A relatively new harvest and fruit plant for warm-winter places, dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) is a cactus native to tropical and subtropical Mexico and Central and South America. Flattened, leaf-like stems have scalloped edges. Large, white, night-blooming flowers give rise to purple, red, edible fruits filled with sweet pulp and small, black seeds. Hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, the sprawling, vine-like plant can reach 30 feet long. To grow dragon fruit as a garden harvest rather than as an ornamental, plants require regular fertilizer, lots of distance and stout trellising. )
Inorganic fertilizer formulations provide rapid release of the major plant nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Combine them using slower-release, more complicated arrays of nutrients found in natural fertilizers like aged manure or compost. For newly planted dragon fruit, do not apply fertilizer during the first month. Then use 4 ounces of a fertilizer such as 6-6-6 or even 8-3-9 each two months from the time growth begins in early spring to early fall, when growth stops for the winter. Scatter the fertilizer evenly around the plant, from about 3 inches away from the stem to about 12 inches away from the plant. Water it in thoroughly. Also add a summer application of 4 pounds of well-decomposed manure or compost per plant, then keeping it from touching the plant’s stem. )
Two- and Three-year-old Plants
After it has been at the ground for a year, the dragon fruit roots have become established and are far more efficient in harvesting nutrients in the ground. Plants grow faster and need more nourishment. Apply 5 to 6 ounces of the exact same inorganic fertilizer every two months in a broader diameter around the plant and increase the amount of manure or compost added to the peak of the ground to 6 pounds.
For dragon fruit crops four years old or more, make three to four inorganic fertilizer applications spread evenly throughout the growing season of 8 to 12 ounces each. Apply manure or compost twice, once in the spring and once in mid-summer, using about 5 pounds every moment.
Ornamental Landscaping Plants
When growing dragon fruit as a landscaping plant without any concern for fruit production, not much fertilizer is needed. Sensors are drought-tolerant once found and much less fluid means slower growth and less demand for pruning to keep the size, important when you have limited garden room. Fertilize plants once in early spring and after the plants complete flowering using a water-soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20. Mix 1 tablespoon of fertilizer for each gallon of water. Wash the root of the plant.