If you are like me and want to grow your own Dragon Fruit then getting the seeds is the first step. You can also grow the Dragon Fruit plants from cuttings, however, that is another post and video. So how do you get the Dragon Fruit seeds?
You can get Dragon Fruit seeds by cutting open a fresh fruit and then spooning some of the flesh into a sieve. Holding the sieve over a container squeeze the flesh through the sieve with a spoon, then place the sieve under running water. The tiny black Dragon Fruit seeds are left remaining in the sieve for you to use or grow.
The reason why I wanted to grow my Dragon Fruit from seeds is that the cuttings we bought were totally infected with a fungus and so we had to destroy them. Unfortunately, we paid a lot for the cuttings as we were setting up a Dragon Fruit farm with friends. With over 1200 cuttings we needed to find a way to replace them all.
When growing Dragon fruit from cuttings you save a lot of time before harvesting. A cutting may begin bearing fruit within six to 12 months whereas seeds can take anywhere from 2 years or more to begin bearing fruit.
Advantages of Growing Dragon Fruit From Seeds
However, there are some advantages of growing Dragon Fruit from seeds. One is that you know which variety of Dragon fruit you are growing as you can actually see the fruit that you extracted the seeds from. With cuttings, you are at the mercy of the person who sold you the cuttings that they are honest in disclosing the colour and species of dragon fruit they are giving you.
Another advantage of growing the Pitaya fruit from seeds is that you will certainly know that they have not been exposed to a fungus or infection. Even a good cutting from an infected plant will carry the infection and spread it to all your other healthy plants. The fungus infection is very very very difficult to get rid of and can damage your whole crop and plantation. The only way to get rid of it is to burn the infected plants.
A further advantage to growing Dragon fruit from seeds is that within each Fruit there are literally hundreds if not thousands of little seeds. So each piece of fruit has the potential to produce possibly thousands of new dragon fruit plants. That’s very cost-effective considering a fruit costs only $6 where I come from.
So, growing your Dragon fruit from seeds can be advantageous at times. Please check our further posts on suggestions to get rid of Dragon Fruit infections and fungus and how to grow dragon fruit.
Two Easy Methods To Get Dragon Fruit Seeds
Below we have a step by step process of getting the seeds along with a video. The first way is a slower way but easy if you don’t have an appropriate sieve.
There are literally hundreds or thousands of seeds within one dragon fruit. So extracting them is not too hard.
- First you will need a fresh ripe dragon fruit, a spoon and a plate.
- Cut open the dragon fruit and spoon out some of the flesh onto a plate. Press the fruit with the spoon and as you do this the flesh and seeds will start to separate. Then carefully use the spoon to put the seeds to the side of the plate.
This is actually a slow method but with a bit of patience you can still get a few hundred seeds within an hour or so.
The second way is a lot faster but requires that you have a sieve with holes that are large enough to press the flesh through but small enough so that the small seeds cannot pass through. We tried a few different sieves and found that bigger sieves (bigger holes) are way better than a very fine-meshed sieve.
- Cut open the dragon fruit and spoon some of the flesh into the sieve.
- Holding the sieve under some running water begin pressing the flesh through the sieve with the back of the spoon. You will find that the running water helps to separate the flesh from the seeds. If the sieve is too fine then the flesh won’t go through, so remember to use a sieve with larger holes.
A faster way we found is to just press the flesh with your finger through a kitchen sieve. Then run the sieve under some water to clean the seeds.
The seeds should be placed on a plate and left to dry for around a week. Any flesh that has remained on the seed will dry and crumble away from the seed. Once dry they can be stored in an envelope in a cool dry place until you are ready to grow them.
In another post, we will look at how to grow the Dragon fruit from these seeds. It does take a little work and knowledge to grow them but worth the effort. I always thought they were so hardy being a cactus but they need a fair amount of attention and pruning as you will find out.
However, the effort is well worth it as a mature plant can bear fruit up to four to six cycles every year for twenty to thirty years. That’s a lot of dragon fruit!
When growing from seeds its important to know what variety you are growing.
You are pretty safe if you bought your fruit from the local store as its probably going to be a commercially viable species and a very good tasting variety due to market demand.
If you are unsure what the variety is and the local store is unable to help you identify the species then there are some private dragon fruit Facebook Groups that have members that can help you identify your particular species and variety.
Preparing Dragon Fruit Seeds for Growing
There are a couple of options you have before you to prepare your dragon fruit seeds for growing. The first way, if you have no potting mix or cactus mix and you want to get started right away is to put some of the seeds into water and allow them to sprout.
You will need to put the Dragon Fruit seeds into an area where there is some light but not direct sunlight, and where the room or area is warm. It usually doesn’t take too long for them to sprout. You can expect sprouts ready to be transplanted into some soil within about 7 days.
Don’t overcrowd too many sprouts into small pots for growing as they will possibly die. They need plenty of space and room for their root systems to grow. Even doing this you may still have to transplant them to bigger pots as they get bigger and outgrow the original pots.
The second way to prepare the dragon fruit seeds for growing is to buy some cactus potting mix. Place the potting mix into some pots and then just place the seeds slightly under the surface. Don’t plant them too deep as they will end up rotting and dying. Make sure you water them and the pot has holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain so that the seeds and root system doesn’t rot.
Place the pots in an area or space where there is some light but not direct sunlight and also where they are warm. Little sprouts should start appearing within a week or two but sometimes can take 4 to 8 weeks.
If you are not interested in planting the seeds you might like to eat them. They are high in many good fatty acids and a source also of protein, like so many nuts and seeds. We have a post and video on How To Eat Dragon Fruit if you are interested in this option. Of course, I think that growing them is a better option and a lot more fun. Especially when you get to have dragon fruit right in your backyard and enjoy the fruit whenever you like.
Lastly, if you are looking at growing your own Dragon fruit then remember that they do need some fertilizer. I have found that chicken or pig manure dug in once a year seems to be sufficient for my dragon fruit. Cactus potting mix is also important as the roots need good drainage otherwise rot will set it. They also need plenty of watering, even though they are a cactus.
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