How to Train Your Dragon(fruit)

With the rainy season upon us, you might think a cactus would be the last thing we at the Tropical Homestead would be thinking of. Well, you’d be wrong. So very, very wrong. Behold the wild force of nature that is the dragonfruit.

Dragonfruit Plant

 

 

 

 

 

This spindly little creature creates the most wonderous night-blooming blossoms.
blossom
 

 

 

 

 

And then it creates and even more wonderous fruit.

Fruit

 

 

 

 

 

After seeing this most unique fruit, you know there can be no more wonderous surprises from this humble cactus. Somehow. Someway. There is yet still more wonder!

Cut fruit
 

 

 

 

 

Slice open the fruit and trumpets sound, the clouds split away from the sun and the chorus bursts into song. The juicy magenta flesh and jet black seeds defy all logic of the natural world, but there it is.

 I won’t even tell you how it tastes because you will wrent your clothes from your body in a fit of mad jealousy, and I know that’s your last clean shirt. I will only say it’s a little like a kiwi but a gazillion times better. I’ve said too much.

But alas, every rose has its thorn and every dragonfruit has its barbs (and an innate desire to climb up your home’s walls and invade its attic space). It also has hydra-like tendencies; every time you lop off a limb, three come in its place, and the one that falls to the ground grows two more. So it needed a home of its own.

dragonfruit 007

Clay built this simple yet elegant trellis out of cedar and added a drip pipe to the bottom rail for irrigation. Then he planted our dragon and all its little babies in a mix of compost, manure and our sandy soil.

 

 

Now our dragon can grow to epic proportions in a more civilized manner.trellis

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