Pitaya (Dragonfruit) Growing in the Florida Home Landscape (2023)

Jonathan H. Crane and Carlos F. Balerdi 2

Pitaya (Dragonfruit) Growing in the Florida Home Landscape (1)

Scientific Name: Hylocereus undatus and other species and hybrids (Table 1).

Common Names: English: Strawberry pear, dragonfruit, night-blooming cereus. Spanish: pitahaya, tuna, nopal, pitajaya.

Family: Cactaceae

Origin: Tropical America; southern Mexico, Pacific side of Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador; Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Curacao, Panama, Brazil, and Uruguay.

Distribution: Tropical and subtropical America, south Florida, Caribbean, Hawaii, Asia, Australia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Israel.

Importance: Since pre-Columbian times, pitayas have been very common in their native countries, where they are consumed by the general population. Recently, pitayas are traded in international markets and have become the most important export fruit of Vietnam. Demand will increase for many years as this delicious fruit becomes better known in other markets.

Description

Plant Stem

Pitaya are fast-growing, perennial, terrestrial, epiphytic, vine-like cacti. They have triangular (3-sided, sometimes 4- or 5-sided), green, fleshy, jointed, many-branched stems. Each stem segment has 3 flat, wavy wings (ribs) with corneous margins and may have 1–3 small spines or be spineless. The stem sections of pitaya form aerial roots that adhere to the surface upon which they grow or climb. The stem may reach about 20 ft (6.1 m) long.

Inflorescence (Flowers)

The flowers are hermaphroditic; however, some pitaya species and cultivars are self-incompatible. The extremely showy, edible, white (pink in other species) flowers are very large, very fragrant, nocturnal, and bell shaped and may be up to 14 inches long (36 cm) and 9 inches wide (23 cm). The stamens and lobed stigmas are cream colored.

Pitaya (Dragonfruit) Growing in the Florida Home Landscape (2)
(Video) Growing Dragon Fruit (Pitaya) in South Florida
Pitaya (Dragonfruit) Growing in the Florida Home Landscape (3)

Fruit

The fruit is a fleshy berry, which is oblong and about 4.5 inches (11 cm) thick with red or yellow peel with scales and with or without spines. The pulp may be white, red or magenta depending on the species. Seeds are very small, numerous and black, embedded within the pulp.

Pollination

Self-incompatibility has been reported in several cultivars available from nurseries. To increase the potential for fruit production, plant 2 or 3 different genetic types (not the same clone or variety). Cross-pollination between the different types in the planting will assure a better fruit set and size. Moths and bats are good pollinators, because flowers open at night when there is no bee activity. However, moth and bat pollination has not been commonly observed. Flowers of some cultivars remain open during the early to mid-morning hours and may be visited by bees. Alternately, hand pollination may be done during the night and early morning hours by collecting pollen (or whole stamens) from one flower and applying it to the stigma of other flowers.

Varieties

At the present time, there are a large number of named cultivars and unnamed selections. Many selections have been made and are available in the United States. There are breeding programs in Taiwan, Vietnam, and Israel. In countries where pitaya are native, selections from the wild are being used. Many of these have been introduced into countries that are interested in growing them. Unfortunately, information on the self-incompatibility of these cultivars and selections is not well documented. This makes cultivar (variety) recommendations difficult at best and potentially unreliable.

Climate

Pitayas grow well in tropical and subtropical climates mostly free of frosts and freezes. They tolerate cool or warm climates, provided temperatures do not exceed 100°F (38°C). They tolerate some shade and may be injured by extreme sunlight. They are considered a full-sunlight crop in their native countries. Initial estimates from native areas suggest that optimum temperatures for growth are 65°F–77°F (18°C–25°C).

Insolation (Sunburning). Severe stem damage has been reported from sunburn in some growing regions with low humidity or high altitude. About 30% shading is recommended during the first 3 to 4 months after planting and where insolation is at damaging levels. However, too much shade results in low production and poor-quality fruit.

Cold. Pitayas may be damaged by exposure to below freezing temperatures (31°F; -2°C) of long duration. However, they recover rapidly from light freezing injury.

Wind. Pitayas appear to tolerate windy conditions; however, very strong winds or hurricanes may cause considerable damage to trellises or supports and consequently to the plants.

