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Old 09-21-2010, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Since I didn't expect it to open TONIGHT, I didn't buy an "artist brush" in preparation for hand pollination. I was planning on reading and watching some videos on how to do the pollination thing. I'm not even sure this cultivar NEEDS hand pollination. I've decided to go ahead and do it, but with what? and how? Help! Thanks,


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Old 09-21-2010, 11:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Use a Q tip if no brush. Thanks for posting the pic...looks like mine is ready to bloom too
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

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Use a Q tip if no brush. Thanks for posting the pic...looks like mine is ready to bloom too
And touch what part(s) to get the pollen? And to transfer the pollen to what part(s)?

Thanks,
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Found a video on how to do it, straight from The Man himself.
If you'll notice, the flower in the video has the stigma (female part) much taller than the surrounding anthers (male part), therefore the pollen cannot get from the male to female easily, thus the need for hand pollination.

In my flower, on the other hand, the stigma is closer to the anthers, so maybe I don't need to do it after all.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Just collect some pollen grains from the tips of the anthers (all of those outer hair-like yellow things sticking up inside in your flower) and brush it against the stigma (the one larger tube-like yellow thing with short hair-like ends). Ideally, you'd be taking pollen from the flower of another variety but maybe yours will be self-fertile.

Edgar Valdivia put together this video last year a couple of days after I stayed the night at his house and got some hands-on experience!

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Old 09-22-2010, 12:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

lol, guess I wasn't fast enough in posting!
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

There are two factors the affect the need for hand pollination. One, as you pointed out, is when the stigma isn't close to the anthers. Another one, however, is that some varieties don't seem to be receptive to their own pollen and set fruit better if pollinated with pollen from another variety. Yet another factor that seems to affect the need for hand-pollination is climate. I've read reports from some growers who are certain a particular variety does not set fruit for them unless they hand pollinate while another grower gets a good crop with the same variety without any intervention. It seems that a more humid environment may help maintain viability of pollen and increase the odds for success.

Good luck!
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Oh, and Grey Martin, a commercial grower from SoCal who is highly-regarded among pitaya growing circles (speaker at recent CRFG Festival of Fruit) recently wrote in the pitaya discussion group that he's never witnessed a red-fleshed pitaya which was self-fertilze. I did reply back that the red-fleshed pitaya from Nicaragua which I've seen the past two years do seem to very much be self-fertile. He indicates he's never grown any of the Nicaragua varieties.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Suppose mine is the Vietnamese Giant, a self-fertile cultivar, then it can use its own pollen, right?

What does "self fertile" mean? 1 or 2?

[1] No human intervention needed, it'll set fruit on its own.
[2] Somebody has to to hand-pollinate with a brush (like I did last night), using the pollen from the same plant.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Self-pollination - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...ezwvmQ&cad=rja
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

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Originally Posted by Want Them All View Post
Suppose mine is the Vietnamese Giant, a self-fertile cultivar, then it can use its own pollen, right?

What does "self fertile" mean? 1 or 2?

[1] No human intervention needed, it'll set fruit on its own.
[2] Somebody has to to hand-pollinate with a brush (like I did last night), using the pollen from the same plant.
Self-fertile is usually used just in the sense of description of #2 whereas the description #1 covers self-fertile and self-pollinating like the Vietnamese types.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Thanks harveyc & sunfish: So what do we call some other plants that I have, such as bananas, apples, longans,...I do nothing and their flowers become fruits. Are they self-fertile, but they require insect for pollination? Pretty much all fruit trees are self-fertile, but some need help with pollination, either with insects or humans, correct?
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Most bananas don't require any pollination as the fruits are seedless. Yes, many or most fruit trees are self fertile and are adequately pollinated by native insects or introduced bees, etc. Some fruits do require other sources of pollen, though, such as Bing cherries, most almonds, etc.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Mine is Vietnamese Jaina so I hope I can pollinate it with itself since I only have the one flower...and guess what??? I can see the white flower petals peeking thru!! I think it will open tomorrow...WOOHOO.
Harvey, thanks for all the info. One more question...do you have to pollinate the first day or how long do you have to pollinate after flower blooms?
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

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Originally Posted by Patty in Wisc View Post
Mine is Vietnamese Jaina so I hope I can pollinate it with itself since I only have the one flower...and guess what??? I can see the white flower petals peeking thru!! I think it will open tomorrow...WOOHOO.
Harvey, thanks for all the info. One more question...do you have to pollinate the first day or how long do you have to pollinate after flower blooms?
About 12hr's .
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Yeah, Tony's right. On cloudy days I've read that the flowers can stay open longer. I've seen them open at 8pm and still open at 10am the following morning. You really should plan to pollinate them within the first few hours of being open.

These flowers put on quite a show but it's unfortunately that they're open mostly just one night. Best to have a lot of them so that you can always have lots of huge flowers to look at. At the test plot in Irvine, CA there were hundreds of flowers open still from the night before when we went out into the field at 9-10am during the field day in 2009.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

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Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
Yeah, Tony's right. On cloudy days I've read that the flowers can stay open longer. I've seen them open at 8pm and still open at 10am the following morning. You really should plan to pollinate them within the first few hours of being open.

These flowers put on quite a show but it's unfortunately that they're open mostly just one night. Best to have a lot of them so that you can always have lots of huge flowers to look at. At the test plot in Irvine, CA there were hundreds of flowers open still from the night before when we went out into the field at 9-10am during the field day in 2009.
So you only have 1 night's chance at pollinating the flowers? The one that I pollinated last night does not open tonight, it just hangs there limply. Anyways, there are 2 more in full bloom right now (10:33 PM), so I got some work to do. From the photos, do you think this one is self fertile and needs no hand pollination, just looking at the size and proximity of the stigma to the anthers? I just grabbed a bunch of anthers between my thumb and index fingers, cut off the anthers, and rubbed and dipped them vigorously into and around the stigma, is that good enough? There are plenty of anthers left, I didn't need to use them all, did I?

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Old 09-23-2010, 02:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

Right, you've got just one night. It looks like yours could self-pollinate but it still requires some wind, gravity, etc. and I think it's just a safer bet to go ahead and help it. I believe the more thorough the pollination, the larger the fruit. Hopefully, your plant is receptive to its own pollen. I think your method of pollination was fine.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

My flower looks like yours so far. It is open enough to see anthers inside so I will pollinate later this evening. Since it gets dark earlier, I will do overkill & start at 7 -7:30 till 9:00 LOL.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dragon fruit flower opened earlier than expected, what to do???

How/when will we know if we had successful pollination? If it took, how long to get ripe fruit?
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