Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The current photo is getting a lot of comments. Over time, it will be more difficult to find the info, so here is an outline of what I've found out about growing Dragon Fruit.
Leaving aside that there is so much info on the net it's confusing and repetitive ...
The DF plants I have came from Jacqui at Jane Street and Jessica from Caboolture Seed Savers. I have 3 white-fleshed and 2 red-fleshed plants.
Although the plants are from cuttings taken from the same plants (one white-fruited plant, one red-fruited plant), their growth habit and growth rates have been quite different.
After I planted out the rooted cuttings, the first one fruited about 2 years later. The next to fruit was a red one, one year later (2013). And that's all the plants with buds or fruit out of 5 - 3 are yet to decide what they are going to do with themselves. I can tell them - fruit this year or face the rubbish bin.
There are a lot of different designs of trellis - the one thing I can tell you is that the plants are very heavy, spiky and enthusiastic growers. The trellis must be quite robust.
There are some videos on this site, courtesy of Scott: check them out and see what you learn (lots!) ;-) One of the videos showed the two types of end to the stems - the flat and the pointed and explained the difference. I would not have known that but for this video.
The most information in the one place is the DPIF from the Northern Territory. There are a number of notes in different categories. Here is the one which I could attach to this post. FG1_pitaya_dragon_fruit.pdf

The others are in another post here.

The one note I found the most use is no longer there ... it is how to prune a Dragon Fruit plant. That was the first time I knew they needed pruning. You prune after fruiting. I have scanned my copy of it and although the original was in colour and more clear for that, mine was printed on a grey-scale printer and scanned from that. At least it is clear enough to be useful, I hope.

An outstanding requirement which I have found since reading the notes is for water: 600-1300 mm. It sounds like quite a lot and a great deal more than has been falling from the sky or I have provided by sprinkler. The fertiliser needs although expressed in the NPK-type ratio, sound like far more than I have given to the plants. Going on the performance - or rather, lack of it - of all of the plants, it looks as though these Cactus plants need more nurturing than the average ornamental Cactus from the desert. These Cactus plants originate I believe from a rainforest-type environment. Similar to the flat-sectioned Schlumbergera aka Zygocactus. With the added proviso that plants producing fruit need a lot of nutritional and water support to make their best fruit.

I have read in the notes that DFs can suffer from sun-burn, yep, they do here too. Some shade is appreciated - yet I see photos of plantations of them out in the open.

Mostly I read that the white-fleshed and red-fleshed DFs are self-fertile. The white-fleshed is or was helped along by the ants which were busy in the flowers. The first red-fleshed bud did not survive but the second one pic below, I hand-pollinated at 1am. I cut some stamens off and brushed them over the pistil and so far, so good the fruit is developing.

Same plant, same bud as the flower above.

And these are what I call 'flat ends' - the stems which have potential for fruiting:

And a comparison of the 'flat ends' with the 'pointy ends' which are still growing on the same plant:

Views: 533

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Brisbane Local Food to add comments!

Join Brisbane Local Food

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 23, 2014 at 14:35

My threats must have worked. There's 9 buds on one plant and several on the others. Remains to be seen if they all result in edible fruit but it's a good start. Stay of execution.

Comment by Jake on January 23, 2014 at 12:48

Ooh! I've got a few "flat ends" on my red pitya! Can't wait to see what happens :-) Thanks for sharing all this info Elaine!

Comment by Valerie on January 13, 2014 at 15:41

HI Elaine, will you have any DF cutting at Lissa's GV?

My cutting got the chop courtesy of my hubby mowing the lawn edge with the whipper snipper. The grass was so tall, The cutting was well hidden. 

Important note about adding photos:

Always add photos using the "From my computer" option, even if you are on a mobile phone or other device.

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

GrowVetiver

Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.


Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

© 2020   Created by Andrew Cumberland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service