Salt. Pitayas may tolerate saline soil conditions. Some references classify them from moderate to highly tolerant to salts.

Propagation

Pitaya may be propagated from seed, but fruit and stem characteristics are variable, and the time from planting to fruit production may be up to 7 years. Asexual propagation is preferred, and the use of stem cuttings is widespread. Usually entire stem segments of 6–15 inches (12–38 cm) are used. A slanted cut is made at the stem base, then the cuttings are treated with a fungicide and left to cure (dry and heal) for 7–8 days in a dry, shady location before they are planted directly in the field or in well-drained media in pots. Some propagators apply a root hormone to the cuttings after curing but before planting them. Cuttings grow very fast (1.2 inches [3 cm] per day) and many produce fruit in 6–9 months after planting. Longer cuttings usually reach the trellis supports faster than shorter ones. Pitayas may also be grafted, but this practice is not common. Grafting has potential for selection of rootstocks adaptable to various soil types and problems. Cuttings take about 4–6 months to develop a good root system in pots and be ready for planting.

Production (Crop Yields)

Three- to 4-year-old plants may produce about 220 lb (100 kg) of fruit per year. The life of a pitaya planting is estimated to be about 20 years.

Spacing, Trellising, and Pruning

Trellis

Pitaya plants may become quite large and spreading, and therefore individual plants should be planted 15–25 ft (4.5–6.1 m) or more away from trees, structures, and electrical lines. A strong trellis should be established that may withstand several hundred pounds of stem weight.

(Video) 5 Dragon Fruit Growing Mistakes to Avoid

A weak trellis may buckle under the weight of a mature pitaya plant. Do not use wires on the trellis because they may cut or damage the stems. If wire is used, it should be covered by plastic hose. For the home landscape, consider a trellis for individual plants, which should consist of a post and a structure at the top of the post to support the plant. An arbor-type trellis may also be constructed. Individual plants growing on a short tree or on a pile of rocks or blocks could also be used as supports for a few plants.

Pitaya (Dragonfruit) Growing in the Florida Home Landscape (4)

Training

Two types of pruning need to be carried out to obtain maximum production of healthy, good-quality fruits. The first one involves training the growing plants until they reach the trellis. This involves eliminating any lateral stems along the main stem until it reaches the trellis, and tying the main stem to the trellis post. Soon after plants reach the top of the trellis, their tips should be cut to induce branching and the new laterals trained and tied to the trellis.

Production Pruning

Pitayas are fast growing and produce extensive growth. If no pruning is done, eventually there will be a very dense mass of stems that will reduce light penetration to the stems and interfere with harvesting the fruits. Furthermore, a dense tangle of stems may result in increased incidence of insect and disease problems. Production pruning involves the removal of damaged, diseased, or dead stems and those that reach the soil. Also remove stems that interfere with cultural practices and harvesting. Selectively remove some stems and train and tie remaining stems to the trellis to prevent stem breakage and crowding. Try to select healthy, strong stems. Pitaya plants are vigorous and may require pruning one to three times per year. Cuts may be treated with a fungicide to reduce the incidence of stem rot. Pruning also induces flowering and stem branching. Prune soon after harvest and remove all pruned stems from the field. The cut stems can be taken to a location away from the field and composted.

Soils

Pitayas are adapted to a wide range of soils provided they are well-drained. They are doing well in the initial plantings in the well drained, calcareous soils of south Florida. As with other fruit crops, they may show minor element deficiencies in the poor, high-pH soils of south Florida. Pitayas thrive in soils high in organic matter or where manure is added.

Planting a Pitaya Cactus

There are two methods of planting; one is to plant a cured cutting directly into the soil. A cured cutting is one in which the cut portion of the stem has been allowed to heal (dry) for several days in the shade. The second and highly recommended system is to plant the cured cuttings in pots, let them develop a good root system for 4–6 months, and then plant them in the landscape. Planting may be done any time in south Florida if an adequate provision for watering is made otherwise, the warm, rainy season is a good time to plant.

Site Selection

In general, pitaya plants should be planted in full or almost full sun (very light shade) for best growth and fruit production. Select a part of the landscape away from other trees, buildings and structures, and power lines. Remember, pitaya plants can become very large if not pruned to contain their size. Select the warmest area of the landscape that does not flood (or remain wet) after typical summers.

