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Dragon Fruit Plant Care: The Essentials Explained

Dragon fruit is a tropical plant that can be grown in the home garden. Dragon fruit trees are very easy to grow and require little maintenance. But they need specific care for better growth.

Caring for dragon fruit plants requires that they receive daily watering. They should receive at least sunlight. Fertilize the soil with organic fertilizer every few weeks.

Do you want to know more tips on caring for dragon fruit plants? Read this entire article to learn more! 

How to Grow Dragon Fruit Plants?

Dragon fruit Care

The dragon fruit tree can grow up to 12-15 feet tall, with a spread of 10-12 feet at maturity. They are self-pollinating and will produce fruit in 3 years, with an annual yield of 40 to 60 pounds per tree. 

The plant is resistant to most pests and diseases but requires occasional pruning for proper growth and fruiting.

If you want to grow a dragon fruit tree in your home garden, follow these steps:

  • You must get a pot with drainage holes to grow the plant. 
  • Then, you must fill the pot with rich soil fertilized with compost or manure. 
  • You should also add sand to the soil so water can drain easily.
  • After planting your dragon fruit seedling in the pot, keep it well-watered.
  • Provide it with enough sunlight by placing it near a window or outdoors in a place where there is plenty of sun.

Follow these steps, and you are good to grow a dragon fruit plant. Now you have grown the plant, you need to take good care of it. Let’s see how you can do so in the article’s next section. 

Taking Care of Dragon Fruit: 13 Things You Need to Know

Dragon fruits are exotic-looking subtropical cactus fruits. They are also known as pitaya, strawberry pear, and kiwano.

The dragon fruit is a cactus-like plant with fleshy red or yellow skin surrounding large edible seeds. 

The skin has a crunchy texture like an apple or pear. It has a sweet taste with pineapple, strawberry, and banana flavors.

The dragon fruit is grown on trees and doesn’t need much care as long as it gets enough water when it’s in the ground, but if you want to grow them indoors, you will need to provide plenty of light and warmth for them to grow correctly.

However, you must consider some critical factors for their healthy growth while taking care of them. Let us have a look at these factors.

Soil

Soil Retains Moisture

Dragon fruit plants are not as demanding when it comes to soil requirements. They can grow in various soils but thrive best in well-drained, loose, and loamy soils.

The soil should be deeply dug and amended with compost or other organic matter to help the soil retain moisture.

Water

watering dragon fruit

Dragon fruit plants are known to be hardy, but they do require more water than other plants. It needs a lot of water because it is hot and humid in the area where it comes from.

The dragon fruit plant can grow in a pot and does not need to be planted in the ground, but it requires more water than most other plants.

Light

sunlight for dragon fruit

The light requirements of dragon fruit plants are not very demanding. The amount of light required by the dragon fruit plant depends on the time of year and whether it is indoors or outdoors.

They need about 6 hours of light per day to grow optimally but can withstand less than that if necessary.

Temperature

Temperature

Dragon fruit plants are tropical plants that need warm conditions to grow. They are sensitive to cold weather and require a minimum of 18°C (65°F) to grow.

Dragon fruit plants can be grown outdoors in warmer climates but need protection from frost, cold winds, and rain.

Humidity

Humidity

The dragon fruit plant is a tropical plant that requires high humidity for optimal growth. Dragon fruit plants grow best in warm and humid climates but can tolerate less-than-ideal conditions.

Fertilizer 

fertilizer for dragon fruit

The best fertilizer for dragon fruit plants is one rich in nitrogen. This will help the plant grow and produce fruits more rapidly.

Therefore, the best fertilizers have a high nitrogen content, such as urea, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium sulfate.

Good quality compost can also be used as fertilizer for dragon fruit plants. It should be mixed with soil before being used to ensure that it does not burn the roots of the plant when applied.

How to Know That Fertilization was Successful?

The best way to know if fertilization was successful in dragon fruit plants is by looking at the color of the flowers. If they are white, fertilization was unsuccessful, and you should try again.

Repotting

repotting for dragon fruit

The best way to know if your dragon fruit plants need repotting is to look for the roots. Repotting is necessary when there are roots that are coming out of the drainage holes.

Repotting helps with drainage and prevents root rot. When you report, ensure that the container has a hole in the bottom for water to drain. Dragon fruit plants should be repotted every 2-3 months.

Pruning

pruning for dragon fruit

Pruning dragon fruit plants is a necessary process that needs to be done every year. It keeps them healthy and productive. This is because the dragon fruit plant grows in the shape of a bush.

The bush will continue to grow until it reaches its maximum height, which can be as high as 8 feet tall. The plant will not produce any fruits if it has grown too tall and hasn’t been pruned.

The best time for pruning dragon fruit plants is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins in late spring.

Propagation

propagating for dragon fruit

The propagation of dragon fruit plants is done through a process called grafting. The best time for grafting is during the late winter months when the temperature is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Supporting the Plant

supporting the dragon fruit

There are many ways to provide support to dragon fruit plants. One way is to use a tree stake.

A tree stake is a long pole inserted into the ground on one side of the plant and then driven into the ground on the other side. 

Another way is to use a trellis. A trellis can be made out of wood or metal, or it can be made out of wires or string and attached to stakes in each corner of a square or rectangle.

Blooms/Flowering

dragon fruit flowering

To understand the blooming or flowering needs, let us know by bifurcating and answering the two critical questions:

When Does it Flower

Dragon fruit plants are known for their beautiful flowers. They can be found in various colors, such as pink, yellow, and purple.

Dragon fruit plants have blooming periods that depend on the species. For example, Hylocereus undatus blooms from April to June, while Hylocereus costaricensis blooms from October to November.

