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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 !!.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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. :-)
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.
Plant Files lists them as zone 10a for a minimum hardiness, so I would guess based on that they can't take any frost. So I'd probably bring them in or protect them if you're going to have a night that gets into the mid 30's or colder. But sometimes things are a little tougher than they get credit for, so if someone comes along who has personal experience with how hardy these are then I'd trust them over me!
Wow, Caren...I don't remember sending you a cutting but I am really glad it is doing so well! LOL According to the beginners guide to growing dragonfruit "In the winter, water once a month. When the plant is dormant the water need is very low. A slight dehydration will help the plant to withstand more cold."
Great thread. I have 3 varieties of DF sprawling all over the place, still in their "temporary" pots while I thought about where to put them. (Physical Graffiti, American Beauty and Yellow.) I was thinking about training them up against a couple of queen palms so I was very happy to see Ncasselberry and Cyberageous mention putting them on palm trees! Does anyone have any pictures? How long would them climb or will they only climb until I stop tying them up (probably with pantyhose?) Has anyone tried the "trick" of clipping off the tips to force flowering? Did it work?
Yes you can easily grow the dragon fruit from seed but it takes a long time for maturity. You would be better off finding a cutting. The dragon fruit is a vine and it grows a lot like a tomato vine. It has a verticle center trunk that usually grows to about 5 to 6 feet tall. At the top of the trunk you need to have the right support for the new growth to spill over and it will hang down sort of like a weeping willow. They can become very top heavy so you need a good strong support. But you do want them to flow like the weeping willow motion because the hanging stimulates production of flowers on the ends. I'm sure there are many ways to grow this plant I'm just trying to give you a little idea of what is involved. We just passed the season for when the fruits are usually in the markets but I didn't see any this year. Oh well, maybe next year there will be fruit on mine.
Could you guys please post your ingredients for a good container soil mix for Dragon fruit? There is so much controversy over the use of Cactus mix that I am looking for something that has worked for you.
Would sand, cypress mulch and cow manure work?
Beginner's Guide to grow Dragon Fruit in the home garden:
"Look for a south facing wall to lean the plant against. Find a warm spot with 1/2 day of sunshine. The soil should be sandy with good drainage. You can add composte, organic matter, pearlite ot vermiculite to improve drainage."
Maybe someone on this forum can help me find out what's wrong with my dragon fruit plant. The one 'leaf' is turnig yellow with orange spot. It is not aphids or insects because it in inside the leaf. Could this be a disease? Should I cut off the 'leaf'?
imadigger, that looks like rot, possibly from cold. My epi's stay out all year and sometimes get that. I just cut or break it off. The yellow part will usually tear away from the good tissue.
I have Dragon Fruit plants all over my yard. I bought some cuttings for about $2 each at various places like Home Depot and through mail order. As they sprouted branches, I would just cut them off and plant them somewhere else. I have them planted along a six-foot retaining wall, but they do sprawl all over the place, and I should probably support them better. The air roots keep them attached to the wall most of the time. I do have some in containers too. I didn't amend the soil before planting them, and I have clay here, but they seem to do fine even with my heavy watering.
I cut off the orange parts and so far the plant is doing OK. No more orange. I think that maybe between the wind chill and the low temperature, the plant suffered damage. The weather is warming up now and hopefully it will continue to grow new branches. Maybe someday I will see some fruit.
OMG!!! Ive got a bud! Im shocked it had seemed to come up overnight! I saw a hummer land on it this morning and there it was!
It has been nearly 2 years since I got the cutting so yes Im just a little excited at my first bud! WWWWOOOOOOHHHHHOOOO!
Congratulations. Keep watching the bud. It opens at night. I went out and used my makeup brush to try to polinate the flower. We ended up with a fruit. It turned rosy pink and I picked the fruit yesterday. My hubby and I shared it tonight. Not much of a taste, sort of like kiwi.
The flower bloomed July 12th, and the fruit was ripe August 17. Enjoy looking forward to your fruit.
Robert, that is really fast. Can you show us what yours looks like on the frame that you constructed? One of mine is just attached to a brick retaining wall, but my other ones are flopping around, and I wish that I had them on a better support. Here's a picture of how they are in Thailand. My husband took the picture as he went down the river.
