Dragon fruits overall are quite light feeders. If unfertilized however, they tend to grow more slowly. During the initial growing stage, a balanced nitrogen feed is good for the dragon fruit plant. It helps promote more root & branch growth. As it reaches flowering & fruiting, boosting up the phosphorous & potassium will help.
In some soil mix, people spread hay on the top surface. Every 6 months or so you can sprinkle a bit of chicken manure on top to help the hay decompose. As the hay breaks down, it becomes food for the plants & enriches the soil. If you have dragon fruit skins, dried flowers or branches lying around, those are great additions to help the soil fertility too.
To increase the "stickiness" of the medium, try azomite. This material has dozens of minerals in it & helps keep vital nutrients in the soil not being washed away with watering. It can be good for long-lasting feeding.
|A to Z minerals|
|70+ beneficial elements|
Some fertilizers might have a heating property to it. Before feeding your plants, open the fertilizer bag, spread it out a bit.
Try not to put the feed too close to the base of the plant. Space them out about 20+ inches (half a meter) away from the base. If possible, dilute the fertilizer & spray it around.
If the plant is young, feed it a bit less. Around 1-2 scoops will be good enough. If the plant is bigger, we can give them 3-4 scoops. You can feed it every 1-2 months.
Dragon fruits also absorb nutrients from their foliage surprisingly well. Some foliage spray may also work. Over-feeding them with too much nitrogen can kill the plants. Slow release over time feed works well for this purpose.
Here is a cheap fert many people use:
|Good organic feed|
When flower buds are beginning to show up, we can stop the feeding & reduce the water amount. When the fruits are beginning to ripe (the fruit nourishing stage), don't feed them too much. Feeding too much at this stage causes the fruits to turn very dark green. This actually creates some tightening of the fruits & can actually be counter-productive and slow down their growth.
And regarding watering, about 1-2 weeks before the fruits reach their peak, reduce the water amount and don't over-water. This helps minimize cracking and partly helps make the fruits taste sweeter. (For more ideas on how to grow sweeter dragon fruits, check out this post later).
For simplicity, you can break down the feeding into three stages. It's good to feed before that stage arrives so the plants have some time to absorb & use the nutrients. When flowers start to turn dry & yellow (a bit like hay) on the fruits, we can begin water to keep the plants moist.
Here are the three stages:
|Building up branches|
|Balance for flowering & fruiting|
|Fruit forming||13-10-20||Nourshing fruits|
The amount depends on how young/old the plants are. If it's about to rain, then apply the feed sooner for the third stage. As the fruits ripen, reduce the amount of food so the scales of the fruits won't turn too red. Potassium can help with fruit formation & create nice skin colors.
Organic Homemade Dragon Fruit Fertilizer
If you're looking for an organic fertilizer for dragon fruits, then check out these 3 recipes below. This organic fertilizer is called EM1 (or effective microorganism) and it can be made at home very easily:
>> Link Blog post: How to make EM1 (3 recipes)
EM1 fertilizer mix utilizes the synergy of activity from the good bacteria all around us–most dominantly the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) which can be found in billions in foods like milk or yogurt. It helps break down hard-to-digest nutrients and boost the soil fertility, even for clayey hardened soil, naturally.
Results Growers Have Seen With EM1...
With some EM1 mixed into the soil, dragon fruit plants that usually give fruits once a year now produce 4 pushes a year, while still remaining strong.
Best part is, all of this is totally organic & you are using natural solutions to help with natural production. So no harmful pesticides or chemicals in the long run. And the stuff is renewable.
Do Different Dragon Fruit Varieties Need Different Fertilizing Methods?
A visitor asked on our forums if the fertilizing method is different for different varieties.
From what we've asked around, they usually fertilize different varieties in very much the same way–be it the red or white dragon fruits. For watering however, the other varieties get watered once a week while the Ecuador Palora twice.
Happy Feeding Dragons
So above we've explored some good feed & feeding ideas for your dragon fruits. If you have any tips for feeding these dragons, please leave us a comment to share your experience. We would love to hear from anyone with this same interest. Thanks for tuning in & See you again next time.
Responses to Readers' Questions
Can you suggest some organic Fertilizers for dragon fruit?
--> If you have dried dragon fruit flowers or dragon fruit skins from previous season, you could throw some around the base for fertilizing. It re-nourishes the earth and is free organic fertilizer. Some growers use Real Growers Recharge, Flora Nova or Steer manure.
You could sprinkle some organic chicken manure or hay on the top soil. If you'd like, make some compost tea for the plants using molasses, bat guano, worm castings. Rainwater is also a nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer. Herbivore manure (goat, cow) is also okay because it has less of a heating property which could burn the roots.
Although there are many choices, look for the ones that are readily available at lower costs in your local area. Use some to see how the plants re-act. Alternatively, you could make your own effectively with simple ingredients (EM recipes). In your soil mix, don't use too much sand because it makes the fruits less sweet. Use something 'sticky' like azomite instead so the nutrients in the fertilizer can stick in, nourishing the fruits. And I hope this helps!
How to make my dragon fruit bear big fruits..they have a lot of fruits but is not big as what i had seen from the market..
--> Thanks for your question. To make dragon fruits bear big fruits, here are some ideas you can try:
- Prune back smaller branches so the mother branch does not have to carry too many at once. With fewer sub-branches per one main branch, it will have enough energy to nourish and grow bigger fruits.
- Do you hand pollinate? Some folks have found that hand pollinating seems to yield good bigger fruits.
- Alternatively, you can choose a variety that has big fruits from the start. E.g. Vietnam White, American Beauty, Physical Graffiti
I hope this helps!
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