Also known as dragon fruit and strawberry pear, this unusual fruit probably originates from Southern Mexico. It grows on a branching cactus with fleshy stems reaching from a few centimetres to 6m long in mature plants, which will put out aerial roots, and which require support. The fruit is the size of an apple, brilliant red in colour, with a texture similar to a melon, and is pleasantly sweet in flavour. Even if it did not taste as good as it does, it would be worth growing for the colour it can add to a fruit salad, and for the unusual way it grows. The flowers are ornate and beautiful, but bloom at night and only last for one night. Best grown under cover. You will need two plants for pollination. Either one of each colour, or you can have two red as we now have red from two different sources, Red and Red B.
We have several varieties.
RED - Red flesh
RED B - Also Red flesh but slightly different
RED / WHITE - Like the red pitaya,requiring the same conditions, but the red fruit is white-fleshed.
YELLOW - Like the red pitaya,requiring the same conditions, but the fruit is yellow-fleshed, and reportedly more highly prized than the red fruit, though the one I tasted was less tasty. It is milder and creamier in texture.
You will need two plants for pollination, and it is best to take one of each colour, to ensure you are getting genetic diversity as they have been propagated from cuttings.
We now sell these as rooted cuttings rather that potted up which makes them safer to ship by courier.
GUIDELINES FOR POTTING UP: We recommend potting into standard or cactus potting mix. Plant each cutting by placing the base and roots a couple of cm's beneath the soil and pressing the soil around it to keep it secure and upright. Water or mist the soil bed consistently, keeping it evenly moist. You should start to see new growth in 3-4 weeks. If you’re growing your cuttings indoors, transplant them to bigger pots or to a garden bed with the appropriate climate as they grow bigger.
Once your dragon fruit plant reaches about 30 cm high, it will need a support system to continue to grow—as dragon fruits are climbing cacti. Set up a trellis or wood stake that your plant can grow up.
Water sparingly in winter.
PITAYA - (Hylocereus undatus, Dragon Fruit)