How do you grow Hylocereus? A 7-step guide for taking care of the dragon fruit plant

Written by Kristiyana Burdeva

How do you grow Hylocereus? Hylocereus, also known as the dragon fruit plant, is a unique and beautiful plant that can be found in tropical climates around the world.  Not only is it eye catching, but its fruit is also incredibly nutritious and healthy. In addition, growing the Hylocereus plant is relatively simple and rewarding. With some tips and advice, these plants can be easily grown indoors or outdoors. Follow our 7-step guide and learn how to properly take care of the dragon fruit plant!

How to Grow Hylocereus: The right pot

how to grow dragon fruit_how do you grow hylocereus


When you want to grow Hylocereus, first it is important to choose the right pot for the plant. The pot should be wide and deep, so that the roots can spread out and get enough air. A 5-gallon pot will do good here. Also make sure the pot has good drainage. This plant will get pretty tall, so it is better to decide on a pot from heavier material so that it doesn’t topple over. After you have stopped on a pot, place the cactus cutting to dry for a week in a spot with shade.

Picking out the perfect soil for the plant

The week has passed, and now it’s time to place your Hylocereus in a soil mix. What is the perfect soil for growing a Hylocereus? Well, the soil mix should be neutral to acidic. Don’t use soil for cacti as it does not have enough nutrients. Look for a well-draining soil mix that contains organic matter such as compost or peat moss. You can also add perlite, pumice, or coarse sand to improve the drainage. Do not use soil from outside, as it may contain weeds or diseases. Once you’ve stopped on a soil mix, place the Hylocereus cutting end 2 inches/ 5 cm deep in the soil at the centre of the pot.

How to Grow Hylocereus: Sunlight

When it comes to the right amount of sunlight for Hylorecreus, the plant prefers full sun to partial shade. These plants require a lot of sunlight to thrive. Place the potted cactus near a bright window, on a porch, or in a sunny spot outside. If you are growing them indoors, make sure to provide at least five hours of direct sunlight each day. If you are growing them outdoors, pick an area with full sun exposure.

Watering the dragon fruit cactus

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In the first two to four weeks of the growing period, mist your cactus cutting daily to ensure proper growth. When it starts growing, water when the top inch of the soil is dry. This usually means about once or twice a week, depending on the temperature and humidity levels. In cooler weather, water once a week. When watering, make sure to soak the soil, but don’t let the plant sit in standing water. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so be careful not to give it too much.

How to Grow Hylocereus: Fertilizer

Hylocereus should be fertilized with a balanced cactus fertilizer every two months during the first three years. After that, you can use fertilizer three to four times a year. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer according to the package instructions, as too much can burn the roots. During the winter months, you can reduce the frequency of fertilizing. Make sure you add enough compost around the base of the stem at least twice a year. The compost shouldn’t touch the stem. Also apply a layer of much around the plant.

Plant pruning and maintenance

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If you want your Hylocereus to grow in a certain shape and for it to be healthy, you will need to prune it regularly. Cut it back to a single stem, or a few thicker ones as the main vines. Make sure to thin out those side branches which are smaller, as the plant’s flowers and fruit will grow there. Pruning will improve the quality and size of the Hylocereus’s fruit.

How to Grow Hylocereus: Repotting

When is the right time to repot your dragon fruit plant? Hylocereus plants need to be repotted once every one to two years to refresh their nutrients. The process becomes necessary when the cactus appears to be root-bound. As its roots are small and hairy, you will have to be extra cautions when repotting, so you don’t damage them. Go with a pot that is one to two inches/2.54 – 5 cm wider in diameter to the previous one. Make sure that it is one with drainage holes. If you want to skip on the repeated repotting, place the Hylocerus in a 25- to 30-gallon container, 20 to 24 inches/ 0.61 m deep.

In conclusion, growing Hylocereus can be a great way to add some unique and interesting flavour to your garden and home. With its wide variety of colours, shapes, and sizes, Hylocereus is sure to bring plenty of joy to any gardener. As long as you keep the soil well drained, provide enough sunlight and water, you’ll have a thriving plant in no time. And if you by any chance are interested in growing another exotic and beautiful plant of the cacti family, here is a guide on how to take care of a spiral cactus! Have fun!

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