Dragon fruit is a beautiful exotic fruit with a sweet flavor and crunchy texture of flesh. These juicy little fruits grow on cacti and are often referred to as pitayas. Pitaya (the Spanish word for dragon fruit) is derived from the Fallah pitahaya, which has its origin in the Nahuatl culture.
The subtropical Dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) is native to Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam, and other hot climates in Central America, with the main species of dragon fruit, Hylocereus undatus, perfecting its growing conditions in Southern Mexico and Guatemala.
It has been cultivated for its edible fruits since the mid-20th century. Dragon Fruit also called “strawberry pear,” are low-growing, climbing vining plants that produce large, white, and purple fruit. The Mesoamerican population used this fruit for thousands of years for its wide variety of health benefits. Dragon fruit has a texture similar to kiwi or pear with the taste of watermelon or pear mixed with a hint of berry flavor.
Some varieties have white flesh while others are red or orange inside. Its flesh is often dotted with a web-like pattern of tiny black seeds, although they’re edible and hold health benefits in their own right. While still rare in most parts of North America, dragon fruit is becoming more widely available in specialty groceries and farmer’s markets during its harvest season in late summer.
Pollination & Production:
Dragon fruit is actually related to the cactus and requires hot summer days with temperatures rising into the 100-degree range Fahrenheit during the day. Nighttime temperatures must also stay pretty warm (above 70 degrees Fahrenheit) for this plant to thrive. Dragon fruit can’t withstand freezing temperatures, so they are typically grown in warm climates. Dragon fruit, like many other fruit-bearing plants, thrives in well-drained soil. It ought to be somewhat acidic, with a pH range of 6–7. If sandy soil is available, use it; if not, any free-draining soil will suffice. Dragon fruit likes moist soil.
Dragon fruit flowers open at night and are pollinated by moths. Daytime pollinators include hummingbirds. In order to have a successful harvest, a dragon fruit cactus relies on pollination from another cactus different from its own variety. Dragon fruits grow in 12-20 months and can produce dozens of fruits in a single year if well cared for.
They’re deciduous cactus, which means they shed their leaves in winter, so you only have to water them once a year. This cactus has large, deep green leaves which can be up to 3 feet across but only a few inches wide. The vines can grow up to 12 feet long but are often kept pruned to about 6 feet for easier harvesting. Dragon fruit is ready to harvest when it starts to wrinkle like a raisin. Harvest the fruit when the peel turns pink or dark red. They taste like kiwis and strawberries. Once ripe, dragon fruit has a sharp, sweet, and slightly sour taste. This article will give you information on how to grow your own dragon fruit at home.
Dragon fruit is a versatile and delicious fruit that can be enjoyed all year long. Dragon fruit plants are very easy to grow and the plant produces delicious fruits. Create a trellis or a wire cage to help the vine of this cactus-like fruit to climb as it grows. Dragon fruit can be grown in your garden or in a pot.
Though it may not be one of the most common fruits available, it’s easy enough to buy plants or seeds and grow them yourself in your own garden. Dwarf varieties can be grown indoors year-round. Your dragon fruit seeds will germinate and sprout in 10 to 15 days, but it may take three months or longer for the plants to bloom. Dragon fruit plants can grow for years, so be sure to plant them somewhere permanent and give them plenty of space to branch out. The fruit requires very little effort from you—it is self-pollinating, doesn’t need to be pruned, and flowers without fail each year. Dragon fruit cacti can be grown by seed and cuttings, and prefer a climate similar to that of southern Florida. A dragon fruit plant will take up to three years to bear its first fruit. If you decide to grow your dragon fruit outdoors in containers near your house or bring it indoors during the winter months, it will require very little maintenance as long as you water it regularly and fertilize it every few weeks.
This delicious fruit has a unique look and is packed with nutrients but it’s definitely low in calories. Dragon fruit is high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C yet low in calories. Dragon fruit also has multiple health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, strengthening immunity and fighting free radicals, Treating diabetes, losing weight and fighting cancer are just some of the health benefits that dragon fruit has offer. But the most well-known benefit is its effect on your skin.
Dragon fruit’s exciting color and shape make them perfect for adding to a fruit salad or smoothie bowl, enjoy it as a yogurt topping, made into ice cream, or simply be enjoyed on its own. Try adding the dragon fruit to your favorite dishes to enjoy this exotic treat’s benefits whenever you’d like.