Growing dragon fruit via cutting is the best way to get an exact copy of your dragon fruit variety. When dragon fruit are grown via seeds they may have characteristics from both the mother or father plant .
Taking a dragon fruit cutting is a common method of propagating dragon fruit plants.
There are two main types of dragon fruit cutting a flesh or joint cutting.
These are taken from the middle of the branch.
Here's a step-by-step guide to help you with the dragon fruit growing process:
Materials you'll need:
- Pruning shears: Make sure the cutting tool is sharp and clean to prevent infections on the dragon fruit cutting.
- Rooting hormone (optional): While not necessary, rooting hormone can encourage faster root development.
- Pot: I like to start my dragon fruit cutting in a 130mm nursery pot.
- Soil: This is the most important bit. ONLY use good quality potting mix, compost and/ or mushroom compost. Brands to use are rocky point, yates or Searles.
- A warm position or heat mat: The position and amount of a constant warm temperature will speed up the process of your dragon fruit growing. Try to mimic a warm summers day where there is increased humidity.
- Sunlight: Dragon fruit growth depend on sunlight. When planted in the ground they will respond to the longer daylight hours of summer. The dragon fruit also slow their growth over winter when the daylight hours are shorter. I believe this makes a big difference in spouting dragon fruit roots on your cutting.
- Labeling:I don't know how many times I have thought I would remember what variety of dragon fruit I had just cut, then 2 weeks later totally forgotten and had to discard to avoid any future confusion . Posca pens are the best pens to use when labelling your dragon fruit. It stays on for atleast a year. Hint- Use a darker colour- some lighter colours fade quickly.
- Stake: Use a bamboo stake to hold your dragon fruit up right this will train your dragon fruit to grow nice and straight. Make sure the bamboo stake is approx. double the size of your dragon fruit cutting. When your dragon fruit cutting has developed roots and is happy it can double in size in a matter of weeks.
Select the cutting: Look for a healthy stem on the mother dragon fruit plant that is around 20cm long. (no smaller than 10cm). The cutting should be free from any signs of disease or pests.
- Label you cutting with a posca pen draw an ^ arrow which way is up.
Cut the cutting: Using a clean set of pruning shears, carefully cut the selected stem from the dragon fruit. Make a clean cut.
Let the cutting dry: Place the cutting in a dry and shaded location for a few days to allow the cut end to callus. This callusing process helps reduce the risk of rot when you plant the cutting. This is the best part about our posted cuttings. The dragon fruit cutting will have callused in the post and should be ready to plant.
Optional: Apply rooting hormone: If you have rooting hormone available, you can dip the cut end of the dragon fruit cutting into the hormone powder before planting. This can help stimulate root growth.
Prepare the planting pot: Choose a pot with good drainage and fill it with a well-draining cactus or succulent mix. We also add mushroom compost that contains mutualistic mycorrhizal fungi which will form a beneficial relationship with the cutting. Moisten the soil lightly to make it slightly damp but not waterlogged.
Plant the cutting: Insert the cut end of the dragon fruit cutting into the soil, ensuring that at least 2-3cm are buried in the soil. The remaining segments should be above the soil level.
Provide support: Dragon fruit cuttings can be tall and may need support to stay upright. You can use a stake or a trellis to provide support as the plant grows.
Watering: Water the cutting sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot.
Location: Place the potted cutting in a warm and bright location, preferably with indirect sunlight. Avoid exposing the cutting to direct sunlight as it may scorch the cutting. Staking your dragon fruit cutting will also help prevent sunburn which can turn into dragon fruit rot.
Rooting process: Over the following weeks, the dragon fruit cutting should start developing roots. Don't keep pulling your dragon fruit out of the soil to check this, it will slow down the time it takes for your dragon fruit to grow and damages any microscopic root you may not see. Pulling the plant out is like starting the whole process again. Look for roots coming out the bottom of your plant or a nice strong healthy branch can be an indicator sometimes.
- Harden you dragon fruit cutting: Over a week introduce your dragon fruit cutting to full sunlight gradually.
Transplanting your dragon fruit cutting : Once the dragon fruit cutting has developed a well-established root system, it's ready to be transplanted into a larger pot or directly into the ground in a suitable location. I like to wait for a day when the weather is favorable. I like a slightly over cast day, We don't want to stress our new dragon fruit plant out buy planting it on the wettest or hottest day of the year.
- Fertilize- See our blog on how to fertilize your dragon fruit to keep it happy and healthy.
Remember that growing dragon fruit from cuttings may require patience and care.
Every cutting is different so please take your time to enjoy this process.
Growing dragon fruit in colder climates is more challenging than you may realise and please allow extra time. Dragon fruit are generally a subtropical fruit plant.
With proper care, your dragon fruit plant should eventually grow into a beautiful and fruit-bearing cactus vine.