How to Grow Dragon Fruit

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!

Aronia Plant Description

Aronia Berry Bush

If you want to buy the Aronia Berry or Black Chokeberry (Aronia melancarpa) plant, you will get a deciduous shrub that can grow six feet high and wide. It grows rapidly and becomes an impressive large shrub within a year?s time. It has dark green foliage that turns red in the fall. In May, it becomes covered with little white flowers that turn into little glossy deep purple, almost black berries. Due to its aesthetic beauty, the bush is popular as an ornamental shrub in North America, and is particularly useful in absorbing swampy areas.

Fresh chokeberries right from the bush are not particularly tasty raw, being so astringent that even the birds leave them for last, or eat them as a last resort in late autumn or winter. They are full sized & still green in early August, but ripe & shiny black before August’s end, & the are least astringent after they have been through a couple of autumn frosts. If harvested they should be used primarily for juice production or pancake syrups, & will need sweetening in the process. Standard steam-method of juice extraction produces two cups of juice per pound of chokeberries. If this is mixed half with a naturally sweet apple juice, no additional sugar will be needed.

They last on the branches until late autumn or even into winter.  Aronia Berry The aronia berry is a native shrub from Eastern North America, ranging from Florida to Nova Scotia, inland as far as Indiana, & as far off as Greenland. It is terribly forgiving of growing conditions, tolerating swamp-like conditions or dryness; acid, neutral, or mildly alkaline soil; full sun or half shade (though it will not have its best appearance in too much shade); are rarely troubled by insects or diseases; & fantastically cold hardy. It is very little stressed by transplanting & a young shrub can be planted in any season with equal success.

About the only thing it can’t handle is too much heat. It?s ideal condition is a moist well-draining soil in bright sunshine. In shade it will get lankier but still a nice shrub.

It can be propagated from soft cuttings taken late spring or early summer. Take the cutting a half-inch below a node, cutting at a sharp smooth angle, touching the raw end with rooting hormone, & start it rooting in a cold frame or covered pot. A third method of propagation is merely to slice off suckers with a spade & transplanting them immediately into the areas new shrubs are wanted.

The species grown for fruit and antioxidants is Aronia Melanocarpa. There is a closely related species Aronia arbutifolia, a coastal plain species from Newfoundland to Florida and Texas.

Aronia melanocarpa seems to do better in moist soil. It seems to be a tough plant, surviving weed competition on sandy loam soil though with little growth. The foliage is handsome. A poster to the North American Fruit Explorers list reported that some strains are eligible for fresh eating and others, harsh for fresh eating, are good juiced. Most suppliers lists it as a plant for all soil types sand to clay, shade, wet soil. It seems to do alright in near full sun and would give the most fruit.

It does have a suckering, colonizing habit which means it can’t be entirely ignored if one doesn’t want it spreading about.

The plant was introduced to Russia in the late 1800s and subsequently cultivated throughout Central and Eastern European countries. The plant has been widely studied in these countries in state-directed research programs seeking to improve health through the use of natural products for food and medicinal use. It has gained popularity as a healthy food source with its fruits and juice used commercially and for home cooking in beverages, jams, fillings, wines etc. The aronia juice has a unique taste, with a pleasant tartness somewhat similar to cranberry but with sweeter low notes as in blackberry. Its juice and extracts from the berries have also been used medicinally.

Learn more about the Aronia Berry, Aronia Plant Description and the Aronia’s benefits, uses and availability:

Growing Dragon Fruit in Three Different Ways

How To Grow Dragon Fruit Plant in 5 StepsIn a perfect world, everyone would have a dragon fruit plant growing on their own property. Unfortunately, this exotic and beautiful plant can’t be grown everywhere. It is primarily native to Central and South America and requires a temperate climate to flourish. This makes sense since the plant is a member of the cactus family and cannot handle exposure to frost very well.

The dragon fruit is interesting because it resembles a tree but is actually many different large vines growing from one stem. This, coupled with its luxurious white and red sweet flesh, gives the plant a unique look. If you wish to learn how to grow dragon fruit at your own home, you must first decide whether you want to grow it from a seed, seedling, or younger plant. The stage at which you take up growing it will decide how you handle the plant.

If you want to grow the fruit from seeds, you should have some previous experience doing this with other plants. You’ll want to either buy packaged seeds or harvest some from a fully grown dragon fruit. Once you have the seeds, plant them in shallow, well-drained soil. Use a plastic covering to keep the area moist and you should see a sprout in two weeks.

Type 2 Diabetes and Dragon FruitIf you’re starting with seedlings, make sure you transplant them to pots that are large enough to give the fruit room to grow. These pots should have holes at the bottom for proper drainage, and you need to use rich soil for this. Keep the temperature at moderate levels and make sure to stake the plant as soon as you can to provide better support for when the vines grow. If done properly, the plant will grow healthy.

If you want to use a cutting to grow the fruit, simply cut off a vine from a mature plant and plant it in a pot of soil. Growing dragon fruit in this manner is rather easy. Voila, you’ll have a flowering plant within a year’s time!

Dragon Fruit Uses

How To Grow Dragon Fruit Plant in 5 Steps

How To Grow Dragon Fruit Plant in 5 StepsDragon Fruit or pitaya is an antioxidant fruit that is known for its striking appearance and healthy benefits. Growing your own dragon fruit is fairly simple and straightforward. Depending on where you are located, your harvest cycles can be between 4 to 6 times in a year.

Here are 5 easy steps you can follow when you want to know how to grow dragon fruit plant from seeds or stem cuttings:

  1. Start by planting them on a soil mix that can be easily drained but on shallow placement. Keep them moist and add organic matter to enrich their growth.
  2. After 10 to 14 days, the seeds may sprout. You should transfer each of one to a separate pot or even spacing on your garden bed or planting site.
  3. Keep in mind not to over-water your dragon fruit plants.
  4. Make a support for your young plants by having a trellis on which they can cling to as they grow and mature.
  5. Continue keeping a moderate temperature for your dragon fruit plants. For seeds, it might take about 3 years for them to flower and bear fruit. For saplings, you may have to wait for about 9 months to a year.

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