Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About How To Grow Dragon Heart Fruit At Home

    The heart of the dragon is a fruit, a very unusual, exotic fruit of a liana-like, epiphytic cactus. This fruit has many names: pitaya, pitahaya, prickly pear, dragon fruit, dragon heart and a number of other names, depending on where the cactus grows.

    This plant is cultivated in the countries of Southeast Asia, such as the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Israel. And also in Central and South America and in the north of Australia. But Mexico is considered the birthplace of the prickly pear .

    Content: Table

    .The legend of the dragon's heart

    .Breeding methods, soil preferences, planting

    .Requirements for watering, lighting, temperature

    .Growing and care 

    The legend of the dragon's heart

    Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About How To Grow Dragon Heart Fruit At Home

    The ancient Aztecs had one unusual legend about the heart of a dragon. And, as everyone knows, the Aztec civilization was located on the territory of modern Mexico, and was famous for its mythology. This legend tells of a long-term cruel war of people with dragons spewing fire.

    When the mighty beasts could no longer belch flame, they, exhausted, spat out their heart from their mouths and died. According to legend, the Indians won a fierce war and exterminated powerful dragons. In memory of that great victory in the lands of the Aztecs, an unusual plant appeared, the fruit of which, like two drops of water, looked like a red and prickly dragon heart.

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    Appearance, useful properties, composition, various types of pitaya

    The pitahaya plant is a liana-like, curly, epiphytic cactus with a three-lobed stem. Reaches a height of 10 meters. Depending on the type of cactus , its fruits also differ:

    by the color of the pulp, which can be bright red, yellow or white

    by size (from 150 to 800 g)

    by skin color (from yellow to bright red)

    Heart of Dragon

    The most common species of this plant are Costa Rican pitahaya, yellow pitahaya, and red pitaya. The ripe "dragon heart" contains a number of useful substances:



    vitamins C and B






    Pitaya has beneficial properties that have a beneficial effect on the human body:

    normalization of bowel function

    tonic effect on the cardiovascular system

    elimination of bloating and indigestion

    strengthening of vision

    healing wounds and cuts

    improving memory

    weight loss

    The juice from the stems of the cactus has an anthelmintic effect, but it must be used with caution in order to avoid overdose. Pitaya can cause an allergic reaction, like any tropical fruit, therefore precautions must be taken when eating this fruit. 

    Breeding methods, soil preferences, planting

    Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About How To Grow Dragon Heart Fruit At Home

    Pitaya flowers and bears fruit all year round if the conditions are right. In Thailand, for example, up to seven crops are harvested per season. Unlike desert cacti, pitahaya does not tolerate heat and prefers a humid subtropical climate. The plant feels well at temperatures from +25 to 30 ° C, withstands heat up to + 40 ° C and cold up to 0 ° C.

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    Propagated by cuttings, seeds, as well as by grafting. Seeds are sown to a depth of no more than one centimeter, the soil is moistened and covered with transparent glass or film to achieve a greenhouse effect. After germination, the seedlings are planted.

    On industrial plantations, pitahaya is grown on strong supports, which over time are closed by a network of airy sucked roots, and a cactus on a support looks like a large green fountain. The plant is not demanding on the quality of the soil. The main thing is that the soil is well-drained, since the pitahaya dies when waterlogged.

    The seedlings are planted in the soil in the spring, flush with the soil, the bottom layer of which is mixed with a small amount of slow-acting fertilizer to accelerate plant growth. At home, pitahaya grows well both in pots and in greenhouses. When planting in pots, a sandy soil is used with the addition of substrate and compost. The bottom of the pot should have drainage holes and a layer of small stones.

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    Requirements for watering, lighting, temperature

    Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About How To Grow Dragon Heart Fruit At Home

    Almost immediately, this plant must be provided with support, since it is an epiphyte. When watering the plant, you should try to moisten only two-thirds of the root. The bottom layer of the soil must remain dry. The support must also be moistened. Watering is carried out when the soil dries up to two centimeters in depth about once a week.


    Pitahaya is demanding on sunlight: 80% of the daily time, the plant should be under light. If the "dragon heart" is grown at home , then the cactus must be illuminated using a special lamp for indoor flowers. In winter, the plant practically ceases to be watered, the temperature around it can be lowered from 27 to 17 ° C, the light intensity can be reduced.

    Growing and care

    Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About How To Grow Dragon Heart Fruit At Home

    During the period of formation and growth, the plant needs to be fed, but not overdo it, since the pitahaya dies from overeating. You can feed it once every two months with low-nitrogen and slow-acting fertilizers.

    If the growing conditions are optimal, then the pitahaya develops very quickly. To avoid overweight and redirect nutrients, the plant needs to be pruned. The dragon heart is easy to cut. With sufficient light, nutrition and temperature, the pitahaya forms buds over several weeks and blooms.

    Flowering occurs in the dark and only one night. In nature, flowers are pollinated by bats and insects, and at home, cross-pollination with a brush or cotton pad is necessary, although this may not be necessary, as many species are considered self-pollinating. If the pollination is successful, then the flower withers, and its base begins to swell.

    The fruit ripens from July to December. The heart of a dragon is an unpretentious plant, and its cultivation is a fascinating and rewarding activity, since this exotic fruit, along with a wonderful taste, also has a lot of useful properties .