A funny-looking cactus, with a climbing or creeping habit!
Common name : Pitahaya
Scientific name : Hylocereus undatus
Family : Cactaceae
Category : Indoor
Type of plant : Perennial
Hylocereus undatus - the white-fleshed pitahaya - is a species of Cactaceae, used both as an ornamental vine- climbing on rocks or trees by use of aerial roots and able to a height 10 meters - and as a fruit crop : the pitahaya or dragon fruit. It is not hardy below -2°C.
Sowing & planting
30 - 600
6.5 - 7
Identify my pitahaya
In its native environment, Hylocereus undatus is a cactus composed of many very prominent three-sided stems, measuring 6 to 12 meters in height - in our colder regions, it should be potted. It uses its aerial roots to cling to the trees, so it's a climbing cactus ...!
It has a white nocturnal bloom that smells of vanilla, and a very popular fruit, pitaya, pitahaya (taïno "scaly fruit"), or "dragon fruit", with pink skin covered with foliaceous scales and white flesh filled with small black seeds.
Plant my pitahaya
Plant your cacti in a light, porous and well-drained substrate to prevent water from stagnating around the roots - enriched with sand, it's a great idea! Cacti need as much light as possible.
In pots inside, place them in front of the windows so that they are beautiful even in winter.
In winter, they will prefer a cool room. In summer, do not hesitate to take them out if the conditions are favorable.
Water my pitahaya
The pitahaya - like most cacti - supports irregular watering, and hates stagnant water, especially in heavy soil.
The watering rate varies according to the season, because your cactus "evaporates" more when it receives a lot of light
For the potted plants, a watering every 10 days can be necessary in growing season, once a month in winter and nothing if it's in open soil! Sprinkle gently, and if you see water in the cup, empty it at the end of watering.
Fertilize my pitahaya
Cactuses can live or survive with very little nutrients! But if you want beautiful vigorous plants, a supply of fertilizer can help.
Use a liquid fertilizer, geranium or tomato fertilizer is just fine. The special fertilizer for cacti is almost identical, but more expensive! Fertilize on every other watering during the growing season.
Repot my pitahaya
Repot at the beginning of the beautiful days, at the end your cacti's winter rest, right before they resume their growth. This allows them to recover from the inconvenience, and to be ready for a new year.
If you missed the moment, it's not very a big problem, you can do it all year!
Repot your cacti every 3 or 4 years with potting soil mixed with a lot of sand. Know that the growth is related to the frequency of repotting: a cactus never repotted will stop growing!
When repotting, remove the old soil and dead roots as much as possible, while being careful not to damage the larger ones, which are alive.
To facilitate drainage, place a layer of coarse sand in the bottom of the pot, or even pebbles for large plants.
Once the repotting is complete, wait one to two weeks to resume watering, so that the damaged roots heal. Otherwise, there is a risk of rottening the plant.
Check on my pitahaya
The number one enemy of cacti and succulents is decay due to too much humidity! Do not forget to be reasonable with watering, and especially to give your cactus a well draining substratum!
Other fungal diseases can happen, especially botrytis. Do not hesitate to prune the sick parts of the plant to prevent the spread of the disease. Mealybugs and other mites are particularly fond of succulents. Sprays with soapy water will get rid of a large part of them.
Do not forget to disinfect your equipment regularly (pots, pruning shears, ...) to avoid contaminations.
Shelter my pitahaya
Place your pitaya inside long before the first cool nights, in a room not too heated so that it "feels" the winter period: a cold around 5 to 10 ° C at night without artificial light! You should water once a month in winter.
Put outside my pitahaya
Do not hesitate to take out your pitahaya for the summer!
If it has spent the winter in the shade, just avoid placing it directly in full sun, acclimate it gradually ...
Propagate my pitahaya
Cacti are easy to propagate by cuttings. Cut a piece cleanly and let it dry a few weeks before planting it in open soil and you're done!
Choose a stem that is quite tender, neither too old nor too young and without any trace of disease.
Leave the cutting outdoors, in a warm place, for a few days to dry. Then put it in a terracotta pot, with a very light mixture composed of a third of potting soil or peat and two thirds of sand. Water and then place the pot in a mini-greenhouse, at a temperature of 15 to 18 ° C, in a well-lit place, warm and moist.