Dragonfruit in a container

airedale689February 16, 2014

I just bought a dragonfruit tree in Tampa at a flea market. It is the pink variety. I still have it in a plastic container, but was wondering how long it would take to fruit and how large it would need to get?

Does it like to be root bound in a container with a trellis? Thanks so much. And has anyone else attempted to grow in a container?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, I should say... the tree is 12-14" tall and has multiple segments coming out of it in each of the few stems... I was told its a fast grower and was 2 months old at this point.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Read this thread.

Here is a link that might be useful:Dragon Fruit

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the followup. But the forum has no info on very specific questions I have about container growth.

Should I repot it? Does it like to be rootbound? And how long until I should expect fruit. How big should it be before it fruits?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Dragon fruit does very well in containers. The pot we need is at least 15 inches in diameter (15-gal pot or bigger). The plant will become root bound only when you grow it in a small pot for a long time. For example you grow 2 cuttings in a 1-gal pot for 3 years. I started growing my cuttings in a 5-gal pots then after 3 years I put them in the ground and there was no root bound by that time. So if you grow them in a 15-gal or bigger pot, don't worry about root bound.
You can grow your plants in your 5-gal pot this year then you repot it next spring (2015). But when the plants get bigger, it is hard to repot it. It is possible to repot a big plant but you need to do it very carefully. If you don't want any trouble, you can repot it now.
Your plant probable will have flowers by the 3rd years, and its size will be around 5-8 ft or longer (depends on variety). Last year started with a 18 inches cutting of a red-fleshed variety, and after the first year is was 4 ft. If you have multiple shoots/stems on each plant, it will grow slower.

Hope it helps.

This post was edited by Nguy on Tue, Feb 18, 14 at 13:13

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 3:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In order to get flower and fruits, the vines have to grow over 10 pounds in weight.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not to hijack the thread, but i am growing my first one from a cutting.
i have it in a 3 liter pop bottle with the top cut off.
i figured it didnt need much to start out.
i have a 1 inch growth at the top, its seems pretty happy, and i think the container is deep enough, but i wonder how long can i keep it in there ?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are you going to keep it in a container?

Also, can you grow dragonfruit indoors?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 6:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm going to take a stab at dragon fruit this year but still haven't gotten a specimen. Ultimately I'm planning on giving it/one to my sister to grow along a low fence at her new house. The soil there is iffy so maybe I'll see if she wants to grow it from a large container.

Growing them indoors seems like it would be difficult considering how floppy and large they appear to get. I'd be concerned that moving it would cause too much damage.

Brad, I will probably try rooting from a cutting but one thing I was wondering--do you think the 'trunk' will be strong enough with a 2-section trunk (meaning the original cutting at the base and then the new shoot forming the remainder of the trunk)? I was thinking perhaps starting with a piece with a growing tip and letting that form the trunk, or burying the cutting portion entirely once new growth formed. Hopefully that wouldn't cause rot to set in...


    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Ryan
sorry to say im no expert on Dragons.
This is my first one (that i havent killed :)
From what i can tell, i think you can grow them indoors until they get too big to move.
I read some people tie string around them to a post, like a 2x2 or broomstick etc...
They do like a lot of sun, and they are hungrier than most cactus

check the link though.
its what i use to grow dragons by

Here is a link that might be useful: grow dragonfruit

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, you can put them in containers. Here are some pictures of my current setup.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In one of the container, I put about 3-4 stems.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is a picture of my parent's setup in which they put them in containers as well since they ran out of ground room.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My recommendation is NOT to grow them indoor. You can start growing them in small pot to get the root going faster, but it must be transferred to a permanent spot outside with plenty of sun. You need sun for it to start fruiting during the right time. Once the stem starts growing, it's better to have it in a permanent home. We all know it gets BIG and HEAVY so make sure the trellis is strong enough to hold the weight if you plan to let it grow out of control.

As seen in the picture, I have tons of cut stem from family members that I grow them in small pot first. I give them away to all my neighbors once I see new growth from them. Unfortunately, I'm running out of permanent home for the new ones. I get new cut stems every year, but I'm just experimenting which soil combination is best for the dragon fruit (as you can see one of my containers have a note written on it.)

Also, try to select a recyclable container without the number 3, 6, and 7. If there are no number or symbol, then stay away from those too.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

THose are nice looking plants.

Can you prune /cut back ?
Does that increase fruit production, or reduce it ?

Not that i have those problems now, my plant is pathetically small, i am just thinking of a place for a permanent home.
The spot i want to use is about 6ft wide

By the way, i actually would like to try growing a few from seed, if anyone has some, i can do a SASE


    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My parents always prune them after the harvesting season. She remove the weak/thin ones. During this spring season, she removes all the new baby growths because her plants have too many stems already. If you first started planting the main stem in the ground, allow 1 or 2 stems to grow. Remove all the other baby growth. Don't be scared. There will be plenty of new growth as it becomes a mature plant down the road. Keep the big baby stems and remove the weakling stems.

It's hard for me to say that pruning them increases more fruit. However, it does make each fruit bigger in size. Last year, I think all of us experienced less fruit in general. So, it all depends on the weather and season.

