Brix measurement (or Brix scale) is a well-known application in the food and beverage industry, among others. Strictly speaking, the Brix measurement determines pure sucrose content in water:
1 degree Brix (°Bx) = 1g of sucrose / 100g of solution.
This is used in dragon fruit to determine the sweetness it will vary slightly depending on the season. A dryer season or growing region may have slightly sweeter fruit .
The brix is a great guide to the sweetness of a variety.
Self Fertile -These plants have a short stigma and are able to pollenate themselves with the help of bees, weather and insects.
Self Sterile-These typically have a longer stigma and can require a x pollination of pollen from a different plant.
Its important to know the parts of the dragon fruit flower as not all varieties are self fertile and require intervention and hand pollination to fruit.
Anther is where the pollen released and carried from, they are on the top of the thin filament.
Filament the thin stems that hold the anther.
Petals attract and guide the pollinators.
Pistil this is where the Ovary, Stigma and style are.
Stigma at the top end of the the pistil and is slightly sticky so it can hold the pollen
Ovary holds the ovules once fertilized and this becomes the fruit.
Ovules this is what the pollen fertilizes to become the seeds of the fruit.
Pericarp this develops into the fruits skin. Within the Pericarp there are 3 parts.
Exocarp the skin
Mesocarp the flesh or edible part of the fruit
Endocarp the layer that surrounds the seeds.
Old growth or Mature growth is harder darker and firmer. It is more resilient once planted but can take longer to root or produce new shoot. Typically over 2 years old.
New Growthis softer and lighter in color and will sometimes almost look translucent. these can be faster growing when planted.
Growing from seed.
Dragon fruit do grow from seed. this is a slower process than growing from cutting. The fruit and flowers will not be true to the parent plants variety this is how you get an new hybrid variety.
To grow from seed, squash some flesh onto paper towel and keep moist in a warm position but away from direct sunlight. Seeds will sprout 2-3 weeks later and can be potted up into punnets.
It can take 2-7 years to bear fruit if dragon fruit is grown from seed.
Grafting dragon fruit is another way to speed up the growth of a slower growing variety. This where you graft an slower growing or rooting variety onto a faster growing base. For more info please I will be posting a how to in the future.
Dragon fruit have aerial roots this is what they use to climb. I also like to use them to feed the plants with liquid fertilizer.
Get your camera ready if your flowers are looking plump ready to unfold. Your flower will only be open for the 1 night.
This is what your dragon fruit flower will look like the day after opening.
Sometimes you will see your flower or buds turn yellow this is a sign that the plant will drop or abort its flowers. There are many factors that control this. It could be the plant is too young, too much water or self sterile. ,