Dragon Fruit Growing Tips, Techniques, Ideas, and Secrets
Hello gardeners, we are back with a new and helpful topic today and the topic is all about dragon fruit growing tips, techniques, ideas, and secrets. Do you want to know all the basic and important dragon fruit growing tips? Well and then you will need to follow this complete article to know all the growing tips, techniques, ideas, and secrets.
Introduction to Dragon Fruit
A pitaya or pitahaya is that the fruit of several different cactus species indigenous to America. Pitaya is usually referred to as the fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya or even dragon fruit refers to the fruit of the Selenicereus (formerly Hylocereus), both within the Cactaceae. Dragon fruit is cultivated in Southeast Asia, India, the Caribbean, Australia, and Mesoamerica, and even throughout tropical and subtropical world regions.
A Guide to Dragon Fruit Growing Tips, Techniques, Ideas, and Secrets
Pitaya, or dragon fruit, is a very tasty treat that the majority of people know for its fire-like appearance. These fruits usually grow on Hylocereus cacti and, with some tender loving care.
Varieties of Dragon Fruit
There are a few of various sorts of dragon fruit the foremost common varieties are given below:
- Hylocereus undatus: white flesh with pink or red skin
- Hylocereus Megalanthus: white flesh with yellow skin
- Hylocereus costaricensis: purple or red flesh and pink or red skin
Soil Preparation Ideas for Growing Dragon Fruit
- What type of soil is best and suitable for growing dragon fruit?
Soil Requirements – This plant can grow in any well-draining soil, but it prefers to grow in soil that’s slightly acidic with a pH level that’s between 6 and 7. Sandy soil is that the best choice for this plant; if it’s not available, just make sure that it’s a well-draining soil.
Use well-drained and sandy cactus soil. After all, technically this plant may be a cactus. The last item you would like to use is wet, mucky soil. They’re light feeders that do not need lots of nutrient love. Plant them in a neighbourhood of your garden where water doesn’t tend to pool. If you get tons of rainfall in your area, plant the dragon fruit plant on a hill or mound, so that the water drains away.
If you’re planting in a container, then grab an outsized one with drainage holes at rock bottom. If you do not have cactus soil available, you’ll come up together with your own by employing a mixture of sand, potting soil, and compost. Fill it up a couple of inches or 7cm far away from the brim of the pot.
Dragon Fruit Growing Tips from Seed
To grow dragon fruit from seeds you would like little or no equipment but lots of your time. Grab an organic dragon fruit from any local supermarket and then scoop out the seeds.
Wash the seeds and then dry them overnight before planting them in a seed-starting tray with moist soil. The seeds should germinate within a fortnight.
Water seedlings sparingly and then make sure the soil has completely dried out before watering again.
Don’t expect to possess a healthy harvest of dragon fruit directly – it can take anywhere from five to seven years for a plant grown from seed to mature and produce fruit. This is often why many dragon fruit growers wish to grow dragon fruit from a cutting (which will take only one to 3 years to fruit).
Ideas for Planting Dragon Fruit Cuttings
Propagating a dragon fruit tree from a cutting is relatively very easy, all you need to do is find a friend with a dragon fruit tree and you’re good to go. Just snip off a 30cm section of a dragon fruit tree and then leave it to dry out for 5 to 6 days or until the cut end turns white.
Once it has dried out simply place the cut side down into sandy cacti soil and then water monthly. Your plant will send out roots and then will make itself at home within a month and then continue to grow.
Secrets for Growing Dragon Fruit in a Container
Choose a container that’s a minimum of 10 inches deep and 24 inches wide. This equates to a few 10-gallon pots.
Dragon fruit also referred to as Pitaya, is a vining cactus, so you’ll get to provide sturdy support in your container. Otherwise, the cactus will grow over the sides of your container and sprawl along the bottom until it finds something to climb.
Make sure to use sandy, well-draining soil made for cactus plants. If your container doesn’t have several drain holes, then you’ll get to add them therefore the roots of the plant never become soggy.
Pick a good sunny location for your dragon fruit plant. A minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sun. The plant will tolerate some shade, and should even require it in very warm environments.
