Brisbane Local Food

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What Not to Do with Dragon Fruit ...

... leave them on the plant too long!

Oh dear. I kept looking and squeezing, not being able to make up my mind. The plant made it up for me.

So look under the fruit and don't be fooled by the still-green part on top. And the squeeze-test with thumb and forefinger is to feel a rubbery yielding, not soft but just subtly softer than when hard and unripe.

When I looked under, wondering where the cloud of little insects (Vinegar Flies?) was coming from, I found a huge split:

It smelt as bad as it looks. Yecch.

And this is what I found when I cut into the fruit:

And:

Yep, likely to be fruit fly. The eggs probably were laid after the fruit split, the skin is very thick and rubbery and I guess the ovipositor is not long enough to penetrate. The infestations were all around the split.

This is what we recovered and enjoyed:

So in its first year of fruiting, this plant gave us 3 large fruits with minimal fuss and watering. Just some tying up of stems here and there. None of the other plants put in at the same time have achieved the growth of this plant - given to me originally by Jacqui at Jane Street.

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 20, 2013 at 7:44

Ah well there's always something to learn! Thank you for that tip, Lissa. I understood the fruit didn't ripen once picked but I've observed that they do soften a bit. Seeds - yes, well the bits are in the compost so who knows down the track what may sprout.

Comment by Lissa on May 20, 2013 at 6:00

If you are inclined, dont waste the rotty bits but plant them. I have a dragonfruit grown from seed this way. Nothing to lose :)

I pick my fruit a few days after they colour up. They can be left in the fruit bowl until you need them and then refrigerated a few more if you still don't want to eat.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 19, 2013 at 21:27

The major colours are white, red and yellow. The white and red-fleshed both have red skins. I've only tasted the white so far and it is quite tasty in a delicate way. The yellow-flesh has a yellow skin and more spikes than either of the others although the spikes on the fruit drop off as it ripens. Then there are deliberate hybrids with a range of flavours.

Comment by Jane on May 19, 2013 at 17:30

I had my first fruit this year must be a diffrent sort to your Elaine as all the flesh is red, we found it rather disapointing in taste, very bland but what a marvelous colour which must be good to eat like beets etc.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 18, 2013 at 21:49

Cheers. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 18, 2013 at 21:40

Cactus are usually desert plants although the Dragon Fruit is a tropical/sub-tropical area not sure about rain forest; the flat cactus which flowers so well over the winter is a rainforest cactus. I reckon they could take some shelter but figure they'd prefer the sun - the the plantations are all out in the open in full sun.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 18, 2013 at 21:14

You know, that's what I love about this site.  Our "failures" are often more useful than our "successes."

On a different (but related) note, I now have a dragon fruit in a pot.  Its poor little cactus face is so ugly that not even a mother could love it.  I am debating whether I have somewhere completely hidden in my garden where I can let the poor thing thrive.  

Can you tell me if they grow in shade?  If so, I'll plant it near Rozzie's paw paws which I dislike with equal passion!

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