The dragon fruit plant, also known as the pitahaya or pitaya plant, is a vine-like cactus native to Central and South America. Although it is known to have beautiful flowers, the plant blooms only briefly, and at night. However, after it has flowered, the plant may begin producing the dragon fruit. This fruit can add exotic flavor to your dishes and has many health benefits. The dragon fruit plant takes some time to mature before it begins to flower. However, if you can't wait to taste the dragon fruit, or if your plant is not flowering, there are some ways to coax it.
Video of the Day
Move your plant into a greenhouse. Most dragon fruit plants flower during the summer months the weather in their native environment is warm. If the temperatures in your area fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, your plant may not be flowering due to cold temperatures. Moving it into a warmer greenhouse may induce flowering.
Extend the length of daylight your dragon fruit plant receives. Dragon fruit plants flower and produce fruit when the days are long. If the days are short in your area, you can artificially lengthen the days by shining lights on your plants for an extra hour or two, either before dawn or after sunset. Use bright, outdoor spotlights for this task.
Train the dragon fruit plant up a trellis. Prune any lateral stems that are growing below the area where the plant reaches the trellis. This ensures that the plant's energy goes into flowering and producing fruit instead of growing extraneous stems.
Prune the tips of the plant's uppermost stems after it climbs up the trellis. More branches will grow if you clip the tips. These branches will support more flowers and fruit.
Prune any dying or damaged branches and stems from your dragon fruit plant. Again, this will help your plant focus its energy and nutrients on growing flowers and fruit, instead of using that energy to try to repair the damaged plant sections.
Give your dragon fruit plant a period of dryness in the spring. Although the plant normally requires a fairly large amount of water, this dry period ensures that no rot sets in to the roots of the plant; this will help to induce flowering. This dry period should not be long. Leave your plants dry only from late spring until early summer.
Ann LaPan travels exuberantly in body and mind via planes, trains, automobiles and superb literature. A webmaster, website designer, graphic artist, accountant and musician (Jill of all trades, master of a few), she writes Today’s Horoscope for Shooting Star Astrology.com.