Remember, anything over 38°C will damage your dragon fruit.
Overwatering will kill your dragon fruit. So provides it a light-weight mist or drip when the soil is dry, but the plant isn’t wilting. A drip line or even mister from above works well for these plants.
To accomplish this, install a drip line and fasten it to the centre support in your container. Place the drip nozzle at the highest of the support line and let it run down the pole.
This is the foremost effective thanks to water your dragon fruit and can keep it very happy.
Dragon Fruit Watering Tips
Water – Because this plant may be a cactus plant, it’s important to form sure that you simply are watering it properly. Only water the plant when the highest of the soil is dry to the touch, and don’t allow the plant to take a seat in water. The soil must be moist, not soaked.
- How often should dragon fruit be watered?
Since it is a cactus, many gardeners assume the pitaya doesn’t need much water. It likes the soil to be kept consistently moist and will tend about an inch or 2.5 cm of water per week. Dragon fruits usually only develop within the summer, when temperatures are high and therefore the days are long.
Dragon Fruit Pruning Techniques
Prune the plant. Dragon fruit plants can get quite large and some varieties can even reach upwards of 20 feet or 6.1 m. When it gets overlarge, then start pruning it by cutting some branches. Less weight may very well catch on stronger, concentrate the nutrients, and encourage it to flower.
You don’t necessarily need to throw the branches away! You’ll either re-pot them yourself or grow another plant (they will settle virtually effortlessly) or give them away as a present.
Dragon Fruit Fertilizing Tips
Choose a fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio.
An NPK ratio is a series of three hyphenated numbers that represent the precise percentage of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash in any given fertilizer. A “balanced” fertilizer means these 3 numbers are equivalent, like 10-10-10.
There isn’t a uniform, one-size-fits-all recommendation for fertilizer. However, most experts agree that some sort of balanced fertilizer, like 16-16-16 or 13-13-13, is a very good selection for your dragon fruit.
You can use fertilizer granules, or even spread fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizer is additionally an option.
Fertilize your young, 1-to-3-year old plants once every 2 months.
Apply both traditional fertilizer and manure or compost to your plant at an equivalent time. Between March and September, apply the chelated iron or ferrous sulphate 4-6 times total.
You need to nourish older plants with traditional fertilizer 3 to 4 times a year.
Scale back the manure or compost, by applying it twice a year. Between March and September, still, fertilize your plants with chelated iron or ferrous sulphate 4 to 6 times annually.
Better to use ¼ lb. or 118 g of fertilizer and 4 lb. or 1.2 kg of manure for a replacement plant.
Dragon fruit plants don’t need that much fertilizer and even manure, especially when first starting. If you’re growing aggregate fruit plants, you’ll need ¼ lb. or 118 g of fertilizer and 4 lb. or 1.2 kg of manure or compost for everyone.
Apply extra fertilizer and even manure as your plant matures.
When your plant is 2 to 3 years old, add 0.3 to 0.4 lb. or 136 to 182 g of fertilizer. Similarly, nourish each dragon fruit plant with 6 lb. or 2.7 kg of manure or compost during this timeframe. Once your dragon fruit is a minimum of 4 years old, regularly apply ½ to ¾ lb. or 227 to 341 g of fertilizer and 5 lb. or 2.2 kg of manure.
Some gardeners use chelated iron or ferrous sulphate to regulate the soil’s pH.
Dragon fruits thrive in soil that’s slightly but 7 pH. To assist your plant to grow as healthy and powerful because it can, experts recommend treating acidic soil with ferrous sulphate, and nourishing basic soil with chelated iron.
Use a little amount of chelated iron or ferrous sulphate on 1-year old plants. Spray 7 to 15 g of chelated iron over any basic soil, or scatter a little few ferrous sulphates over acidic soil.
Better to apply extra chelated iron to plants that are 2 years or older. As your dragon fruit matures, treat the soil with 22 to 29 g of chelated iron, if needed. If your soil is more acidic, continue treating it with a little amount of ferrous sulphate.
Organic fertilizer, like manure or compost, is a very good nutrient source.
