- Where Does Dragon Fruit Grow
- How to Grow Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
- How to Tell if Dragon Fruit is Ripe
- How Does (Pitaya) Dragon Fruit Taste
- Dragon Fruit Smoothie
Where Does Dragon Fruit Grow
The season of the year experience availability of fresher pitaya. This fruit originated from America but nowadays, are widely harvested and grown across Southeast Asia region. It’s one of my preferred fruit from the cactus family.
How to Grow Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
- With your sharp kitchen knife, slice by half the fruit and expose the tiny black dragon fruit seeds from the pulp.
- Rinse off to get clear and clean seeds.
- Place the seeds on a moist cloth overnight.
- Fill your small pot or germinating tray with poor starting. The mix should be well-draining.
Appropriate Season of Dragon Fruit:
- The core fruit harvest period in Southern California is the period running from Summer to Fall.
Dragon Fruit Flowers:
- It’s unfortunate that blooming of Dragon Fruit Flowers only take place in one day and during the night. They are actually beautiful and large. The flowers of this fruit also have a superb hot aroma.
Natural Pollinators of Dragon Fruit:
- In their natural Central/South American rain forest atmosphere, there are night-time bats that have affection for flowers of dragon fruit. Precisely, the nectar-feeding bats in their natural environment, Choeronycteris mexicanaand Leptonycteris curasoae cross-pollinate the large white dragon fruit flowers.
This is somehow amazing since these large flowers appear to have lost their capacity to yield nectar. Thus, I guess that these bats visit these plants to harvest the enormous quantity of flower pollen for use as a food.
- The jungle habitat also has big nocturnal moths that cross-fertilize these flowers too.
Cultivating Dragon Fruit Cactus:
- You need to understand that this plant ought not to be handled like a cactus.
- This plant is best adapted to or evolved in a wet and warm/hot tropical setting. So, treat it either a subtropical or tropical cactus vegetation to make it very happy.
- My method of cultivating dragon fruit plant is to match the native habitat with the plants as much as possible. By doing so, they will be very fruitful.
Dragon Fruit Cactus Soil:
- The Dragon Fruit Cactus grows in organic, ell draining, rich soil.
- I planted my cacti with a soil combination having plenty of natural decomposed material. I this planting approach for a majority of fruit trees I have grown in my yard. But, the only difference between dragon fruit with other fruit plants regarding my usual soil mix is that approximately 10% peat moss was added for the dragon. The idea behind the use of peat moss is that it would come out being a good method to retain the soil moist and airy with more advantages of mild acidification.
- Precisely, I cover the root zone or the ground surrounding the cacti with heaps of manure and cultivate covering that I empty directly from the bag. The covering I cultivate contains chicken manure because fowl poo is probable main form of fertilizer suitable for cacti plants in their natural environment.
- During and before the growing season, I also regularly add amounts of chicken compost to the soil top.
- Thereafter, I water in the mulch/compost frequently during the course of the year to allow sufficient absorption of nutrients down in the soil.
Watering Dragon Fruit Cactus:
- The fact that dragon fruit plant grows in a jungle, it means that it thrives in moist soil that is kept wet all through.
- Moreover, the soil needs to be well draining and loose. Standing water can hinder its proper growth.
- I further use water to spray the branches especially during dry-hot days due to the effect of the jungle. However, spraying the plant is not mandatory.
Dragon Fruit Propagation:
- You can easily start Dragon Fruit Cactus vines from cuttings. Put recently cut dragon fruit branches in soil and leave them there for a while. They root out after regular watering and use of soil mixture discussed above. The best cuttings which are one year old and measures approximately 1 foot long is preferable. Fruiting of cuttings takes as short as one years’ time.
- You can as well use dragon fruit seeds to start the Cactus but this approach takes more time for the fruit plant to develop and reach fruiting maturity. It takes averagely 6 years for them to reach maturity.
Growing Support for Dragon Fruit Cactus:
- Given that this dragon fruit plant is an epiphyte, it’s desirable to provide them with something to grow on. Still, they can also wander along the earth surface.
- Some individuals have effectively applied support techniques ranging from palm trees to arbors and fences.
- Cement poles are used Vietnam, the South East Asian country known for this fruit and where most of commercial growers the plant. They use a “top branching pole” erection. Doing so will help to prevent fruit from decay in the naturally wet hot weather of SE Asia.
