How to Grow Dragon Fruit

by Amanda W on May 12, 2010

Dragon Fruit

How to Grow Dragon Fruit

The dragon fruit plant, named for the exotic appearance of its fruit, is native to Central and South America and grows well in temperate climates.  In the United States, this means the plant grows best where it is safe from frost.  A member of the cactus family, the plant is not actually a tree but a series of huge vines that grow from a central stem.  The outside of the fruit is either bright pink or yellow with sweet flesh that can be white or red, dotted with small seeds.  Dragon fruit growing is possible from three stages: as seeds, seedlings, or a young plant.  The following discussion focuses on how to grow dragon fruit at each stage.

From Seeds

Growing dragon fruit from seeds is challenging as is growing any fruit from this stage.  Though they can be bought prepared, seeds can also be harvested from a fresh or dried dragon fruit with care taken to remove all flesh from around the seeds.  The seeds should be planted in very shallow, well-drained potted soil and kept moist under a plastic covering.  The seeds should sprout within two weeks.

From Seedlings

Once the seeds begin to grow, move them to pots that can house the dragon fruit permanently with plenty of room to grow.  The soil or compost should be rich, and again, should have good drainage with small holes drilled in the bottom of the pots.  As long as the temperature remains moderate and the seedlings are not over-watered, they will grow quickly.  Stake the plant early on for support before heavy vines begin growing.

From a Plant

dragon fruit

dragon fruit

Cuttings can be taken from a mature dragon fruit plant to begin a new plant.  Cut off a substantial vine from the stem of the plant and deposit it directly into a pot of soil.  If the cutting grows successfully, it could potentially flower within a year.

Have you grown dragon fruit?  What do you recommend?  Leave a comment below!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Peter Davis April 28, 2011 at 1:19 am

Good afternoon,
I have read your article and found it quite interesting.I am interested in growing another plant or two from my current plant.
But more importantly,I need to know how I can tell when the fruit is ripe for picking.Please advise.
Regards Pete

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2 admin April 28, 2011 at 8:58 am

hey pete – have you checked with a local nursery – they might be your best bet. I live in the central United States and really don’t know for sure! jenny

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3 wawan August 2, 2011 at 10:11 am

The fruit will already picking about 40 days after flower blossom, for white dragon.

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4 shirley January 25, 2012 at 10:16 pm

is there any place to order the seeds of dragon fruit? im thinking to start planting this fruit i heard theres a lot of use and best who are diabetic.

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5 admin January 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

Hi Shirley, I do not know of any – but if you find one, please do let me know. You might try your local nursery to see if they know of anyone online seed shops.

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6 mike January 27, 2014 at 9:51 pm

I bought a dragonfruit Shirley….and dropped the seeds from it directly in a growing compound….PRO-MIX…..I’ve got them started ;) Easy Peasy!!!!!

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7 Glennys March 2, 2012 at 3:10 am

I live in Melbourne Australia does anyone know where I can buy a dragon fruit plant and would it grow ok here

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8 betty May 19, 2012 at 8:04 am

Hi I have a big dragon fruit plant. The plant is 5 years old very healthy lots of leaves. the plant has flowered many times , but has not produced any fruit. do you have any suggestions.

Thanks for any help Betty
St. Petersburg, FL

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9 admin May 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Betty, have you contacted your local nursery to see if they have any ideas? You might also look for fellow dragon fruit growers in Yahoo! Groups to see if they have any ideas. Thanks, Jenny

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10 amita July 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Betty,
i think u have a mae plant or must cross pollinate it by spreading the pollen wiz the help of a small paint brush . so gently brush the flowers so that the polen can shift from one flower to another,
yet some say must plant a male n a female so that they cros polinate n bear fruits

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11 hazra February 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm

.. i’am from mauritius. i have a dragon plant at my place. the plant has been flowered for the first time. i want to know after how many days it will give fruit

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12 Matt February 12, 2013 at 1:24 am

You can order dragonfruit seeds from ebay. Plants that don’t produce fruits are either malnourished or unpollinated. Dragonfruit are nocturnal and in nature require bats/moths to pollinate. If you live in an area without either then you will need to do it yourself. The information on how to pollinate them can be found online.

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