Dragon fruit cactus, also known as pitaya, is a vining cactus with long, flattened leaves and brilliantly colored fruits that develop after the plant flowers. If there are no flowers on dragon fruit cactus or your pitaya won’t bloom, it may because you’re treating this tropical plant like a desert cactus.
Reasons for Dragon Fruit not Blooming
When flowers won’t form on pitaya, the plant’s care and environment may need a bit of tweaking. The following tips on caring for pitaya may help.
If your pitaya won’t bloom, try moving the plant into a warmer or more sheltered environment. If the temperature drops below 65 degrees F. (18 C.), conditions may be too chilly. Some experts prefer to grow dragon fruit cactus in a greenhouse.
Lack of sunlight may be responsible for a dragon fruit cactus not blooming, as the plant flowers when the days are long. Ensure the plant is in full sunlight. If necessary, shine a spotlight or a bright outdoor light on the plant for a couple of hours every night.
In its natural environment, dragon fruit cactus grows up jungle trees. Provide a sturdy trellis for your pitaya, then remove lower stems below the point where the plant reaches the trellis. This way the plant can focus its energy into producing blooms instead of growing unnecessary stems.
Regularly trim any dead or damaged growth. Otherwise, your plant will expend tremendous energy attempting to repair the damage.
Let your plant dry out a bit from late spring to early summer. While pitaya likes plenty of moisture, a period of dryness may help trigger blooming. However, never let the soil become bone dry.
In its natural environment pitaya grows in old leaves and other organic matter. Feed your plant an organic fertilizer. If necessary, amend the soil with compost or mulch. You can also pile dry leaves, compost, or organic material around the base of the plant a couple of times every year.
When Does a Dragon Fruit Bloom?
This unique jungle plant typically blooms from early summer through mid-autumn. Dragon fruit cactus is a night blooming plant and the flowers last only one evening.
If you want to see the spectacular display, head out with a flashlight in the dark of night, or visit your garden very early in the morning. If you sleep in, you’ll miss it.
When flowers won’t bloom on pitaya, it may simply be because the plant is still immature. Most dragon fruit plants won’t bloom for at least a couple of years.