Dragon Fruit is a native species of fruit that is mainly found in tropical climates like Central or South America, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Philippines, and Thailand, among other similar climates. It has been gaining popularity in recent years for its delicious sweetness and the extremely unique vibrant colors of its skin and flesh.
You can find dragon fruit in 3 major varieties: white flesh with red skin, red flesh with red skin, and white flesh with yellow skin. The best variety in terms of taste and nutritional value is apparently the red flesh ones.
Grow Your Own Dragon Fruit
If you’re in the right outdoor zones, dragon fruit can grow well in typical compost or potting soil mixes. Because they are a cacti plant, over-watering is more common than under. Dragon fruit plants also climb with roots that travel up and down from branches, so allowance for room to grow is important for a home gardener.
Once the dragon fruit plant reaches around ten pounds in weight, they will soon be ready to flower. This is a key moment in the success of your dragon fruit plant, as they only flower at night and quickly wilt by sunrise. Pollinating for home gardeners will need to be done by the owner as normally this job is done by nocturnal creatures. Dragon fruit plants will bloom about every two to four months. Also, as with any cactus plant, you can trim off a piece of the plant and pot it to produce a new plant.
Dragon fruit can survive very hot temperatures, however, they will likely die in a bad streak of frost as with most other fruit-bearing plants. With that said, dragon fruits can be very prosperous throughout the year. Some place, like Vietnam, have been known to be able to harvest 5 times a year, if the weather has been cooperative.
The only true dangers present for dragon fruit mainly come down to owner error, like over-watering or exposure to too much rainfall or frost. Animals such as birds or even squirrels can also beat you to your harvest. It’s best to take precautions if you think animals might be able to access your garden- fruit is the number one target for rodents and birds.
Try setting up chicken wire and wire screening around it if your dragon fruit plant is producing fruit. Cover your dragon fruit with a tarp or covering for both heavy rain and when temperatures threaten to go below freezing. It’s not quite as extreme as growing strawberries, but dragon fruit do deserve more attention than typical cacti plants.