If you want to grow dragon fruit, it’s essential to understand the plant’s care needs. It can be a bit tricky to grow dragon fruit, but with proper care and attention it will thrive!
One of the most popular ways to start a new dragon fruit plant is from stem cuttings. This method takes one to three years before a new plant produces fruit.
Dragon fruit plants prefer well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients. They also like light and warm conditions, but they do best in areas with plenty of sunshine.
The best way to grow dragon fruit is to plant them directly from seed or cuttings, but you can also try to propagate by division or grafting. Make sure that you only use cuttings from healthy plants; otherwise, they can become diseased or damaged.
If you choose to propagate by grafting, you will need a rootstock that is compatible with your dragon fruit. Once you have a suitable rootstock, put the dragon fruit in the center and secure it with a rope.
The main problem that many people have with dragon fruit is pests, including mealybugs and aphids. These insects are sap sucking and can cause the growth of the plant to slow down. Ants can also be a big problem. Spider mites and thrips are also common.
Dragon fruit plants thrive in well-draining soils rich in organic matter. They require a minimum of 1 inch of water every week for the healthy growth of their plants.
Overwatering is not a good idea for these cactus plants as it can lead to root rot problems which can affect the stems. They may also start to droop and look soft and mushy.
Sunburns can also damage these plants. This looks like white or brown spots on the leaves that have been exposed to a lot of sunlight.
Cold weather can also affect them, with branches taking on a purple tinge and turning into mushy rotting flesh. This can be prevented by relocating them to a shadier place or by sheltering them during spells of heavy rain.
These plants do best in warm, tropical regions with a maximum temperature of 20 to 35 degrees. They can tolerate cool climates, but this shortens their fruit-bearing period.
Dragon fruit plants require a balanced fertilizer to promote root and branch growth. In addition, the plant should be given a boost of phosphorus and potassium as it approaches flowering and fruiting.
Fertilizers for dragon fruit plants should be labeled with N-P-K values, which refer to the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in the mix. These numbers are near or identical to each other, which helps to prevent nutrient imbalances.
A good, organic granular fertilizer will be ideal for most potted dragon fruit. It will release nutrients slowly into the soil over time, providing your plant with ample nourishment for its growing needs.
Dragon fruit plants should also be re-potted every year or so to ensure that the soil is well-drained and oxygenated. This will help prevent root rot.
If you love the look of dragon fruit, but don’t have the space for a full-size plant, you can still grow them with cuttings. They’re a quick and easy way to get plants up and running in your garden, and they’re also a great way to save money.
When pruning dragon fruit plants, make sure you’re trimming away any damaged or dead branches. Otherwise, the plant will become congested and less productive.
Depending on the cultivar you’re growing, you may need to prune the plant regularly. The cactus is prone to rust and other fungal diseases in humid conditions, so be extra careful with this variety.
Another popular cultivar is ‘Sin Espinas’, which has beautiful pink skin and sweet flavor. This self-fertile dragon fruit is best grown in part sun and will be ready for harvest between June and November.