Dragon fruit comes from the pitaya cactus plant. These plants blossom several times a year and each can produce up to 220 pounds of dragon fruit. You need pruning shears, fertilizer, nutrition spray, organic mulch and a trellis to establish a dragon fruit cactus.
- Look for a good location
Find an area with full sun or partial shade. Dig a hole that is three or four times as wide as the root ball. Moisten the ground, and add 4 to 5 pounds of organic compost to the ground. Plant the cactus, and place more dirt around the base.
Fertilize the plant one month after planting, and every second month thereafter. The fertilizer should have a ratio of 13-13-13. Apply nutrition spray on the plant four to six times between March and September.
- Add a strong base
Add a pile of rocks, or a T-shaped trellis, to the base of the plant. The branches of the cactus can weigh hundreds of pounds.
- Monitor the cactus
Watch the cactus during the fruit-bearing months, and water accordingly. Allow the soil to dry between watering sessions.
- Mulch the ground
Add 3 to 6 inches of organic mulch around the cactus. Keep the mulch away from the primary stem to avoid rotting.
- Trim the cactus
Prune the side branches until the height reaches a little above the trellis. Remove the branches where the trunk is located. Cut the tip of the main trunk once the cactus reaches a suitable height of 3 or 4 feet. Tie the branches and main trunk to the trellis.
- Keep pruning the cactus
Prune the cactus two or three times each year to remove dead and damaged branches. The plant should remain off the ground.
- Protect the plant
Cover the plants with tarp during cold temperatures, and shield the plant from sunburn if you live in a high-altitude area or a region with low humidity. Protect with a shade cloth during the first few months after planting.
- Harvest the fruit
Take the fruit down anywhere from 30 to 50 days after it appears. The fruit is ready after a month, but it grows larger and sweeter over time.