1. Ecological requirements
Dragon fruit is native to the desert of Mexico and Colombia, dry tropical trees. The appropriate temperature for Dragon fruit to grow and develop is 14-26 degree and maximum 38-40 degree. Under conditions with light frost in a short time will cause mild damage to the dragon fruit.
Dragon fruit is affected by light, blooming in day-long days, grows well in the well-lit area. Lack of light will cause the dragon fruit to become weak and slow-growing fruit. However, the high intensity of light and temperature will harm the growth of dragon fruit.
Dragon fruit has a high tolerance to unfavorable environmental conditions such as good drought tolerance, but the tolerance of waterlogging is not high. Therefore, to grow well, provide many fruits and berries, it is needed to be provided enough water, especially in the period of flower sprouting, flowering and results. The demand for rainfall for plants is 800 – 2000mm / year if excess will lead to flower loss and fruit rot.
Dragon fruit is grown on many kinds of soil from the arid soil, sandy soil, silvery gray soil, acid soil to alluvial soil, basalt red soil, meat soil, clay meat. However, to grow high-yielding dragon fruit, it must be porous, well-ventilated, well-drained, lightly acidified soils or alluvial soil covered with alkaline soil with a pH of 5.5 – 6.5, high organic content.
Vietnam Dragon fruit has many varieties. However, the most popular variety and being exported is the white dragon fruit. They can grow very well in Vietnam with high yield, beautiful fruit shape; flowering time is from April to September, time from fruiting till harvest is 28-35 days.
3. Planting techniques
October-November: This period has an advantage of plentiful seedings source because it is the stage of pruning after harvest. The lowlands can avoid the risk of flooding. However, we must ensure enough water for irrigation in the dry season. May-June: Planting for the area that lack of water. However, it is hard to find good seedings and easily got flooded, root rot.
Although Vietnam dragon fruit is a good drought-tolerant crop, prolonged drought will reduce the growth and yield of the plant. The manifestation of the lack of water: slow branches growth, shrubs are shriveled and turn yellow; the rate of flowers fall in the first flowering is above 80%. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly water the plants, depending on the moisture of the soil, the cycle of irrigation for plants can change from 1 to 7 day / time.
Pruning and Canopy
The purpose of Canopy is to make the tree has a basic framework, from which to develop the secondary branches, which help plants grow stronger, clear, less pestilent attack. Round-shaped plants will give high productivity and long-term stability.
The purpose of Pruning is to create a beautiful canopy for trees, limited pest, and nutrition competition.
– On the truss, pruning according to the principle of 1 stem to leave 1-2 young twigs, take the strong growth, well-developed branches, prune the diseased branches, branches and old branches.
– Every year, after harvesting, it is necessary to prune the 2-year-old branches, diseased branches.
Depending on the type of soil and the growth stage, we use different fertilizers.
Dragon fruit is affected by light, blooming in day-long days. In South of Vietnam, the dragon fruit stats to flowering in April till September because the hours of daylight are above 12 hours. Therefore, to make it flower in short-daylight, one of the most effective ways is to create artificial lighting for a certain period, making plants to flower simultaneously.
Vietnam dragon fruit should be harvested within 30 to 32 days after flowering to give the best quality fruit and longer storage.
Vietnam dragon fruit should be harvested early in the morning or evening, avoid direct sunlight on the fruit, which will increase the temperature in the fruit, dehydrate quickly, affect the quality.
4. The standard for exporting Vietnam dragon fruits
Commercial Vietnam dragon fruit quality is affected to the attractive color and shape of the dragon fruit. Therefore, to meet export standards, dragon fruit should meet the following criteria:
– Fruit weight: depending on the imported market:
+ European market: 250-300g / fruit
+ Chinese market: 400-600g / fruit
+ Singapore market: 300-500g / fruit
+ Hong Kong market: above 400g / fruit
– No traces of fungus or insect pests
– Smooth, beautiful shape, the red shell is over 70% fruit area.
– The fruit is white and hard, black seeds.
– No mechanical damage or dark spots and no spots or sunburn or spraying.