26 Sep, 2023
Looking for a fruit that you can cultivate easily and earn a great profit margin? Try dragon fruit cultivation in India. Because of its huge demand in the market, the cultivation of Dragon fruit has become a great cultivation option. In this blog, we’re going to introduce dragon fruit, its cultivation process, the health benefits that this fruit brings, and the benefits of its cultivation.
Introduction to Dragon Fruit
Dragon is a fruit that belongs to the Cactaceae species and was originally very famous in nations like Thailand, Vietnam, Israel, and Sri Lanka. This is a highly delicate fruit with a wide range of health benefits. It has an alluring green and pink sink. From inside, it’s white and contains black edible seeds.
Some other famous names for this fruit are the queen of the Night, noblewoman, pitaya, pitahaya, and strawberry pear.
It got its name as Dragon because of the scaly approach it has on its surface. The fruit generally is 6-12 cm long and it has an oval shape.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
As mentioned above, dragon fruit has gained huge popularity in recent years and it's because of tons of benefits that it brings to the table. Here, we have listed some of the most evident features and dragon fruit benefits.
Dragon fruit Plant has a lot of fibre and is naturally fat-free. It is a fantastic snack since it can keep you full between meals for a longer period.
One of the dragon benefits is that it might aid in lowering blood sugar. According to researchers, this may be partially attributed to the fact that it replaces destroyed pancreatic cells that produce the hormone insulin, which aids in the body's breakdown of sugar. However, mice, not humans, were used in the investigations. It's unknown how much Dragon fruit Plant you would need to consume to reap these advantages.
The risk of colon cancer can be decreased by this fruit's anti-cancer characteristics which is another dragon fruit benefits. Its abundant vitamin C content is crucial in enhancing the immune system. A potent antioxidant, vitamin C protects you from developing chronic illnesses including diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer, etc.
Another Dragon Fruit benefits is that the oligosaccharides (a carbohydrate) found in this fruit are a rich source of healthy bacteria like flora, which promote easy digestion. It has a lot of fiber, which is good for the digestive system and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Want thick, glossy, black hair? Try mixing 250ml of milk with dragon fruit powder once a day; it will be beneficial. This fruit extract powder's high vitamin content minimizes hair damage from artificial hair coloring and enhances hair texture, leaving hair smooth and glossy. All you must do to see changes is to take this one time every day.
The fruit's coloring agent, beta-carotene, helps to shield the eyes from conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. You should have one cup (220 grams) of dragon fruit daily.
Why Cultivate Dragon Fruit In India?
While dragon fruit was already a famous fruit in places like Sri Lanka and Thailand, it has recently gained prominence in India. Indians are now slowly starting to consume this fruit for its wide range of health benefits.
Hence, its consumer demand is growing in India. People are consuming it as a fruit, making jams and spreads from it, and even started using it in ice creams. As the fruit is not excessively sweet, it’s suitable for the urbane palette. It has a great demand in the food industry as well. Because of its great hydration properties, dragon fruit is now even used in skincare and cosmetics products, especially in face masks and face packs.
The fruit has a great market value as well. The cost of one piece of dragon fruit in India is between INR 70- and INR 100, which is a great price. So, this is a fruit that can help farmers to earn a huge revenue even with the small production.
Another major reason to get started with Dragon fruit Plant cultivation in India is that it doesn't demand any heavy resources and investments. You don’t have to own farming land for its cultivation. Farmers of urban areas can cultivate dragon fruit plant on the roof of their homes as well.
Lastly, there are multiple varieties of dragon fruit plant that you can grow. Each variety has a different market demand.
All in all, dragon fruit farming in India is going to help farmers in all possible ways. So, you should start learning about ‘ how to do dragon farming in India?’ today.
Varieties of Dragon Fruits That You Can Cultivate
Before you start learning about dragon fruit cultivation, let’s talk about the various varieties that you farm.
1. Red Dragon Fruit - Slender, tall, creeping cactus that frequently grows on fences, trees, or walls produces red dragon fruit. Red dragon fruits have an exterior that is nearly comparable to the white-fleshed variant. The roughly 10 cm-long, round fruits with vivid colors can weigh up to a pound. Red Dragon Fruits' skin is pink to magenta, with overlapping succulent, squishy scales.
2. Green Dragon Fruit - Bruni Green Dragon Fruit produces green dragon fruits. The white, tasty meat on the sweet and savory green tips is appetizing.
3. White Dragon Fruit - The flesh is white with tiny, edible black seeds, while the skin is delicate and pinkish-pink with scales. It has a texture like that of kiwi and pear fruit with a pleasantly sweet flavor. This is the most common variety of dragon fruit in India and parts of Central America, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Australia. Its texture is very much similar to kiwi and pears.
4. Yellow Dragon Fruit - In comparison to the more popular red variants, yellow dragon fruit is rectangular in shape and slightly smaller in size. Approximately 10 cm long and 7 cm wide, the fruits.
5. Blue Dragon Fruit - In India, the blue dragon fruit plant bears fruit from April until the end of October. Blue dragon fruit is being harvested.
6. Pink Dragon Fruit - This variety of dragon fruit is highly rich in antioxidants and has very few calories. As pink dragon fruit has great anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent arthritis, it has great demand in India and across the globe.
7. Purple Dragon Fruit - This variety has a very captivating look and unique taste. Its mild flavor and juicy texture make it a loving variety of dragon fruit.
8. Black Dragon Fruit - This is a rare variety of dragon fruit and has a mildly sweet flavour. Its creamy and firm texture makes it melt into your mouth.
How to Cultivate the Dragon Fruits?
The cultivation of dragon fruit needs to have a deeper understanding of certain aspects like climatic conditions, soil preparation, plantation techniques, and use of fertilizers. There is a lot to learn about dragon fruit cultivation and we’re going to cover every bit of it next.
