Dragon Fruit Fertilization

Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)

Eulogia Bohol

Experienced International Fruit Quality Controller, Trader and Farmer.

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Nutrition needs of Dragon fruit

Before every Dragon fruit commercial production farm starts the land preparation, it is necessary to perform soil analysis beforehand. This is to have the specific data of the soil nutrients that exist and lacking for the soil nutrient requirement of the pitaya plant. Then, the farmer can ensure and can meet the nutrient requirement. 

Pitahaya fruits thrive in slightly acidic soil. Experts recommended treating the acidic soil with ferrous sulfate and rearing basic soil with chelated iron to help keep the plant healthy and strong as much as possible.  

Dragon fruit plants should meet proper nutrient requirements for better yield. This fruit plant root system is focused on external absorption and can swiftly digest even the smallest quantity of nutrients. To fully experience the best result for yield and quality, the plants need these doses of 450: 350: 300 (N-P2O5-K2O) grams (1-0.77-0.66 lb). The treatment application schedule is to split into four doses for every pillar having four plants at 10,10 and 30% of the total, before flowering, 20, 40, and 25% at fruit set, 30,20 and 30% at harvest, and finally 40,30 and 15% of total N-P2O5-K2O two months right after of harvest. If these nutrients aren’t met, then it may result in a problem with fruit weight, shape, and quality. Calcium and micronutrients can be applied to boost fruit growth and firmness. There is this called Super bloom fertilizer that is a low nitrogen fertilizer mixture and has a composition of 0-10-10 or 2-10-10, which are also recommended for Dragon Fruit. 

Different countries have different applications for fertilizers. 

Taiwan: 4 kg (8.8 lb) of organic manure for each plant every 4 months,

                 100 g (0.22 lb) per plant of commercial 13-13-13 NPK mixture fertilizer

Hawaii: 180-230 g (0.4-0.5 lb) per plant 16-16-16 NPK mixture every 4-6 months

               Calcium from pure crushed eggshell (90% Calcium, 6% Magnesium, and 1% phosphorus)

               Super Bloom (0-10-10) / (2-10-10)

Vietnam: 10-15 kg (22-33 lb) farm manure – young plants (less than 3 years old trees)

                    100 g (0.22 lb) super phosphate per plant – at the time of planting

                    300 g (0.66 lb) of urea and 200 g (0.44 lb) of NPK (16-16-8) per plant – every year (first two years)

Mature plants (over 3 years old) require 540 g of N, 720 g of P2O5, 300 g of K2O (or 1.2-1.6- 0.66 lb respectively), 20 kg (44 lb)of farm yard manure plant – every year 

Sri Lanka: NPK 1:1:2 at 30-40 g (0.07-0.09) per vine – 3x a year or 100 g (0.22 lb) per plant (15 N – 5P – 15K – 8S – 1.6 mg per gram) – every year

In the Philippines, the application of combined complete fertilizer (14-14-14) and organic every 3 months as much as possible or every six months. A dose of 2 kg (4.4 lb) of organic plus 25 g (0.056 lb) of urea plus 75 g (0.17 lb) of a complete fertilizer per plant is suggested. Also, we use more organic and more nitrogen.

As the organic label is now a trend, dragon fruit can compete in the market since it can be grown organically without applying inorganic fertilizers or pesticides. Organic manures such as cattle or poultry manure or well-decomposed compost could be applied. This will surely comply with the high international demand for organic-label fruits. 

References: 

  1. https://gardeningtips.in/best-fertilizer-for-dragon-fruit-homemade-organic-natural-compost-manure-and-npk 
  2. https://krishi.icar.gov.in/jspui/bitstream/123456789/23809/1/Dr.Karunkaran,%20vetnum%20proceeding%20.pdf 
  3. http://apps.worldagroforestry.org/downloads/Publications/PDFS/BC07324.pdf 
  4. https://businessdiary.com.ph/7595/dragon-fruit-pitaya-production-guide/#:~:text=Nutrition%3A%20A%20combination%20of%20organic,g%20complete%20fertilizer%20per%20plant
  5. http://apps.worldagroforestry.org/downloads/Publications/PDFS/BC07324.pdf

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Dragon Fruit Fertilization

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Dragon Fruit Harvest and Storage

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