How Fast Does Dragon Fruit Plant Growth Rate Gets?
Dragon fruit plants grow at an astonishing growth rate of more than an inch per day when planted via cuttings and yield fruits in a year and half. While when grown through seeds, they can take up to four years to produce fruit.
Dragon fruit is a fascinating and unique species that is a bewitching sight in all stages of its lifecycle.
With this guide, you’ll get the answer to how fast does dragon fruit grow if exposed to the right growing conditions.
To start from scratch, the dragon fruit germinates in less than two weeks. After this, the plant grows and produces a flower after six to eight months. Eventually, the fruit will also show.
However, the vase-grown plants take longer, usually two years, to yield fruits. But once the plant is mature, you can expect four to six fruit-bearing cycles from the plant every year for almost two to three decades.
Botanically called the Hylocereus Undatus, the Dragon fruit is also called the pitaya plant. There is no denying it tastes and looks just as exotic as is apparent from its name. Native to South and Central America, Dragon Fruit is hardy to USDA hardiness zones ten through eleven.
It is a vine-like cactus prevalent in wet jungles with a unique ability to derive nutrients from any tree it grows on.
Be it any dragon fruit variety, pink, red, white or bright yellow, the striking colors of dragon fruit make them unmissable at any grocery store. The stippled seeds available in its pulp are easy and quick to germinate, meaning you can grow a dragon fruit tree yourself.
Is Dragon Fruit Slow Growing?
Dragon fruit is a fast-growing, epiphytic, terrestrial, vine-like, perennial cacti with excellent ornamental value and can add beauty to any landscape or garden. They are best planted in spring and usually grow up to twenty feet tall and yield aerial roots that let them cling to the surface and produce a climbing, creeping habit.
What Is The Dragon Fruit Cactus Growth Rate?
As stated, dragon fruit is a fast-growing plant and usually grows very fast. If propagated from cuttings, it can grow up to 3 cm/day, which is more than an inch daily. It is an astonishing growth rate for any plant, especially a cactus.
They will start producing fruits in six to nine months from the plantation. Longer cuttings usually get to the trellis supporter quicker than the shorter ones.
Dragon Fruit Plant Growth Stages
Dragon fruit is a fascinating vine-like cactus growing in wet jungles. Fascinatingly, it continues to be a unique specie in all the stages of its lifecycle. Below we will discuss the four phases of the dragon fruit.
Stage 1 – Baby Dragon Fruit Cactus
Usually, people employ the seeds to grow a fresh dragon fruit plant. However, the plants grown from the cuttings will bear fruits and mature faster than those planted via seeds. The method of plantation has a significant role in determining how fast does dragon fruit cactus grow.
The process is simple. You need to cut a one-foot piece from the plant and set it in a shady and dry spot. Let it sit for a week, giving it ample time to callouses over.
After this, you will stick the cutting in a lightweight potting mix. Once planted, it will start developing roots in no time. Typically, in six months, you will see the well-established and new dragon fruit in the pot, ready for plantation.
Stage 2 – Early Plant Growth
The dragon fruit grows approximately an inch per day in usual circumstances, which is a surprising rate for any plant, especially the cactus. For dragon fruit growth rate to be as good as it is supposed to be, the plant requires sturdy support from the first day of its plantation to avoid the floppy limps from sprawling across the ground.
You must start with a hefty trellis to ensure the best results because the vines tend can weigh several hundred pounds eventually, and given the exceptional dragon fruit tree growth rate, it would not take long to get there.
Studies suggest that dragon fruit trees can grow up to 40 feet. Thus, it is crucial to prune any lateral branches that show on the younger plants. It is vital to ensure that you leave a single stem that gets access to all the plant resources and grows several feet tall.
Now, you can leave it as it is to allow it to develop the side branches where you can spot the fruits and flowers.
Stage 3 – Flowering
Dragon fruit’s flowers and fruits are both equally stunning. They are pure white, bell-shaped, and about a foot long. As time passes, the flowers open and show an intricate and colorful arrangement of stamens and stigmas.
However, its beautiful and fragrant flowers do not live longer than a single night. They depend on humans, bats, or moths for pollination.
Stage 4 – Fruiting
A healthy dragon starts showing fruits approximately six months from the cutting stage. Its fruits are yellow or red from outside, depending on the variety grown. Usually, the fruits are about four inches or more in length. One dragon fruit plant can easily yield over 200 pounds of dragon fruit every season.
