Help with neglected Dragonfruit

mbrowne(9b Central CA)October 15, 2012

I'm about to plant a badly neglected Halley's Comet, and would appreciate any info on what is wrong with it and if it should get any special care to fix it. Here are a few shots:

Thanks for any help!

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steve_in_los_osos

The plant looks a little sun-burned to me. Although these are cacti, they don't like blistering sun. In Central CA you might need to provide a little protection from the hottest summer sun (not to mention the cold winter).

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:00PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

The red dots are most likely sunburn. Most likely your DF is weak because it's in a pot. Plant it in the ground, and it will be much stronger. I'm in Bakersfield, and none of my DF are protected. They get some sun spots, but they survive fine in the hot and cold months. What part of central CA are you located?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 1:41AM
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mbrowne(9b Central CA)

Thanks for the repllies. I've got it in the ground now, with an untreated stake for support. We'll see if it starts to look better... I guess it can take a bit more water than a desert cactus? I'm in Fresno, and as you know Winter is rainy season. I shouldn't have to worry about frost or cold temps.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 12:15PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Rain is fine, as long as the water drains away.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:27PM
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nikitas_10a

newgen, do you get temperatures below freezing in your garden? I want to plant dragonfruit in my garden here in Greece and we do get down to 28 degrees a few times every winter. From your experience do you think pitayas will be able to survive this kind of cold weather?

Thanks in advance,
Nik

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 5:05PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Nik,

I haven't any day when it's 28. There were maybe a few hours, very rare though, of 30. I believe that if the plant is in ground, with strong root system, it will survive. It will not survive if it's young, or in a container.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:52AM
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nikitas_10a

Thanks for the info and the advice newgen.

Nik

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:46PM
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steve_in_los_osos

Wow! I'm sure I never dreamed of "Corfu" and "28" in the same sentence!

A little overhead protection might go a long way to fending off the cold--planting against the south side of a house, under eaves, etc. Lacking that, a blanket for the chilly nights!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:38PM
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nikitas_10a

Steve, I'll probably end up doing what you suggest but in a couple of years, when my plants are big and strong. Now they are in their 'infancy' and I'll keep them in my protected balcony. However, when they grow up they will be difficult to keep them in because they are thorny; that's when I'll move the plants in a south-facing wall in my garden, keep them potted, and try to cover them in the coldest winter nights. It might work...

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 4:06PM
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