Root Root, Dragon Fruit! :)

I love the vine wall I’ve been growing since spring, 2012. The combination of passiflora, allamanda, beach sunflower and red cypress vines looked so untamed and natural I let it grow wild and free…..until two days ago.  Now it looks like this, but keep reading…there’s more to this story. 😉

Vine wall, 10/10/13

So there I was, boiling water for Suddenly Salad, when i got the bright idea to do a little snipping…just a few random cuts to kill time (watched pot, etc) and get more light for the Pitaya.  Simple multi-tasking? Ha!

I started with the beach sunflowers that extended from the cannas to the banana tree, obscuring the Dragon Fruit (aka Pitaya) in their midst.  Beach sunflowers are “runners” with shallow roots spaced 6-10″ apart along the stem’s length. They come up easily with a simple “tug-and-cut” motion, and it was all going so well!  And then, this happened!

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Oy!!! I accidentally pulled up a runner which caught on a piece of Pitaya.  I was shocked by the lack of resistance with which these enormo pieces of cactus came up. 😯  As you’ll see in this next close-up, no root rot or other wierdness is visible. Before I tell you my hunch re: what happened, let’s examine the photo a bit more.

Hylocereus Undatus roots, 10/08/13

If you think these are rather odd looking structures, you’re 100% correct.  The pitaya’s stem sections form aerial roots that adhere to surfaces on which they grow or climb.  On the righthand side, you’re seeing an aerial root that grew downward to anchor this particular section to the ground. My guess is it broke off from the “mother” awhile ago, and sustained itself via this aerial-turned-anchor phenomenon.  Interesting, yeah?

Now cast your eye to the left, and note the reed-like woody “root” that isn’t really a root at all…at least not yet!  What you’re seeing is an etiolated “joint” that connects one segment of Pitaya to another.  When I yanked up the sunflower stem, this particular joint broke in half beneath the surface of the soil.

The good news is these seperated segments should survive…if I can decide where to re-plant them!!  To be manageable, I’ll need to cut the one with the “aerial anchor” into smaller sections; the other can be plopped back in the ground (or a container ) exactly as is, and roots will sprout (eventually) from the bottom of the woody joint.

I have a sinking feeling (bad pun alert!!! :roll:) my dang mole problem is back with a vengeance along the vine wall!  I can’t think of ANY other reason healthy plants would up-end so easily!

Because I hate to close on a negative note, let me show you a pic of a bromeliad I’ve never shared before.  When I track down an identification, I’ll write more in an upcoming post! Unknown Bromeliad, 10/10/13 Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂  . .

p.s:  The boiling water on the stove?  Let’s just say the Suddenly Salad turned out waayyyyyyy past al dente!!

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6 thoughts on “Root Root, Dragon Fruit! :)

    • No, you’re right!
      Worse, I got the original plant (this is one of its pups) at a yardsale from someone who supposedly only grows native plants, yet this doesn’t seem to be one our natives. Also, the original never bloomed where originally sited. So in an effort to identify, I’ve removed this one to a container so i can watch it more closely…maybe it will present some clues!

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