Dragon Fruit (Pitaya) - Hylocereus
undatus and other species and hybrids
Pitaya Growing in the Florida Landscape pdf 8 pages
Pitaya Publication from the University of Hawaii CTAHR pdf
The Pitaya in Florida from the university of Florida Miami Dade County pdf 9 pages
Pine Island Nursery Dragon Fruit Viewer ext. link
2010 Year of the Dragon Fruit from California Rare Fruit Growers pdf
Strawberry Pear from Fruits of Warm Climates
Fruit Tips from the Sub-Tropical Fruit Club of Qld Inc.
Season: June to November
Salt : Moderate to Highly Tolerant
Wind: Tolerates Windy Conditions
Cold: Damaged at 32F of long duration
There are no varieties in the proper sense, but there are many clones which can differ in the stem type, colour, fruit shape, skin thickness and scale expression. There are however two different species, H. undatus which has white flesh and H. polyrhizus which has red flesh. There are also several other fruiting cactus genera that are called 'pitaya'. 2
Hylocereus undatus (red-skinned fruit with white flesh), Hylocereus ployrhizus/ Hylocereus costaricensis ( red-skinned fruit with red flesh), Hylocereus guatemalensis (bright pink-skinned fruit with white flesh), Hylocereus poloyrhizus X undatus, Selenicereus megalanthus (yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh)
Common Names: English: Strawberry pear, dragon fruit, night blooming cereus. Spanish: pitahaya, tuna, nopal, pitajaya
Origin: Tropical America; southern Mexico, Pacific side of Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador; Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Curacao, Panama, Brazil and Uruguay.
Pitaya are fast growing, perennial, terrestrial, epiphytic, vine-like
Flowers: are hermaphroditic, however, some pitaya species and cultivars are self incompatible. The extremely showy, edible,
white (pink in other species) flowers are very large, very fragrant, nocturnal, bell shaped and may be 14 inches long (36 cm) and
9 inches wide (23 cm). The stamens and lobed stigmas are cream colored. 1
Support: For the home landscape, consider a trellis for individual plants which should consists of a post and a structure at the top of the post to support the plant. A strong trellis should be established that may withstand several hundred pounds of stem weight. A weak trellis may buckle under the weight of a mature pitaya plant. Do not use wires on the trellis because they may cut or damage the stems. If wire is used, it should be covered by hoses. 1
The Pitaya in Florida from the University of Florida Miami-Dade county (good images of supports) pdf
There are two methods of planting; one is to plant a cured cutting
directly into the soil.
Irrigation: It is important to water your pitaya through the flowering and fruiting season at least once a week.
Pruning: Pruning is required to maintain the shape and size of the plants as they can quickly become unruly and top heavy. Pruning also enables access to the plant which assists harvesting. Care should be taken to dispose of the cuttings as they have the potential to become weeds. 2
Pruning Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) from the Sub-Tropical Fruit Club of Qld Inc.
Dragon Fruit: Postharvest Quality-Maintenance Guidelines from the University of Hawaii pdf
Peeling Video ext. link
Grow Dragon Fruit from Cuttings ext. link
Dragon Fruit Blooming Video ext. link
Hand Pollination Video ext. link
Pitaya Fruit Cycle Video ext. link
Diseases and Pests
Some damage by mites, thrips, ants, scales and mealybugs, beetles, borers (Diatrea), slugs and fruit flies has been reported. Raccoons, possums, rats and birds may also cause damage to fruit and plants. Severe scale infestations of stems have been reported in Florida.
Several important diseases attack pitayas. These include the bacterium Xanthomonas compestris, which causes a severe stem rot, and Dothiorella and anthracnose. Severe anthracnose damage to newly planted pitaya has been observed in Florida, and anthracnose also attacks the fruits. Fusarium oxysporum has also attacked plants. Please contact your local County Cooperative Extension Agent for current control measures. 1
1 Crane, Johathan H., Balerdi, Carlos F. and Maquire, Ian. "Pitaya Growing in the Home Landscape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS1068, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date Nov.2005. Revised Nov. 2017. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
2 McMahon, Gerry. "Pruning Pitaya (Dragon Fruit)." stfc.org.au. Sub-Tropical Fuit Club of Wld Inc. STFC Newsletter June,July 2006. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 1 SMasters. Cross section of a ripe white pitahaya. 2010. wikipedia.org. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 2 Bowland, Grahame. Pitaya Seedling. 2011. wikipedia.org. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 3,10 Kwan. Hylocereus undatus. 2008-2009. natureloveyou.sg. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 4 Acevedo, P. Hylocereus undatus (Cactaceae). N.d. persoon.si.edu. Web. 10 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 5,6,7,8,9,10,11 Robitaille, Liette. "Dragon Fuit Series." growables.org. JPG file. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 13 Velasquez, Ramon F. Pitaya (dragon fruit) trees at the Agricultural Science and Technology School Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. 2012. wikipedia.org. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
Nhã Lê Hoàn. Pitaya
dragon) fruits being grown commercially in southern Vietnam.
Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 15b Sunciti. Wine And Fruits Are Fine For Dinner. 2012. flickr.com.Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
amarilla, yellow pitahaya Hylocereus
megalanthus. 2006. wikipedia.org.
Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
Published 8 Aug. 2014 LR. Last update to 27 Apr. 2017 LR