A Scientific Approach To Dragon Fruit Farming

The dragon fruit, native to America, can thrive in arid and semi-arid environments with minimal input. Dragon fruit farming is quite popular now in different parts of the world. Its name comes from its appearance — leather-like skin and scaly spikes on the exterior of the fruits. 

Dragon Fruit Farm Trees

You may practice dragon fruit farming as an ornamental climbing vine and fruit tree. People use dragon fruit to make jams, fruit juice, ice cream, jelly, wine, and face packs. This fruit is also known as Pitaya, Pitahaya, Queen of the Night, Strawberry Pear, and Noblewoman. 

Dragon fruit farming is widespread in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Israel, and Vietnam but is slowly gaining traction in countries like India. Dragon fruit cultivation well in regions with the least rainfall. People have even started growing dragon fruits in pot. 

Popularity of Dragon Fruits

It is not just the appearance of the fruit that has grabbed everyone’s interest. A low-maintenance climbing cactus vine that delivers many harvests per year and has a lifespan of roughly 20 years. 

The emphasis on the fruit’s health benefits (high in antioxidants and fibers) ensures a healthy market and, as a result, fair profitability. 

Another attraction for dragon fruit cultivation is the yellowish-green aromatic bloom of dragon fruit.

If you are interested in how these gorgeous exotic fruits are grown, you are at the right place. Here’s a quick guide to dragon fruit cultivation.

Major Types Of Dragon Fruit According To Color

  1. Red Dragon Fruit- It has pink skin with dark red flesh inside.
  2. White Dragon Fruit: This cultivar produces pink skin and white flesh.
  3. Yellow Dragon Fruit: This type includes just one variety that has yellow skin accompanied by white and firm flesh.

Pre-Planting in Dragon Fruit Farming

Climate for Dragon Fruit Cultivation

Dragon fruit cultivation may grow in environments with high-temperature changes and poor soil. Tropical climates are the best for dragon fruit farming. Crop development is optimal when 40-60 cm of yearly rainfall and temperatures between 20°C and 30°C.

Although dragon fruit is a Cactaceae family member, they require more water than other cacti because they originated in tropical rainforests, not deserts. So you can do dragon fruit farming in most parts of India except for dry areas.

 Soil in Dragon Fruit Cultivation

If the soil is well-drained, you can grow dragon fruit on various types of soil. 

The ideal soil for dragon fruit cultivation contains a high concentration of organic matter and is somewhat acidic. You are responsible for providing organic fertilizer to the sub-marginal soils. 

As a result, dragon fruit plants thrive in sandy loam with a large amount of organic matter and good drainage. 

The optimal pH for dragon fruit farming range for soil is 5.5-7 for dragon fruit cultivation. It would be best if you prepared to land so that it is weed-free and has a fine tilth.

Propagation of Dragon Fruit 

You can multiply dragon fruits effortlessly by stem cutting.

According to research, Planting stem cuttings of 20-25 cm are most appropriate. Allow latex leaking out of the wound to dry one-two day before planting. 

 In dragon fruit cultivation, take a cutting from superior mother plants after the fruiting season. To avoid disease in dragon fruit farming, treat the cutting with fungicide. 

Use 12 x 30 cm polyethylene bags with the potting mixture of topsoil, farmyard manure /dry cow dung, and sand in a 1:1:1 ratio. Keep these Rooting in a shady spot. Avoid excess moisture to prevent it from rotting. 

The roots are well and are ready to plant in 5-6 months.If you grow by seedling in dragon fruit cultivation, studies show that seedlings remain tiny and thin-stemmed even after a year. 

Also, plants grown from seeds are not true to type and have a lot of diversity. Thus it’s best to use stem cuttings in dragon fruit cultivation.

Planting Methods in Dragon Fruit 

Planting in an open area that receives full sunlight is ideal for dragon fruit farming. You cannot practice dragon fruit cultivation in shaded areas. The perfect planting distance is 3×3 m.

Lateral shoots must be limited, and 2-3 main stems are allowed to grow. About eight months after planting, the dragon fruit forms a thick, dense mass of vines on top of the trellis.

You can grow about 1700 plants in 1 acre of land for dragon fruit cultivation.

Post-Cultivation Practices in Dragon Fruit Cultivation

Training in Dragon Fruit Farming

Training in dragon fruit tree


Dragon fruit vines proliferate and generate thick, dense branches in the early stages. Use wooden or concrete columns to support the proper growth in dragon fruit farming. 