Planting in Sandy Soil

Many areas in Florida have sandy soil. Remove a 3 to 10 ft diameter (0.9–3.1 m) ring of grass sod. Dig a hole 3 to 4 times the diameter and 3 times as deep as the container the pitaya plant came in. Making a large hole loosens the soil next to the new tree, making it easy for the roots to expand into the adjacent soil. The use of well-decomposed manure or compost mixed with the native soil dug from the hole is recommended. Carefully remove the plant from the pot so the root ball stays intact, and place the plant in the center of the hole at the same level it was in the pot. Fill the hole with the same soil that came out of the hole, mixed with manure or compost, lightly pressing the soil down halfway before filling and another time when finishing filling in the hole.

Do not press down the soil with your feet, because that may break roots. Build a berm around the plant and water well to fill pore spaces.

Pitaya is a vining cactus and needs a surface to cling to. Because mature plants become very large and heavy, planting adjacent to homes and buildings is not recommended. Planting adjacent to telephone poles or similar utilities is also not recommended and dangerous. Installing a four- to six-inch diameter pressure-treated pole with a strong metal (e.g., rebar) grid attached to the top is best. This trellis should be 10–15 feet away from other plants and structures.

Planting in Rockland Soil

Many areas in Miami-Dade County have a very shallow soil, and several inches below the soil surface is a hard, calcareous bedrock. Remove a 3 to 10 ft-diameter (0.9 to 3.1 m) ring of grass sod. Make a hole 3–4 times the diameter and 3 times as deep as the container the pitaya plant came in. To dig a hole, use a pick and digging bar to break up the rock or contract with a company that has augering equipment or a backhoe. Plant as described for sandy soils.

Planting on a Mound

Many areas in Florida are within 7 ft or so of the water table and experience occasional flooding after heavy rains. To improve plant survival, consider planting pitaya plants on a 2 to 3 ft high by 4 to 10 ft diameter (0.6 to 0.9 m by 1.2 to 3.1 m) mound of native soil. After the mound is made, dig a hole 3 to 4 times the diameter and 3 times as deep as the container the tree came in. In areas where the bedrock nearly comes to the surface (rockland soil), follow the recommendations for the previous section. In areas with sandy soil, follow the recommendations from the section on planting in sandy soil.

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Planting in Large Containers

Pitaya plants may be propagated and established in artificial-media-filled containers. The plant container may have the bottom removed and placed on the soil surface (or slightly below) adjacent to the trellis. This avoids having to auger planting holes while allowing some rooting into the soil surface.

Care of Pitaya Plants in the Home Landscape

A calendar outlining the month-to-month cultural prac- tices for pitaya is shown in Table 2.

Fertilizer

Wait about a month after planting or until plants begin to grow to start fertilizing. Fertilization in the first year should be frequent (every 2 months) with light applications of 0.25 lb (118 g) per plant. Use a 6-6-6, 8-3-9, 8-4-12 (palm special) with 2%–3% magnesium or similar formula. The addition of 4 lb (1.2 kg) of well-decomposed manure or compost around the base of the plant but not touching the stem is recommended during the first year. Apply 4–6 minor element sprays from late March to September. Plants growing in high-pH, calcareous soils should be drenched around each plant with 0.25–0.5 oz (7–15 g) of chelated iron. Apply small amounts of ferrous (iron) sulfate at the base of plants growing in neutral and low-pH soils. The rainy, warm season is the best for the application of minor elements. During the second and third year, gradually increase the amount of dry fertilizer to 0.3–0.4 lb (136–182 g) per plant every two months using any of the above formulas. Gradually increase the amount of manure or compost to about 6 lb (2.7 kg) per plant. Use the same number of minor element sprays and gradually increase the iron chelate soil drench to 0.75–1.00 oz (22–29 g) per plant. During the fourth year and after, apply 0.50–0.75 lb (227–341 g) of fertilizer per plant of the above formulas, using 3–4 applications per year and the same minor element and iron chelate recommendations. Apply manure or compost at 5 lb (2.2 kg) each application, twice per year.

Irrigation (Watering)

Although pitayas are members of the cactus family and may withstand dry periods, they have a fairly high water requirement. However, excessive soil moisture will result in the development of bacterial and fungus diseases. A dry period (winter and early spring) is required for abundant bloom induction, but once plants flower (late spring and summer), periods of drought may result in poor production. Therefore, periodic watering is recommended from flowering through harvest.

