One of the most curious-looking fruits in a market is the Dragon fruit, also known as the Dragon cactus or Pitaya. Some plants can be grown both to eat and as a decorative one, and Dragon fruit is one of them. Dragon fruit plants are long, gangly cactuses that sprout large, colorful fruits reminiscent of the dragon’s skin. Let’s check out how to prepare the soil for Dragon fruit plants/trees below.
Dragon fruit needs full sun; choose a sunny area in your garden or a sunny window with six hours of sunlight daily. Home-grown Dragon fruits can be extremely satisfying, but like all cactuses, they can be picky about their growing conditions, such as temperature, water, growing medium, and spacing. For soil, choose potting soil that is well-drained because Dragon fruits are sensitive to wet feet and are rich in organic matter.
Water-logging soil can cause root rot, and you can mix soil with sand or small stone gravel to facilitate drainage to avoid this deadly element. The best soil for Dragon fruit is well-draining and rich in nutrients, ideally with a good amount of loamy sand and some water and organic matter to maintain nutrients.
However, sandy soil dries up very quickly and cannot hold the nutrients well. During botanical development, Dragon fruit plants have shallow roots that reach 8 to 12 inches. However, when they start flowers and fruits, the roots of Dragon fruits will spread to 24 inches in the soil.
How to prepare the soil for Dragon fruit plants/trees
Soil pH for Dragon fruit
The Dragon fruit plant can grow in well-drained soil but prefers to grow in slightly acidic soil with pH levels between six and seven. While Dragon fruit can tolerate different pH levels, the availability of nutrients in the soil will reduce due to too acidic or too alkaline soil. For example, trace metals like iron and zinc are better absorbed with low pH, while calcium and magnesium are better absorbed at higher pH. Still, the essential macronutrient phosphorus is absorbed between 6 and 6.5 pH.
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Preparation of soil for growing Dragon fruit in pots
This plant can grow in well-drained soil but prefers to grow in slightly acidic soil. Cactus mix is a recommended soil mixture used to grow Dragon fruit. You can prepare homemade cactus mix with sand or perlite, organic manure, and compost. If you fill the container thoroughly with a draining potting mix that contains organic material. The potting mixture should be siphoned thoroughly; otherwise, the fruit will eventually rot and die.
Although plants can survive in poor soils, well-drained, sandy, or loamy soil is ideal for growing Dragon fruit plants. You can also use any soil mixed with sand. These plants prefer the garden’s normal soil to the cactus’s soil even after being a member of the Cactus family. If you are planting in a container, hold a large one with drainage holes below. You can go with you using a mixture of sand, potting soil, and compost if you don’t have cactus soil available. Fill it a few inches away from the edge of the pot.
Preparation of soil for growing Dragon fruit on grounds
Dragon fruit plants are light feeders that don’t need a lot of nutrients. Plant Dragon fruit in your garden where water does not accumulate. If you get too much rain in your area, set up a Dragon fruit plant on a hill or mound to drain out of water. Dragon fruit grows best in well-drained, sandy loam soil with high organic matter and is slightly acidic. The plant can stand some salt in the soil, but the tolerance will depend on the cultivar.
Like other cactus species, Dragon fruit occupies a much lower surface area than plants with true leaves and can survive in a sterile environment that will kill most plant species. There is not much preparation required in the planting area for Dragon fruit; it will be enough to remove weeds and debris and add some manure to the soil to help provide nutrients and maintain moisture. Manure and compost increase soil fertility.
How to grow Dragon fruit in poor soil
Dragon fruit grows in clay but is worse than in sandy or loamy soil. It is because the clay soil is very heavy and keeps too much water. Your Dragon fruit roots can easily fill with water and sink into clay soil. Small quantities of clay are beneficial as the soil is rich in minerals and micronutrients.
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When you want to plant your Dragon fruit in sandy soil, prepare the soil in advance with well-rotted manure or compost and use it to fill the hole after the root ball has been situated. A good quality cactus potting mix is also recommended. Completely break the base before planting fruit in shallow bedrock soil. And if the planting level is in an area with a low water level, make a mound 2 to 3 feet high for planting.
Soil composting for Dragon fruit
Soil is bought to a fine tilth to cultivate Dragon fruit plants. Organic matter is added as amendments to poor soil. Organic manures play an essential role in the good growth and development of the Dragon fruit plant. Apply 10 to 15 kg of organic fertilizer for each Dragon fruit plant. You will then have to increase the fertilizer by 2 kg yearly. Organic and non-organic fertilizers are needed to give it good botanical growth.
Dragon fruit loves compost, but be careful some homemade or shop-bought compost can burn the plant. Adding a light to the mix will help in drainage. The best organic matter for Dragon fruit plants is from grazing animals, including horses, cows, goats, and sheep. It slowly breaks down and remains available in the soil for longer. The main downside of this type of fertilizer is the smell, which can be quite powerful and long.
