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Author Topic: Dragon Fruit thread.  (Read 373988 times)

spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2800 on: September 11, 2018, 01:50:11 AM »
wow, thatís crazy growth and productivity within just a year.

Brad, seems your DF flowers open fairly early? How does condor taste compared to other varieties?

What do you mean by flowers open early?  Time of day?  They open around 9 or 10PM and close by 9 or 10AM.

Its too soon to tell about condor since I have just started getting much fruit from the plants but so far I tried most of the 1S,2S..9S paul thomson types and they all taste more or less the same.  With exception of 8S which is a different cross.  I much prefer the 8S and will be planting more of that.

Yes I was referring to time of day. Looking like the flowers remain open in the morning.

They stay open for a few hours in the AM. Pollen seems better right when they open at night.  This was the same san ignacio plant about 2 hours ago at 9pm.  Too bad the bees aren't up at night.



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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2801 on: September 11, 2018, 02:36:37 PM »
First flower of my Simonís purple opened last night. Pics taken this morning. Hand-pollinated with some sugar dragon pollens that I froze a month ago, as well as its own pollen. Not sure if it will work.

Got the cutting last summer. Cuttings I planted this year grew much faster






Some new buds forming for the American Beauty too




Brandon909

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2802 on: September 11, 2018, 03:29:56 PM »
First flower of my Simonís purple opened last night. Pics taken this morning. Hand-pollinated with some sugar dragon pollens that I froze a month ago, as well as its own pollen. Not sure if it will work.

Got the cutting last summer. Cuttings I planted this year grew much faster






Some new buds forming for the American Beauty too



let me know how good Simon purple is

TheWaterbug

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2803 on: September 11, 2018, 03:37:38 PM »
Here's the simple version of my process:
1. Use some sort of object you can insert into the flower, without damaging it, as far in as you can get it, and tap on the flowers stem to dislodge the pollen. I have an ice scoop that I've cut and reshaped to fit the flowers geometry, but another good idea Ive hear is to take a 1 litre soda or water bottle, and basically cut half the body of it out to form a scoop, then trim whats left of the body into a point, with a curved tip (no sharp or pointy edges), so it had a triangular shape.
2. Dump your pollen onto a white, or other lightly colored, plate so you can go through it and dig out anything that isnt pollen, like ants, flower parts, etc. Use tools like tweezers or sewing needles. Avoid touching the pollen directly.
3. Spread your pollen out on a folded paper towel or a napkin, not in clumps, but as an even powder. Place it somewhere shady, not in direct sunlight, but warm, and let it sit for 8-24 hours. Beware of strong drafts that might blow your pollen off its resting surface.
4. Place the towel/napkin back on your plate, fliped over, and pat/flick the dried pollen back onto the plate surface. Reexamine for anything not pollen. At my house its usually cat hair.
5. Here's the important part. Using as small of a container as possible, you can now store your pollen in your freezer. The colder the better. But the container is key. I have small sample vials I picked up from Ebay that I use. The idea is that you was as little air in with the pollen as possible. For a single flower, using something like the glass tubes free perfume samples used to come in would be a good size. Whatever you find, the container needs to be as small as you can find and air tight. Oh, and clean, too. Any moisture in the air can degrade the pollen when ice crystals form.
This process should give you pollen that will last a couple weeks in storage.

I didn't know container size was important! But it makes sense, because excess space will have more air to oxidize stuff, and more potential for condensation. I just defrosted some pollen to take to the giant Lomita "Dragonfruit Tree" and when I was done I had drops of water in my pollen, just from condensation.

So I just ordered a set of 10 vials, for $8.29 with free shipping:




Having smaller "single dose" sets of pollen will also allow me to not disturb the pollen that I don't need tonight.


And here's my collector scoop, cut down from a 16 oz. Perrier bottle, with RB's guidance. It works very well!


Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

TheWaterbug

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2804 on: September 11, 2018, 03:39:20 PM »
This is a san ignacio plant.  There was a photo of the buds a page ago.  They bloomed last night.  Bees are all over it.




I want some of your bees! I have 2 colonies right next to my DF vines, and my lazy, good-for-nothing bees pretty much ignore my DF blooms.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

TheWaterbug

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2805 on: September 11, 2018, 03:47:01 PM »
I just couldn't stand to see all these flowers drop, so I went there around 10:00 PM last week and pollinated one. I couldn't reach any others without a taller ladder.

So I've returned to this location a few times over the last week, and I've pollinated about 7-8 more flowers with old Physical Graffiti pollen.

The one I pollinated back in August is doing great! Nice and swollen, and of pretty decent size. I'm hoping no one else picks it before I do! I forgot to take a photo last night.

I'll have to wait a week or so before I know whether the other ones will set. My pollen was pretty old by that time, and I'd had some condensation in my pollen storage container.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

ricshaw

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2806 on: September 11, 2018, 04:09:48 PM »
I didn't know container size was important! But it makes sense, because excess space will have more air to oxidize stuff, and more potential for condensation. I just defrosted some pollen to take to the giant Lomita "Dragonfruit Tree" and when I was done I had drops of water in my pollen, just from condensation.

So I just ordered a set of 10 vials, for $8.29 with free shipping:


I use 4 Mil 2" x 3" Resealable Poly Bags. Link--> http://a.co/d/2OgID4Y

spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2807 on: September 11, 2018, 04:52:55 PM »
First flower of my Simonís purple opened last night. Pics taken this morning. Hand-pollinated with some sugar dragon pollens that I froze a month ago, as well as its own pollen. Not sure if it will work.

Got the cutting last summer. Cuttings I planted this year grew much faster






Some new buds forming for the American Beauty too




Nice, looking very healthy.  Which all types are you growing?  I got an american beauty from someone out of state and it grows like crazy but not a sigle bloom.  Its weird.  I may toss it. 
Brad Spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2808 on: September 11, 2018, 05:23:54 PM »
Nice, looking very healthy.  Which all types are you growing?  I got an american beauty from someone out of state and it grows like crazy but not a sigle bloom.  Its weird.  I may toss it.
Thanks. I have Simon's purple, American Beauty, Halley's Comet, Yellow dragon, Giant Yellow Peru, Sugar Dragon S-8, Frankie's Red, Natural Mystic, Dark Star, Condor, Makisupa. I also grafted a few Giant Yellow seedlings (DF fruits from Ranch 99) onto Halley's Comet.

I got Natural Mystic, Dark Star, Condor, Makisupa cuttings from you in Dec. last year. Nice growth so far. Hopefully I will get some fruits next year.

Got my AB cutting from Simon. To me AB seems to be very similar to Simon's Purple in terms of the vines.

beicadad

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2809 on: September 11, 2018, 05:27:24 PM »
let me know how good Simon purple is
It's an unknown variety - Simon should be able to comment on the taste. The vine seems very similar to American beauty.

spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2810 on: September 11, 2018, 05:39:32 PM »
Nice, looking very healthy.  Which all types are you growing?  I got an american beauty from someone out of state and it grows like crazy but not a sigle bloom.  Its weird.  I may toss it.
Thanks. I have Simon's purple, American Beauty, Halley's Comet, Yellow dragon, Giant Yellow Peru, Sugar Dragon S-8, Frankie's Red, Natural Mystic, Dark Star, Condor, Makisupa. I also grafted a few Giant Yellow seedlings (DF fruits from Ranch 99) onto Halley's Comet.

I got Natural Mystic, Dark Star, Condor, Makisupa cuttings from you in Dec. last year. Nice growth so far. Hopefully I will get some fruits next year.

Got my AB cutting from Simon. To me AB seems to be very similar to Simon's Purple in terms of the vines.

All of the purple guatemalan ones like AB, dark star, condor etc are very similar.  Im going try and narrow down which one is best and get rid of some of the others.

