Wednesday 28th of September 2022

About : (Hylocereus undatus), Dragon fruit

३२ जेष्ठ २०७७, आईतवार १२:१२ 140 Readers

(Hylocereus undatus), Dragon fruit
Pitaya (Hylocereus undatus), dragon fruit: planting, cultivation, maintenance
The pitaya, also called dragon fruit, is an exotic fruit produced by a large epiphytic cactus, a highly branched liana, which can reach 4 m long and wide. Before fruiting, this cactus flowers only at nightfall: a large white flower flourishes but its duration is ephemeral since it does not last the following day. It measures up to 30 cm in diameter and gives off a vanilla scent. The flowers are fertilized by bats, and if these small animals are not present, pollination will have to be done by hand with a brush, but the varieties are self-incompatible.

The pink fruit, the pitaya, is scaly, it measures about 10 cm. Inside, its flesh is white or red with lots of small black seeds like in kiwi. It is low in calories (25 kcal / 100 g), very refreshing, rich in vitamins and antioxidants. It is also credited with digestive and laxative properties.

Family: Cactaceae
Type: perennial
Origin: Mexico, Central America
Color: white flowers
Sowing: yes
Cuttings: yes
Planting: spring
Flowering: May to fall
Height: up to 4 m
Ideal soil and exposure for planting a pitaya in the garden
The pitaya needs sandy soil, with gravel, humus, as well as exposure to direct sunlight, to heat.

Sowing, cutting and pitaya planting tips
Sowing is done at 25 ° C and germination is quite easy. For the cuttings, cut sections of 25 to 30 cm long that you will let dry in the cool and shade for 10 days. Then put them in the ground and water a little.

Maintenance and cultivation advice for dragon fruits
You must provide a support for the cactus: either a T-shaped stake from which its branches will fall, or a wire fencing, and space the plants about 3 m apart

After harvesting the fruit, it is possible to prune to remove dead or sick branches at the bottom and top.

Harvest, storage and use of dragon fruit
The fruits are harvested as soon as they are well colored and are consumed in juice or fresh.

Pitaya diseases, pests and parasites
Mealybugs are to be feared especially in our latitudes when the plant is wintered in the greenhouse.

Location and favorable association of the pitaya
With us, the cactus is grown in tanks but does not produce fruit. In its original environment, provide several varieties for effective pollination.

Recommended varieties of pitaya for planting in the garden
There are different species including the type species, Hylocereus undatus, with fruits with white pulp and pink skin, but also Hylocereus polyrhizus, with pink skin and red pulp and Selenicereus megalanthus, with white pulp but with yellow skin.

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