Dragon Fruit: Cultivation Techniques & health benefits.
Author: Tirtha Raj Devkota
MSc .Ag. Horticulture
Agriculture and Forestry University
- Common name: Dragon fruit
- Family: Cactaceae
- Scientific name: Hylocereus Undatus
- Origin: South America
- Weight: 150 to 600 grams some reach 1 kilogram
Dragon fruit is very strange looking fruit. The dragon fruit is also known as a pitahaya or pitaya in Mexico. In Central America and northern South America it popular as pitaya Roja. Dragon fruit plant sowing is excellent in the less expected rainfall areas.
Dragon Fruit Uses
- Ice creams
- Jelly production
- Fruit juice
- Face packs
Climate Required For Dragon Fruit Farming
The tropical weather conditions are better for the dragon fruit cultivation. Dragon fruit pant requires 50 cm annual rainfall and 20 °C to 30 °C temperature. The high sunlight is not convivial for the dragon fruit crop. You can use the shading method for protecting the dragon fruit crop from the high sunlight.
Soil Requirement for Dragon Fruit Farming
In Dragon fruit farming you may mostly requires sandy loam or clay loam. The sandy soil is better for the dragon fruit cultivation. You should plowed soil until it not achieves the better tilth and weed free. You can also require pH of soil in between 5.5 to 7 and it is good for dragon fruit sowing. Before plantation applies any organic compost on the soil in proportional ratio
- Cutting the 20 cm length of the plant from the mother dragon plants before two days of a plantation. Before cultivation, keep this cutting piece in a pot with the mixture of Dry cow dung, Topsoil, and Sand in the ratio of 1:1:2. Avoid sunlight from these cut piece.
- When you start cultivation place the every plant 2-meter x 2-meter space between them and planted in a pit which is 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm in a size. Also, fill this pit with 100 grams super phosphate compost. The 1-acre land contains about 1700 dragon fruit plants. For plant proper development and growth put the support of concrete or wooden columns.
The fruits should be planted before the onset of monsoon. The fruits have the economic life of 20-25 years.
Plant population: ea
1700-1800 plants per acer or 4200 plants per hectare of land.
Fertilizers of Dragon Fruit Farming
The each plant of dragon fruit requires 10 to 15 kg of organic compost or organic fertilizers for well vegetative grow. In dragon fruit farming for plant better expansion and growth, organic compost or fertilizer can play the main role.
The each plant also requires 40 grams muriate of potash, 90 grams Super phosphate and 70 grams Urea per plant in the vegetative phase.
Apply a high amount of potash and low amount of nitrogen on a plant at fruit bearing phase for obtaining a high yield of dragon fruit.
Take 50 g Urea, 50 g Super phosphate and 100 g muriate of potash and spread this fertilizer on dragon fruit plant from flowering to harvesting stage. Increase the dose of fertilizer from 220 gram per year up to 1.5 kg per plant.
- Before flower stage in April
- Fruit developing stage in July to Aug
- Harvesting of fruit stage In December
Pruning of dragon fruits:
After one month of planting pruning is done to remove the thinner and lateral buds which are growing away from the main stem. Constantly pruning is done to keep the plant healthy.
Irrigation of Dragon Fruit Farming
Drip irrigation method is effective and better irrigation system for dragon fruit plants. The irrigation requires frequently in a different stage of dragon fruit farming like planting, flowering and fruit development stage. Average 1-2 liter water per plant per day is sufficient.
After 8 months the buds will sprouts from the thorns and bloomed within 14 days. Dragon fruits bloom around 6 in the evening and dried up by the morning. Flowering start from June-July and it keep on producing flower to last of the year. The fruit start to develop from the days of fruits set and fruits need to be covered by the plastic to protect from the insects.
Harvesting Of Dragon Fruit Farming
The dragon fruit plant gets the flowering in May to June month and fruits from Aug to Dec month. After one year of planting Dragon fruit plant start bearing the fruits.
After one month of flowering stage, dragon fruits are ready for harvest. The immature dragon fruit has a bright green color skin. After some day fruit skin turns in red color from dark green. The better harvesting time for dragon fruit is 3 to 4 days after fruit change its skin color. You can use the hand and sickle for picking the dragon fruit from the plant. You can expect average 5 to 6 tonnes dragon fruits per acre.
Dragon Fruit Production and Types
Primary Dragon Fruit Types
There are basically major three type of this Dragon Fruit according to their outer and internal side color.
· Hylocereus undatus
Pink color fruit with white color flesh and also known as Pitaya blancaor white-fleshed pitahaya.
· Hylocereus costaricensis
Red color fruit with red color flesh and it is also known as a Pitaya rojaor red-fleshed pitahaya or Hylocereus polyrhizus.
· Hylocereus megalanthus
Yellow color fruit with white color flesh and it is also known as Pitaya amarillaor yellow pitahaya or Selenicereus megalanthus.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition
- vitamin C
- polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Vitamin B
Various Dragon Fruit Benefits
Dragon fruit is beneficial for healthy skin and hair.
Dragon Fruit Health Benefits
- Dragon fruit is help in Lowers Cholesterol
- Helps With Stomach Ailments
- Lowers Blood Sugar
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
- Cuts Low Hemoglobin Risk
- Helps In Weight Management
- Prevents Cancer
- Prevents Congenital Glaucoma
- Boosts Immunity
- Helps Suppress Arthritis Pain
- Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy
- Prevents Renal Bone Disease
- Stronger Teeth And Bones
- Is Good For Dengue Patients
- Repairs Body Cells
- Improves Appetite
- Improves Vision
- Boosts Brain Function
- Cures Respiratory Disorders
- Healthy Snack Option For Kids