Hylocereus Species, Dragon Fruit, Strawberry Pear, Night Blooming Cereus, Queen of the Night

Hylocereus undatus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hylocereus (hy-loh-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: undatus (un-DAY-tus) (Info)
Synonym:Cereus undatus
Synonym:Hylocereus tricostatus
Synonym:Cereus tricostatus
» View all varieties of Orchid Cactus


Vines and Climbers

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (yellow-green)

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Brentwood, California

Clayton, California

Cypress, California

El Macero, California

El Segundo, California

Fontana, California

Garden Grove, California

Hayward, California

Laguna Niguel, California

Long Beach, California

Pacific Palisades, California

San Diego, California

Spring Valley, California

Upland, California

Vacaville, California

Ventura, California

Woodcrest, California

Stamford, Connecticut

Boca Raton, Florida

Captiva, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

Jupiter, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Sarasota, Florida(2 reports)

Kahului, Hawaii


Wailuku, Hawaii

Kansas City, Kansas

Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi

Gautier, Mississippi

Long Beach, Mississippi

Lucedale, Mississippi

Pine Bush, New York

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Baytown, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Geronimo, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Spring Branch, Texas

Utopia, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 4, 2015, jojogarden from Lakeland, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

My dragon fruit showed three blooms about a week ago, and it opened it's first bloom tonight! Gorgeous. I don't know which specific plant I have yet, until the fruit ripens and I can compare all the details to the descriptions I have read here.

I received 1 long segment from my daughter 2-3 years ago and it has been potted since. I haven't trimmed or fertilized at all; I keep it in bright sunshine and let Mother Nature water it (unless we go several weeks with no appreciable rain, then I water).


On Jul 4, 2015, Mark_B from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

This plant requires full sun, but will tolerate bright shade. It loves summer humidity. I fertilize every other week with 15-30-15 liquid fertilizer during the warm months to help form flowers and fruits. It also likes fish-based liquid fertilizer to help it grow. Don't let the soil become dry for long. The soil should be fast-draining, with at least half of it being pumice or similar substate. The flower opens at night, for only one night. If you want fruits, but don't have moths that pollinate the flowers, use a small 1/8" paintbrush to apply pollen. The fruits are nearly identical to those from Cereus Peruvianus and Cereus Hildmannianus. The fruits will be ready to pick, when they are about to burst open.


On Jun 24, 2013, minpin3165 from Port Charlotte, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have plants that are very similar. I love the beautiful blooms at night and it attracts beautiful nightime pollinators....ie bats, moths.


On Mar 24, 2012, eliasastro from Athens,
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant gets so unbelievably huge that it can be annoying.
In a pot it can be more controlled, but flowers are few and fruits rare.
Epiphyllum oxypetalum may not have interesting fruit, but it's far more delicate as a plant. Also, it blooms better in a pot.


On Apr 13, 2011, Noel37_ from Brisbane,
Australia wrote:

I have been growing hylocereus undatus for 40 years and its has been in the last 3 years that it has fruited with 5 x 4 inch red fruits & flesh white with small black seeds and I believe that this plant does not set fruit without another variety growing nearby and this is now the case as we have many asian immigrants growing many cactus cultivers near my residence in the last 3 years and they grow theirs on an upright 5ft post with 2 cross bars 4ft long flat on top and their plants are red or yellow fruiting. The fruits ripen in about 9 weeks after the night blooming flowers are pollinated by hawk moths or flying fox`s also named fruit bats.The fruits sell here in Australia for $4 each.


