Dragon fruit cracking or splitting up may be because of over-watering when the fruits are nearly ripe & because of some other physical factors.
Sometimes, growers leave the fruits on the vines for quite a while (to wait for the prices to go up to sell) which can also cause fruit cracking.
A crack on a dragon fruit may look a bit like this:
Some growers in areas like California experience this thing while others in Florida usually don't. While finding a cause for this problem, they believe the soil may be too dry or it's the uneven heat & humidity causing the fruits to split.
For example, after a long dry & sunny period and it suddenly rains, the fruits will have a tendency to crack. This is a somewhat physical reaction. Sometimes it might be the variety & their skin characteristics.
Other times it may also be the lack of calcium (the building material of cell wall) that contributes to the problem. It can be thought of like a cracking bone (not the best analogy though).
This red one is probably too plump that it cracks open:
If the fruits ripen during the rainy season, the chance of fruit splitting is higher. The bite of a fruit fly might create a small opening (with little maggots) for the fruits to crack out. This cracking opens the doors to bacteria & fungi which chew up all the good flesh inside.
To minimize dragon fruit cracking, you could try:
- Not to over-water as the fruits are developing for about 10-15 days
- Misting water around the base
- Using a calcium spray with 1% boron
- Harvest the ripe fruits when it seems like it's about to rain soon
As the fruits are ripening, we water less but more often. Also, feed them less so the fruits can grow without any blockages. Specifically, when it's about to rain & we just leave the ripe fruits on the trees, it's almost guaranteed that they will crack on the same day or the next day. So, pick them before they split or before it rains.
When you peel the skin of a dragon fruit and have a look on the inside, if you see some dots or little "doors", you have an idea who might have been around.
We found a YouTube video showing the split dragon fruit, but we forgot what it's called unfortunately. Let us experiment some more. If you have any experience with this, please share it with us. That'd be incredibly helpful. Thanks for visiting & see you again here at the garden next time for more dragon fruit stuff.
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