Plant Care

Dragon Fruit Plant Care

All of our dragon fruit plants have been greenhouse grown. When you receive your plants, please be patient in acclimating them to their new environment. This means slowly transitioning them from shade to full sun. Please do not place them in a dark place, like a garage, they will shock! We recommend placing them in a partial shady protected area and moving them into full sun over a minimum of a two week period. Moving the plants into full sun too quickly can cause severe sun scald which will damage the overall plant health. 

Dragon fruit will not grow in cold climates, so make sure that the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent damage from occurring to the plant. For optimal growth, the temperature needs to be between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dragon fruit can be planted in large containers or in the ground as long as they are protected from frost and are planted in well-drained soil.

Dragon fruit soil should be sandy and slightly acidic, with a pH level between 6 and 7. In the absence of sandy soil, be sure to use a growing medium that is well draining if you are planting your dragon fruit in a container, as its roots dislike being water-logged. If you are using a commercial potting soil, make sure it's designed for growing cactus.

We recommend that you grow dragon fruit plants in full sun after acclimation, supported by a strong trellis system that can support the weight of the cactus. 

Dragon fruit are a tropical fruiting cactus with beautiful green succulent foliage and delicious fruit that range in colors of red, pink, white and yellow depending of the variety. 

Fertilizing in the early spring is essential to produce quality fruit, additional fertilizing can be applied as needed throughout the growing season. With proper water and fertilizing, these plants can produce fruit within 2-3 years of planting. It is vital to have a minimum of 5-6 feet of growth to ensure proper fruit production.

Dragon fruit require consistent watering during the active growing season but does not require much water during the winter. Avoiding overhead water will help to prevent disease or rot. 

Self-Fertile- It can use its own pollen to set fruit.

Self-Sterile - It needs cross pollination to set fruit, usually done by hand pollination from another variety.

Most varieties of dragon fruit require pollination to produce fruit, it is recommended to have more than one plant for pollination purposes. The blooms open at night are commonly pollenated by bats, moths and bees but most growers tend to hand pollenate for increase fruit production. Covering the fruit with netting will help to detour birds and other pests.  

These plants need to be pruned in the fall/winter to promote an open canopy and to promote new growth in the spring. 

The fruit that is produced is packed full of vitamins B, C and omega 3s! Dragon Fruit can be enjoyed fresh, in fruit salads, smoothies, made in to sorbets and even dried!

For more information about dragon fruit production check out this helpful video from the San Diego UC Agriculture Extension

How to train dragon fruit plants on a trellis:

 

How to hand pollinate Dragon fruit flowers:

 

 

 

Tomato Plant Care

All of our tomato plants have been greenhouse grown. When you receive your plants, please be patient in acclimating them to their new environment. This means slowly transitioning them from shade to full sun. Please do not place them in a dark place, like a garage, they will shock! We recommend placing them in a partial shady protected area and moving them into full sun over a minimum of 5 days. Moving the plants into full sun too quickly can cause severe sun scald which will damage the overall plant health. 

Always plant your tomatoes in full sun with well drained soil! Set the tomato plant deeper in the ground than it was grown in the pot, remove any leaves to be covered by soil, leave at least two sets of leaves on the plant.               

Establish stakes or cages in the soil at the time of planting. Staking keeps

developing fruit off the ground, while caging let’s the plant hold itself upright. Some sort of support system is recommended.

  •  Water generously for the first few days.
  •  Avoid overhead watering so leaves do not get wet to prevent pests and diseases
  •  Water well throughout growing season, about 2 inches per week during the summer. Keep watering consistent!
  •  Mulch five weeks after transplanting to retain moisture. Keep mulch at least 6 inches away from trunk of plant.
  •  Fertilize two weeks prior to first picking and again two weeks after first       picking. Avoid using manures or fertilizers high in nitrogen! If using stakes, prune plants by pinching off suckers so that only a couple stems are growing per stake.

Tomato Guide:

Determinate: “Bush” tomatoes with a generally compact growth habit that     produce fruit all at once, then die when finished.

Indeterminate : “Vining” tomatoes which continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the season until killed by frost.

   V : Verticillium resistant variety

   F : Fusarium resistant variety

   N : Nematode resistant variety

 

 

Vanilla Bean Orchid Plant Care                                                    

This novel orchid is a vining, tropical plant that produces the pod we all call a vanilla bean. It is not for the novice gardener but makes an excellent addition to the orchid hobbyist's collection.

  • Needs to be supported. In the wild it would attach itself to trees.
  • Give it bright indirect light.
  • Keep above 60 degrees. They prefer between 70-90 degrees.
  • Fertilize regularly with a 7-9-5 fertilizer with occasional leaching.
  • When watering, the support and orchid bark are watered so the air roots as well as the orchid bark have access to moisture. Generally, the orchid bark is allowed to dry a little between waterings to help avoid root diseases.
  • If needed repot in medium orchid bark.
  • Flowering is initiated by the vine reaching the top of its support & cascading down.
  • Flowers need to be hand pollenated to produce beans.