Pitaya Plants and Lawn Care

Pitaya plants in the home landscape are susceptible to trunk injury caused by lawn mowers and weed eaters. Maintain a grass-free area 2–5 or more feet (0.6–1.5 m) away from the plant. Never hit the plant stem with lawn-mowing equipment and never use a weed eater near the base of the vine. Mechanical damage to the plant stem will weaken the stem and, if severe enough, may cause dieback or kill the plant.

Roots of mature plants spread beyond the drip-line of the plant canopy, and heavy fertilization of the lawn next to pitaya plants is not recommended because it may reduce fruiting and or fruit quality. The use of lawn sprinkler systems on a timer may result in over-watering and cause the cactus plant to decline. This is because too much water too often applied causes root rot.

Mulch

Mulching pitaya plants in the home landscape helps retain soil moisture, reduces weed problems next to the plant stem, and improves the soil near the surface. Mulch with a 2 to 6 inch (5 to 15 cm) layer of bark, wood chips, or similar mulch material. Keep mulch 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) from the base of the plant stem.

Insect Pests

Some damage by mites, thrips, ants, scales, leaf-footed bugs, mealybugs, and slugs has been reported. Raccoons, possums, rats, and birds may also cause damage to fruit and plants. Please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension agent for current control measures.

Diseases

Several important diseases attack pitayas. These include stem and fruit canker (Neoscytalidium dimidiatum), fruit and stem rot (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Bipolaris cactivora), and the bacterium Xanthomonas compestris. Maintaining sunlight exposure and air movement through pruning will allow plants to dry quickly after rainfall and help reduce disease pressure. Please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension agent for current control measures.

Harvest, Ripening, and Storage

Thorny pitayas are more difficult to harvest than thornless ones. Leather gloves and long-sleeved shirts are recom- mended for harvesting thorny pitayas. The ripening season for H. undatus in Florida generally goes from June to November. Hand clippers should be used to remove fruits from the plants. Be careful not to damage the fruit, and remove any stub at the stem attachment by cutting the peduncle (fruit stem) flush to the fruit surface. Harvest only well-colored, mature fruit. Fruit will keep 4 to 5 days at room temperature or several weeks in plastic bags in the refrigerator.

Uses and Nutritional Value

Most pitayas are consumed fresh. However, the frozen pulp may be used to make ice cream, yogurt, jelly, preserves, marmalade, juice, candy, and pastries. Unopened flower buds can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Pitaya seeds contain an oil that is a mild laxative. Pitaya are nutritious (Table 3).

Tables

Table 1.

Species of pitaya.

(Video) Let’s Plant Some Dragon Fruit in Florida

Table 2.

Cultural calendar for pitaya production in the home landscape.

FAQs

Can you grow dragon fruit in FL? ›

South Florida has a few hundred acres of commercial dragon fruit production, and these unique fruits are also grown in backyards throughout Central Florida. These mild-tasting, strange-looking fruits can be eaten fresh or made into beverages, desserts, or jam.

Can you grow dragon fruit in a hot house? ›

The ideal room temperature is between 65 and 85 F. The plant does not tolerate temperatures over 100 F and should not be kept in rooms that get overly hot during the summer. The dragon fruit cactus is not frost-tolerant. During winter, keep it away from cold windows.

Can dragon fruit grow in hot weather? ›

Tropical climate is suitable for dragon fruit cultivation. Temperature about 25°C suitable for its growth & when fruits are growing on the plant, it needs a temperature of 30°C to 35°C but its plant can also tolerate maximum temperature of 40°C and minimum of 7°C.

How do you grow dragon fruit in your backyard? ›

To do this, cut the fruit in half, scoop out the seeds, and wash them to separate them from the flesh. Dry the seeds overnight then place them in potting soil, but close to the top. Moisten the soil, cover it with plastic wrap, keep the soil moist and wait 10 to 15 days for the seeds to germinate.

How long does it take for a dragon fruit plant to bear fruit? ›

If dragon fruit has intrigued you, the small seeds scattered throughout its flesh can be sprouted easily and grown into a dragon fruit plant of your own. Plants can begin flowering in as little as six to eight months, although container-grown plants may take up to two years to bear fruit.