If you come over in 6 or 8 weeks we can try most of them side by side.
Brad Spaugh

beicadad

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2811 on: September 11, 2018, 06:34:02 PM »
Nice, looking very healthy.  Which all types are you growing?  I got an american beauty from someone out of state and it grows like crazy but not a sigle bloom.  Its weird.  I may toss it.
Thanks. I have Simon's purple, American Beauty, Halley's Comet, Yellow dragon, Giant Yellow Peru, Sugar Dragon S-8, Frankie's Red, Natural Mystic, Dark Star, Condor, Makisupa. I also grafted a few Giant Yellow seedlings (DF fruits from Ranch 99) onto Halley's Comet.

I got Natural Mystic, Dark Star, Condor, Makisupa cuttings from you in Dec. last year. Nice growth so far. Hopefully I will get some fruits next year.

Got my AB cutting from Simon. To me AB seems to be very similar to Simon's Purple in terms of the vines.

All of the purple guatemalan ones like AB, dark star, condor etc are very similar.  Im going try and narrow down which one is best and get rid of some of the others.

If you come over in 6 or 8 weeks we can try most of them side by side.
can't wait! instead of tossing the ones you don't want, would you consider grafting desirable varieties instead?

spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2812 on: September 11, 2018, 11:45:46 PM »
Nice, looking very healthy.  Which all types are you growing?  I got an american beauty from someone out of state and it grows like crazy but not a sigle bloom.  Its weird.  I may toss it.
Thanks. I have Simon's purple, American Beauty, Halley's Comet, Yellow dragon, Giant Yellow Peru, Sugar Dragon S-8, Frankie's Red, Natural Mystic, Dark Star, Condor, Makisupa. I also grafted a few Giant Yellow seedlings (DF fruits from Ranch 99) onto Halley's Comet.

I got Natural Mystic, Dark Star, Condor, Makisupa cuttings from you in Dec. last year. Nice growth so far. Hopefully I will get some fruits next year.

Got my AB cutting from Simon. To me AB seems to be very similar to Simon's Purple in terms of the vines.

All of the purple guatemalan ones like AB, dark star, condor etc are very similar.  Im going try and narrow down which one is best and get rid of some of the others.

If you come over in 6 or 8 weeks we can try most of them side by side.
can't wait! instead of tossing the ones you don't want, would you consider grafting desirable varieties instead?

Maybe, I have some new ideas for doing stronger grafts we can discuss it when you come over.  Work out with Simon a day to come.  October 26 or 27 or Nov 2 or 3 there should be lots of fruit to try.





 
Brad Spaugh

spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2813 on: September 12, 2018, 12:00:04 AM »
Check out this guys videos on pollination and grafting. 

Pollination
https://youtu.be/uQFYMFjdESI

Heres an impressive farm somewhere nearby.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEvrvZOdh2U
Brad Spaugh

Mark in Texas

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2814 on: September 13, 2018, 10:33:52 AM »
oxidize stuff, and more potential for condensation. I just defrosted some pollen to take to the giant Lomita "Dragonfruit Tree" and when I was done I had drops of water in my pollen, just from condensation.

Don't uncap it until the container has reached room temp.  Like I said, I dilute pollen with flour before storing it in the fridge, not the freezer.

TheWaterbug

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2815 on: September 16, 2018, 11:20:58 AM »
I didn't know container size was important! But it makes sense, because excess space will have more air to oxidize stuff, and more potential for condensation. I just defrosted some pollen to take to the giant Lomita "Dragonfruit Tree" and when I was done I had drops of water in my pollen, just from condensation.

So I just ordered a set of 10 vials, for $8.29 with free shipping:

They've arrived! So here's my "pollen collection kit:"






Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

TheWaterbug

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2816 on: September 16, 2018, 11:21:46 AM »
oxidize stuff, and more potential for condensation. I just defrosted some pollen to take to the giant Lomita "Dragonfruit Tree" and when I was done I had drops of water in my pollen, just from condensation.

