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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dragon Fruit

I’m getting my first Pitaya of the season , they are another fruit that requires little or no maintenance . Pitaya is a cactus fruit known a around the world by it’s common name Dragon fruit. Native to South/Central Americas, Pitaya is cultivated though out the world from Israel to Vietnam and Florida to Australia. It’s a hardy plant that tolerates hard frosts , extreme heat , drought and wet conditions . The dragon fruit sets on the cactus-like trees 30–50 days after flowering and can sometimes have 5-6 cycles of harvests per year. There are some farms in Vietnam that produce 30 tons of fruit per hectare every year. One reason I enjoy growing fruit is so I get to taste tree/vine ripened fruit. This fruit I pick right after it turns red, as it doesn't become sweeter if left on the plant . It’s also the easiest plant to propagate , stick a cutting in a pot and have a near 100% success rate . The cutting producing fruit within 2 years and flower on the same day as the parent plant .
The texture  is compared to Kiwi fruit , with its crunchy black seeds.  From what I read there are around 20 varieties,  Dragon fruit can be red, white, pink and yellow and can be sweet, tart or mild.
The plant loves the heat and sunlight,  first bud appear  in mid-June
The bud grows quickly
The flowers begin to open at sundown  insects and bees  find  it almost immediately and pollinate ,  by sun rise the flower is wilting and is dead by noon.
No words can describe how beautiful the flowers are
Immature fruit
Almost ready, I'm looking for the fruit turning red, the spikes will remain green
Ready !
This one weighs about 1.5 lb.

1 comment:

  1. Those are some big pitaya! How do they taste? Sweet?