This plant will produce red dragon fruits. It has small spines on surface of leaves. It needs support to stand erect, otherwise it bends sideways. Most of the dragon fruit growers tie this plant with cemented pole for its further vertical growth. But it can be grown with support of dry coir pole also. (During rainy season, coir pole becomes wet and continuous moisture may harm to dragon fruit plant.) It blooms its white-yellowish flowers during spring and summer season, subsequently fruits are produced. Size of flowers is almost equal to size of dragon fruit. Its stem is herbaceous.
This plant can reach height of 3-4 metres. After age of 9 months, a healthy plant may bloom flowers and subsequently dragon fruit is produced. In first year, the fruit production is very less, but it increases in next years. After 2 or 3 years, its production is maximum. This perennial plant can survive for 30 years.
It generally remains safe from pest attack. Even if it suffers from any pest attack, we should use Neem Oil spray to get rid of them. It likes direct sunlight, but can survive in shady area also. We should not directly keep this plant in direct sunlight. First, we should expose it to 4-5 hours direct sunlight, later on we should increase period of sunlight exposure by 1 hour every week. It helps this plant in adjustment of new climate. If we directly keep it in sunlight for full time, it leaves may suffer from sun burn. This plant prefers to grow in warm climate. Loamy soil is recommended for its better growth.
Watering & Sunlight:
The plant loves to grow in direct sunlight, but it can be grown in diffused sunlight also. Direct sunlight of only 4 hours per day is sufficient for its growth. We can grow this in balcony also. However, this plant can survive without water for a longer time. Proper drainage in soil is must. Watering of plant should be only after drying of upper surface of soil. During winter, plant must not be over-watered, otherwise plant roots may rot. Whenever the soil becomes dry, please water the plant.
Soil: A matured plant (height more than 2 feet) grown in lawn on open ground can withstand without water for 2-3 weeks. Moreover such plant does not require frequent fertilisers, because well grown and fully expanded roots can absorb needful nutrients from soil. However if the plant is in pot, it may not receive required nutrients fully due to limited expansion of roots within pot. Therefore, we need to fertilise a potted plant more often than a plant grown in open ground or soil.
To make the ideal potting mix, 50 % drainage media (coarse river sand/ crushed Leca/ – use any of them) in potting mix should be available. All these items help in aeration also. We should also add 20 % garden soil, 15% vermi -compost, 5% Neem Cake and 10% cocopeat. We should prepare the potting mix in such way so that water should reach bottom of pot within 15-20 seconds. This is the basic quality of fast draining soil.