Dragon fruit (pitaya) trellis

racor_2006January 15, 2009

I would like to see pictures of trellis for dragon fruits. I know that a few members here are growing some and have posted pictures like Ethan and Eggo. How are your Pitayas doing? any new pictures?

I am getting ready to pot some and will be constructing some sort of setup as Ethan's but will be using regular black plastic 15gal pots. I will setup a center post with some sort of holder on top for umbrella type.

Also, any recommendation on potting soil mix?

Thanks

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stanofh

You've seen the Hayward Hylo's post I made?. My best tip is to keep side support for every foot of height.The cacti tend to snap under their own weight. Or keep the stems tied to each other with plastic tape so as not to girdle them as they grow.
With our low humidity they dont seem to be good clingers. They need help.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 3:21PM
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red_sea_me

hello Racor, sorry for the delayed response,
right now my DF are not doing much, I let them get a little colder than I'd liked and a few are showing orange spots. My Physical Graffitti looks the best right now, I've allowed two branches to grow to the top trellis and then pinched them. One has sprouted into 3 branches, the other just started growing as a single again (will probably pinch again in spring).

some of the problems I ran into with my support setup were:
keeping the support above the soil to avoid long term wood rot
another worry was being top heavy and tipping when it was mature.
lastly I was concerned about eventually being able to repot. In theory I can remove one (or more)of the sides of my trellis base to trim the roots or add soil as needed.

as for soil, well drained is key. Perlite, CHC, sand, gravel, potting soil are some of what I use in my mix.

good luck, please post pics when you can,
-Ethan

in the future if you'd like to trade varieties of DF, drop me an email.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 11:02AM
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mikesid

Here is what I came up with after stealing some ideas from pics of other growers.

2

3

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 2:16PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

mikesid, that is a simple neat way to trellis your dragonfruits.

Those dragonfruit have long sections. I have some Costa Rican Sunset cuttings with very short segments: Does anyone know if they should be trellised differently?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:23AM
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mikesid

Not sure if there are different requirements based on section length but if you look closely in the pic you'll see how the roots latch on to the wood post. As long as the dragon fruit you have produces aerial roots I don't think you'll have a problem. Mine did not produce the roots until I trellised it. Now it's growing like crazy.
good luck

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 1:48PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Thanks for the reply :) I have some others that produce the aerial roots but don't know if this one does. The sections look much shorter than the others. I will just go ahead and start the cuttings and see what they do.
I like your bougainvillea in the first photo.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 2:25PM
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stanofh

All the cuttings I recieved form Redsea in early winter are now off and growing.All have arms or multiple arms and I plan on growing them outdoors this spring along a warm,old,redwood fence. I'm curious if anybody are familiar with Hylocereus of a thin stem stature?..they are like those ornamental climbers I have had-only these bear sweet fruit I hear.
Judging by the bougy in bloom and what looks like a huge Dypsis lutescens reflected in the window-your in south Florida,Mike?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 1:37PM
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stressbaby(z6 MO)

For the benefit of the northern growers out there...

...it is possible to grow and fruit DF in a container in the north. I have 3 varieties in a 30 gallon container with a built-in trellis. I got fruit from two of them this past year. It is not the most beautiful plant in the GH, but it works. I have had large DF growing in what seem like impossibly small containers...like an 8 footer, multiple branches, in a 6" square container.

I grow mine in large bark/turkey grit mix.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:34AM
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zone10aridgardener

I would suggest that you bring them in for the duration of winter. they would easily burn in zone six

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 9:20PM
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mango_kush

pitaya are epiphythic, meaning they get air roots and can use them for nutrients. i grow them in buried containers to keep them growing instead of over rooting.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 11:14PM
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jlgarden(8)

Mikesid, What type of wood is your post? Will DF roots latch on to treated wood post?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 3:38PM
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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

jlgarden, These things cling to anything they can. They also absorb nutrients from whatever it clings on to. It's very likely that they will latch on to a treated wood post. How SAFE are a chemically treated lumber in terms of effecting fruit, well that's another whole argument in itself.