Can dragon fruit take full sun? ›

Dragon fruit needs full sun, so choose a sunny area in your garden or a sunny windowsill that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. For the soil, choose potting soil that is well-draining (dragon fruits are sensitive to “wet feet,” or consistently wet roots) and rich in organic matter.

Can dragon fruit grow in the tropics? ›

The dragon fruit actually belongs to the cactus family and they have some of the biggest, most impressive flowers in the world. Dragon fruit is native to Central America and most often grown in tropical and sub tropical climates.

What type of soil is best for dragon fruit? ›

  • The best soil for dragon fruit is one that is well-draining and rich in nutrients, ideally with a good amount of loamy sand, and organic matter for some water and nutrient retention.
  • Dragon fruit grow best in neutral or slightly soil, with a pH of 6 to 7 being optimal.

What is the lowest temperature dragon fruit can survive? ›

Dragon Fruit plants (Hylocereus undatus) are only hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10a through 11. They prefer temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and will begin to wilt over 100 F. Dragon fruit is a cactus and temperatures under 32 F will injure it over time.

How often should I water dragon fruit in summer? ›

However, it needs more water than other succulent varieties. In the summer months, it requires a deep watering two or three times a week if planted in a container and once a week in the ground. Decrease this amount to once a week or once every ten days during winter.

Can dragon fruit grow in coastal areas? ›

The fruit suits tropical and sub-tropical climates like that of Karnataka and can withstand temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius. Also, it is ideal for places such as north Karnataka where there is water shortage, Dr.

Which month is best for growing dragon fruit? ›

the growing season of dragon fruit takes place during the hot months of the summer. In Europe the blooms will occur from July to October. The plant often grows in Asia, Mexico and parts of South America.

How much space does a dragon fruit need to grow? ›

A mature dragon plant needs a container at least 60cm wide and 25cm deep for it to thrive — and put it somewhere sunny! Choose potting soil that drains well — preferably a sandy mix. Don't use cactus potting soil, since it won't retain water as much as your plants might like!

Does dragon fruit need a trellis? ›

Trellising increases production and makes it easier to harvest. In order for your dragon fruit plants to reach full production, you must provide them with a support structure. This will allow the branches to hang down, stimulating budding and fruiting while allowing for ease of harvest.

Can dragon fruit grow in any soil? ›

Dragon Fruit can be grown on almost any soils however Sandy soils that have good irrigation are generally preferred. The ph of the soil should be between 5.5 to 6.5 for a good crop. Beds should be at least 40-50 cm high.

What is the lifespan of a dragon fruit plant? ›

Dragon fruit is a fast-growing, semi-epiphytic vine that requires vertical pole-like support with a ring at the top. The economic lifespan of dragon fruit is more than 20 years and during the full-bearing period, plants are laden with fruits.

What's the best fertilizer for dragon fruit? ›

NPK ratio – A good fertilizer for your Dragon fruit is an inorganic type 6-6-6 or 8-3-9. a 20-20-20 mix can also be useful at some times. Fertilize the plants once in early spring and again after finishing the flowers with plant water-soluble fertilizers such as 20-20-20.

What month does dragon fruit bloom? ›

This unique jungle plant typically blooms from early summer through mid-autumn. Dragon fruit cactus is a night blooming plant and the flowers last only one evening.

Does dragon fruit need a lot of water? ›

Since it's a cactus, many gardeners assume the pitaya doesn't need much water. In fact, it likes its soil to be kept consistently moist and should be given about an inch (2.5 cm.) of water per week. Dragon fruits usually only develop in the summer, when temperatures are high and the days are long.

What conditions do dragon fruit like? ›

Not surprisingly they like warm conditions with mild winters and no frost. They can tolerate the occasional short burst of cold weather but ideally they should be kept above 10 degrees. They can handle heat, drought, humidity and poor soils but will grow tastier fruit with regular watering and rich soil.

How often should I water dragon fruit? ›

How often should I water my Dragon Fruit cactus? Under normal conditions, Dragon Fruit cactus should be watered about once every two weeks. You can check the soil with your finger or use a moisture meter to check how damp the soil is. The soil should feel dry or slightly damp, but never rock hard or swampy.

