Hylocereus guatemalensis and Hylocereus undatus were crossed to make the Dark Star Dragon Fruit hybrid. This variety has big, purple-fleshed fruits that usually weigh between 340g and 680g. The fruit tastes a little bit like grapes and has a brix score of 19 on average. The skin of the fruit is more dark pink.
This variety can’t make fruit on its own, so it needs pollen from another variety that is compatible with it. According to more research, Dark Star is in fact the S9. Paul Thomson made the S-9 seedling, which is talked about in his book Pitahaya. The 9S is a cross between Rixford, which has purple flesh, and Niezel, which has white flesh.
The Dark Star (hylocereus guatemalensis x undetus hybrid) is known for growing quickly and easily. And, most importantly, the dark star grows quickly and can handle full sun better than other plants. But it doesn’t do well in cold weather, so keep that in mind. The “fins” on the Dark star are a lot longer than you might expect. The Dark star gives medium pitaya fruit that can weigh up to 600-680 grams. The dark star’s skin is a little bit dark pink, which is how it got its name. All dragon fruit plants, including this “tree”, like a little bit of shade on the ground. This is a great variety that should be in everyone’s top 10.
The gorgeous dragon fruit comes from a cactus that grows best in hot, humid, subtropical places. They won’t grow where it’s very cold, so make sure the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit to keep it from being hurt by the cold. Guard against hard freezes. Dragon cacti can be grown in pots or in the ground.
|Taste:||Sweet tangy which can be compared with a grape|
|USDA Hardiness Zone (°F):||9 (20 to 30 °F)|
|Time to fruit / flower / harvest:||2-3 years (after planting)|
|Pollination:||Self sterile (needs cross pollination to set fruit)|
|Skin color:||Red with dark tones, pink|
|Flesh color:||Magenta (bright pink with a deep purple flesh)|
|Preferred climate:||Tropical, Subtropical|
|Grown from:||Cutting, seeds|
|Max height (when in the ground with good conditions):||2-5 m|
|Suitability in pots:||Yes|
|Water requirements:||Drought hardy (little watering)|
|Is it a dwarf fruit tree:||Can be pruned to 2 m|
|Sun or shade:||50-80%|
|Preferred soil type:||Perfect drainage (sand / volcanic), good drainage|
|Soil pH:||Neutral (6.6-7.3pH)|
|Fruiting / harvest months:||February, March, April, May|
|Flavor:||5 out of 5|
|Appearance:||5 out of 5|
|Home planting:||3 out of 5|
|Commercial planting:||4 out of 5|
|Growth rate:||4 out of 5|
|Fruit production:||4 out of 5|
|Weather tolerance:||4 out of 5|
This fast-growing plant needs well-drained soil, full sun, and a strong trellis to support its weight. Don’t put plants in very large pots. Instead, gradually increase the size of the pots as the plants grow. During the growing season, you should use a complete fertilizer. Don’t give the plant too much water in the winter to keep it from dying.
Make sure not to water too much in the winter. This plant can’t make fruit on its own, so it needs another variety to flower in order to make fruit.
Dragonfruit can be added to fruit or vegetable salads, made into sorbet, eaten fresh as a snack, or mixed into yoghurts and smoothies. They have the right amounts of magnesium, fiber, iron, protein, vitamins C and E, and iron. They help prevent heart disease, boost the immune system, fight chronic diseases, improve digestion, and make blood healthier.
Depending on the weather, it can take between two and three years to fruit. Each year, the fruit will get bigger and there will be more of it.
TIPS: How to grow and care
- Placement: Put your climbing cactus where it will get full sun. If you have to put your plant somewhere with some shade, make sure the tips are always in the sun so it can bloom. The cactus is different from most other types of cactus in that it needs help to grow. So plant it next to a fence or trellis, or add something to help it grow. At least 2 meters should be left between each one.
- Size: This cactus grows to be between 2 and 5 meters tall, depending on the conditions. The flower can get as big as 30 centimeters long and 25 centimeters wide.
- Type of soil: Dragon fruit plants can grow in any soil that drains well. This keeps the soil from getting too wet and lets the roots grow more easily. If you can, try to find sandy soil with a pH between 6 and 7 (slightly acidic).
- Watering: Water your plant when you can feel that the top of the soil around it is dry. Water it until the soil is damp. If it doesn’t rain, twice a week should be enough.
- Mulch: Mulch helps keep weeds away, add nutrients to the soil, and keep water in the soil. Use 5–15 centimeters of organic mulch, but keep it 20–30 centimeters away from the plant itself so it doesn’t rot. Hay, wood chips, old leaves, and grass clippings are all great organic materials to use as mulch.
- Pruning: Make sure that only one stem grows. You can get rid of any others by making slanted cuts with a clean, sharp knife. If you don’t get rid of the scraps properly, they will quickly grow into weeds. You can also grow more dragonfruit from these pieces.
- Fertilizing: Give your pitahaya fertiliser every month during the growing season, which is during the warmer months. You can also feed them once in the spring and once after the plant is done making fruit. Then, stop giving the plant food in the winter. Dragon fruits do best with a fertilizer that dissolves in water, like a 20-20-20.
- Harvesting: From February to May, pitaya plants bear fruit. About 30 to 40 days after the first sign of fruit, pick fruits with red color. When you gently press on the flesh, it should give a little bit. If the fruit is soft or the stem is dry and shrunken, it is past its prime. They do keep getting riper even after being picked from the plant. So, if they are very firm when you pick them, wait a few days for them to soften.
H. guatemalensis and H. undatus are the parents of Dark Star Dragon Fruit. This variety has purple-fleshed fruits that are between medium and large in size and weigh between.75 and 1.5 pounds. The fruit has a mild flavor like grapes and a brix rating of 19 on average. The fruit’s skin is a darker shade of pink, which may have been how it got its name. This variety can’t make its own pollen, so it needs pollen from another variety to make fruit.