Pitahaya or pitahaya is the fruit of several varieties of cactus. Feeding usually refers to the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya (or dragon fruit) refers to fruits from the genus Hylocereus. How to grow it at home from seeds can be found on this page. It also offers a description of the culture and its requirements for environmental conditions for successful development, flowering and fruiting. Look at the photo of Pitahaya - this magnificent plant can decorate any interior.
Pitahaya is better known as dragon fruit - the name she takes from Asian countries: Indonesia - buah naga (dragon fruit), Khamers in Thailand - sror kaa neak (from dragon scales), Taiwan - kaeo mangkon (dragon crystal), Laos - maak manggohn Vietnam - thanh long (green dragon) and China - huǒ lóng guǒ (fruit of pearl dragon). There are other colloquial names: strawberry pear, or fruit nanetik, for example, (another kind of pear).
Cactus and plant Pitahaya: photos and description
The pitahaya cactus was originally from Mexico, but was later transplanted into Central America and other parts of the world. This plant is grown in East Asia, South and Southeast Asia, in countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh. More recently, they have also been found in Okinawa, Hawaii, Israel, Northern Australia, South China and Cyprus. The following description will provide a general overview of culture. You can also see a variety of photos of pitahaya that illustrate the appearance of the plant:
For the first time in a wide circulation fruit was introduced by Europeans, most likely, who brought it from the New World. In the case of Taiwan, the fruit was brought by the Dutch.
Pitahaya grows and blooms only at night: it has large white fragrant flowers of typical form for cactus flowers. It is also grown as an ornamental plant - used in gardens as a flowering vine, and as an indoor houseplant.
The plant can bloom three to six times a year, depending on growing conditions.
High air temperature and a sufficient degree of moisture saturation are required. It is advisable in the conditions of a harsh climate to conduct lightening for about 5 hours per day. Fitolamps are used for this.
How to eat fruit pitahaya
Sour nourishing is one of the varieties of this fruit. It is usually consumed in arid regions of North and South America. How to eat fruit pitahaya - tell you a little further, but for now let's focus on the beneficial properties. Eating pitahaya reduces the level of glucose in the body, which makes the fruit one of the few available for people with diabetes. Numerous trials have also confirmed the beneficial effects of the fruit on the mid-vascular and endocrine systems.
The pulp of the fruit is easily digested, so it can be taken during intestinal and stomach disorders: the intestines return to normal, and bloating disappears.
There is tannin in the seeds of the fruit, which is useful for people with poor eyesight.
It is more sour, but at the same time refreshing, its flesh is juicier with a richer flavor. Sour feeding in some deserts is an important source of nutrition for the indigenous population.
Dragon fruit bears fruit after 30-50 days of flowering, like other trees, and can produce 5-6 yields per year. There are several farms in Taiwan that produce 30 tons of fruit per hectare annually.
Abundant intake of the red flesh of a dragon fruit can lead to a harmless colouration of urine or feces in red.
To prepare pitahaya for consumption, you must first cut the fruit to expose the flesh. The texture of the fruit is sometimes compared to kiwi, because of its black crisp seeds. The flesh, which is eaten raw, slightly sweet, and importantly - low-calorie. The seeds are eaten with the pulp - they resemble the taste of nuts and are rich in lipids, but are poorly absorbed by the body if they are not chewed. Peel is not eaten.
Fruits are often turned into wine or juice, or used to add flavor to other beverages. Flowers can also be eaten or used as tea if insisted for some time.
How to grow Pitahaya from seeds at home
To buy cuttings in stores is quite difficult due to the fact that the plant is quite rare. Therefore, other methods of breeding cactus are used. Before you grow Pitahaya from seeds at home should take care of planting material. After thoroughly cleaning the seeds from the pulp of the fruit, they are stored until completely dry. Ideally, the fruit should be clean, blameless and overripe. Seeds grow well in compost or potting.
Pytahaya cactus usually germinate after two weeks of shallow planting. Like other cacti, the problem of over-watering is a major concern for gardeners. When the plant continues to grow, it will take some kind of support for the climbing plant to rise. For example, you can put aerial roots down the branches in addition to the basal roots. As soon as the plant reaches 4 a kilogram of weight, it begins to bloom.
As we have said, pitahaya begins to bloom at night, and by the morning it fades. They rely on nocturnal pollinators such as bats and butterflies for fertilization. Self-fertilization not in all species produces fruit, while crossing results in self-gratifying cross-pollinated varieties. In the second species, as a rule, the fruit set and their quality increase.
Like other cacti, if a healthy piece of the stem is torn, it can take root in the soil and becomes an independent shrub.
The plant can withstand temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius and very short periods of frost, but will not last long under negative temperature. Excessive watering or heavy rainfall can cause rotting of fruits and flowers.