Just as we were all very happy to have a dragon fruit growing for the very first time, disaster happened. The stem with the baby fruit was broken off. How did it happen? Not very sure, it could be the possum climbed on it last night. We have few possums in the back yard. The plant itself actually is not very healthy with many parts rotted every winter time. Perhaps the stem joint was not strong enough and it snapped broken.
It was a big surprise that our Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus sp.) has finally had one flower bud. The bud grew very fast and very large. Just before it opened last night, the swollen flower bud was around 40 cm long (including the stem). It was twice the size of the biggest Epiphyllum flowers that we have.
Beberapa hari yang lalu saya memeriksa tanaman Buah Naga (Dragon Fruit – Hylocereus undatus/putih atau H. polyrhizus/merah) dengan maksud akan melepaskannya dari tiang tempatnya merambat. Tanaman ini dibeli awal tahun 2012 dan setiap musim dingin mengalami pembusukan, jadi tak begitu sehat dan belum pernah berbunga sebelumnya. Rupanya jenis yang kami punya tidak tahan hawa dingin. Tanaman buah naga ini tak bisa dipindahkan karena diikat/dirambatkan pada tiang. Maksud hati ingin melepaskannya dan memotong bagian yang terlihat hijau dan sehat untuk ditanam kembali serta ditempatkan di lokasi yang lebih ternaung. Eh…. kaget juga, ternyata ada satu kuncup bunga yang mampu tumbuh. Waktu pertama kali melihat kuncup bunga itu masih belum kelihatannya tangkainya, beberapa hari kemudian kuncup semakin tumbuh besar memanjang dan mulai terlihat tangkai bunganya.
First of all, thank you WordPress for the Annual Report. This time is very different and I love to see the firework display to represent each blog that I made in 2013.
From December to February is summer time in Australia. So far, here in Melbourne this summer has been very mild with only about four hot days above 35 deg. C. Today is sunny 20 deg. C.
I just trimmed some of the plants in the back yard; Diosmas (Coleonema pulchrum) and Murraya paniculata. So far we have had enough rainfalls to make plants grow green and luscious. The pink angel-wing/cane Begonia (Begonia coccinea) is flowering nicely.
I saw the dragon fruit plants for sale in the plant nursery along Police Rd. I thought it would be nice to have one of these plants as 2012 is dragon year:). The big ones were too expensive, so I bought the small one. The seller said it was suitable to Melbourne climate. The fruit will be white inside with tiny black seeds.
Actually I never taste dragon fruits, but it doesn’t matter. I just want to add the plant to my cactus collections. Hylocereus undatus, the Latin name for Dragon fruit cactus and the other name is pataya. I read somewhere that the plant originally grow wild around central America. Later on the cultivations of the plant for fruit production are popular in Vietnam and Hawaii.
Hylocereus undatus is still related to epyphyllum. While epyphyllums have flat stems, Hylocereus stems are three sided. The plant will grow quite large with climbing and sprawling habit, and it needs strong support. The large flowers are white with beautiful fragrant and only bloom one night. For this reason, hand polination is needed to make sure the blooms will produce fruits.
Update July 6, 2014:
Last year (2013), the cold and wet winter damaged the plant. The base and some of the branches were soft and rotted, I was afraid that it was not going to make it. The main stem that support the whole plant is now kind of hollow. Amazingly it recovered and now it has grown quite high, more than 2 meters tall with many new stems on the top. I put a large garden umbrella to protect it from too much rain, wind and cold weather this winter. Hopefully it will grow flowers in Spring.