The dragon fruit plant (Hylocereus undatus) produces an oblong berry, about 4 ½ inches long. This climbing vine is a member of the cactus family, and goes by several common names, including night-blooming cereus and pitaya. Along with the tasty fruit, the dragon fruit plant produces large, edible blossoms that bloom around midnight and die by the next morning. The dragon fruit plant can be propagated in two different ways.
Growing from Seeds
Plant dragon fruit seeds in compost that is moist but well drained. Do not let the soil dry out. Keep the compost mixture it at a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for two to four weeks. The seed will germinate around this time and begin to form a plant.
Water the soil frequently from March through August, then weekly in the fall. For immature plants, continue this pattern until they are ready to flower and fruit. Stop watering mature plants for a month in February. Resume daily watering after four weeks. This process helps the plants to form flowers and subsequently to fruit. Be aware that it can take as long as seven years for a plant grown from seed to mature and produce fruit.
Attach the plant to a strong trellis as it grows, to support the plant and its fruit. Use plant clips, string or other plastic ties to hold it securely in place.
Growing from Cuttings
Clip a section of stem from a mature dragon fruit plant to grow a new plant with characteristics identical to the parent plant. The stem should be cut at an angle and trimmed to a length of anywhere from 6 to 15 inches.
Treat the cut end of the stem with a fungicide. This will prevent the possibility of the stem becoming infected and failing to grow. Store the cut stem in a shady location for seven or eight days. Keep it dry. This allows the stem a chance to dry out and to heal.
Plant the cut end of the stem directly into soil, either in a container or outside in the garden. Drainage is important. The soil should be light and sandy for best results. Protect the plant from frost and too much sun. Plant cuttings grow quickly, over 1 inch per day, and most will produce fruit within nine months of being planted.
Water often during the growing season but reduce watering to once a week from August through January. In February stop all watering. Resume daily watering in March. Watch for flowers to form by mid to late April.
Attach the dragon fruit plant to a sturdy trellis as it grows. These plants get quite large and need extra support in order to grow well. Once established, this plant will fruit and grow for about 20 years.