Here are some tips on how to choose strong, healthy dragon fruit cuttings:

dragon-fruit-cuttings
Good dragon fruit cuttings | nguyenthanhqb
  • Length about 12-80 inches / 30-80 cm
  • Age from 6-24 months
  • Appearance green, strong, no disease
  • Nodes looking good for good sprouting rate

When selecting dragon fruit cuttings, look for those about 6-24 months old. These have grown up quite a bit & have had a good amount of 'meat & muscles' inside to do okay & propagate on their own. Transplant shock may affect them less than the younger branches.

Look for green, healthy branches with thorns or the bumps (nodes) looking nice & strong. They feel firm to the touch. The length of the cuttings depends on your trellis design & the branch's age. This one is a good firm branch:

firm-dragon-fruit-branch

This other one is a bit soft & dry:

dry-dragon-fruit-branch

Usually, growers pick cuttings from around 12 inches up to 80 inches. If the cuttings have roots already, then flowering & fruit time may be reduced to around 8 months.

Now just for fun, let's choose the best branch out of the four:

dragon-fruit-branch-selection

In the picture above, from the top down, we can see the first branch has good length. But based on its color, we guess it may be too young.

The second branch is too young & may be it is the youngest of all. You can tell from its light green color.

The third one is probably older than the 1st & 2nd but it is quite skinny. The last branch, although quite short, has good plumb to it. It's thick, has a good green color & is probably at a good age.

So Miss Dragon Fruit Universe goes to: The Last Branch! Out of these four, it can be our best selection.

Tip: When choosing, look for a good aged branch that is juicy, feels firm & has a good weight to it when held on your hand. A 1-year-old plant usually have branches about 28 in. (73 cm) on average. An older 2-year-old plant on average is 32 in. (82 cm) long. You can see some of their growth here:

Age Average Longest Shortest
1 73cm / 28in 119cm / 46in 42cm / 16.5in
2 82cm / 32in 140cm / 55in 52cm / 20in
3 98cm / 38in 180cm / 70in 49cm / 19in
4 108cm / 42in 160cm / 63in 45cm / 18in
5 103cm / 40in 140cm / 55in 53cm / 21in

How Can We Tell Which Dragon Fruit Branch Is Older?

You can look at:

  • The size of the core
  • The sub branches
  • The color of the branch

Let's try comparing these two branches of the same Red H14 variety.

red-h14-dragon-fruit-comparison
Two branches of Red H14 variety

In box 1 in the pic below, the branch on the right has a much bigger core than the left one. It's even a bit harder and somewhat more woody.

comparing-core-size

In box 2, the right branch has some remnants of the sub-branches. These may be where the branch has shot out flowers and fruits. They are also quite woody.

sub-branches-on-dragon-fruit-branch

From these two hints, and also as the right branch also has a darker green skin to it, as you may have guessed correctly the right branch is the older branch.

the-older-younger-branch

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