Turlloch, if you are still reading this, I would try Potassium to help with blooms. If you don't have it in fertilizer form, trying laying some banana peels on the ground near the base of the plant and let them deteriorate there.
Hi Don! Long time no talk to, Buddy! I started them from cuttings about 4 years ago. I bought them at Home Depot for about a $2 each. They had the little colored ball cactus attached to them, but you just take that part off.
My dragon fruit, pot planted last year just kept dieing back until a couple of months ago when it started to grow and sprout. I thought for sure it would die with all of the rain that we have been getting not to mention hurricane Gustav.
Do you grow yours in containers? Some of the old folks around here told me that it would survive if planted on the south side of the house.
What do you think?
Clemen, I thought mine was slow because I think some others have gotten fruit sooner. This was the first year for flowers and fruit for me. I've heard that the limbs need to grow up and then hang down to flower so you might try re-arranging them so that a few limbs hang down.
Hi Don, I think the ones that I bought were failed grafts and had the growth already. I think I took that picture the day that I got them, but there were others that had the colored ball cactus attached. I knew that Hylocereus undatus is used as root stock for those colored cacti, which are a colored cultivar of Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, I believe. I don't think that it can survive on its own as it has no chlorophyll so you can just toss them.
Mine must need another plant for pollination :( I had 2 blooms and neither are going to make fruit. It could have been that it didn't like being packed up in the garage for Gustav??
I will try again next year but if no fruit come I will have to send it on its way. I do over winter mine in doors and it takes up a pretty large area as you can imagine. If some on e gets some blooms this year I would gladly pay shipping for some pollen
Clare how do I do that hangiNg down limbs? I have to take a real pic of mine and show it. She is climbing on this sunny wall and growing like crazy. Would love advise, let's see if I can catch a good pic of it!
Clemen, I forgot to answer your question about the hanging down thing. I think you might have to trim or wait until the plant reaches the top of the wall and then let the limbs hang down. Here's a picture of how they do it in Thailand:
Clemen, I do live in California, but my vines will probably never be like that either. That is in beautiful Thailand. I think that we can both make our vines so that some of the branches end up hanging down so that they can flower for us
oops I guess I did not read well, thanks for clarifying that.So instead of having my vine climb up, let her hang down. Will need to train her for that. I was even thinking of repotting her and DH says no, what do you think?
LOL, you needn't have done that. I need a giggle badly with my stock market in such turmoil! Thank you for your time and effort.
I'll now have to make a Dragon Fruit registry! Oh, no! more work on the computer!
And I'll have to photograph the monster that's in the yard of the house I just bought. Someone long ago put one on a Christmas Palm that's close to a sprangledly tall orange tree. The DF has crawled over onto the Orange tree, what a mess! I'll probably just leave them as is. Blooming profusely, repeatedly, and maybe, --maybe-- one fruit. I have my fingers crossed! I'll post a photo later today.
OK, finally. This plant may be thirty years old. It's collaring a Christmas Palm that's about 20 feet tall. The ONE fruit, haha, is at about five feet off the ground. It is having a third flush of buds since June. It's grown into the 25 foot tall orange tree next to it, but I'll have to get on the roof of the house to get a photo, maybe. Both trees are on the edge of a dropoff that's too steep for me to walk on. The root is nearly two inches thick. If someone were to chop the whole plant and haul it away, they'd need a full sized pickup truck. There are ariel roots to the ground from the top of the beast, above twenty feet high. I've seen this plant growing to the top of a huge casuarina? tree, had to be eighty feet tall. They generally don't set fruit here, boooo.
I need help...I've had my dragon fruit plant for the past two years growing up my oak tree in the back yard...it's gone so high that I can't even reach it now. Sadly I've never seen a fruit. Could it be that there isn't as much sun there because of the tree? Should I cut it down and move it?
As cool as it looks up the tree (very ghostly) I just want a fruit.
I would try fertilizing it on a regular basis for at least a year before cutting it down, and you could also start new plants in different growing conditions with cuttings from it. Try a balanced fertilizer or one high in potassium.
Thanks Clare for the suggestions, I actually don't think I'd have the heart to cut the whole thing down, and will probably do as you suggested and take cuttings. I'll look for high potassium fertilizer also and throw my banana peels on it.
Molamola, so sad that yours didn't taste nice, I hate when you pamper a plant for so long and it doesn't reward you with what you expected.