Don't uncap it until the container has reached room temp.  Like I said, I dilute pollen with flour before storing it in the fridge, not the freezer.


I may try this method. Having the "single serving" vials makes it easier for me to freeze some, fridge some, etc,. as needed.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2817 on: September 16, 2018, 11:38:44 AM »
Im wondering if you could use a food dehydrator or vacuum packer to dry out and then remove air from your pollen. 

Also if you have only limited plants and are having to go to the trouble of saving pollen etc, why not just grow only self fertile plants?  Which plant is it that doesnt take its own pollen?
Brad Spaugh

RobPatterson

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Re: Tools of the Trade
« Reply #2818 on: September 16, 2018, 12:10:42 PM »
Here's a reposting of what I use for my pollen storage and how I do it. I ABSOLUTELY would not use a heated food dehydrator to prepare pollen for storage, as these plants are sensitive to high heat and I don't know if temps over 110+ will damage the pollen. I don't know that it will, Im just saying that unless I hear from someone with more knowledge than myself on the subject, I'm sticking with no heat for the pollen. Vacuum sealing seems like it would be a good idea but it might make handling tricky in the large vac bags, especially if youre only collecting one or two flowers at a time.
Since we're getting into that time of year when our thought turn to dragon fruit and the lovely, yet finicky, flowers they come from, I thought I would take the time to pass along a few tips on how I go about doing my pollinating and the tools I use to do it. Here are a few pictures to help with the more visual types among us:









