Dragonfruit in every garden


How about a dragon fruit? It may sound scary, but it is delicious and exotic, with a mild sweet taste and few calories. This is the Pitaya, also known as “dragon fruit”, a fruitful climbing cactus that can reach a height of 3 meters. It originates from Mexico and is cultivated mainly in Central America, Southeast Asia, Australia, in recent years, Europe. The juicy fruit of the dragon fruit has an impressive appearance, with an intense fuchsia color on the outside, while on the inside its flesh is white, yellow, or deep red with a characteristic fresh sour taste or sweeter depending on the variety. Dragon fruit is eaten fresh or we can make it juice! Many people compare it too prickly pears, like cactus fruit, but they are completely different plants, both in their growth and in the way they are cultivated.

How to grow the most beautiful and delicious fruits and vegetables in hanging baskets

What soil-climatic conditions are required for the cultivation of Pitaya?

Dragon fruit is grown and thrives in tropical and subtropical regions. It loves the sun and grows in dry environments and high temperatures, while it can not withstand frost and low temperatures. It thrives in sandy and well-drained soils, heavy soils and water retention can cause root rot. If our garden does not meet these standards, to enjoy its unique fruits we can plant it in a pot using cactus soil that has enough sand content. The dragon fruit will need support in the pot, as it grows along the ground until it finds a point to climb.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.