Dragon Fruit Plant & Tree Care Tips For A Good Produce
Transfer the dragon fruit seedlings to a sunny spot (65 – 85°F) in summer or spring. It thrives best in slightly acidic but well-draining soil. Also, provide it with structural support to grow well.
The fruit of the dragon fruit plant is a sweet and juicy treat. The plant produces fruit in a variety of shapes and sizes — from bright pink orbs to yellow and green mottled fruits.
Dragon fruit plants require well-drained, sandy soil and full sunlight for optimal growth. It is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy. The plant should be watered thoroughly but allowed to dry out between watering.
Make sure the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight or it may scorch. Dragon fruit plant care also requires you to use lukewarm water for watering the plants. Once the plant is established, fertilizer can be used to encourage additional growth.
Pruning is also necessary to keep the plant healthy and get rid of unhealthy unwanted growth.
How To Care for Dragon Fruit Plants?
Dragon fruit plants require well-drained soil, full sun, and moderate water. During the active growing season, water your dragon fruit plant when the top inch of the soil is dry.
Once the plant is established, water it more deeply and less frequently. Feed your dragon fruit plant every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer and prune the plant to encourage new growth.
If the weather turns cold, bring your dragon fruit plant indoors and place it near a sunny window. Important dragon fruit care tips are stated below in a comprehensive manner:
A. Planting Dragon Fruit Seeds
Dragon fruit seeds can be planted any time of year, but it is best to plant them right after the last frost has passed.
To plant dragon fruit seeds, start by soaking them in warm water for 24 hours to soften the outer coating. Prepare a pot with well-draining soil or use a soil-less potting mix.
Plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep and cover lightly with soil. Water the soil until it is damp and place the pot in a warm, sunny spot. The seeds typically need two to three weeks to germinate.
B. When To Transplant Dragon Fruit Seedlings?
Dragon fruit seedlings can be transplanted at any time of year, but it is best to transplant them in the spring or summer when the temperature is warm, and the days are long.
Transplanting during the winter months can be risky, as cold winters can cause the seedlings to go into shock.
Transplant the seedlings when they have developed at least two true leaves. Before transplanting, the seedlings should be hardened off for a few days by placing them in a sheltered spot outdoors, such as on a porch or under a shade tree.
When transplanting, thoroughly water the seedling and its new potting soil. Plant the seedling in a pot at least twice the size of its current container. Use a well-draining soil mix designed specifically for cacti and succulents.
After transplanting, the seedling should be placed in an area with bright, indirect sunshine. Maintain moist but not damp soil and fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer.
C. How Much Sun Does Dragon Fruit Need?
Dragon fruit plants thrive in warm and humid climates with plenty of sunshine. Dragon fruit tree care requires at least 6-8 hours of exposure to direct sunlight every day for the healthy growth rate of the dragon fruit plant.
More sunlight will result in larger and sweeter fruits. Dragon fruit can tolerate some shade, but too much shade will result in smaller, less sweet fruits. It also requires well-draining soil and regular watering.
D. Ideal Temperature Conditions for Dragon Fruit Plants
Dragon fruit varieties prefer warm climates with temperatures ranging from 65 to 95°F. It is best to keep temperatures between 65 – 85°F during the day and between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
It is important to ensure that temperatures do not drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit as this can cause damage to the plant. Dragon fruit plants thrive in full sun but are also able to tolerate some shade.
E. Does Dragon Fruit Like Wet Soil?
No, dragon fruit plants do not like wet soil types. Overly wet soils can cause root rot and can lead to the death of the plant.
Dragon fruit plants prefer soil that is well-draining and slightly acidic (pH of 5.5–7.0) with plenty of organic matter. They will also benefit from sandy loam soils due to the plant’s need for aeration.
Adding organic compost and other organic materials to the soil will help with drainage, and nutrient retention, and add beneficial microorganisms. It is important to keep the soil moist but not wet.
F. How Often Should I Water My Dragon Fruit Plant?
Dragon fruit plants prefer to be watered on a regular basis. Water your plant at least once or at most twice a week.
Make sure the amount of water you provide is only enough to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Dragon fruit tree care dictates that the amount of water you use will need to be adjusted depending on the size of your plant.
1 cup of water should be enough for a little plant in a 4-6 inch pot. Watering larger plants in larger containers may require up to 2-3 cups of water per watering.
G. Should You Use Fertilizers on Dragon Fruit Plants?
Yes, it is recommended to use fertilizer on dragon fruit plants. A water-soluble fertilizer with high nitrogen content and low phosphorus content should be used.
The fertilizer should be applied every three to four weeks at a rate of one teaspoon per gallon of water. However, be careful to not over-fertilize, as this can cause the plant to become overly acidic.
H. How To Support Dragon Fruit Plants?
Dragon fruit plants are typically vining plants that need support to grow. It is important to make sure that the structure providing the support is strong and secure. This can be achieved in two ways:
- Through the use of a trellis or a post structure. A trellis can be used to help guide the plant’s vines as they grow.
The trellis should be constructed from materials such as wood or metal and placed close to the dragon fruit plant. The trellis should be securely attached to the ground, and the vines tied to it with string or twine.
