Dragon Fruit Planting Distances and Trellising

Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)

Eulogia Bohol

Experienced International Fruit Quality Controller, Trader and Farmer.

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Dragon fruit cultivation and plant yield greatly benefit and depend to an extent on good sunlight exposure (6-8 hours daily). The shady areas are not likely suitable for dragon fruit planting. Similarly, the shadowing of one plant with its neighbor should also be avoided, and light penetration within the crop must be maximized by choosing the optimum planting distances.

Dragon Fruit Trellis

The dragon fruit is an upright shrub that grows very quickly and easily. It requires a protected area in order to mature and produce lush fruits. Dragon fruit plants may be grown on the ground without any support, but it is highly recommended to have trellis or support columns. These columns should be made of concrete or wood because when the plants become fully grown with aerial roots from the main stem, they are very heavy and need strong support. It is recommended to provide a circular metal frame for better support and 8×8 feet (2.4×2.4 m) space around each plant to allow the plants to spread and grow uniformly. The supporting poles or trellis should be 4.7 inches (12 cm) in diameter and 6.6 feet (2 meters) long. After establishing in the field, these poles should be at least 1.4 to 1.5 meters (4.6-5 ft) high from ground level.

There are different kinds of trellis systems. Single poles with wood or cement and iron ring, continuous pyramid stands, and ‘T’ stands with two different cultivars. However, only two kinds of trellis support that is commonly used. These are single posts, wires stretched across a row held up by uniformly spaced posts. The materials needed for this multi-stemmed plant must be well-built.

The trellis system that is effective and proven that gives better performance in growth and yield than other systems is the single pole. This works best in commercial production since it can support the weight of the plants and allow easy access to flowers and fruit.

Pitaya Plant Spacing – Plant Density

Dragon fruit plants should be kept well away from trees, structures, and electrical lines for about 15-25 feet (4.6-7.6 m) since they become quite large and spread.

It is recommended that you leave a sufficient growing surface for the plants to spread without shadowing each other. A commonly used planting pattern is 10-16 feet between plants and rows.

Spacing (m or feet)

Number of plants per ha or acre

Between rowsWithin rows
3 or 103 or 101100 or 446
4 or 133 or 10833 or 337
4.9 or 163 or 10680 or 275
3.7 or 123.7 or 12730 or 296

Spacing is important since a narrower spacing gives quicker production than larger spacing. This is to prevent plants from falling. In Dragon fruit spacing, the size and slope of the plantation are factors to take into consideration. In small-scall growers, proper spacing is not necessary. To avoid or lower the chances of diseases outbreak, wider spacing is highly recommended. It will also allow sufficient air circulation. Lastly, the type of posts used for support will vary in the spacing. The common spacing used is shown in the table below.

Reference:

  1. https://krishi.icar.gov.in/jspui/bitstream/123456789/23809/1/Dr.Karunkaran,%20vetnum%20proceeding%20.pdf
  2. https://5.imimg.com/data5/SELLER/Doc/2021/3/AQ/BD/SY/86539219/dragon-fruit-contract-farming.pdf
  3. https://krishi.icar.gov.in/jspui/bitstream/123456789/23809/1/Dr.Karunkaran,%20vetnum%20proceeding%20.pdf
  4. https://www.uog.edu/_resources/files/extension/publications/Dragon_Fruit.pdf
  5. http://apps.worldagroforestry.org/downloads/Publications/PDFS/BC07324.pdf
  6. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/HS303

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Dragon Fruit Water Requirement and Irrigation Systems

Dragon Fruit Fertilization

Dragon Fruit Plant Protection

Dragon Fruit Harvest and Storage

Packing, Selling and Export of Dragon Fruits

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