Pick up decomposed manure at your local home improvement store, or make your compost reception. Along with side traditional fertilizer, both manure and compost are an excellent source of nutrients for your dragon fruit.
Apply traditional fertilizer with granules or a water system.
If you simply have a couple of plants, you would possibly have a neater time applying the fertilizer around your plants. Counting on your setup, you would possibly have a neater time applying the fertilizer through your irrigation system.
Spread manure along the bottom of the plant.
If your plant is merely a year old, don’t apply the manure around the stem. Once your dragon fruit is a minimum of 2 years old, apply the manure around the base of the stem and plant.
Spray chelated iron and spread ferrous sulphate.
Experts recommend spraying around your plant with chelated iron and spreading ferrous sulphate along the rock bottom of the plant.
You may also check this: How To Grow Watercress in Containers.
Dragon Fruit Pests and Diseases Controlling Ideas
It is a fungal disease that will infect dragon fruit. It causes halo-like concentric lesions on stems and fruit.
- Bipoaris cactivora
It is a pathogen that causes black or brown spotting on pitaya blossoms and fruit. When the infection is severe, it manifests in branch or stem rot also. Fusarium oxysporum has also been found to infect dragon fruit.
- Cactus ‘Virus X,’ or cactus mild mottle virus
It is a new virus afflicting pitaya. The infection appears as a splotchy mottling of sunshine and dark green area (mosaic) on branches.
- Enterobacteria stem plant disease
It usually afflicts the ideas of pitaya branches. Symptoms appear about 15 days from infection, wherein the ideas of the plant soften, yellow, and start to rot. Plants that are deficient in calcium and nitrogen are most vulnerable to severe infection. Most of the time, this disease is fairly benign, although it’s knowing to stop the diseased branch.
- Botryosphaeria dothidea
It is a mycosis that leads to blotchy red or brown lesions on the stems of the cacti. Sometimes they appear sort of a ‘bull’s eye target and sometimes there could also be multiple spots coalescing together. This disease begins as yellowing on the infected branch getting to the above-mentioned lesions. This disease is gone by unsterile shear and other tools.
Most of the diseases are spread through unsanitary gardening practices, specifically unsanitary tools. It’s important to sterilize your tools between uses so you don’t spread disease. Tools are often sterilized with lotion, peroxide, or a really weak bleach/water solution. Some diseases are spread via contact between an infected plant and an uninfected plant, so it’s an honest idea to permit some space between plantings.
Otherwise, treatment for fungal diseases may contain the appliance of a copper fungicide. But the simplest thanks to managing disease in dragon fruit is to practice sanitary practices; that’s, sanitize tools and take away and discard infected plant debris, and to stay the plant healthy, watered and fertilized, the encompassing area weed-free, and free from pests which will also spread disease.
Dragon Fruit Harvesting Techniques
In case if you miss this: Easy Fruits To Grow In Pots.
Harvest dragon fruits once they are on the brink of fully ripe. Dragon fruits, unlike many other fruits, don’t ripen the maximum amount after harvest and as a result, should be harvested once they are almost fully ripe.
Once the colour of the fruit has changed from green to yellow or red, then it’s able to harvest.
The small leaves on the edges of the fruit (also referred to as the “wings”) also will start to fade or turn brown because the fruit ripens.
You can also determine the ripeness by counting the times after the plant flowers. Typically the fruit will ripen in a minimum of 27 to 33 days after the plant flowers.
The proper time of harvesting is four days after the colour of the fruit changes. For the export purpose, however, it’s important to reap slightly sooner, each day after the colour changes.
Remove the thorns from the fruit before picking. You’ll remove the thorns by using pliers, brushing them off, or with gloves. When the fruit is ripe the needles should begin to shed anyways, and as a result, they ought to not be too difficult to get rid of. However, you ought to always wear gloves and take care because the needles are very sharp.
Detach the dragon fruit from the vine just by twisting. When a dragon fruit is ripe and prepared to be harvested, it’ll detach from the plant easily by twisting a couple of times. If you’ve got to tug too hard on the fruit then it’s likely not able to be harvested.
You should not wait until the dragon fruit has fallen off the plant. This suggests that the fruit is overripe.
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