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How to Care for Dragon Fruit Cactus

Monday February 28, 2022
Dragon Fruit Cactus

What is a Dragon Fruit cactus?

Dragon Fruit goes by many names, such as Pitahaya, Queen of the Night, Night-blooming Cereus, Moonlight Cactus, Honolulu Queen, etc. It is a tropical cactus, native to Central America and tropical and subtropical regions in Asia. 


Is Dragon Fruit the same as Dog Tail or other cacti?

No, our Dragon Fruit cactus is of the species Hylocereus undatus, which is different than Dog Tail cactus (Selenicereus testudo).


How do you grow a Dragon Fruit cactus?

Our Dragon Fruit cactus is actually not one single plant, but many plants grown from seed in a single pot. Each pot is grown from hundreds of seeds. Each plant in the pot has its own roots that can be divided/repotted.

 

How should I water my Dragon Fruit cactus?

Dragon Fruit is a cactus from tropical and subtropical regions. It requires more water than other cacti, but still prefers to have its soil dry out slightly between waterings. Bottom-watering is recommended because it allows the roots to soak up the moisture they need. You can bottom-water your Dragon Fruit by placing it in a sink, dish or basin that contains about an inch or so of water, and letting the plant sit and soak up water for about 5-15 minutes. Then you can return the plant to its container and put it back in a sunny place. 

 

How often should I water my Dragon Fruit cactus?

Under normal conditions, Dragon Fruit cactus should be watered about once every two weeks. You can check the soil with your finger or use a moisture meter to check how damp the soil is. The soil should feel dry or slightly damp, but never rock hard or swampy.


Should I use fertilizer? How often?

To give your Dragon Fruit cactus an extra boost, you can use a fertilizer formulated for cacti or succulents once per month during its active growth cycle. Alternatively, a balanced fertilizer formulated for indoor plants will suffice.


How often should I repot my Dragon Fruit cactus? 

Dragon fruit cactus should be repotted about once every 1 to 2 years to refresh its nutrients. You may choose to repot sooner and/or separate the stems into separate pots to speed up growth.


How can I repot my Dragon Fruit? Does it matter what kind of soil I use?

Dragon Fruit cactus should be repotted like a succulent. Choose a pot that is 1 to 2 inches wider in diameter than the existing pot. A pot with drainage holes is best to prevent the roots from becoming oversaturated with water. Use a well-draining potting mix—preferably one that it formulated for succulents and cacti. You can find potting mix at any local garden centre. 


Can my plant really grow Dragon Fruit? How big will it grow?

Our Dragon Fruit cactus (Hylocereus undatus) is a fruit-producing variety. It is important to note though that Dragon Fruit grown from seed, especially container-grown indoors, are notoriously slow growers and will take several years to mature (at least 5 to 7 years if grown from seed). Container-grown Dragon Fruit will also not reach the same size as their wild counterparts, which can grow 10-20ft outdoors. 


When will Dragon Fruit cactus bloom?

Dragon Fruit cactus will bloom when it reaches maturity. This will take several years if grown from seed. Dragon Fruit is sometimes called “Queen of the Night” because it blooms at night. In the wild, it is pollinated by moths. Indoors, it is pollinated manually by brush. 


What are the white things growing out of the top of my plant? Are they roots?

Dragon Fruit cacti are prone to growing aerial roots from their stems. They are both terrestrial (growing from the ground) and epiphytic (growing on other plants). Dragon Fruit cacti love to climb, and use their aerial roots to cling to structures and other plants as they grow. 


Why is does the top of my plant have skinny growth?

Skinny growth from the top of the stem can be a sign that your Dragon Fruit is not getting enough sunlight and/or other nutrients that it needs to grow strong. Make sure your plant is getting plenty of sunlight. You can prune these growths using a sharp, sterile knife or scissors. 


Is Dragon Fruit safe for cats or dogs?

Yes! According to the ASPCA, Dragon Fruit cactus is considered non-toxic to both cats and dogs. 

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