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Dragon fruit

Hylocereus undatus

Pitahya, Night blooming cereus, Strawberry pear (Eng.)

The Dragon fruit or Pitahya plant is a cactus species native to the Americas. The plants are grown for commercial fruit production in Southeast Asia, the United States, Israel, Australia, Cyprus and the Canary Islands. The fruit is sweet, tastes a bit like an earthy watermelon and has a texture that resembles kiwifruit, but it's a little crunchier. Hylocereus undatus is red skinned with white flesh, H. costaricensis is red skinned with red flesh and H. megalanthus is yellow skinned with white flesh.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

Harvesting

Fruit ripens 30 to 50 days after flowering, the skin turns red or yellow, depending on variety. The skin will also feel slightly soft when squeezed, but not mushy. There can be 5 or 6 harvest cycles per year.

Propagation

Seed
Sprinkle seeds over soil and cover with a thin layer of soil, germination takes a 11-14 days, then thin out the plants
Cuttings
If using a fresh cutting, let it dry in a cool, shady spot for about a week. This will allow the wound to heal and prevent infection once it is planted. Plant in a well-draining soil mix.

Special features

Drought resistant
Needs only small amounts of water
Attracts useful insects
Attracts bees

Geography

Origin
America, Mexico
Natural climate
Hot and dry Interior

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
The flowers and fruit are edible.

Personality

Family
Cactaceae
Flower colour
Yellow-green or white
Scent
Strong

Problems

Generally free from insect problems but susceptible to fungal diseases, mostly due to over watering

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