Pruning of Dragon Fruit Cactus:
- Stems of the dragon fruit plant may grow to up to 20 feet and more and will ultimately require pruning.
- I attempt to trim them at the usual stem joints.
- Some people have stated that clipping the plant 1 month to fruiting may contribute to an increase in the fruit size and the number of flowers. However, I have never proven if that assertion is false or true.
Dragon Fruit Diseases:
- You need to be aware of many critical Dragon Fruit diseases. According to the June 3013 research done by Rev. Fac. Cienc. Agrar. Univ. Nac. Cuyo vol.45 no.1 Mendoza ene. the symptoms of stem spots on dragon fruit are initiated on Hylocereus undatus by Botryospaheria dothidea.
Dragon Fruit Pests:
- Largely, there no known buggy-pests that feed on the dragon fruit plant that I have seen other than the sporadic snail whose damage doesn’t appear that significant.
- Nonetheless, the fruits invite aphids and their related courier ants. But, you can easily remove these sap suckers with a heavy-duty water spray from your ordinary garden hose.
- The roots are also eaten by gophers. You can easily cage the roots at planting.
- I would as well think a problem may come from squirrels once these rodents realize that this fruit is delicious. That may happen on maturing Dragon Fruit. A good reason to support the plant so that it does not touch the ground.
How to Tell if Dragon Fruit is Ripe
I can tell when the dragon fruit is ripe if the fruit is red and its extensions start to wither. You need to understand that the entire family of the Hylocereus species fruit look red in color when ripe despite differences in their flesh. Some of these fruits’ flesh is either purple, red, pink, or white in color.
At this ripeness period, the fruit separates itself from the plant with one or two twists. Before selecting a dragon fruit, consider one with even, bright colored skin. The moment you see it has a shriveled, dry stem, or has several brown blotches, it’s possibly overripe. On the contrary, if it’s very firm, give it a few more days for the flesh to give slightly.
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, belong to the cactus fruit family and comes varieties. They may have either yellow or red skin. The red skin varieties can have red or white flesh, whereas the type with a yellow skin has white flesh.
Thus, like said before, you can tell if the fruit from any of the three types mentioned above by first touching and looking at the fruit before consuming. If you produce your individual dragon fruit, reap the fruits when the time is right to ensure ripeness.
How Does (Pitaya) Dragon Fruit Taste
Pitaya (Dragon fruit) doesn’t have considerable flavor. My best description of its taste is that, its flavor/consistency is somehow close to that of a white kiwi.
Usually, the flavor does not taste as sweet as a kiwi. But have a tendency to be more subtle/bland. In rare moments, the flavor is fairly sweet.
The skin of the dragon fruit is scaly. The fruit’s center is the source of the fruit’s taste. There are many edible tiny black seeds inside the fruit.
For some individuals, they equate the taste of dragon fruit between that of a kiwi and a pear. To others, it tastes like a melon and kiwi. The variance in the fruit’s taste is also noticeable across the diverse selections of dragon fruit.
The pink variety of dragon fruits have a refreshing and light flavor combined with a suggestion of tang.
The red dragon fruit, on the other hand, is sweeter and has a flavor similar to that of raspberries. The red flesh of dragon fruit has very high amount of soluble fiber content and also rich in antioxidants.
Dragon Fruit Smoothie
A creamy and thick bowl of fiber rich dragon fruit smoothie crowned with super food components is tasty and appealing. In fact, the smoothie reveals the unique aspect of dragon fruit taste.
Ingredients for dragon fruit smoothie:
- one teaspoon of bee pollen
- One cup of coconut milk
- One package of crushed and icy pink dragon fruit
- Protein powder of vanilla (optional)
- One cup freezing raspberries
- Half ice-covered banana
- One teaspoon of therapeutic mushroom concentrates (optional)
- one teaspoon macadamia precipitate
- Garnish coatings (optional): Maple Banana Nut Granola, bee pollen, shredded coconut, fresh dragon fruit, cacao nibs, fresh raspberries, and fresh sliced figs.
Procedure for preparing the smoothie:
- Mix all components and put in a blender or a Vitamix and blend until even.
- Enhance with ice to stiffen as preferred.
- Empty into a dish and top with discretionary garnish components to add nutrient density and flavor.
- Enjoy the smoothie immediately.