Dragon Fruit Trellis Idea...?

hugginsjlJune 26, 2010

Hey everyone,

I'm new to this forum...hopefully I will get some good feedback. Haha!

Ok. so...I just ordered and got in a cutting of dragon fruit undatus and a rooted/growing 2.5 foot tall polyrhizus.

I am planning on putting together a good pot and trellis support to grow them on. I live in central VA so the winters do ice over most times, therefore I will use a pot so I can bring it indoors during the winter.

I had this idea where I could make an "especially good" trellis.

My plan is to have a wagon wheel attached to the top of a wooden 4x4. Now on the 4.4 I think I read that covering it in burlap helps a lot with the arial roots. RIght?

Well Since those roots are there I suspect that I could figure a way to jam extra nutrients for more growth into the plant...I was thinking stapling an edge of the burlap cloth on an edge of a side of the 4x4...then stuffing soil under the burlap so its trapped underneath, but on top of the wood. and stapling on the other side of the soil. And do that on each side of the pole, as well as stapling the ends of burlap down. Then it would be like soil burlap padding on each side of the 4x4. What do you think?

Thought those roots will soak in more water and nutrients to really get the plant growing. My only problem is, I have no clue if/when I would need to change the soil out from under the burlap... :/ That could be a problem!

I feel like its a good idea, but I would also be making the future more difficult for me and the plants...?

*Anyone with a trellis for your dragon fruit? What have you done? Is it working?

**Oh and will the roots attach to a bare wooden 4x4? Not quite sure what to expect. At this point my plants don't have arial roots...

P.S. A few extra questions...

1. What is the minimum temperature for the cactus' to be in? I think I read 40 degrees Farenheit...? Can someone help me clear that up? Haha...

2. How much direct sun should they get in a day, safely, without getting sunburned? If I put them under my overhang of my patio should they be fine, but still grow well?

3. A cutting I bought from california has NO roots appearing yet from where it was cut. How long does it take to start forming? You can't plant it till it is formed, right?

4. Last thing...Any idea where I can get a cutting from a good red flesh variety?

Thanks! I hope someone will take the time to help me with some answers. x.x

Haha! I just typed way more than I was planning on. SORRY!

Thanks though!

-Hugginsjl

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ohiojay(z6 OH)

It all seems sound except for the soil underneath the burlap. Completely unneccessary. The aerial roots will be just fine on their own and will attach to anything. All you would be doing is creating a lot more problems for yourself. The idea is to keep things as simple as possible. Once the plant starts getting bigger and branching, you will have your hands full just taking it in and out of the house...let alone figuring out how to remove soil from beneath the burlap without damaging the plant.

Do a search on dragon fruit trellis and you will find there have been some good ideas thrown out here in the past. The more simple the design, the better off you will be.

Here is a little something we picked up while in Thailand that may simplify your design even more... The trend in dragon fruit growing is using only the center support pole. They have found that the upper supports for the plant are unneccessary. The plant will branch and support itself just fine. Many are also growing them much shorter. I doubt many went over 4' tall. Keeping the support structure to a single pole without upper supports means a lot less time/effort/$ making the structure. Keeping the plants shorter make for easier maintenance as well as easier harvesting. By what we witnessed, it was working!

The plants in Thailand are in full sun. So if the plants can take it there, they can take it anywhere here.

The cutting is NOT going to root until you plant it! Go purchase some rooting hormone, dip the bottom of the cutting in it and then get it planted.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 7:16AM
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hugginsjl

Thanks so much for the info ohiojay! For some reason I was so sure not to plant the cutting until it rooted...odd. haha

I was just wondering where I could get my hands on some rooting hormone, told my family about it...turns out we have some from a few months ago that I didn't know what it was till now! Haha, we have some Superthrive. I suppose that should do the job from what i've read about it.

Thanks again for the info!

I decided I was making a mess for myself with the dirt beneath the burlap...so i'm going to go without it as EVERYONE else seems to do. I don't know, it was a random idea I liked. haha

***Oh and also wondering if you or anyone else knows...

My plant that is rooted and growing that I got from ediblelandscaping.com seems to be odd at the top ends of the growth coming out of the main stem that is clipped down. Any idea of it will keep growing up and out? Seems like most photos i've seen the ends are a perfect 3 edged rounded point. The long piece is brown and odd looking, and the shorter peice is like 3 pronges and the center of the end is not sticking out as far.

I want to try putting in several picture so you know what i'm looking at:

Think I should just clip those ends so they can send side shoots out?