How Long Does It Take For A Dragon Fruit To Produce Fruit?
If you are awed by the dragon fruit, you should know that the seeds spread across its flesh can be sprouted and grown into a dragon fruit plant at home.
Let’s focus on how fast does dragon fruit grow to produce fruit.
Typically, the plants start flowering in around six to eight months, but container-grown plants can take as much as two years to produce fruits. However, the good news is that as the plant matures, you can expect four to six fruiting cycles from dragon fruits annually, and the same continues for two to three decades.
How Do You Make Dragon Fruit Grow Faster?
You know dragon fruit plant growth rate is fast, but for the plant to show that kind of development, you must care for the dragon fruit right and expose it to the right growing conditions. These can help you facilitate a faster growth rate. What are these? Read below to find out.
Generally speaking, you must plant the Pitaya plants in full or an almost sunny environment to ensure fruit production and best growth. Pick a spot away from the structures, buildings, power lines, and trees.
Please note that pitaya plants can become very large if you do not prune them or take measures to contain their size. Also, opt for the warmest area in the landscape, which does not remain wet or flood after summer.
Fortunately, Pitayas are tolerant to windy conditions, but hurricanes or strong winds can inflict severe damage to the supports or the trellises and might injure the plant.
Dragon fruit is adaptable. They can survive in different soil conditions, provided it is well-drained. However, they may depict minor element deficiencies in high pH or poor soils. Adding manure or organic matter into the soil can do wonders.
Mulching is a crucial requirement for dragon fruits. It helps retain the soil moisture, better the soil texture near the surface, and lowers weed problems. You can mulch with a thick five to a fifteen-cm layer comprising wood chips, bark, or any similar mulch material. Ensure that you mulch at least 20-30 cm from the stem’s base.
Dragon fruit thrives in a subtropical and tropical climate that does not freeze. They like warm or cool temperatures. Thus, for a good dragon fruit cactus growth rate, you must ensure that the temperature does not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plant can tolerate a little shade, and extreme sun may damage it. In their native environment, they are called the full-sunlight crop. They grow best in areas with temperatures between 65 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
In some growing regions, severe stem damage has been seen in dragon fruit plants, especially in areas with a high altitude or low humidity. Idealistically, the dragon fruit requires thirty-percent shading during the initial three to four months from planting.
It also becomes necessary in areas where the insolation is at damaging levels. But prolonged or excessive shading can be the cause of low-quality fruit production.
You can start feeding dragon fruits when they are around three months. A granular 8-4-12 palm fertilizer or a low-nitrogen cactus feed can be a good selection. Usually, dragon fruits are light feeders. Hence, consider feeding once every month, but only when the plant is in its active growing season. During fall, the plant enters dormancy in the cooler regions. You must reduce the water and feed for the plant until the growing season resumes in the spring.
Proper pruning can also help with the plant’s growth. They can grow 20 feet high if you leave them on their own. Thus, annual trimming is quintessential.
Fall is the best time to prune larger dragon fruits. While pruning, you must sterilize the shears and cautiously remove any dead or decaying stems or foliage. Further, trim to open the overly crowded areas. It helps better the airflow and circulation within the plant.
What Is The Lifespan Of The Dragon Fruit Plant?
Beyond having a fast dragon fruit growth rate, the plant also has a decent lifespan. They can live for two decades.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is nutritious and has many benefit and barely any disadvantages. A few of its popular uses include:
- They help with weight reduction if added to the salads.
- They are rich in Vitamin C, which helps treat asthma.
- Dragon fruits contain calcium, vitamin B2, phosphorous, and fiber that help eliminate toxins from the body.
- Another thing to like about it is how fast does a dragon fruit plant grows.
- The fruit prevents the cancerous cells from growing.
- They help keep hair fall at bay and strengthen the roots.
- Dragon fruits amplify the metabolic system that helps with digestion.
- They help control blood sugar levels.
- They contain blood sugar levels that help diabetic patients.
Beyond its many pros, there are also two lows associated with it. These include:
- Avoid eating dragon fruit if you are on diabetes medication. Medication and dragon fruit together can result in extremely low blood sugar levels.
- It might result in diarrhea when overly consumed.
- It can have negative implications if consumed in excess.