Are dragon fruit plants invasive? ›

In numerous regions, it has escaped cultivation to become a weed and is classified as an invasive weed in some countries.

Can dragon fruit be grown in the Caribbean? ›

The Hylocereus type is native to tropical America, mainly from Central America and the Caribbean. Hylocereus undatus is among the most cultivated type. It is a perennial plant of epiphytic or terrestrial character and abundant branching. It can reach from 0.5 to 2m in length.

Can I use potting soil for dragon fruit? ›

DRAGON FRUIT Soil Mixture (How to Prepare ) - YouTube

How do I keep my dragon fruit plant healthy? ›

5 Dragon Fruit Growing Mistakes to Avoid - YouTube

How do you get rid of ants in dragon fruit? ›

Ants are ATTACKING my DRAGON FRUIT and I'm FIGHTING Back with ...

Is there a dwarf dragon fruit? ›

Dwarf dragon fruit is exact replica of its native bigger brother dragon fruit plants. This amazing plant is perfect for hanging baskets in sunny windows. Also this plant provides tasty nutritious sweet fruits and amazing scented flowers.

How tall does a dragon fruit plant get? ›

The dragon fruit cactus grows to approximately 10 feet tall. The wide, branching canopy of the cactus can reach widths of five to 10 feet.

Is Epsom salt good for dragon fruit? ›

VG40: USES OF EPSOM SALTS ON DRAGON FRUIT AND ... - YouTube

Should I mulch my dragon fruit? ›

To help with flowering and fruit set, apply sulphate of potash every one-to-two months over the growing season, and water in well. In the hotter months make sure your dragon fruit are well mulched. I like to use woodchips for my dragon fruits in the ground and lupin mulch for my pots, as it breaks down more easily.

Should I prune my dragon fruit? ›

If you are just starting out with Dragon Fruit, remember that they should not be pruned until they are at least one year old, and ideally not until they have had one good flowering and fruiting season.

Are dragon fruit roots invasive? ›

When growing in the wild and running amok invasively in tropical dry forests or coastal woodlands, according to the CABI (the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International) datasheet, the plant's needs are simple. As long as its roots are on the dry side, it flourishes.

Is dragon fruit salt tolerant? ›

(1995) observed that pitaya culti- vated in an extremely saline soil having an electrical conductivity of 12 dS mJ1 produced fruits with quality suitable for exportation, but Luders (2004) concluded that pitaya does not tolerate saline environments.

Is dragon fruit drought tolerant? ›

Also known as pitaya, dragon fruits are some of the most drought-tolerant — and stunning — fruits you can grow. With enormous night-blooming white flowers and hot pink fruits, they're showstopping cacti that have recently gained international popularity as healthy, delicious summer snacks.

What temperature can dragon fruit survive? ›

Dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus), also known as pitahaya, is native to Central and South America and needs year-round heat. It can tolerate a brief frost and will recover quickly from any freeze damage, but prolonged exposure to below-freezing temperatures will kill it. It can tolerate heat up to 104 degrees F.

Can dogs eat dragon fruit? ›

You can feed dragon fruit to your dog in moderation. Dogs like dragon fruit because of its soft, sweet, easy-to-chew white flesh and edible seeds. Dragon fruit is high in sugar content and fiber, so eating this fruit in excess can give your dog an upset stomach.

How do you make a dragon fruit trellis? ›

How to Build a Dragon Fruit Trellis and Plant Your First ... - YouTube

What grows well with dragon fruit? ›

Tolerant of full sun, the dragon fruit is ideal for xeriscaping but can be planted in containers as well. Companion plants include Texas sage, ice plant, and kalanchoe.

Is dragon fruit difficult to grow? ›

While dragon fruit may look a little strange, it tastes great in tropical fruit salads, is brimming with wonderful nutrients and is easy to grow in most regions of Australia - provided you plant it in a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.

Where do dragon fruits grow best? ›

Climate is an important factor in growing dragon fruit. They are a tropical cactus, so they are best suited to growing in tropical climates. Many people will be able to grow the plants in colder climates, but they may never get any fruit.

Does dragonfruit need wood to climb? ›

Do dragon fruit plants need a trellis? As a whole, yes, they do! Dragon fruit is a climbing cactus plant that needs a vertical structure to support its growth.