*Here is the cutting for some pics as well:

I also wonder about the following photo:
The black in it is dirt from me sitting it up with my growing cactus on the surface of the soil...but the reddish pink color. Is that fungus/mold or something? It has no texture to it (not fuzzy or soft...same and firm). It's exactly like the rest, but is different color. Should I cut some off of the cutting again, then dry the end, then soak it in hormone and plant it, or should it be fine? it had the pink before it even touched the dirt. I was keeping it up high in a cool place and still had it. Just wondering?

Thanks again! :)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:14PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Where to begin?? Let's start with the cutting that has not rooted. The cutting is fine. They should be left to dry out a few days before planting anyway. Superthrive and rooting hormone are not the same. Any good nursery should sell rooting hormone. If it is the powder form, just moisten the bottom of the cuting and dip in the powder. Shake the excess off and shove into well-watered potting mix. Put it somewhere it will not get knocked over. Leave it alone and only water when you know it is drying out.

As for the one you received from Edible. It looks just fine the way it is. Leave it be and don't cut any tips. It will do what it needs to do just fine. You don't want branching down low anyway. The ideal way is to have one central trunk going up to the top of the post, it is then cut and will begin to branch from there. I understand growing allowing it to branch everywhere makes for a more interesting looking plant. It definitely needs to be put into a larger container as soon as you can.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 6:37AM
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hugginsjl

Just bought a big 18" clay pot today. I will have to plant it tomorrow or something. Guess I can reuse this pot to get the cutting piece to root.

Thanks! Now to find some rooting hormone... >.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:17PM
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fouquieria(10b)

Do you know how big these things get before they actually bloom? Mine's been blooming for the last eight years but has never actually set fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Kingdom for a Vote

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:48PM
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hugginsjl

Do you mean before they actually set fruit? I've read if your growing from seed around 2 years to bloom, or 6 months to a full year to bloom if your growing from a cutting. Most times even if the plant isn't very old they can fruit. Most times you have to hand pollinate them.

It is extremely likely your plant isn't fruiting because you need another one to pollinate with. I bet it just isn't a self-pollinating type...

From what i've read thats the most likely info in your situation i've learned...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:13PM
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hugginsjl

So I just got some burlap to wrap around a PVC pipe I got for the trellis...Thought it would be lighter weight to put in a pot than a 4x4...heck yes...Haha! It's so heavy even with PVC!!! x.x

Well, how should I put the burlap on? I was thinking of using a hot glue gun to put it on. Think I should wrap it around the pole multiple times or 1x good enough? Its a close weave so I thought 1 time would be good.

Any idea how long burlap takes to rot? I may loop it a few times if it would extend the life of the burlaps use, so I won't have to try changing it out...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 12:36PM
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hugginsjl

I think I have it all figured out! Check it out:

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 9:51PM
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hugginsjl

I accidentally moved those photos so I'm reposting them...with 2 more of a spot where there is growth coming in! :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 11:47AM
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hugginsjl

Here are some more photos to update the growth of my plant! The little growth has gotten HUGE! (and still growing :) including some odd bumps on the side of it in one little area. And the cutting has yet to show growth, but I have been 'impatient' and pulled it up about a week ago and it HAS roots growing!!! :D Just have to wait for the growth to begin...x.x

A grasshopper was eating the burlap. Haha!

The cutting:

Bumps? (sorta has a hole in the bump too...its more like a dip though, don't there there is larva or anything like that in there.)

Idea of the size!

So that is my update!!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 8:08PM
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gardenathome(9B/10)

Hi, Hugginsjl ! A very cute set up for your dragon fruit! :-) Let us know how it grows. As for the little bump, could it be an aerial root? :-)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 6:16PM
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hugginsjl

Hey! Looks like the bump was aerial roots after all! :D Haha! From that point they are growing along the burlap all the way up now. From the last photo I posted its already grown another 7 inches or so. I just planted the small cutting in the larger pot and put another cutting I just got in the small pot to start rooting with some hormone. I finally found a cutting from the red flesh variety! Lately i've been wondering what to do when it becomes winter. I ordered a blue/red LED spotlight that I will use on it in my basement when it gets cold out. Any idea what the temp and humidity should be at a minimum for dragon fruit? I can't find it anywhere online...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 12:00AM
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gwrace

hugginsjl

What size pipe did you end up using and where did you get the wagon wheel. I like the look of that trellis and it would seem the perfect size for a greenhouse location.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 4:14PM
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