Dragon Fruit – Pitaya
Hylocereus polyrhizus – Fruit up to 1kg are spine free with red skin and dark red flesh.
Hylocereus undatus – Fruit of 1kg or more are spine free with bright red skin and white flesh.
Selenicereus megalanthus – Fruit are sweet and tangy and have white flesh and yellow skin.
Dragon Fruit are a fast growing climbing cacti which feature a series of small spikey spines along their stem. They produce beautiful large white and yellow fragrant flowers at night time during Summer to Autumn, followed by delicious fruit. Dragon fruit tolerate light frosts but need protection when young. Best grown in a sunny spot away from strong wind. Avoid excessive humidity and soil moisture, dryness in summer will induce flowering but watering during fruit development is helpful.
Whilst their appearance may be a bit intimidating they are quite easy to propagate and grow in pots. When potting up you need a large pot that is as wide as it is deep because they have a shallow root system and are top heavy (staking and training is important) and use of a well draining cacti & succulent mix is essential.
When planting, before you add your soil and the plant itself you need a stable support system. Like mentioned previously they become quite top heavy and they need a hard wood timber structure or thick steel support to climb up. When they grow naturally in their continents of origin , South and Central America and south-east Asia, they climb up trees and hang over branches. Many people build their own support systems to emulate this habit.