X

Dragon Fruit Production Guide

Dragon fruit or Pitaya grows best in uniformly distributed rainfall throughout the year. It prefers free draining soil with sandy to clay loam types, 5.3 to 6.7 pH and high organic matter. However, Pitaya is also grown successfully in sandy soils. Pitaya is shallow rooted with most roots concentrated on top 15- 30 cm soil depth.

Dragon fruit or pitaya is a vining epiphytic cactus from the humid tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Like their desert counterparts they are able to tolerate harsh dry conditions but only for a limited time.

The fruit is round , often red colored fruit with prominent scales . The thin rind encloses the large mass of sweetly flavored white or red pulp and small black seeds. Some varieties are pinkish or yellow.

It can be taken as fruit, flower, vegetable, health product and medicine as well, called “priceless treasure”.

Dragon Fruit Varieties

1. Red Varieties – Fruits have been used to combat anemia

a) Hylocereus undatus:
* Climbing cactus with large, scented, night blooming flowers
* Fruit weighs 1 kg or more with light melon-like taste
* Fruit has bright red skin, with translucent white flesh and tiny black seeds
* With triangular cross-section of its stem and minimal spines

b) Hylocereus polyrhizus
* Fruit weighs up to 1 kg
* With red skin, dark-red flesh which contains small black seeds
* Stems have more spines

2. Yellow Variety
* Selenicereus megalanthus
* Smaller fruit with yellow skin and clear to white flesh containing edible black seeds
* Sweeter than red varieties
* Contains the heart tonic captine

Elevation

Optimum elevation is 100 to 800 meters above sea level preferably with 30% shade to full sun as Pitaya grows slowly when shaded.

Propagation

Pitaya is propagated by seeds or stem cuttings. The latter is more preferred. Stem cuttings were raised in the nursery for 2 -3 months.

Plant Establishment

Recommended planting distance is 3 meters between concrete posts and 4 meters between rows. A narrower spacing gives quicker production than larger spacing. Higher density plantings produce quicker returns, but plants will begin to crowd each other sooner.

Planting is done at 3 to 4 plants per post, Rooted cuttings may be planted directly or kept in 9″ x 13″ black polyethylene bags. For direct rooted cuttings, position them 15 cm away from the post at and angle leaning towards the post. Direct planting is 5 cm depth, while for transplants, hole depth should be same as height of plastic bag’s soil depth. Irrigate and protect newly emerging foliar buds from ants and other insects.

Fertilizer/ Nutrients

Apply a handful of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) 3 months after planting and continue fertilizer applications every 3 months thereafter. Pitaya also requires organic matter. Nitrogen is necessary during the vegetative growth of the plant and is reduced during dormant and pre-flowering stages (later December to mid-March). Apply foliar sprays every 2 weeks during vegetative stage and less during fruiting stage.

Frequency of fertilizer application varies according to personal judgment and preferences. Optimum frequency and quantity depends on the plant’s response. Pitaya is very responsive to soil and foliar fertilizer applications.

Pruning

Major and minor pruning is a regular orchard operation regardless of age of Pitaya. Prune to obtain an open, manageable and productive umbrella shaped canopy.

Pest and Diseases

The roots, stems, foliar and flower buds, flower and fruit are attacked by a range of pests and diseases. Pests include mites, thrips, ants, scale insects, mealy bugs, beetles, slugs, borers, nematodes, fruit flies and rodents such as mice, birds, or bats. Chlorpyrifos-based insecticides may be used to control ants and other pests as well.

Copper-based fungicides (copper, copper oxychloride, dithane M45, cupravit, mancozeb, etc. can be applied at appropriate dosage and spray as needed. Systemic fungicides such as benomyl, carbendazim, azcxystrobin,etc. are also effective in wide range of pitaya diseases.

Avoid, however, pesticide spraying when nearing harvest time. Bagging of green fruit using clear perforated polyethylene bags (China-made) are recommended to protect fruit from fruit fly stings.

Weeding/ Sanitation

Gasoline-driven weedcutters are recommended for orchards. Handweed within the inner 30 diameter of each post to avoid damage to plants. Control weeds as they harbor pests and compete with soil nutrients.

Irrigation

Water requirement of Pitaya is similar to papaya. Irrigation is critical during fertilizer applications and fruiting. Excess drying of soil and less frequent irrigation results in abnormally high splitting of fruit. For newly planted Pitaya, allow soil to dry before irrigation to avoid rots.

Harvest

Harvesting indices include full red coloration of the terminal petal and swelling of the navel end to the point of cracking. Based on Davao planting, harvest period include: First Cycle of harvest -June – October; 2nd Cycle of harvest – December – January.

