For regular dragon fruits, the flower-to-fruit process takes around 30 days. For the red-flowered Asunta variety, it takes 60 days. And for the yellow Ecuador Palora, the process takes 150 days.
Let's see how it unfolds stage by stage:
Bud to Flower (15-30 Days)
Going from bud to flower normally takes around 30 days. And dragon fruit buds are the size of a cherry or grape. Sometimes it's 15, 22, 27 days or later than that.
When the bud grows bigger, it will look something like this:
This is a 12-day-old flower bud. And if you haven't yet spotted it, the one we have here is the red variety. You can tell from the red tips all around.
And then the dragon fruit flower blooms:
Flower Blooming (1 Night)
Dragon fruit flowers bloom at night–around 7 to 9 pm. Not all flowers on the same branch will bloom at the exact same time.
The flowers are huge and they have a really nice fragrance. The bloomed flowers last for only one night. And around 8 am the next morning, they start to droop down and wilt.
Thanks to this bending down movement, the pollen from the anthers (the male part) can easily fall into the stigma (the female part). Sometimes bees or moths help do the pollination job. And this is when the magic begins to happen.
Flower to Fruit (30-180 Days)
A 3-day-old dragon fruit may have the size of a small tangerine with its scales and skin still green. From this point to harvest, it may be 30, 60 or 150+ days.
When ripened, the skin and scales will turn more red. The size and weight of the fruit will also increase.
A ripe Sugar Dragon weighs around 4-8 oz (113 - 220 grams) and reaches 4 in. (10 cm) in length. While some other ripe varieties may get up to 1-2 lbs (0.45-1 kg) in weight. This is a good time to harvest the fruits.
Different Varieties: Days to Harvest
|Days to harvest||Varieties|
|37||Bien Hoa White|
|40||El Grullo, Physical Graffiti, Mexicana|
|41||Armando, Seoul Kitchen, Vietnam Giant, Bien Hoa Red|
|43||Sin Espinas, American Beauty|
|150-180||Colombiana, Yellow Dragon|
Going from flower to fruit, this is the promise of the dragon fruit.
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