Thursday, 3 June 2010

Growing Dragon Fruit (Pitaya) in Brunei

After planting a whole row of dragon fruit plants for a year, they are finally bearing more fruits. During my last blog post on dragon fruit, our garden had only produced one fruit!

While waiting for my pot of stew to simmer, I grabbed my camera to check on the latest status of our dragon fruit plants. My father had explained about the life cycle of the dragon fruit plant. It was interesting to see his explanations of the fruiting process in the various parts of the plant.

The dragon fruit starts by growing a bud at one of its cactus-like branches/vines. The bud will eventually developed into a flower with a stalk attached to the branch. The flower matures, wilts and falls off, leaving behind the stalk which would thicken and swell. Eventually, its green skin would turn into the pinkish purple which we see in a ripe dragon fruit.

And, I noticed that insects seemed to like to cling on the branches near a ripening dragon fruit. The last I saw, it was a huge black bee and this time, it was a small little garden snail.

My father tending to his garden. There are two green dragon fruit (middle and right) and a bud (left) in this picture.

This is a bud waiting to blossom into a pretty white flower.

Another bud growing on a vertical branch.

Unfortunately, this picture was taken right after the rain. So, I didn't get a picture of the white dragon flower in a nice bloom. Ants were found congregated around the sepals of the flower.

Another picture of the same flower from a different angle. Notice the long thorny-looking flower stalk.

Soggy white dragon fruit flower

Remains of the long, thorny-looking flower stalk that has swelled into a growing dragon fruit. Notice the top of the broken "tube" which was once connected to the flower.

A picture of another young dragon fruit

The colour of the swollen stalk now turned into a pinkish purple, showing a dragon fruit almost ripe.

A companion of the fruit, a garden snail

The snail was first seen crawling its way towards the fruit

What was also interesting is that each of the dragon fruit plants that were initially grown separately are now joined together like a one whole plant now. My dad didn't want the branches to fall on the ground and had intertwined the branches of one plant with the other. So, you can see these branch connectors.

Our dragon fruit plants have taken up a little space in front of the garden, right along the fence.

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