This is updated picture of my trellis. Plants are doing well.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:41AM
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racor_2006

For what I can remember when I was at UC Irvine pitaya festival, they are using treated posts and the roots do not attach to them. As far as how safe, well I agree with Eggo on that one.

Eggo, the is a great setup you have there. One of the best ones I have seen. I have all mine DF growing in 15 gal containers.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:31PM
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red_sea_me

wow Eggo,
that is the healthiest picture of a pitaya I've seen outside the ones from Thailand. Great color and size.

-Ethan

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:27PM
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simon_grow

Some people in China/Vietnam/Thailand are starting to grow their DF in a different way. Instead of growing them really tall, they grow them in a pot and top them off at about 2-3 feet and flowers and fruit start growin off the single main branch. Hope this pic works

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 7:52PM
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red_sea_me

Very interesting photo Simon. I've seen photos of people growing pitaya in hanging pots but your photo shows a very straight forward way of doing it. Might have to try that myself.

glad you could get it to post,
-Ethan

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 11:09PM
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mango_kush

wow they look really productive.

a local nursery has the same variety dragonfruit growing up a telephone pole and another he prunes around a 4 foot chainlink fence. the climbing one produces very few fruit and the pruned one flowers and fruits regularly.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:11AM
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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

thanks guys, my dragonfruit are blooming right now. The earliest bloom I get is from the Thai reds, there's maybe 3 dozen blooms so far...I'll update it with pictures later as it progress.

Simon, I am only guessing but I think that picture are of just new cuttings with attach fruit that are potted up. This makes it looks attractive for sale at local markets. Those look like 3 gallon pot size, I don't think you can get such vigorous fruit production from that. Also considering there are several plants in one pot. Of course i might be wrong.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:53PM
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simon_grow

Hey eggo, thats exactly what I thought too and it still might be true but my uncle hated his DF sprawling all over the place and topped it, just like in the pics and his DF started to fruit just as much as his fully grown taller plants. He planted several plants/pot and allowed several small branches to form. I'll try to post the pic if I can find it. He also has a cool Bonsai Cherimoya plant.

The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is how can such short plants provide enough photosynthesis to properly grow and sweeten up so many large fruits when there is so little surface area for photosynthesis?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:50PM
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tropicdude

@ Simon_grow

I am very interested in this technique for pitaya, do you or anyone else have any links on the process or any updates from experiences?

from what I have gathered from previous posts , a normal grown Pitaya plant is just cut at 24-36 inches.

questions I have are. were they grown in those small pots all along, or were they also cut at the base too and re-rooted?

When did they cut the large plant, when it was already at flowering or before?

how old was the original plant before they cut.

i am assuming nutrients are fed using drip irrigation into those tiny containers.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 10:58AM
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mango_kush

the plants are obviously for sale, it looks like they have ornamental fake fruit stringed to them in order to attract buyers to what they are. from my experience you want the drgonfruit to grow a few feet and then have trellis it can drape over or grown over a fenceline.

im trying to grow it up the side of my house and see if it will attach to the stucco, this is probably a result of my lack of space yet continuing need to cover everything in tropical plants

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 11:27AM
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simon_grow

I'll try to find a pic of my uncles short fruiting DF. I'll also test it with one of my one cuttings and let everyone know how it goes. My uncle topped his plants in a pot when they were about 4ft tall and he also cut the side branches when they were about a foot or so. He had to prune occasionally to control for size and shape.

Now looking at the picture I posted, I'm pretty sure that the plants were grown in the typical fashion (Full Sized) and then the fruiting branches were cut and stuck into pots. If they were grown in the pots and fruited in those pots, I would expect a lot more side branching like I see on my uncles potted DF.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 1:39PM
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jlgarden(8)

I also think the plants were cut in sections and put together and sold for display rather than for growing. My guess is the photo was taken at the flower market during the Chinese New Year Festival. There is a high demand for red flowers and fruits during that time. Red means good luck, and red + new year is the best combo.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 7:39PM
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