Soil Requirement and Land Preparation for Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)

Eulogia Bohol

Experienced International Fruit Quality Controller, Trader and Farmer.

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Based on attitude and climate conditions, the regions below 800 meters (26-25 feet) above sea level are suitable for dragon fruit cultivation.

While they are not very demanding in a specific soil type, pitahaya can have maximum growth and yield in well-drained, light soils (with a good amount of loamy sand) with slightly acidic pH (5.5-6.5) and rich in organic matter. Dragon fruit, like all succulents, is sensitive to water logging and suffers in soggy, wet soils. While it can be planted even in clay loam soil types, it will grow more poorly than in sandy or loamy soil. The reason is that clay soil is very heavy and holds too much water, and the roots of the dragon fruit can easily become waterlogged and rot in such conditions. In heavy, water-loggings soils, the grower can mix soil with sand or small stone gravel to facilitate drainage to avoid this problem. On the other hand, very sandy soils may require more frequent irrigations and fertilization with smaller amounts per dose, and there is a higher risk of nutrient leaching.

Land Preparation in Dragon Fruit Cultivation

Pitaya plant is shallow rooted with most roots concentrated on the top 15-30 cm soil depth (6-12 inches). As part of land field preparation, applies some organic compost to increase its fertility. Land should be plowed till soil becomes fine tilth and weed-free and sufficient drainage is achieved.

Check out the common pests and diseases in that area; that is essential to know the pre-control for pests and diseases that are highly considered before planting. If this matter is not addressed in advance, it will contribute to diseases in yield in the future. Like other fruits, dragon fruit seedlings should plant in a well-prepared pit. Ideally, the farmer should prepare the pit (about 0.6 meters deep and 0.6 meters wide or 1.9X1.9 feet) at least a month before planting. However, the square system of plantation is widely used on flat land.

Best Soil Mix for Dragon Fruit

Use succulent potting mix regularly. The fruiting stage needs more nutrients than vegetative growth. Add more rich organic matter.

  • Sandy soil mix – Four parts high-quality potting soil, two parts coarse sand, and one perlite.
  • Non-sandy soil mix – Two parts of high-quality potting soil and one perlite.

Location and Area to Consider for Planting Dragon Fruit

  • Consider the land slopes
  • Know the high points and the low points
  • Observe how rainwater flows on the land surface
  • Dragon fruit should be planted in free-draining soil at least 1-2 inches deep (2.54-5 cm).

References:

  • https://krishi.icar.gov.in/jspui/bitstream/123456789/23809/1/Dr.Karunkaran,%20vetnum%20proceeding%20.pdf
  • https://www.fftc.org.tw/htmlarea_file/activities/20150817121105/02-15P10.pdf

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