Dragon Fruit flowering

One morning last week I went out into the garden early to see how the Dragon Fruit buds were going.  The day before I’d had to go to Brisbane for the whole day and didn’t get into the garden at all.  I’ve been expecting any day to see some flowers from about 10 advanced buds.

There were four flowers that had opened during the night – and another five that must have flowered the night before and were now limp and closed.  That’s on top of the two fruit which are developing from a flowering a few weeks ago.

20160106_Dragon Fruit_P1010026_small

Early morning flower, with some of the previous night’s flowers in the background.

It had been raining quite a bit the night before and for a couple of days before that, but I was still a bit surprised not to see any of our native bees around the flowers.  Normally they would each have had a cloud of bees busily pollinating.  No problem to hand pollinate them, making sure to cross pollinate between plants because it’s said to increase the fruit size.

There were still a few buds which looked to be close to flowering, and when I checked the next morning one more had opened.

A third night's flowering.

A third night’s flowering.

This time there was the expected swarm of native bees busy pollinating.

So that’s ten flowers in three nights, and there are still probably another six buds developing.

Some of the buds that are still developing

Some of the buds that are still developing

Not bad for just three plants on a less than ideal trellis set up.  It looks like being a good year for Dragon Fruit, considering that this is only early January and we had fruit up until April last year.

8 thoughts on “Dragon Fruit flowering

  1. Pingback: Pruning Dragon Fruit | Sustainable @ Lockyer Valley

  2. I am totally in love with this plant, I bought cuttings from eBay 4 weeks ago and I am sad to say that until now I haven’t seen any sign of growth, so I bought seeds from a trader. I am maybe impatient but every time I see comments how fast theirs grow, I asked my plants to show me any sign of growth. I’m so frustrated please help!

    • Sorry for the long delay in acknowledging your comment – somehow it wasn’t showing as needing moderation until now.
      Dragon fruit is season sensitive – it goes into a resting phase during cooler weather or shorter days – I’m not sure what the trigger is, though I suspect it is temperature because our fruiting season this year has extended into June where it normally finishes in April or even earlier. So maybe yours aren’t ready to put on a growth spurt yet.

      When the do start to grow they are hungry feeders, and the more you feed them the more they grow. I’m not sure what part of the world you are in, but if you are now in Summer yours should be growing (unless you have them growing indoors). Make sure they are well fertilized.

      About growing them from seeds – don’t bother. They grow so readily from cuttings it just isn’t worth the time and effort to get them to grow from seeds. Did you get rooted cuttings from the eBay trader, or were they new cuttings? New cuttings can take quite a while to produce roots and start to grow, and you might not see much progress in the first season.

  3. Hi
    I have 4 dragon fruit poles now and this being my second year I am happy to say that I have a few nice sized fruit, as I live in Minden I to suffer the extremes of heat, dry conditions and extreme frosts. So far my plants have only had some minor damage that they have had to recover. As I am a newbie at this dragon fruit growing I am always looking for information on the best ways to obtain good flowering etc. Can you tell me at what time of the year do you suggest pruning off excess growth.
    Thanks
    Glenda
    P.s
    dragon fruit obsessed.

    • Hi Glenda
      Welcome to Sustainable @ Lockyer Valley.
      We have your problems of extreme heat and dry conditions, with the added complexity of shallow and very poor sandstone soil. Luckily we don’t get any frost up here on our ridge.
      I am also new to dragon fruit and am no expert. It’s all about trying to learn from the experts and learning from experience.
      We have three plants on a beam between two poles growing in the middle of a vege growing shadehouse, so I do some pruning any time just to maintain access to the veg beds, but try to limit it as much as possible. Then in late Spring, early Summer I do a general pruning. Anything that is growing horizontally and getting in the way of walking up the sides of the shadehouse gets pruned, as well as things that have grown significantly vertically.
      In addition, I prune the the ends of branches that are hanging down, generally cutting at a “node” where there is no soft green material, but not hesitating to cut through soft green sections if that is the only convenient place to prune.
      I’ve found that pruning a branch often leads to budding on that branch, sometimes two or more buds.
      I also think that they are responsive to “shocks” such as a sharp reduction in watering over a week or so, but that’s just a general impression, I haven’t tested it yet – don’t want to miss out on fruit if I am wrong.
      Regards
      Gordon

    • Glenda I’m sorry for the very late reply to your comment. When you first posted this I had a look on the internet for some guidance and didn’t find any. Then I wanted to think about exactly what I could say about my pruning “technique” – and other things came along and I lost sight of your comment. Have a look at today’s post on pruning Dragon Fruit https://lockyervalley.org/2016/12/22/pruning-dragon-fruit/. My answer to your question about what time of year to prune them – I still don’t know the correct time. For me it is either when I can’t walk into the shadehouse for Dragon Fruit branches (the little spines on them provide a great incentive, or when I realise that the budding season is not all that far away and there is far too much new growth. I pruned in November this year (probably meant to do it in October) and might give the new growth a prune in the next week or two – not that I know whether that is a good timing or not, so it will be an experiment. How are your DFs going? I’m a bit obsessed with them too.

  4. Hi Gordon,

    That’s very exciting, my aren’t flowering yet, I’m looking forward to the day that they do 🙂

    Lee

    • Good to hear from you Lee.
      Hope you have been getting some rain over there.
      How long have your plants been in the ground? Have you pruned them yet?
      I have sometimes had cuttings in pots in very shallow soil that have flowered (but not developed fruit). I’m not sure with them whether this is a reaction to the stress of not being watered regularly enough – it certainly isn’t because the conditions are great.
      Funny thing about dragon fruit – it’s so easy to stick cuttings into pots or just a corner of the garden and they root very quickly – and then not to find time to put in the poles for planting them out. It’s not just me. I’ve been to a few properties where I’ve seen a corner with a group of crowded, sad looking dragon fruit.
      Regards
      Gordon

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