Alphabetical Plant Listing

Hylocereus undatus (Dragon Fruit)

Dragonfruit, Dragon Fruit, Night-Blooming Cereus, Strawberry Pear, Pitahaya, Tuna, Nopal, Pitajaya, Belle of the Night, Conderella Plant, Honolulu Queen, Moonlight Cactus, Queen of the Night, Red Pitaya, White-fleshed Pitahaya


Used both as an ornamental vine and as a fruit crop, Hylocereus undatus (Dragon Fruit) is a fast-growing, sprawling or vining, terrestrial or epiphytic cactus. Its green stems are usually 3-sided, fleshy, jointed, and may reach up to 20 ft. long (6 m). They climb by use of aerial roots that adhere to the surface upon which they grow or climb. Large and beautiful white flowers, 14 in. long (35 cm), appear in late spring to early summer in temperate climates. In tropical climates, the plant can have up to 4-6 flowering/fruiting cycles per year. Very fragrant, they open only at night, and usually last just one night. When pollinated, they give way to edible, fleshy red fruits with prominent scales. Their sweetly flavored white or red pulp is dotted with small black seeds. Dragon Fruit is estimated to live about 20 years and may produce up to 220 lb (100 kg) of fruit per year 3-4 years after planting.

  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is not fussy about soil conditions as long they are well-drained and supplemented with high amounts of organic material. Water regularly from flowering through harvest, making sure the soil does not dry out. Fertilize on a monthly basis with a balanced fertilizer during this period.
  • Tolerates cool or warm climates, provided temperatures do not exceed 100°F (38°C). May be damaged by exposure to below freezing temperatures (31°F; -2°C) of long duration.
  • Dragon Fruit plants may become quite large and spreading, and should be planted 15–25 ft (4-7 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.
  • Keep an eye out for mites, thrips, ants, scales, leaf-footed bugs, mealybugs, slugs, stem and fruit canker, fruit and stem rot.
  • Prune to contain size, induce flowering and stem branching. Prune after harvest and remove damaged, diseased, dead stems and those that reach the soil. Selectively remove some stems and train and tie remaining stems to the trellis to prevent stem breakage and crowding. Dragon Fruit plants are vigorous and may require pruning 1-3 times per year.
  • Propagate by seed (may take up to 7 years from from planting to fruit production) or stem cuttings.
  • Native to southern Mexico, Pacific side of Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Curacao, Panama, Brazil, and Uruguay.

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Requirements

Hardiness 11
Heat Zones 10 – 12
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents, Fruit
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries

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By Koy_Hipster, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 11
Heat Zones 10 – 12
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents, Fruit
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries

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