What Are The Ideal Climatic Conditions for Dragon Fruit Cultivation?
Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit and needs extreme temperatures to grow. The ideal temperature for dragon fruit cultivation is between 20°C to 30°C while it needs a minimum of 40–60 cm rainfall for growth. They are ideal to grow on farming land and in pots.
Which Indian States Are Perfect for The Cultivation of Dragon Fruit in India?
Considering the above-said criteria, Indian states like Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Andaman & Nicobar are perfect for the cultivation of dragon fruit in India. However, after learning some modern farming techniques, farmers of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Telangana are also able to cultivate dragon fruits successfully.
What Are The Ideal Soil Requirements for Dragon Fruit Cultivation in India?
This fruit may be grown in a variety of soils, from clay loam to sandy loam. However, sandy soils with rich organic matter and an ideal drainage system are the best for its cultivation. The ideal pH range for growing dragon fruit is 5.5 to 7.
How to Grow a Dragon Fruit Plant?
As dragon fruit plant belongs to the cactus category, its cultivation is not very complex. Here is what you need to do to start its cultivation.
1. Soil Bed Preparation
You need to prepare the solid bed in areas where adequate sunlight for 607 hours is received. It needs well-drained soil and it’s important to keep its roots dry. It can’t sustain wet roots for long. So, we recommended tropical plant soil to prepare the soil bed and make deep partitions.
2. Plant Propagation
You can propagate dragon fruit plants with two methods, using seeds and using the cuttings of the mother plant.
If you decide to cultivate dragon fruit plant using the seeds, you need to know that this process is going to take a lot of time. At times, you can even have to wait for 2-3 years for fruits to show up. This is why seed-based propagation is not recommended for commercial Dragon fruit Plant harvesting.
When using seeds for propagation, you need to:
Remove black seeds from a ripe dragon fruit and dry out them completely.
Place these seeds on damp paper towels for a minimum of 12 hours.
After that, place them into the soil and sprinkle some water on the soil surface.
Cover them with a thin layer of soil.
Keep the soil moist and don’t give excess water to them.
This is what you need to do to grow dragon plants from seeds. Next, we will discuss propagation using cutting.
Cutting the mother plants and using them for propagation is most commonly used for the cultivation of dragon fruits.
If you want to fully benefit from growing dragon fruit, you should use plant cuttings from a high-quality mother plant. The 20 cm cuttings should be used for field planting. Furthermore, 2 days before planting, cuttings must be piled.
They can now be planted using a mixture of dry cow dung. You should maintain a 2 × 2-meter space between plants. For the size of the pits, you must dig a hole that is 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm. You also need to add dirt, manure, and 100 grams of superphosphate to these pits. One acre of land may support roughly 1700 plants.
How are Plants Being Cut Out For Dragon Cultivation?
Farmers need to know professional plant-cutting techniques for effective dragon fruit harvesting. Below-mentioned points should be kept in mind when cutting the Dragon fruit Plant.
Dragon fruit trimmings should be divided into three to five pieces. These fragments can all grow into new dragon fruit plants. Keep track of the "up" orientation for each cutting; you'll need to plant them upright for healthy growth, so make sure you do that.
Plant each cutting by burying the base in the dirt about an inch or two and firming the soil up around it to keep it upright and secure. The end of the cutting that is planted in the soil and the end that is closest to the tip of the original branch should be the ones that are closest to the base of the original dragon fruit plant and the direction in which the original branch was growing.
How to Take Care of The Dragon Fruit Plant In India?
Dragon fruit is a delicate crop and needs great aftercare as well. Here is a list of key processes that you need to follow to look after the standing and harvest crop of dragon fruit.
1. Use proper fertilizer
Organic manure is essential for the healthy growth and development of the dragon fruit plant. Each plant must get at least 10 to 15 kg of organic compost. After that, you must add 2 kg more manure annually. For healthy vegetative growth, it also needs inorganic fertilizers in addition to organic ones. The ratio of potash muriate to superphosphate to urea in the vegetative stage is 40:90:70 grams per plant.
At the fruit-bearing stage, you must also provide a large amount of potash and a low amount of nitrogen. From the blossoming until the harvesting stages, several fertilizers should be used, including Urea: superphosphate: and muriate of potash (50:50:100 grams/plant). This remedy can be administered soon before flowering, during fruit development, and the following harvest. Your farm can become more productive as a result.
2. Prune properly
It’s very important to prune dragon fruit plants at regular intervals so that they are free from diseases and are growing properly. Pruning also helps in getting rid of dying and diseased plants.
3. Pest control should be done regularly
Fertilizers should be applied to the land in mounds. Before the actual planting of the dragon fruit plants, 20 kilos of organic fertilizer, 0.5 kilograms of superphosphate, and 1 kilogram of NPK16-16-8 should be applied per 50 postings. 50 grams of urea and 50 grams of phosphate should be applied three times a year for the first year of the plantation stage.
4. Harvesting should be carried out at the right time
For the fruit to fully mature, 27–30 days are needed. As soon as the fruit is fully developed, it should be picked because even a wait of four to five days might cause it to decay. Depending on the environment and the farming methods employed, the predicted output per hectare can range from 10 to 30 hectares. Twisting it in a clockwise way and pulling it are two methods of choosing it.
That was the standard dragon fruit cultivation process. If you stick to it, you can have a great harvest by the end of the farming session.
Cultivation of dragon fruits is one move which can help farmers make great profits with the least possible investments. As this topical plant can survive in India's climatic conditions, farmers won’t face much trouble in its farming.
Follow the process just discussed with you and you will be able to have a great harvest of dragon fruit. Team of Tractor Gyan will continue bringing some sort of updated information from the farming domain so that you continue growing.