In order of appearance are the following:
1. A digital scale. Mostly for use at the end of the process, weighing fruit, so you can show off the results of your mighty fruit creation skills. We all need something to brag about, and what's not to love about sharing.
2. A refractometer. Again, this is another 'after the fact' tool. Its used to measure the amount of dissolved solids in a liquid, namely how much sugar is in fruit juice, MORE namely how much sugar is in your dragon fruit. These come in both digital (shown) and optical varieties. The optical looks like a cross between a flute and a spyglass, and it very easy to use if you decide you have enough interest in the hobby to have dedicated testing tools like this.
3. Pollen Dehydrator. This is a custom item I built myself, and I use it to remove moisture from the collected pollen before I store it in the freezer. It works like a common food dehydrator, except its a mostly sealed environment (with the door closed) and I do not add heat (pollen is sensitive). Running a small fan in the box circulated the air through an area of Silica Gel (those "DO NOT EAT" packets you find in packaging) and that draws out the extra water and makes the pollen less likely to be damaged by extended stays in the freezer.
4. My worktrays. To avoid excess contamination, I tend to lean towards ceramic for work surfaces and these sized trays do the job nicely. They clean easily, are almost completely non-stick and the high white finish allows me to pick out foreign objects (plant parts, bugs, thorns, etc.) both before and after drying.
5. Pollination brush. Most of the time I directly manipulate the flowers to apply pollen, but sometimes can prove difficult to get at, tucked in between pointy branches, so I use the brush to extend my reach. Any soft bristle brush will do, as long as its clean and free from contaminants (aka, don't use your significant other's makeup brush). Also, the stick end helps with moving and poking at various things, like bugs and flower petals.
6. Funnel and pollen tubes. The plastic sample tubes I use are small 20cc plastic sample tubes, with attached lids. Easy to find in bulk and cheap on places like Ebay. With the matching tray, they are perfect for upright storage in the freezer and don't take up too much space. The funnel is pretty self explanatory, and is used for putting pollen in tubes.
7. The pollen collecting scoops. Now, here's a biggy. I use these to collect my pollen from the flowers, usually in the early morning before I go to work. The shape of the tools is very important. The larger of the two, and the one I use most often, is just a simple Ice Scoop that I reshaped using metal cutting snips. The more pointed end and wide back matches the shape of the flower very well and allows me to maximize pollen yields. Also, I filed down the cut edges so they are nice and smooth, so as to not damage the internal parts of the flower. The actual tool you use is less important than the shape. I've had other people Ive talked to use 1 and 2 liter plastic bottles, cut on a slant, to do the same job, and it seems just as effective.
8. Pollen sorting tools. I use these to both clear the collected pollen of foreign objects and to scoop pollen into the funnel. You should do your best to avoid touching the pollen with your hands, as the oils on your fingers can do bad things to living things that small.
Ok, now that's were through that, here are what I hope are a few helpful tips to get you more fruit.
First off, if you have multiple fruit varieties, the order in which you pollinate is very important. I always try to collect the pollen from one plant variety first, then move on to the next, first pollinating the second plant's flowers with pollen from the first, then going back and collecting the seconds pollen for use on the next plant. You're always going to get better results if you cross pollinate, even if some on the varieties you're working with are self fertile. Its worth the extra time to make that last trip back to the beginning of the loop to make sure you're mixing, not matching.
Next, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, or in this case pollen-y. If the flowers are easy to get at, and at a good height, Ill just reach into the flower and grab it by the lady parts (the long thick Pistil that extends from the center of the flower and ends in a starfish-like shape) and dip the end of it directly into my pollen catcher. Gentle but firm. You're not going to harm the flower by doing this if you're at all careful and its a good way to pollinate quickly if you have a lot of flowers in one area.
On a related note, collecting the actual pollen is just as simple. Just insert your pollen catcher into the flower, in the space between the white petals and the yellow stamen that surround the pistil (lady parts), and give the entire flower a good shake or tap. The pollen will come right off and into your collector. Flick out any large foreign objects but leave the removal of the smaller stuff until later, when you can get at it with clean tools.
Before you're done for the day, though, (hopefully) you'll have left over pollen. However you decide to do it, just make sure it has a chance to dry in a warm, dry place for at least 8 hours ( I usually do 24 without the dehydrator) to allow for proper storage condition. You can use coffee filters as your drying medium if you don't want to do anything fancy, but just make sure the pollen is undisturbed and free from added contaminants like dust or animal hair. To be safe, you can even add a second coffee filter on top of the first, once the pollen is added, to act as a protective layer.
Ive had successful pollination months after storage, so if you ever find yourself with extra pollen, its never a bad idea to put some aside for later, because with the various conditions (wind, bees, etc) you never know when some leftovers will come in handy.
I hope this helps out a few people, and here's to hoping for a successful season to everyone.

TheWaterbug

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Re: Tools of the Trade
« Reply #2819 on: September 16, 2018, 12:17:27 PM »
grab it by the lady parts


I can't believe you actually wrote that!  ;D


But that's an interesting tip; I probably waste a lot of pollen by brushing it on, because my brush usually picks up far more than I need to pollinate a single flower, and it kinda falls all over the place when I brush it on. Or maybe I just need a smaller brush for pollinating than the one I use for pollen collection.



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spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2820 on: September 17, 2018, 10:53:33 AM »
Got some Bruni blooms over the weekend.  Also got some Asunta 2, Asunta 3, and AX cuttings.

Brad Spaugh

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2821 on: September 17, 2018, 12:51:01 PM »
Got some Bruni blooms over the weekend.  Also got some Asunta 2, Asunta 3, and AX cuttings.


Gorgeous purple flower. Heard that the asundaís also have purple flowers and good taste.

FamilyJ

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2822 on: September 17, 2018, 09:09:41 PM »
What is Everyone's Favorite Dragon Fruit?

Brandon909

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2823 on: September 17, 2018, 11:10:18 PM »
What is Everyone's Favorite Dragon Fruit?
Sugar Dragon, Physical graffiti,Condor,Delight.

FamilyJ

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Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« Reply #2824 on: September 18, 2018, 06:40:14 PM »
Hello i am asking for everyones Opinion to see how to label these types of cuttings, like regular, large, XL, or XXL?

 

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