Dragon fruit - Pitaya

This page has information for people who grow, or want to grow, dragon fruit in the Northern Territory (NT).

General information

Dragon fruit is a tropical cactus originally from the rainforests of Central and Northern South America. 

It is now grown commercially in Australia, including in the NT.

There are two different species, H. undatus which has white flesh and H. polyrhizus which has red flesh. They are both grown in the NT.

There are no proper varieties but there are many clones.

Grower advice

Dragon fruit require a trellis or wall for support. Plants are drought and heat tolerant and require well-drained soil beds.

For detailed grower instructions read the dragon fruit Agnote (88.0 kb).

Read about packing systems for pitaya (354.8 kb)

Pest and disease management

Dragon fruit is susceptible to a range of pests such as meat ants, ginger ants, mealy bugs, fruit flies, nematodes, rats and birds. Watery rot can occur after injury or sunburn.

Plants need netting to prevent bird damage to fruit.

Insect pests

Visit the Northern Territory Insects Database to identify an insect pest and the damage it can cause.

General information

For general horticulture advice and information read general advice for fruit and vegetable growers.

Industry associations

For information about the industry visit the Tropical Exotic Fruit Australia or NT Farmers websites.

Last updated: 13 October 2017