is supposed to induce lateral branching. Can anyone tell me how much to cut off? I was guessing 8-10" only because this was the size of my first cutting.

Also, the top of the plant is sending out the aerial rootlets, but this is several inches above the wooden structure. Should I remove them?

SB

This message was edited Dec 31, 2006 6:49 AM

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Thank you!

bundaberg, Australia

For Stressbaby,
If you must keep the Dragon Fruit Plant in the pot you should place it at the base of a good strong tree and remove the stakes as it developes quite quickly it will "ramble" every where and do not "PRUNE" for a couple of years to let it develop flowers and fruit. Can someone please advise this amateur PC user how to add a photo. Thanks from Tulloch52.

Fulton, MO

Tulloch,

For a photo, click "browse" next to the image box below your new message (every photo must have at least a small typed message). Find the photo on your computer, double click the path into the image box, and send. I have found it helpful to resize larger images to 600x800 or less.

Unfortunately, I do not have a tree on which to grow this plant, because my climate require that the thing remain in the greenhouse. I did prune, I really had no option in this matter, because by January I had this:

Thumbnail by stressbaby
Fulton, MO

I pruned (and rooted two new plants!) and by early May I had this:

Thumbnail by stressbaby
bundaberg, Australia

For Stressbaby,
Photos of Dragon Fruit And developing flowers. i feel sadened to tell you that i do not think you will get Flowers/fruit by pruning so early. I pray that i am wrong.

Thumbnail by tulloch52
bundaberg, Australia

For DRAGON FRUIT Lovers,
The most Buds/Flowers i have grown on one stem so far is SEVEN but still no fruit. I have now tried watering in to the roots- POT ASH- so hopefuly fruit will follow the next flowering. please feel free to comment.

Thumbnail by tulloch52
Fulton, MO

Well, growing these kinds of plants in Missouri is one grand experiment! We'll find out!

Paxton, FL(Zone 8a)

stressbaby, if at some point you find you have more cuttings than you want, I sure would love to trade something with you. Would like to get a start on these. I will have to keep it in the greenhouse too, cause I'm on the panhandle of FL and we do get some freezing temps.

Fulton, MO

Gingerlily, you have Dmail.

Cape Coral, FL(Zone 10a)

I just purchased a dragonfruit and we have ours planted to grow on our chain fence - does anyone know if this will work? It seems to have grown already?

Santa Cruz, CA(Zone 10a)

Would any of you with run away dragon fruit plants be willing to part with some cuttings? We discovered these plants on a trip to Mexico last year and loved them. I'm so excited to hear they can be grown in a greenhouse in the states.


Tucson, AZ

from the Beginner's Guide to grow Dragon Fruit in the home garden.
Look for a south facing wall or fence to lean the plant against. Find a warm spot with 1/2 day sunshine. Remember to stake the plant so it grows erect.

The soil should be sandy with good drainage.you can add compost, organic matter, peralite or vermiculite to improve drainage.

When the weather turns cold and the growth slows down, let the soil dry out. Water lightly if the soil is too dry. :-)

Tolleson, AZ(Zone 9a)

wineaux are you growing this one in the ground?

Tucson, AZ

At this time I have 7 growing in 5 gal. or more containers but in the fall some will be going into the ground.

Houston, TX(Zone 10a)

This is all great news, thanks ya'll

Tolleson, AZ(Zone 9a)

Ok can you tell me where to purchase them? I have tried twice with cutting and managed to send the cutting to their grave!!

Venice, CA(Zone 10a)

Hey Guys;Dragon fruit is pollinated by fruit bats.If you don't have any of these in your neighborhood,you will need to hand pollinate.

Concord, CA(Zone 9a)

Stressbaby or anyone with dragonfruit experience,
How do you root your cuttings? Also do you root the cutting before you mail it?
Thanks Linda

Venice, CA(Zone 10a)

Hey Guy's; Epiphytic Cactus are really easy to root. Stick the "down end" into moist sand and don't let dry out, but not waterlogged either.They root fairly quickly.I personally grow them for the flowers only as I think the fruit is overrated.

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