Many believed that dragon fruit is an easy plant that we could just leave it even without watering for a long time since it is cactus, but many agriculturists didn’t believe on it especially one of the dragon fruit expert, Dr. Teddy F. Tepora from Cavite State University. According to Zac B. Sarian of Manila Bulletin:
No, just like any other plant, the dragon fruit has to be cared for properly, according to Dr. Teddy F. Tepora, the dragon fruit expert from CavSU. In fact, the first cactus plantation of about two hectares in Indang had to close shop because of scale insects and other disease and insect problems. There was also a big plantation of dragon fruit in Cavite that was devastated by pests and diseases. The dragon fruit has now been replaced with some other fruit-bearing trees.
Just like any other fruits, dragon fruit can also be infected with fungal and bacterial diseases, especially during rainy season. It is not as though as we thought to be. It could be infected as well if the plants are too crowded and near with each other because when they grow older, the branches will overlap with the other plants that could lead to infection and diseases.
According to Zac B. Sarian:
The early growers were planting their dragon fruit at 2 meters by 2 meters. The recommended distancing today, according to Dr. Tepora is 3 meters by 3 meters.
The growing cactus stems should be monitored while they are developing on their way to the top of the trellis. The recommendation is that the lateral stems should be removed until they reach the top of trellis where their new growth would hang down.
Though dragon fruit plant / pitaya is a member of the cactus family but it will need water as well to be healthy. But the plant should be watered lightly and not excessively. Over-watering and overly moist soil will cause fungus growth in the soil, which will harm the plant. It is recommended to start planting dragon fruit after rainy season so excessive rainfall and overly moist soil is avoided.
Furthermore, protect your dragon fruit plant from lawnmowers and weed-eaters by keeping these tools at a safe distance and keeping grass growth about 5 feet away from the base of the plant. These tools can damage the delicate plant, leading to its death.
Plant your own and take care properly. What can you say about it?