Can you grow dragon fruit in Florida?

If you’re an exotic fruit lover in Florida, you might be considering growing dragon fruits. Originally from tropical America, dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) is a fruit that has a smooth outer skin with a yellow underskin with brown spots in it.

It has small white flowers with petals joined together into the shape of a cross. This fruit has an orange-coloured fleshy covering and a texture soft and yellow like that of a mango. Its sweet flavor is often described as a blend of kiwi and pear and is flavorless when unripe.

How To Grow Dragon Fruit In Florida

Can you grow dragon fruit in Florida

Dragon fruit can be grown in Florida. This tropical plant flowers in as little as six to eight months but will take up to two years before it produces fruit when planted in a container.

However, once the plant is mature, it can yield four to six fruit cycles in a year and is capable of bearing fruit for up to 20 – 30 years.

Dragon fruit thrives in full sunlight, with temperatures ranging from 70 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The soil should be well-drained and rich, with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5 for a good crop. It is best to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

You can grow dragon fruit from seed or cuttings taken from a mature tree. You can find dragon fruit seeds in most tropical plant nurseries. The seeds are usually labelled as ‘dragon fruit’ or ‘sugar apple’. It’s also simple to propagate dragon fruit. The cuttings can be taken from the plant’s trunk at any time during the year. The fruit should be harvested when ripe, which is usually around three to four months after the flower blooms.

Dragon fruit plants need lots of space and should be planted at least six inches apart. Whether the plant is grown in a container or on the ground, it will require pruning to keep the tree healthy. You can prune the branches by about an inch or two, leaving several main branches for fruit production. This will also encourage branching out on the top of the tree, which will help it to produce larger fruits.

In addition, ensure you support dragon fruit plants by placing a base of bricks or stones around the bottom of the container. This will help anchor the plant and prevent it from falling over, especially after fruiting.

Preparing For Winter

Dragon fruit does best in a tropical climate, so you will need to bring it inside during the winter.

It can also be grown in a container indoors and provide it with lots of light and warmth. The best way to do this is to place the container in an unheated garage or greenhouse and keep it on a heating pad or radiator. You should also provide the plant with plenty of water, which will ensure that the plant remains healthy. You can also increase humidity during the winter months by setting up a misting system or placing a humidifier on your windowsill.

Harvesting Dragon Fruits

Can you grow dragon fruit in Florida

To harvest dragon fruit, simply cut off the limb at its base and pull out the fruit. It is best to pick the fruit when it is still firm but has started to turn yellow. If you wait until the fruit is overripe, it will be much harder to remove from the stem. To avoid bruising or splitting, it’s best to use a sharp knife or a spoon when removing the fruit from the stem.

Most people enjoy dragon fruit fresh, but it can also be frozen. To freeze dragon fruit, pluck off part of the stem and remove the fruit from the stem.

Dragon fruit is also used in many Asian dishes, including desserts and drinks. It is a delicious alternative to pineapple and kiwi fruits and has a similar texture to a mango.

Health Benefits Of Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is a good source of vitamin C, which helps to increase the body’s immunity and maintain healthy bones and teeth. It is also a natural diuretic, which aids in the removal of excess fluid from the body. It’s also rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, natural substances that may help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases.

It’s high in potassium, which promotes healthy blood pressure and is a good source of fiber, which helps to keep your digestive system working properly. This fruit also contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is associated with a feeling of well-being and an improved mood.