How to Grow Thai Dragon Fruit


Thai dragon fruit is produced by an exotic type of cactus called Pitaya. Though native to Central and South America, it grows well in the warm climates of Thailand and Vietnam. Pitaya cactus produces fragrant, white flowers that only bloom at night. Blooms turn into green fruits that are ready to be picked once they turn a deep pink color. A mature plant can produce these dramatic-looking fruits up to six times a year.

Step 1

Plant Thai dragon fruit in an area with well-draining soil and full to partial sun. In general, the more direct sunlight your plant receives the more blooms and fruit it will produce. Pitaya cactus will sprout from tiny black seeds housed in its fruit or can be planted directly into the ground as a cutting.

Step 2

Provide vertical support for your Pitaya cactus by anchoring a wooden or metal stake in the ground near the base of the plant. Or, plant Thai dragon fruit near a wall or garden trellis for support.

Step 3

Add a 1- to 2-inch layer of compost or manure in early spring and autumn. Spread the fertilizer around the base of the plant, taking care not to touch the stem.

Step 4

Spread a 2- to 6-inch layer of bark or wood chips around the base of your plant to retain soil moisture and reduce weeds. Leave a 12-inch radius around the base of the stem.

Step 5

Soak the soil around the base of the plant thoroughly once every two weeks. Allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry between waterings.

Step 6

Prune off dead, dying or diseased branches throughout the year to increase air circulation and manage plant size. Cut back branches that reach the ground.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never touch the stems with lawn mowing or weed-eating equipment as this can damage your plant. Wear thick gloves when harvesting Thai dragon fruit to avoid cuts from thorns.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden or metal stake
  • Compost or manure
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears


  • University of Florida: Pitaya
  • Eschertile: Growing Dragon Fruit From Vine Cuttings
  • Foodly Wise: Growing Dragon Fruit
Keywords: Thai dragon fruit, pitaya fruit, pitaya cactus

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.