How high should a dragon fruit trellis be? ›

What is the ideal height of the dragon fruit post? - YouTube

Can you grow dragon trees in pots? ›

Dragon tree can also be grown in containers if your soil is not suitable or you don't have the space for it in the garden. Being slow-growing, it makes quite a handsome pot plant that needs little attention.

What is the best way to plant dragon fruit? ›

5 Tips How to grow a ton of dragon fruit - YouTube

Where is dragon fruit grown in Florida? ›

Dragon Fruit
Native Range:Southern Mexico and Central America
Season:Available June through November.
Description:Typical size is about 3 inches in diameter. Fruit has bright pink skin and tastes like a cross between a kiwi and a pear.
3 more rows

Does dragon fruit grow in Miami? ›

Dragon Fruit is also known as Pitaya, they are from the hot arid regions of Central America. Pitaya or Dragon Fruit can grow in all the tropical or subtropical areas throughout the world and here in South Florida. Dragon Fruit is a fruit that grows on this vine-like cactus that's held up by this trellis.

Is dragon fruit difficult to grow? ›

While dragon fruit may look a little strange, it tastes great in tropical fruit salads, is brimming with wonderful nutrients and is easy to grow in most regions of Australia - provided you plant it in a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.

What zones can dragon fruit grow in? ›

It's hardy in USDA zones 10a – 11. Since we are in USDA zone 9b, it will be interesting to see how well the plant grows here and if it will ever bear fruit. Native to Mexico, Central America and South America, the subtropical plant is a vining cactus that can grow twenty feet or more tall.

What is a good fertilizer for dragon fruit? ›

NPK ratio – A good fertilizer for your Dragon fruit is an inorganic type 6-6-6 or 8-3-9. a 20-20-20 mix can also be useful at some times. Fertilize the plants once in early spring and again after finishing the flowers with plant water-soluble fertilizers such as 20-20-20.

What's the difference between pitaya and dragon fruit? ›

Pitaya is just the native name for dragon fruit (or strawberry pear). Common in Hispanic and Asian specialty stores, this oval-shaped fresh fruit is native to South America. However, you can find pitaya growing across many countries with warm and humid climates, including: Colombia.

Is dragon fruit plant invasive? ›

In numerous regions, it has escaped cultivation to become a weed and is classified as an invasive weed in some countries.

Does dragon fruit grow well in Central Florida? ›

Growing Dragon Fruit (Pitaya) in South Florida - YouTube

Can dragon fruit grow in coastal areas? ›

The fruit suits tropical and sub-tropical climates like that of Karnataka and can withstand temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius. Also, it is ideal for places such as north Karnataka where there is water shortage, Dr.

Can dragon fruit grow in the tropics? ›

The dragon fruit actually belongs to the cactus family and they have some of the biggest, most impressive flowers in the world. Dragon fruit is native to Central America and most often grown in tropical and sub tropical climates.

What is the lifespan of a dragon fruit plant? ›

Dragon fruit is a fast-growing, semi-epiphytic vine that requires vertical pole-like support with a ring at the top. The economic lifespan of dragon fruit is more than 20 years and during the full-bearing period, plants are laden with fruits.

How do you prepare the soil for dragon fruit? ›

DRAGON FRUIT Soil Mixture (How to Prepare ) - YouTube

Which month is best for growing dragon fruit? ›

the growing season of dragon fruit takes place during the hot months of the summer. In Europe the blooms will occur from July to October. The plant often grows in Asia, Mexico and parts of South America.

What is the lowest temperature dragon fruit can survive? ›

Dragon Fruit plants (Hylocereus undatus) are only hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10a through 11. They prefer temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and will begin to wilt over 100 F. Dragon fruit is a cactus and temperatures under 32 F will injure it over time.

How much space does a dragon fruit need to grow? ›

A mature dragon plant needs a container at least 60cm wide and 25cm deep for it to thrive — and put it somewhere sunny! Choose potting soil that drains well — preferably a sandy mix. Don't use cactus potting soil, since it won't retain water as much as your plants might like!

Can dragon fruit grow in any soil? ›

Dragon Fruit can be grown on almost any soils however Sandy soils that have good irrigation are generally preferred. The ph of the soil should be between 5.5 to 6.5 for a good crop. Beds should be at least 40-50 cm high.

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