On Sep 29, 2009, formula350 from Kansas City, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

I inherieted this plant when my mother-in-law died about 5 years ago. I re-potted it 4 years ago because it was very root bound. It did not bloom for 3 years. But now it is getting big enough for the pot and is blooming it's head off!! I had never seen another plant like it. I'm so glad to see that others are enjoying this very strange plant. I wish the smell of the blooms could be bottled, if you have never smelled one blooming, it's very hard to explain other than ... heavenly! I have mine in a very large pot and bring it in to my un-heated garage for the winter. I have a very shady yard and it sits next to my deck, so it does not get a lot of direct sunlight. It has bloomed 4 times this year with a minimum of 13 blooms per. Today, for the first time ever, it is blooming in the... read more


On Jun 21, 2009, terrora wrote:

Thank You! Reading your comments and seeing the pictures has given me hope that mine will bloom soon. I've had it for about 12 years and have started others from cuttings, which take really well. I have moved two into a sunnier spot by a trellis. Maybe they will reward me with some first blooms. I have other orchid cactus that have bloomed on a regular basis, but these have never bloomed, thanks again!


On Oct 8, 2008, pawpawbill from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have a plant that is wintered indoor. It has one fruit starting to turn red. How do I know when the fruit is fully ripe?


On Dec 16, 2006, wtliftr from Wilson's Mills, NC wrote:

I have a question- does anyone know if the seeds of a Hylocereus can be frozen and remain viable?? I've been looking all over for the answer to this question...


On Aug 26, 2006, mutant from Houston, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this plant..it took few years to show off the flowers, but wow! once it did I was pleased...finally I found out what it was (thanks to you all) and now I know it's a climber...for a while I thought i had some weird climbing cactus . The flowers are huge! and it's thriving here in the Houston area.


On Jun 9, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant also goes by the common names of: Dragon Fruit; Chak-wob; Chacam; Junco Tapato; Pitahaya; Pitahaya Orejona; Zacamb; Tasajo; Reina de la Noche & Queen of the Night.
It is documented to reach 16ft long.


On Apr 18, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have mine on the southeast wall of my house. Produces delicious dragonfruit...now being made into drinks.

Nativeplantfan9 if it grows wild in Polk County (zone 9a) surely it would grow wild in Orange(9b/10a) and Osceola (9b)counties ...doesn't it?


On Jan 22, 2005, bernd from Brisbane,
Australia wrote:

3 weeks ago I visited the 'rare plant nursery' in Northern New South Wales. There I accquired amongst other tropical fruit a 'red deagon fruit'. At home. I ate half of it, found it delicious, and scooped out the other half with its numerous pinhead sized black seeds. Just for the heck of it I mixed that pulp with a cupful of fine sand to distibute it evenly and then spread it into a tray of seed raising soil. One week later I noticed the seeds to be sprouting and by now the little plants are about 1//2 in, still only bilobate. I am curious, what next.
Regards Bernd


On Nov 16, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This snake-like, night-blooming cactus is a climber that can reach as high as 50 or even 60 feet in the wild or in the U.S. from zones 9 southward, and especially in my zone 10 area. Here in south Florida, I regularily see it climbing up people's trees in their yard and even in the wild such as on trees as high as 50 feet - up to the very top of the tree - with many blooms - many open, many closed - and many green, snake-like stems, climbing up and hanging from the tree - around abandoned buildings or on vacant land in trees, from the ground up, sometimes even totally in the tree, climbing downwards or upwards at the top. There is one I saw in Lake Worth, zone 10a, also in southeast Florida, that was climbing into a tall slash pine on a parcel of vacant land, seeming to smother the tree - ... read more


On Oct 20, 2004, amiey from Gautier, MS (Zone 9b) wrote:

I grow this plant in a pot. i'd love to try it in the ground but as of yet move it close in on the porch during the winter's coldest time.


On Oct 6, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This cactus grows in zone 10a and b quite well, too. Some excellent examples in Southern California which doesn't have any zone 11.


On Apr 21, 2003, Leo92129 from San Diego, CA wrote:

The term 'Red Pitaya' is a bit misleading. 'Red' applies only to the skin color, as opposed to the red flesh that is in Hylocereus polyrhizus, Hylocereus ocamponis, H. guatemalensis, and several others. 'Yellow Pitaya' Selenicereus megalanthus is another example where 'Yellow' applies to the color of the skin, only. Israel has done much research on growing various pitaya (aka 'Dragon Fruit' and pitahaya) in the Negev Desert.