Dragon Fruit Cultivation Guide:-
Introduction of Dragon Fruit: – This fruit is famous in Thailand, Vietnam, Israel and Sri Lanka. In India, commercial cultivation of this fruit is picking up and market price of this fruit in India is 200 to 250 Rs / kg. This fruit cultivation is excellent in regions where less rainfall is expected. This fruit plant is treated as an ornamental plant as well as fruit producing plant. Dragon fruit is consumed as a fresh fruit or can be used in jams, ice creams, jelly production, fruit juice and wine. This fruit also used in face packs.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit: – Below are the amazing health benefits of Dragon fruit.
- This fruit helps in controlling diabetes.
- This fruit helps in lowering cholesterol.
- This fruit is high in fats and proteins.
- This fruit is a good source of antioxidants.
- This fruit helps in preventing arthritis.
- This fruit helps in improving heart health.
- This fruit helps in weight management.
- This fruit helps in fighting against ageing.
- This fruit helps in preventing asthma.
- This fruit helps is high in vitamins & minerals.
Major Types of Dragon Fruit: – There are 3 types dragon fruit based on their colour.
- Red colour fruit with white colour flesh.
- Red colour fruit with red colour flesh.
- Yellow colour fruit with white colour flesh.
Climate Required for Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- This fruit plant survives in poor soil conditions and temperature variations. However, tropical climatic region are best for its cultivation. This plant requires minimum annual rainfall of 50 cm and temperature about 20 °C to 30 °C. Too much of sunlight is not good for its cultivation, in high sunlight areas, shading can be provided for better yield.
Soil Requirement for Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- This fruit can be grown on wide range of soils from sandy loam to clay loam. However, sandy soils with good organic matter and internal drainage are best for its cultivation. Soil pH of 5.5 to 7 is best for Dragon fruit cultivation.
Land Preparation in Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- Land should be ploughed till soil achieves the fine tilth and weed free. As part of land/field preparation apply any organic compost in proportionate ratio.
Propagation and Planting Method in Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- The most common propagation method in dragon fruit Cultivation is by cuttings. However it can also be propagated by seeds. But as seeds take longer time and will not continue with mother plant characteristics, this method is not suitable for commercial cultivation. You should get the plant cuttings from the quality mother plants. An about 20 cm length cuttings should be used for planting in the field. Pile up these cutting two days before the potting.
Then these cuttings should be potted with planting mixture of Dry cow dung: Top soil: Sand as 1:1:2. Make sure these pots are placed in shade before planting. Keep the Plant-to-Plant space of 2 meter x 2 meter. Dig the pits size of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm. These pits should be filled with top soil and compost with 100 grams of super phosphate.
Plant Density in Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- An about 1700 plants can be accommodated in 1 acre of land.
Training of the plants in Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- To get the proper up right growth and development of the plant, these should be supported by concrete or wooden columns. Immature plant stems are required to tie with these columns. Lateral shoots should be limited & 2 to 3 main stems should be allowed to grow. (Make sure the lateral buds are from time to time). It is recommended to have round/circular metal frame to maintain the balanced dragon shrub.
Manures and Fertilizers in Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- Organic Matter plays key role in dragon fruit development and growth. Each plant should be applied with 10 to 15 kg of organic compost/organic fertilizers. Thereafter, increase the organic fertilizer amount by 2 kg per year. This crop also requires inorganic fertilizers for vegetative growth. In the Vegetative stage, this fertilizer ratio is as follows. Muriate of potash: Super phosphate: Urea = 40:90:70 grams /plant.
At fruit bearing stage, low amount of nitrogen and high amount of potash should be applied for getting higher yield.
The following in-organic fertilizers should be applied @ various levels from flowering to harvesting. Apply the following fertilizer mixtures just before flowering (in April), fruit developing stage (July-Aug) and after harvesting the fruits (In Dec).
Urea: Super phosphate: Muriate of potash = 50 g :50 g :100 g/plant. Increase the fertilizer amount by 220 grams per year up to 1.5 kg.
Irrigation in Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- These plants require less water compared to other plants. However at the time of planting, flowering, fruit development stage and hot dry climatic conditions, frequent irrigations are required. Drip irrigations can be used for effective water usage.
Pests and Diseases in Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- There are no pests and diseases found or reported in dragon fruit cultivation.
Harvesting of Dragon Fruit:- These plants start bearing fruits in the first year itself. Generally, these plants starts flowering in May to June month and bears fruits from Aug to Dec month.
Dragon fruits become ready for harvesting after 1 month of flowering. Fruiting time continues till December. Picking up these fruits can be done up to 6 times within this period. Identifying fruit harvesting stage is very simple as immature fruit colour is in bright green colour and will turn into red colour once it is ripened. Exact time for harvesting is after 3 to 4 days of colour change. But in case of exporting, they should be harvested 1 day after colour change. Use the sickle or hand to pick the fruits.
Yield of Dragon Fruit: – An average yield of 5 to 6 tonnes per acre can be expected.
Bottom Line of Dragon Fruit Cultivation:- This fruit is packed with excellent health benefits, has good demand in local as well as international market. Hence one can get good returns in dragon fruit cultivation.
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