- A post structure is another option for providing support. This structure can be constructed using two posts, or two poles, which are tied together at the top.
The poles should be secured into the ground at least 18 inches deep. A crossbar should be placed securely between the two posts, with the vines of the dragon fruit climber tied to it.
If you are learning how to take care of dragon fruit plants, it is imperative that you know what kind of support the plant needs.
I. Repotting Dragon Fruit
The steps for repotting a dragon fruit plant are as follows:
- Select a container that is about twice the size of the pot your dragon fruit is currently in. Choose a container with adequate drainage holes.
- Soak the new pot in a bucket of water for several minutes. This will help to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
- Carefully remove the dragon fruit from its current pot.
- Prepare the new pot with a mix of one part soil, one part potting compost, and one part perlite or vermiculite.
- Place the dragon fruit in the new pot and lightly backfill the container with the soil mix.
- Water the soil until it is thoroughly moist.
- Place the pot in a spot that receives indirect sunlight and keep the soil lightly moist.
- Feed the dragon fruit a liquid fertilizer once every two weeks during the growing season.
J. Propagation Of Dragon Fruits
The propagation of Dragon fruit occurs in two ways:
1. From stem cuttings: This is the most reliable and fastest method that guarantees fruit production in less than ten months.
In this method, we take a piece of stem from a matured plant (6 to 15 inches long) by making a sharp slanted cut and replant the stem in a new location after dipping it in the rooting hormone.
2. From the seed: This method although the easiest, requires a considerable amount of patience. It is a less reliable method and the seed can take up to seven years to start producing fruit.
K. Harvesting Dragon Fruit
These are the dragon fruit care tips to be kept in mind while harvesting dragon fruits:
- Select a dragon fruit that is large and free from blemishes. It should also feel heavy for its size, as this indicates that it is nicely ripe.
- Use a sharp knife or garden shear to cut the dragon fruit off the vine.
- Cut away the outer skin of the fruit. It will have a leathery, scaly texture and generally, it can be peeled off with a knife.
- Cut the fruit into quarters or slices and enjoy the sweet, slightly sour taste. The flesh should have a creamy texture and a mild flavor that is reminiscent of a kiwi or a melon.
Pests and Diseases That Affect The Growth Of Dragon Fruit Plants
Dragon fruit plant care is incomplete without dealing with pests and diseases. Pests that affect dragon fruit plants include mealybugs, scales, aphids, and whiteflies. Symptoms of pest infestations include yellowing and wilting of leaves and stems, as well as sooty mold from the honeydew left behind by the insects.
Diseases that affect dragon fruit plants include Fusarium wilt and Phytophthora stem and root rot. Symptoms of the disease include leaf discoloration, wilting, and damping off of newly germinated seedlings.
To identify and prevent pests and diseases, it is recommended to regularly inspect plants for any signs of infestations or diseases. If found, pests should be treated with insecticidal soap or another suitable insecticide.
Diseases should be treated with an appropriate fungicide. Additionally, it is important to keep plants well-watered and in good growing conditions to help prevent pests and diseases.
How To Care For Dragon Fruit Trees In Winter?
Winter is a time when dragon fruit plants need to be given special care to help them survive and thrive. Some care tips for winter are:
- The plant should be kept within 30-90°F.
- Water should be limited, only providing enough to keep the soil slightly moist.
- Fertilizers should also be kept to a minimum during this time, as the plant will not be actively growing.
- Pruning should also be done sparingly, as the plant will not be able to recover quickly during the winter months.
- Lastly, if any pests or diseases appear on the plant during this time, it is important to treat them quickly to prevent further damage or spread.
Does Dragon Fruit Grow Well In Pots?
Yes, dragon fruit can tolerate growing in pots. Make sure to use a pot that is large enough to accommodate its root system and provide good drainage.
You may also need to provide additional support for the stems as dragon fruit plants can become top-heavy due to their large fruit.
Dragon Fruit Plant Care Guide for Indoors:
- Water your dragon fruit plant lightly every 1-3 days depending on how dry the soil is. Allow the top inch of soil to dry before watering again. Water the plant at the base and avoid splashing on the leaves to help prevent disease.
- Dragon fruit plants need bright, direct light for several hours each day. Place the plant near a south-facing window for the best results. If you need to supplement the natural light, consider adding grow lights to the area.
- Dragon fruit plants prefer humid environments, so it’s important to provide adequate humidity. Place a humidifier in the room, or use a pebble tray filled with water and place it near the plant.
- Dragon fruit plants prefer temperatures between 70-85°F. Avoid temperatures lower than 55°F at all costs, as this can shock the plant and cause it to drop its leaves.
- Fertilize your dragon fruit plant with a liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
- Prune your dragon fruit plant by removing any dead or damaged stems and leaves. This will not only help keep the plant healthy and encourage new growth but will also keep your indoors tidy.
Dragon Fruit Plant Care – Easy or Difficult?
In conclusion, dragon fruit is an exotic plant that is easy to care for, as long as you provide it with a healthy environment and meet its basic needs. They are not very demanding. Caring for a dragon fruit plant can be rewarding and enjoyable, as you watch it produce exotic flowers and delicious fruits.