The flowers of dragon fruit plants are fragrant and attract pollinators like bees and hummingbirds.

How to Encourage Flowering.

It is not uncommon for a dragon fruit plant to take a while before it flowers. Here are some tips on how to encourage the flowering process.

  • Provide a constant source of water and fertilizer to the plant.
  • Prune the plant and remove dead leaves. This will help increase air circulation and allow light to reach the flowers quickly.
  • Monitor the temperature of your home or office; this will help you determine when you need to provide more warmth for your dragon fruit plants to flower.
  • Reduce light exposure, as this can inhibit flowering in plants.

Growth

dragon fruit growth

Dragon fruit is a beautiful plant with a long, spiny stem and large green leaves. It needs warm temperatures to grow. 

They will not grow well if exposed to cold weather for too long. So, it is best if you can grow them in warmer climates such as Florida or California.

If you want to grow dragon fruit in pots, make sure the pot has drainage holes and is at least 12 inches deep to hold enough water for the plant to thrive during hot summer.

You will need a soil mix with good drainage properties and some fertilizer for your plants every month or two. 

You should also ensure that your plants get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Placement

dragon fruit placement

The best place for dragon fruit plants is in the garden or a container. They need a sunny spot and plenty of room to spread out. Dragon fruit plants grow well in containers.

They are typically grown in warm, tropical climates. They are sensitive to frost and cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.

The best place for dragon fruit plants is in a sunny location with well-drained soil. The plant needs a lot of water when young, but it can be grown without much water once established.

Common Problems While Caring for Dragon Fruits Plants

Dragon fruits are subtropical fruits that can be found in many countries around the world. They are one of the most popular exotic fruits grown on a vine. They have a sweet taste with some sourness to them. 

Dragon fruit plants are easy to grow and require little care, but some problems can arise while increasing them. 

Some problems faced by dragon fruit growers have been discussed in this section of the article:

Vulnerability of Pests

dragon fruit pests

The dragon fruit plant is vulnerable to pests like spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, and thrips. These insects can cause leaves to turn brown, leading to the plant’s death if left untreated.

These pests can be controlled by using pesticides like insecticides or neem oil. Too much sun exposure can cause sunburn and make plants more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Following are the reasons dragon fruits are vulnerable to pests.
They are vulnerable because:

  • Insects, such as fruit flies, can quickly attack them.
  • They have thin skin that insects easily puncture. It is a delicate plant that cannot withstand harsh weather.
  • It has high water content, making it an easy target for insect infestation.

Susceptible to Diseases

dragon fruit disease

The dragon fruit plant is susceptible to anthracnose, root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew. Fungi on the leaves of dragon fruit plants or plant roots cause these diseases. 

The most common way for these diseases to spread is through infected soil or water contaminated with spores from diseased plants. These diseases can be controlled by spraying the plant with fungicides such as copper or sulphur.

Lack of Nutrients

lack of nutrients on dragon fruit

Dragon Fruit plants can also suffer from nutrient deficiencies which might lead to stunted growth or yellowing leaves. This problem is usually solved by adding fertilizer to the soil.

There are many nutrients that dragon fruit plants require to survive. They can’t thrive without a healthy diet of nitrogen, magnesium, iron, and manganese. 

In addition, they need to have enough phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur in their soil.

Frost Damage

dragon fruit frost damage

Frost is not suitable for dragon fruit plants. It can cause the plant to die or produce less fruit. 

If you live in a cold climate, keep your dragon fruit plants indoors or cover them up with frost cloth during winter when it gets too hard outside.

However, frost will not always have a negative impact on the health of dragon fruit plants. 

It damages leaves and causes the water in their cells to freeze. This prevents them from absorbing water or nutrients in the soil, leading to plant death.

Underwatering

underwatered dragon fruit

Too little water can lead to brown spots on leaves, wilting leaves, browning skin, and rotting of the flesh inside. Hence, always ensure that dragon fruits get adequate water.

These were some of the problems that dragon fruit growers face. Therefore, to ensure the health care and maintenance of dragon fruits, it’s essential to avoid problems as much as possible.

Tips for Caring for Dragon Fruits Plant

The dragon fruit is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to cultivate. The plant can grow up to 12 feet tall and have red, yellow, orange, or pink skin with white flesh and black seeds.

Dragon fruits are a great addition to any fruit bowl! They are a healthy, low-calorie snack that is perfect for the summer. 

They have been used for centuries in traditional medicine in Asia and Latin America for their anti-inflammatory effects and to treat diabetes. It is also high in Vitamin C.

But before you start snacking on these delicious fruits, you should know how to care for them properly.

  • Dragon fruits need plenty of sunlight and warmth to grow. So make sure they are planted in a sunny location with plenty of room for growth.
  • Water dragon fruits regularly, but don’t overwater them! It is crucial to keep the soil moist but not wet.
  • Keep dragon fruits away from pets and other animals because they are toxic to them!
  • Dragon fruit plants can be grown from seedlings or cuttings. When planting seeds, sow one seed per pot and cover with soil about 1/4 inch deep.

    When planting cuttings, place the cutting about 1-2 inches deep in the soil and keep it moist until it starts growing roots.
  • When harvesting dragon fruits, do not cut off the stem, as this will prevent new shoots from growing.

The Takeaway

Dragon fruit plants are easy to grow and care for. They are tropical plants that need a warm, humid environment to grow. You only need to provide them with enough water to survive and thrive well.

They also need a lot of sunlight and should be planted in well-drained soil. But remember that the plant is also sensitive to too much heat, so the temperature should be maintained moderately.

The leaves of dragon fruit are sensitive to frost, so they should be protected from cold climates. Warm climates are their taste for their long and healthy survival.

Follow these tips, and you will have a healthy dragon fruit plant!