* Fruit is harvested from 30-50 days after flowering
* 5-6 fruit crop cycles a year (between May and November)
* Stored at 5°C with 90% relative humidity and can be stored for up to 40 days
* Average weight per fruit ranges from 200 to 1.2 kg

Profit from Dragon Fruits
Since its establishment 5 years ago, many interested farmers who wanted to grow dragon fruit and even buyers in Davao City now frequently visited the techno-demo farm in Manambulan, Davao City. With the successful production technologies on dragon fruit, better opportunities, both production- and market-wise, lie ahead.

According to Mr. Estellena, the potential of dragonfruit is very much bright because it commands a very high price in the local market; it costs around P120-150 per kilo. He added that, a three-year old dragonfruit can produce 5-6 t/ha amounting to P720,000 in the local market alone. It is no wonder that dragon fruit is now dubbed as the new money crop-truly, a high revenue earner.

The group of Mr. Estellena, aside from showcasing the production technologies on dragon fruit, is now distributing planting materials to interested growers.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Noel T. Estellena
Senior Agriculturist
DA-SMIARC, Bago Oshiro, Tugbok District, Davao City
Telefax; (082) 293-0109 or (082) 293-0136
E-mail: smiarc@yahoo.com

Produced by: Knowledge Management– Farmer Information and Technology Service Center (KMFITS)
DA-SMIARC, Bago Oshiro, Tugbok District, Davao City

Sources: TLRC, BAR
Photo credit: jetsetzero.tv

Do you like this agri business idea? then please consider subscribing to our RSS feed and have new business ideas sent directly to your inbox. (Once you entered your e-mail address, you need to login to your e-mail account and click the link to confirm your subscription).

Categories: Agri Business
PB:

View Comments (29)

  • For those who wants to engage dragon fruit plantation,we are a developer plantation,kung gusto ninyong malaman kung papano tawag lang cell.ko 09186013363

  • Hello there,
    I live in Iran and for the weather there is no dragon fruit tree here.I decided to have on stem last year and after too much efforts finally I receive 9 pitaya stem from Thailand . after 48 days one of them have new shoot(stem).I make very small greenhouse and control temperature and humidity in it(i don't have any season).now I want to transport it from first pot to big pot.
    I know about different type of fertilizing.
    I have two question:
    1.what is the best fertilizer to have more and delicious yield?in this step(transferring to big pot how can I fertilize them?in the beginning)
    2.what is the best trellis system to have the most quantity?

  • Hello po! how much po per cutting ng dragon fruit?and ilan po ba ang minimum na pwd nyo ediliver?tnx!

  • I'm from Cebu. Where can I order for Dragon Fruit cuttings and how much per cutting?
    What is the minimum number of cuttings to be delivered in Cebu via
    what courier? Thank you.

  • Hello sir..I just want to ask kung ngbebenta din Kyo ng pittaya powder and juice...at magkanu..an dito po ako sa oriental mindoro..thanks..hope to hear from you Soon as possible

  • Good day to you all I am Mr. Jack Warmer, a Legitimate, Reputable money Lender. We give out loan to company Business Men and women who are into Business transaction, we give out long term loan for three to 30years maximum with low interest rate of 2%, in this you can as well tell us the amount you need as loan. Loan is given out in Pounds euros and $USD the maximum we give is 500,000,000 both in pounds EURO and $USD and the minimum 5,000 pounds euro and USD$ so if really you are interested contact us at (jackwarmerloanlender@gmail.com) for more information on how to get the loan.

    • I am mr . RAMONITO S. LAUTA, of Albay, Philippines, an Agricultural Engineer and engage in reforestation projects. I intend to invest in Dragon fruit plantation. I have approximately 12 hectares agricultural lot suited to the project but no financial capacity to start the business. My financial requirements to finance the business is approximately 1,000,000 $USD. Please send me the requirement on how i could get the loan. Thank you and god bless.

  • will buy 1000 pieces of cuttings, rooted and matured. please text me at 09159698134. tnx!

  • The article of Dragon Fruit Production Guide from Pinoybines.com is very interesting and informative.

    I hope someone with expertise / experience and knowledge will help answer my questions .

    I have a small farm in La Union which I planted mangoes , rambutan, jack fruit , citrus , lansones , cashew, santol , lychees , cacao, etc...

    O how come my dragon fruits ( more than a year old ) lansones ( more than 8 yrs) and lychees ( more than 8 years) are still not bearing fruits. Looks like they are healthy.

    O can I use carabao or cow manure as organic fertilizer ?

    O What is sufficient water supply to these fruit trees ?

    Thanks for the reply

X

We use cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to visit this site you agree to our use of cookies.

For More information about Privacy Click Here
Privacy Settings