Make sure you select a new home with plenty of sun. The plant does not become big if it's in a shade all the time. Also, when you create your trellis, make sure you have a method of providing shade (cover) during the hot summer. If it gets too hot (90+ degree), then you can burn the stems to death with constant ray of sun. It loves sun, but not burning hot weather.

Another tip: make sure you pound the soil down when you plant it in a permanent home. It does not like loose soil. I have experienced with loose soil as it creates rot to the root (it becomes yellow underneath). When I put the soil down before the plant, I pound the soil down. And I pound it again after I lay the stem to its new home.

Also, make sure your main stem is a good size with good mass/meat in them. And make sure the cut stem that is mature one...usually those are the one with mass/meat to them. I usually throw the skinny ones away.

Here's a picture of a late fruit in late January this year. 1 pound and .66 ounce....quite big and juicy sweet.

greenman62, based on your picture, what kind of soil are you using? I see tons of rocks....

This post was edited by May888 on Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 17:05

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Brad,

Your DF plant looks ok in that pot. You can keep it in there until the end of this year. Then repot it next year.

About prunting DF, prunting is needed for DF. If you want a lot of fruits, you need to prune the plant (after the plant has been established) , prune the vine already have fruits and the young buds, if you keep too many young buds you won't get a lot of fruits. Just keep around 50% of the young buds and prune the other 50%.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks May and nguy
the soil isa mix of sand and potting soil with a little compost mixed in.
Theres some pebbles and lava-rock at the bottom for drainage.

i had given it 1/2 strength fertilizer once, which was 20-12-12 i think. and also added Mycorrhizal fungi
It is growing FAST.
since that post,, that little bud is 3x the size it was.
Im so happy, after killing a couple of them.
i have one more that just put out a very small root.

I just got some glacial rock dust for some other fruits and plants, and i also got some "ground crab meal".
I had planned on adding a bit of each.

thanks for the info, it gets HOT here in New Orleans, and had planned on putting it in full-sun
but i have to re-think this now.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not an expert, but I read that you shouldn't give too much fertilizer when they're still "young". You want to take it easy on the fertilizer and let the root establish on it's own so they can be stronger. The saying is "would you start feeding chemical to your new born baby?" :) Good luck.

If you plan on putting it full sun, then make a cover on top of it during the hot sunny days. It does like the hot/warm/moist atmosphere. It just doesn't like the direct HOT sun...that's when you need to give it shade during those days. Remember, it needs sun to fruit.

Also, some stems give out weak and small growth. Another reason you want to let about 3+ new growth come out and then eliminate the small and thin ones.

Spring is the time when I start to see lots of new growths. Lately, I have been eliminating the new growth from the bottom and letting some new growth grow on the top of the trellis.

In a couple of weeks, I'll start building a trellis around my containers.

This post was edited by May888 on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 17:30

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 5:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love my dragonfruit plant! All I did was buy a fruit from the grocery store, cleaned the seeds and dropped them in soil. They all sprouted. Mine is in a pot living in our house for 8 months of the year. This is year 2 for this plant and I'm expecting the growth to really take off now.

You can put it in a big pot with a post in it for staking purposes, and then put wheels on the base of your pot. This makes maneuvering it around easy even when it gets heavy.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

this is the same plant that is in the 3-liter cola bottle above.

The section grew, but no new sections are growing ?
its looked exactly the same for over a month.

Someone told me this container should be good till next year...
Now i am thinking maybe i should have put it in a much bigger container ?
Is there something i can do to make new sections grow ?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 6:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


you can repot if it makes you feel more comfortable. It's hard to tell how big your plant is from the picture. When you repot it, you gotta get a stake in there and tied it upward. The top stem is going to put weight and sag down. The tip looks like it's turning yellowish....a sign that it's probably getting too much sun at its age. if it gets too hot, then move it to a shade.

what kind of soil are you using?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 1:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What am I doing wrong? My dragon fruit is growing, but all of the new shoots are really skinny. I cut the top once they reached my desired height, but as you can see from the picture I have a problem. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Your dragon fruit main stem looks so small to begin with.

Based on the picture, you need to give it plenty of sun.

How much sun does it get on a daily basis?

Personally, I would find dragon fruit stems that are bigger in size to begin with.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 12:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

Melody, you're definitely not getting enough sun. The bottom stems are large, but the tops are weak due to lack of light. Move the pot into a sunny area and maybe prune back to the bottom stems. With lots of light and good watering and fertilizer, it'll regrow to the top of the trellis in a couple of months (I get about 1/4" of growth a day in ideal conditions). I'd even say to reinforce your trellis, dragon fruit gets really heavy.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2014 at 7:10PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Lychee like grapes
I just sat down reading some of the forum posts with...
Need help with mango tree
I have a tree and was wondering if in the future it...
The Freeze in Central Florida!
The most top branches, the last 3 inches or so suffered...
Is my tree a Sapote or a Sapodilla?
Hello, I am new to this forum and growing tropical...
White Sapote in a container?
Hi, Is it possible for a white Sapote in a container...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™