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Here are some factors you need to know before cultivating Dragon Fruit

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

According to a report by the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), southern states are contributing a major share for the dragon fruit cultivation in the country. In fact, more than 500 farmers from Karnataka alone have taken up dragon fruit cultivation in the last three years after seeing the performance of the crop. 

Pitaya or commonly known as Dragon Fruit is mostly cultivated in Southeast Asia, Florida in the United States, the Caribbean, Australia, and throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world. 

Here are the key requirements to know before cultivating this fruit: 

  1. Climate- This plant can survive in poor soil and temperature conditions. Yet, tropical climate conditions are the best for its cultivation. Minimum annual rainfall of 50cm and temperature ranging between 20 degrees to 30 degree Celsius is favourable. Too much is not good for the cultivation of the fruit. 

  2. Soil- This fruit can grow on a broad range of soils from sand to clay texture. Sandy soil would be best for its cultivation if good organic matter is provided. 

  3. Fertilizer- To ensure that the dragon fruit is growing properly, give it some fertilizer every month during the active growing season. During the cold winter months, you will want to stop feeding your plant for a few months.

Blooming time 

Blooms will occur from July to October, but they will only bloom for one night each year. After the flowering occurs, the fruit will begin to form. One plant can produce fruit for 20 to 30 years. 

How to grow them? 

Dragon fruit can be propagated directly from the seeds in the fruit. You will need to cut the fruit in half, and then scoop out the seeds. The seeds need to be separated from the flesh, so wash the seeds and dry them overnight. Put them on a tray to germinate them. Just make sure the soil is moist till it is germinated. 

Health benefits 

  1. High levels of Vitamin C which will boost your immune system.

  2. No cholesterol, hence the fruit is good for all kinds of heart diseases.

  3. Good source of antioxidants

  4. Weight management

  5. Prevents asthma.

Indian farmers have to focus on selling the fruit to the market throughout the year. Countries like Vietnam’s success in dragon fruit cultivation is attributed to the round-the-year availability of the fruit. 

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