Created by Paul Thomson, one of the pioneers in dragon fruit breeding, this cultivar has been considered a staple of commercial high-end dragon fruit production for decades.
The plant is not reliably self fertile, and should be planted with another cultivar to set fruit. On the other hand, the fruit are large (up to 700grams) and the flavour is superb, reminiscent of berries!
The very dark pink colour of the aptly named Dark Star’s flesh is created by a cocktail of the potent super-antioxidants betanin, indicaxanthin, phyllocactin and hylocerenin and their related compounds.
Dark Star grows fast and easily in sun or semi-shade.
Soil should be nutrient rich but well-draining, dragon fruit in general need a fair amount of moisture, despite being cacti, but the soil should be allowed to dry out before watered again.
Plants grow very fast when fertilised and can produce fruit in their second season. Do not over-fertilise with Nitrogen!
Dragon fruit need strong support, and you can provide this with a classic dragon fruit pole, or trellis, or tree, or sturdy fence or wall.
Prefers higher temperatures and will not withstand frost.
Flowering takes place in a cycle in summer (normally between end December and May) with fruit harvested from end January onwards, dragon fruit flower and fruit in consecutive cycles over a season in good climates.
The fruit are very sweet. The very dark pink colour of the fruit is from a cocktail of super-antioxidants, many only found in cacti fruit, making dragon fruit a functional food everyone should be eating!
Its brilliant white flowers are dinner plate sized and very fragrant, but open only for one night.
The dragon fruit is a cactus that occurs across Central America, where it naturally scrambles over the forest floor and clambers onto trees and rocks, fences and walls, eventually forming a vine.
- Planting from mature plant material gives you the fastest fruit harvest. (5-7 years from seed or 2-3 years from immature cuttings)
- It is cold resistant meaning that it can take a light frost once or twice in a season. It is not frost hardy. If you are concerned rather put it into a large pot so you can move it indoors over really cold periods.
- Mature plant matter often has blemishes, these are of no concern as once they grow away they will produce beautiful, vigorous growth.
- If grown well, you could harvest fruit in the first season.
- Fruits from Dark Star get to a good 700g in weight!
- The flowers are the size of a dinner plate, are white, stunningly scented and only open for a single evening.
- This variety is not reliably self-fertile, we recommend Delight, Purple Haze or Physical Graffiti as companion cultivars although any of our cultivars will serve.
Dark Star is sold as an approximately 30cm long cutting with a pre-whittled planting spike.
These cuttings come from mature growth so there are a few points that need to be taken into account.
As always on live plant matter, we have limited stocks, this will only be available for a short window. If you want to harvest your own Dark Star fruit in March/April next year, this is your chance.