The two dragon fruit flowers and one dragon fruit behind the scene. The two flowers are ready for harvest.
Here are some tips based on my very own experience.
The flower opens wide at night. Still wide open and up at early morning when morning dews are still visible on grasses, plants, fruits and flowers. It begin to close and droop down when sun shines. At this point, the flower can be harvested for whatever reason you have in mind. Hope it is for food purposes.
To harvest, get a clean sterilized knife. Wear a clean sterilized gloves. Cut the flower at point where it bends. Cut it carefully by rotating the cutter around the bent flower portion, leaving the filament behind.
It was a cloudy day and slight rain was pouring down when we harvested some. The outcome was bad. I guess it was a bad timing. All the base from which the flowers were cut off rotted. Perhaps, moist condition and unhygienic practice contaminated and caused it to rot.
Not touching the flower is fine. The fruit is going to develop to a large expensive commodity.
During sunny days, flowers could be left on plant to dry before gathering. However, it should be gathered fresh when intermittent rain is expected . The moist condition will make it moldy and unusable.
If you own a dragon fruit farm, chances are you already using the flowers and perfected the flower harvesting procedure. Sharing it is going to help those who never know it yet.