Hand pollinating dragon fruit can be a simple and effective way to encourage fruit production.
Dragon fruit plants have large beautiful dinner plate flowers that bloom at night, and some self sterile varieties require cross-pollination to set fruit.
Follow these steps to hand pollinate your dragon fruit:
Identify the flowers: Dragon fruit flowers normally begin to open at night when the sunsets and close as the sun rises in the morning. The flowers have three main parts: the pistil (the female part in the center), the stamens (the male parts surrounding the pistil), and the petals.
Gather your materials: You'll need a soft makeup brush to collect pollen. If you don't have a brush, you can also use your finger or cotton buds but be gentle. Some commercial growers use pollen vacuums. Use an old vitamin container to store your dragon fruit pollen in the fridge.
Identify the pollen: At night, when the flower opens, you'll see the pollen on the stamens. It looks like a fine dust, usually white or yellowish. If you give the flower a little tap you will see the pollen fall onto the inner petals.
- Try to take pollen 2-3 hrs after the dragon fruit flower opens.
- Deliver the pollen early in the morning before the dragon fruit flower closes.
Transfer the pollen: Gently take the brush lightly touch the stamens to collect some pollen. Be careful not to damage the flower or the stamens while doing this.
Pollinate the pistil: Once you have pollen on your brush or finger, carefully transfer it to the pistil at the center of the flower. Gently brush the pollen onto the pistil.
Repeat for other flowers: If you have multiple dragon fruit flowers blooming on your plant, repeat the process for each flower.
Observe and care for the fruit: After successful pollination, the flower will start to wither, and the fruit will begin to develop. Make sure to continue regular care for your dragon fruit plant, providing adequate water, fertilizer and sunlight to support fruit growth.
Remember that dragon fruit plants are often self-pollinating to some extent, but hand pollination can increase the chances of fruit set, especially if the plant is not getting visits from pollinators like bees or bats.
If you have multiple dragon fruit plants, you can also try cross-pollination between different plants to increase fruit production.
You will also know if you have been unsuccessful as the bud with turn yellow and fall off.
Use of a dragon fruit variety that is a universal pollinator can also be beneficial.
Dragon fruit pollen can be stored in a fridge for approximately 3 months.
If you don't want to hand pollenate your dragon fruit try the following:
- Only purchase self pollenating varieties
- Plant 4 different dragon varieties per post
- Encourage more flower growth by spraying liquid potash
- Companion plant to encourage bees and insects
- Use lights to bring in moths and night insects. Thank you for Reading