Making a compost mulch with fallen winter leaves, grass clippings, and other organic substances that break easily can be less aromatic but still beneficial once it matures well. Both manure and compost help feed the plant and help maintain the richness, aeration, and water retention of the soil.
Land preparation for Dragon fruit
If you want to grow outside (whether in the container or not), choose a place that is at least partly sunny. Roots may be in the shade, but the plant tips must be in the sun to bloom. To cultivate Dragon fruit plants, you must choose the land at a reasonable height. These plants can be grown in any cultivable soil. Use animal manure in the soil before setting up a Dragon fruit plant, which we can get from cattle waste.
It can result in rapid and healthy growth of the plant. Do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Make sure everything you use on the plant is organic. You should plow the land until the soil frees up fine tilth and weeds. As part of the land preparation, any organic compost in proportionate ratio, like other fruits, you should plant Dragon fruit seedlings in a well-prepared pit. Ideally, you should prepare pits at least a month before planting.
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There should be a pit dimension about 0.6 meters deep and 0.6 meters wide. However, the square system of plantation is widely used on flat land. Similarly, plant distance also depends on variety, adopted training systems, and the required plant structure. Poles can be anything from concrete to PVC (but you should avoid treated timber) and are attached to the top with a frame to allow the plant to hang down. Proper planting distance is important as a narrow distance produces faster than a larger distance.
Best soil mix for Dragon fruit
You can take several directions to make your soil for Dragon fruit plants. You can use succulent potting mix regularly, but since the fruiting stage needs more nutrients than vegetative growth, you will need to add more rich organic matter.
- Sandy soil mix – Four parts high-quality potting soil, two parts coarse sand, and one part perlite.
- Non-sandy soil Mix – Two parts high-quality potting soil and one part perlite.
- Also, you can avoid adding extra sand and perlite, but you’ll still have to go with some well-draining.
Soil recipe for Dragon fruit
Dragon fruit plants need light and well-drained soil full of nutrients. Meet the demands by creating a growing medium of 2/3 vegetable potting and 1/3 cactus mix. The vegetable mix will boost soil fertility, while the mixture of cactus is great for drainage. Soil pH is not a dealbreaker here, but Dragon fruit prefers its conditions to be slightly acidic.
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Natural soil amendments for Dragon fruit
Dragon fruit plants are not very fussy about their soil type or pH level. The key is that their soil is moist, rich in organic matter, and drained well. The cacti experts also recommend mulching around the plant base, especially in dry areas, to help the soil maintain its moisture. Pick up rotten manure at your local shop, or make your compost home. Along with traditional manure, fertilizer and manure are a great source of nutrients for your Dragon fruit.
Dragon fruit grows best in fertile, gravel-rich, water-permeable soil with a pH of 6 to 7. Culture soil formula is often used 60% vermiculite, 20% coco-coir or peat moss, and 20% sandy soil. You can also add a small quantity of organic potting soil. You can add lightweight culture media like vermiculite to improve the air permeability of the soil. You can also add eggshell powder or vermicompost to boost the ground’s fertility. Dragon fruit roots are very sensitive to oxygen deficiency.
Root rot can start if the soil is poorly viable for air and water. It is easy to decide sustainability: Water should pass through the medium faster and slowly seep down instead of stopping at the soil level while watering. Re-pot and loosen the soil every year to ensure the air permeability of the soil. In growing seasons (i.e., spring, summer, and fall), fertilize the Dragon fruit once a month with liquid fertilizer. No fertilizer is required in winter. Small quantities of slow-release fertilizer can be added to the soil well when repotting in spring or fall.
What to do with soil when growing Dragon fruit
Dragon fruit is usually planted as a decorative vine and fruit crop, and Dragon fruit can climb surfaces like fences and trees. Tolerant of the full sun, Dragon fruit is ideal for xeriscaping but can also be planted in containers. Companion plants include Texas Sage, Ice plant, and Kalanchoe. Fruit trees should be planted together (at least two).
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Their best companions are Alliums, Tansy, Comfrey and other nitrogen-fixing plants, Nasturtiums, Marigold, Lemon Balm, Mustards, Dandelions, Daffodils, Borage, and other flowers. Dragon fruit plants do not plant with plants that require more moisture.
If you like gardening and planting Dragon fruit on your lawn or garden, you should know exactly the soil types perfect for your plant. Soil not only keeps your Dragon plants firmly on the ground but also provides all the necessary nutrients for plants to grow and thrive. The health of the Dragon plant is directly related to soil quality. So, preparing the soil for growing Dragon fruit is very important.
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