Pinch lateral buds and allow 2-3 main stems to grow.

To create an umbrella-like structure of vines in dragon fruit cultivation, you should remove the primary stem at its tip to allow new shoots to grow laterally and climb at the ring. It is called structural pruning or trellis building in dragon fruit cultivation.

A healthy vine can develop 30-50 branches in one year and 100 branches in four years.

You can use different trellis designs made with iron rings and concrete for the training in dragon fruit farming.

Manures and Fertilizers in Dragon Fruit Cultivation

Dragon fruit cultivation requires Proper nutrient requirements for crop yield performance. The root system of dragon fruit plants is shallow and can quickly absorb nutrients. Mineral and organic nutrition are beneficial in dragon fruit farming.

Organic manure plays a big part in dragon fruit cultivation. You need to give each plant at least 10 to 15 kg of organic compost to make sure it grows well. After that, you have to add 2 kg of manure per year to the Amount you use in dragon fruit farming.

You could obtain the best yield and quality with the following doses for N:P: K, 450: 350: 300. The quantities refer to Amounts in kg/ha.

Or you can also supply The fertilizer ratio as potash:superphosphate: urea = 40:90:70 grams /plant.

When To Apply?

Apply nutrients N P2O5 K2O in four divided doses to each pillar having four plants.

10, 10, and 30% of the total before flowering.

20, 40, and 25% at the fruit set.

30, 20 and 30% at harvest.

 Finally, 40, 30, and 15 % after two months of harvest.

 Irrigation in Dragon Fruit Farming

Dragon fruit farming can survive with deficient rainfall, many months of drought.Dragon fruit roots are shallow, 15-30 cm deep. So You should ensure irrigation during the dry season.

Over-irrigation in dragon fruit cultivation can induce fungus. In the rainy season, you need appropriate drainage. Frequent dry spells in dragon fruit cultivation impair fruit yield and quality.

The dry period before flowering is required for the production of more fruits. Local drip irrigation in dragon fruit cultivation improves yield and growth.

Flood irrigation wastes water and adds weeding work. During the summer/dry days, 2-4 liters of water per plant is sufficient. Water requirements vary with soil, climate, and plant health.

 Pest and Diseases in Dragon Fruit Farming

Dragon fruit farming is less susceptible to pests and diseases. Pests, including mealy bugs, aphids, and termites, harm the dragon fruit.

They are sap-sucking pests that feed on the plant’s delicious nectar. Aphids attract ants, who eat on the plant.

They won’t harm the plant, but they aren’t healthy for its overall health. Currently, dragon fruit has fruit flies.

The pheromone traps in dragon fruit cultivation will control the fruit flies in the dragon fruit cultivation.

Bacterial Infections

Dark sunken patches on stems and leaves indicate an infection in dragon fruit farming. Bacteria can also induce soft stem rot in dragon fruit cultivation.

This disease can harm any part of the plant, including fruit. Sterilize your clippers to prevent disease transmission.

In dragon fruit farming, watery stem rot caused by Xanthomonas sp.

It damages vines in heavy-rain areas. Proper drainage, wider spacing, adequate air circulation, and proper sunlight light help minimize the disease.

Fungal Problems

When the humidity is high during the summer, rust patches emerge, then open up to rot; nonetheless, the plants seem to recover without intervention.

Fungicides can help plants that appear to be severely affected by a fungus in dragon fruit farming. Regardless, the dragon fruit plant recovers quickly from fungus or wind damage.


Many dragon fruit cultivation in India had sunburn damage. Symptoms emerged in March and April when temperatures varied greatly between day and night, especially in the 38oC region—in this context, planting dragon fruit beneath a shade net house and spraying antitranspirants. Filler crops also tried to reduce the physiological harm.



In the first year, the plants bear dragon fruit. Fruits are ready for picking after one month of flowering.

Aside from that, flowering lasts until December. This period allows for six pick-ups of these fruits from dragon fruit cultivation.

Harvesting is best when the fruits turn crimson. Harvesting is best done 3-4 days after the color change.

For export, they should be harvested one day following color change. 5-6 tonnes per acre from dragon fruit farming.


Many gardener enthusiasts are cultivating dragon fruit, which has become a super crop in recent years. As commercial dragon fruit cultivation grows in popularity, so do many people cultivating it at home. Owing to its high nutritious value, dragon fruit farming is gaining popularity among health-conscious consumers. Either way, dragon fruit farming is becoming the next big thing in fruit farming.

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