Carson High Senior Project – Kyla’s Dragon Fruit
My name is Kyla and for the past 2 years, I have been growing tropical fruit plants at The Greenhouse Project in the greenhouse. It all started with Mr. Cactus(despite the nickname, it is technically a he and a she). Mr. Cactus is a Dragon Fruit Cactus, the tropical cactus responsible for the delectable, exotic, pink, egg-looking dragon fruit. Dragon Fruit Cacti(DFC for short) are native to South America, but have been cultivated across the world in warm countries like Thailand, the biggest commercial producer of dragon fruit.
Dragon Fruit is an epiphytic plant, meaning it climbs on other plants in the wild and absorbs nutrients and water with its stems and aerial roots. DFC are really easy to grow when given adequate temperatures and watering, but cannot survive our climate. That is why Mr. Cactus currently resides in the back of the greenhouse at The Greenhouse Project. With stabilized temperatures and humidity in addition to top notch nutrients and plenty of space, Mr. Cactus has been capable of incredible growth with quite minimal care. Mr. Cactus came from a cutting only 12″ long, to being 6 feet high, and 7 feet wide in less than just 2 years.
This summer he has gifted everyone at The Greenhouse Project with magnificent large blooms; the blooms last but one night, however, he shows no signs of stopping his show of blooms. Unfortunately, he needs a Ms. Cactus to produce fruit, but his blooms are beautiful while they last. Mr. Cactus is always a conversation starter and a sight to behold in the greenhouse!