Can you tell if your dragon fruit is ready to be picked? If yes do you know how correctly pick a dragon fruit?
Then knowing when to harvest and how to pick a dragon fruit is essential, for you to ensure that you are harvesting a fruit that is already ripe.
A dragon fruit or also known as a cactus fruit comes in three different varieties:
Pitaya Blanca (Hylocereus undatus ) pink/red skin, white flesh, and black seeds.
Pitaya Roja (Hylocereus costaricensis) pink/red skin, red flesh, and black seeds.
Pitaya Amarilla (Hylocereus megalanthus) yellow skin, white flesh, and black seeds.
The most popular one is the white fleshed, pink skinned Pitaya Blanca.
This is known as an exotic fruit mainly because the skin is covered with scales and spurs that taste sweet.
Now if you have been growing a dragon fruit in your backyard or you’ve seen them around.
You are probably thinking about how to pick a dragon fruit the right way. You may also be thinking if what you are picking is ripe enough. Fortunately, everything that you need to know is discussed below.
Knowing When to Pick a Dragon Fruit
Look for a Yellow or Red Dragon Fruit
The first thing that you need to do is to look for a dragon fruit that is colored in yellow or red. A dragon fruit that is green signals that it is not yet ripe.
A ripe dragon fruit has an even and bright color. But watch out for a fruit that has blotches on the skin, which can be seen on apples. The reason behind this is because it signifies that it is overripe.
Checking the Wings of the Dragon Fruit
The leafy part of the fruit is known as the wings, and they can also help you determine if your fruit is ready to be harvested.
If you notice that the wings are starting the turn brown and dry out, then these are signs that your fruit is ready to be harvested.
Of course, if the wings are still colorful, then the fruit is still under-ripe and needs more time to ripen.
Pressing the Dragon Fruit with the Thumb
Holding the dragon fruit, gently press your thumb into the skin of the fruit. If the skin is soft and not mushy, then this means that it is ripe already.
If the skin is firm, then it would be best to just leave it for a few days before picking it.
Cutting the Dragon Fruit Open
The dragon fruit’s insides are usually purple, dark pink or white in color. There are also tiny seeds that are black, which are all edible and are similar to that in a kiwi.
Now if you cut the dragon fruit open, the insides should have a texture that is firm and juicy. Brown colored insides mean that your fruit is overripe and should not be eaten.
Now that you know how to spot a ready to be picked dragon fruit, the next thing that you need to do is to know how to choose a dragon fruit.
Tips on How to Pick a Dragon Fruit
Picking A Ripe Dragon fruit
When harvesting your dragon fruit, it would be best to harvest them when they are close to becoming fully ripe. The reason behind this is because they don’t have the ability to ripen once you have picked them easily.
Once you have noticed that the dragon fruit transformed from green to yellow or red, then it means that it is already ready to be harvested.
Always remember that the right time to harvest is after 4 days after the fruit changes its color. For people who are planning to export the fruit, it would be best to harvest at a sooner time, like a day after the fruit changes its color.
Removing the Dragon Fruit’s Thorns
Only the Pitaya Amarilla, yellow dragon fruit has thorns. The next thing that you need to do is to remove all the thorns before you start picking your fruits.
Using pliers, remove them one by one and brush them off after using your gloves.
Typically, when the dragon fruit is ripe, the thorns will start to shed on its own. This means that it won’t be that difficult to remove them
When removing the thorns, it would be best to wear a good pair of gloves since the thorns can be sharp. So it is essential to wear them for your protection.
Harvesting Dragon Fruit
Lastly, once you have removed all the thorns, the next thing that you need to do is to separate the dragon fruit from its vine by twisting it.
Typically you will know that it is already ripe once you have twisted the fruit and it easily got detached.
But if you are having a hard time turning it and pulling it out of the vine, then you might want to wait for a few days before eventually picking them.
Storing your Newly Harvested Dragon Fruit
After you have picked your dragon fruit, storing it is the next thing that you need to do. Store the fruit in your refrigerator’s drawer. The temperature of the drawer should range from 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
A dragon fruit that has been stored in the fridge can last for up to 3 whole months.
Now for cut dragon fruits, you can scoop the fruit’s pulp and the store is in a container that is tightly sealed. The dragon fruit that has been cut should be kept in the freezer since they need to be frozen to avoid their quality to decline.
The pulp should be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months and can be used in jellies, smoothies, and ice creams.
Everything that you need to know about how to pick a dragon fruit and to know when it is ready to be harvested are all discussed above.
Now, all you have to do is to wait for your dragon fruit to ripen so you can harvest it and enjoy its sweet goodness.