I love Pitaya! It is such a cool-looking cactus fruit. Commonly called, Dragon Fruit or Pitahaya, the Pitaya is grown all over the world in tropical and subtropical regions. It also can be grown in the desert in places like Arizona with some care. In this post, I will show you how to grow pitaya from cuttings.
If you love to garden and want to try growing a cool cactus, learn how to grow pitaya! The dragon fruit cactus plant will be a great addition to your garden. Let’s get started!
Pitaya or Dragon Fruit Information
The Pitaya is cultivated all over the world, in particular, Mexico, Southeast Asia, India, the Caribbean, Australia, and other tropical and subtropical places around the world. Vietnam, Indonesia, and China grow the most dragon fruit out of any other country. In fact, in 2018, Vietnam accounted for 50% of the global pitaya or dragon fruit production.
The dragon fruit even grows well in places in the United States, like California, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, and other southern states.
Pitayas love the sun and warmth, but not super hot, and not very cold. They can survive a few temps below freezing once in a while, but not sustained freezing temperatures.
Want to know how the dragon fruit taste? I have two posts on how to eat them and how they taste. Check out this yellow dragon fruit taste test and this pink dragon fruit taste test to find out more about how to eat them and what they taste like.
How to grow pitaya from cuttings
While pitaya can be grown from seed, this post focuses on how to grow pitaya or dragon fruit from a cutting. If you want to try it from a seed, you certainly can. Dry out the seeds from the fruit, then place them on a damp paper towel.
Fold over the paper towel and place it near a window. Or place the dried seeds in a small pot with a good seed starter or cactus soil mix.
To grow the pitaya from a cutting, first, you need a cutting. They are easy to prune off the main plant because they grow in segments.
Cut a segment at the stem/woody part that connects to another part of the pitaya. Sometimes the stem part has a harder time sprouting roots, so you may want to snip it off. If you do, let the cutting sit out in the shade for about a week, so it can scab over.
Take some rooting powder and sprinkle it on the base of the cutting. In the above image, I didn’t snip any off of the bottom. I recommend planting a few, some with the end snipped off and some without.
NOTE: Rooting powder is not necessary but it definitely helps it along. Try a few with the rooting powder and a few without.
Fill up the pot with good draining soil
Take a medium pot and fill it up with good draining soil. The Pitaya loves good drainage. Try and make the soil mildly acidic as well. If you like, you can add some earthworm castings to the soil for extra nutrients.
Then stick the pitaya cutting directly in the soil about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. Water the soil well. The roots should develop in a week or two.
The dragon fruit cutting should stay green. Don’t overwater, however. Dip your finger in the soil, and if it is dry two inches down, give it some more water.
Pitaya cuttings grow well in pots for a few years, but eventually, you may want to plant them in the grown. You can prune them as well, to get more cuttings to plant, or so it grows the way you want it to.
Dragon fruit cactus plants are vining cactus. You will need a trellis or pole or something for it to grow up. As it gets longer loosely tie the cactus vine to your pole.
Depending on where you live you may need to plant them in partial shade. I live in the very hot Phoenix area. This pitaya cutting after it was rooted was planted on the west side of the house which had lots of shade cover. It gets sunlight, but not too much. It is very protected during the harsh summers.
If you live somewhere like California, planting them with full sun, shouldn’t be a problem. The pitaya cuttings grow much quicker than growing dragon fruit from seeds. Some people have been able to get fruit after only the first year of growth. The speed of growth will depend on where you live.
Time to grow your own pitaya from cuttings. Enjoy!
How to grow Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) from Cuttings Video
Watch this video I made on how to grow Dragon fruit from cuttings.
One dragon fruit cutting made it and is alive and thriving in my parent’s yard. I made the mistake one year and didn’t move the post to the other side of my yard during the summer and torched the other ones. Sad day.
Here are other articles you may find interesting: