Propagating Pitaya (Aka Dragon Fruit)

This week in the nursery, there were many clients coming by, purchasing all kinds of edible plants and fruit trees, it was really busy. The Pitaya (either Hylocereus costaricensis, or Hylocereus polyrhizus? were getting quite overgrown, stretching out their arms and crowding the other plants, some arms even set roots down in other pots. Before these keiki were to be sold, I was given the project of pruning back the Pitaya and using the cuttings for further propagation. Here’s how it went:

I began by carefully pruning the over grown tips of the Pitaya, being extremely cautious not to touch the thorny nodes of this amazing little cactus. The tips make great cuttings and are easily propagated.

Here are the spiny overgrown arms that I pruned off of the Pitaya in the nursery. These will make a several 6 inch cuttings for new plants.

I used 1 gallon square pots to start off these little keiki.

I made sure not to plant the 6 inch cuttings in the potting soil too deep or too shallow, just enough for them to stand up on their own.

It’s amazing how many new keiki can be produced from just a single overgrown plant, not to mention I pruned around 25.

Having this wagon, it is easy to move forty 1 gallon pots of Pitaya at a time to their temporary home on the nursery table.

Each pot is mulched to suppress weeds, absorb moisture to prevent evaporation of the soil, thus less water is needed, as well as a time release fertilizer, harboring beneficial microorganisms like Fungi. The mulch I used here is the product of sifting larger wood chips, in order to produce smaller sized organic matter. This is a much easier to fit into small pots instead of using the large unsifted wood chips.

Me watering about 130 freshly propagated and mulched Pitaya keiki.

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