How to Start a Dragon Fruit Cactus From Seed

Dragon fruit is the edible fruit from the Pitaya cactus, a member of the Hylocereus genus. It is called dragon fruit for the scales on the outside of the fruit, which remind people of a dragon. While the cactus must be protected from freezing, it makes an attractive climbing houseplant in colder areas. It is easy to start from seed.

Close-up of half a cactus pear
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Red and magenta dragon fruits are tastier than the yellow varieties.

Step 1

Look online for seeds. If you can't find seeds, buy a dragon fruit, which can be found at many Asian markets. They come in yellow, red and magenta colors.

Step 2

Cut the fruit in half. Scoop out a teaspoon of pulp, making sure you get some of the black seeds. Mash the pulp in a small amount of water to separate the seeds.

Step 3

Clean the gelatinous pulp from the seeds. You won't need many seeds, because the germination rate is high. Enjoy the rest of the dragon fruit as a snack.

Step 4

Fill a shallow container with a planting medium made from equal parts seed-starting mix and sand. Moisten the mixture. Sprinkle the seeds on the top of the medium and barely cover them with sand. Seeds need light to germinate.

Step 5

Place the container in a plastic bag to retain moisture. Set it in a warm spot that gets plenty of light. Check daily; seeds start germinating anywhere from one to 14 days after planting. After germination, remove the plastic bag.

Step 6

Do not overwater the young cacti. After several months of growth, pot each small plant in its own container.