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Hi, I have a dragonfruit plant but sadly I only have one because the others died.

This dragonfruit plant was grown from seed but it stopped growing for a very long time; it is still 1 centimetre tall and it has grown something like a thick spike in between it’s 2 leaves but stopped growing.

It is always the same height(1cm)and the corner of the leaves have shriveled. I made a mini greenhouse but the dragonfruit plant still isn’t growing. Please help and tell me what to do. Thank you

(Note: the plant has not been growing for about 1 and half month but is still surviving)

Drought Smart Plants reply: well, it’s a step in the right direction that it’s still alive.

Dragonfruit is known by it’s botanical name as Hylocereus polyrhizus, and is related to Epiphyllum, the Orchid Cactus. These plants are a bit finicky in their requirements and are very light dependent to trigger the next stage of their development. This could be why your plant has stalled.

The spine is a noted characteristic, and make them hard to handle carelessly.

As a drought tolerant plant, these plants can’t survive being overwatered, so back off on the watering. Sometimes a summer outdoors leaving them to nature can help a lot – a shady area without really intense sun, and check on it occasionally for dryness. Water only when dry.

The greenhouse idea is a good one for some plants, but the reason that the leaves are drying up is possibly because it got too hot in there, and also is too humid.

Hopefully this will give you some ideas on how to look after this plant, and eventually, get some fruit!


See more about Dragonfruit on Dave’s Garden Website here.

Comments for dragonfruit growing problem

May 22, 2012
by: Anonymous

hi, thank you for the information. but what can i really do to make it survive and start growing and being healthy? and what can i do to make the dragonfruit leaves not to shrivel and make the spike in the middle between the two leaves start growing.
thank you

Drought Smart Plants reply: well, first of all, patience – as I’ve outlined in my previous reply, these plants are dependent on a certain length of daylight, so get a grow light to give it exactly 12 hours of light, and 12 hours of darkness. This might trigger a growth spurt.

The shriveling leaves can be either a sign of over watering, so stop watering so much. They can also mean that the roots are rotting, in which case, it might be game over, and you’ll have to start again with a new plant or seeds.

The spike won’t grow, they are just for protection from animals that want to eat the plant. They will grow additional spikes, but the existing one will stay the same.

Check the link I’ve posted on the original submission, that says See more about Dragonfruit on Dave’s Garden Website and you’ll find out more information about how to keep these plants happy.

Sorry I can’t give you any more instructions, but without seeing the plant, and doing a detailed study, there is a limit to the exact steps I can outline to take to keep your plant healthy.

Best of luck,