The pitaya (Hylocereus spp.), also called dragon fruit, strawberry pear or night blooming cereus, is a tropical tree that produces fleshy berry fruits with red or yellow, scaly peels. Pitayas are propagated by either seed or stem cuttings. Propagation by cuttings is more effective because seeds won’t grow a plant that’s true to the parent’s characteristics. Also, pitayas propagated from seed can take up to seven years to produce fruits, while those grown from cuttings can bear fruit in as little as six to nine months after planting.
Select stems on the pitaya that are at least 6 inches long and contain at least one or two healthy buds. Make a cut at a slant (45-degree angle) at the base of the stem.
Dust the cutting with an all-purpose plant fungicide. Place the pitaya cutting in a dry, shaded spot and allow it to dry out and heal over, or “cure,” for about one week.
Dip the severed end of the cured cutting into a rooting hormone powder. Fill a 6-inch-wide planter pot that has drainage holes in the bottom with a fast-draining potting mix and insert the severed end of the pitaya cutting into the potting mix just deep enough so that it can stand upright on its own.
Place the pot with the pitaya cutting in a warm spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Maintain air temperatures around the cutting of 65 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and water the cutting once every two or three days to keep the potting mix evenly moistened.