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 the flowering to fruit unfolds stage by stage:
Stage #1: Bud to Flower (15-30 Days)
Going from bud to flower normally takes around 30 days. And dragon fruit buds are often the size of a cherry or grape. Sometimes it's 15, 22, 27 days or later than a month for bud forming.
When the bud grows bigger, it will look something like this:
This is a 12-day-old flower bud. And if you haven't spotted it yet, the one we have here is the red variety. You can tell from the red tips all around.
And then as the dragon fruit flower blooms:
Stage #2: 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 partly, 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.
Stage #3: Flower to Fruit (30-180 Days)
If the pollination or fertilization is successful, fruits will begin to develop after that.
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, we may countdown 30, 60 or 150+ days more.
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 Dragon Fruit 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|
|60||Asunta (red flowers)|
|150-180||Ecuador Palora, Colombiana, Yellow Dragon|
Going from flower to fruit, this is the promise of the dragon fruit.
Responses to Readers' Questions
What is the best way to grow,4x4 post
--> Hi, thanks for your question. I would like to ask, are you planning to grow as a big scale like on farms or on a home-scale? What I've seen is, people often use cement posts (with steel rods or rebars inside) on big farms. They are relatively cheap to make (even at home) and can last for a good 60-70 years. Some people also use fence as well. If you're growing at home, a wooden trellis 4x4 post in a large drum would suffice. When the df branch is smaller, you can use a bamboo stick to stand it up straight as well.
Overall, here are some tips for growing:
- Growing df from seeds takes longer so people often use cuttings
- Plant several varieties in a pot so they can cross-pollinate
- Don't overcrowd as it may cause root competition
- Summer sunlight gives the sweetest fruits
- Spread hay or mulch as top layer to retain moisture (some also sprinkle chicken manure)
- Too much sand in the soil makes the fruits not very sweet
- Reduce watering 2 weeks prior to the fruit peak point to prevent sweetness dilution
There are a lot of ways and methods people use. There so many other things we can talk about as well. You may want to try and experiment to see what works best for your environment. We have a series here about dragon fruits: https://zenyrgarden.com/tag/dragon-fruit-plants/ . You may find it helpful. I hope I understand your question correctly. I hope this helps!
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