How to support dragon fruit plants is a notion that you would think of when planted on the ground and in pots. Any home gardener can easily do it by using a wooden stake, a tomato cage, or building a rectangular post.
In this article, we will discover how to use these materials to support your dragon fruit plant and what things should be considered first when making such supports. Keep reading to learn more about how you can do this.
- How to Support Dragon Fruit Plants in Pots?
- How to Support Dragon Fruit Planted on the Ground?
- How to Support a Dragon Fruit Tree Without Trellis?
How to Support Dragon Fruit Plants in Pots?
To support dragon fruit plants in pots, you can use a rectangular support post, as you make it with bamboo stakes. You can also try to use a tomato cage to help the plant grow, and lastly, by using wood stakes, you can give it the right stance.
Depending on whether your dragon fruit plants are planted in pots or containers or directly on the ground, the methods for supporting them vary. Although this plant may be grown on the ground without any aid, using a trellis or support columns is highly recommended.
This is due to the fact that the plants are fairly heavy and will require strong support once they have aerial roots emerging from the main stem and are fully formed. In preparing to support your plants, make sure you use durable, non-chemically treated materials to create the trellis.
– Use Rectangular Support Post
This is assuming you have yet to plant the dragon fruit. You must first prepare what you need, which are four pieces of bamboo stakes that are at least four feet long and one-inch thick; a 6.5 feet long, thin, strong rope; fresh soil; gardening shears; a big, broad plastic bucket with bottom drain holes, measuring about 10 inches in depth and 12 inches in width; and the vine cuttings to be planted.
Securely wrap a rope around a stake that is three inches above the ground, and after carefully tying a loop in the rope, attach it to the following post. Once it loops back to the first stake, repeat the process for the other stakes. At higher stakes, repeat the previous two steps two more times.
You want something that resembles a clothesline framework for an in-ground trellis, and the difference is that you will need to add three more sturdy wires, placed vertically five to six inches away from one another. Add more supporting posts to the trellis, much like a clothesline, and keep adding longer wires to extend it. Since you will be planting four vine cuttings in the same pot, it is advisable that these four belong to the same dragon fruit varieties so that you would avoid root competition.
– Utilize a Tomato Cage
For dragon fruit that is already planted in pots, you can also use a wooden pole in the middle of the pot and enclose it with a tomato cage. Just adjust the height based on how tall your dragon fruit cactus is, and this is how you would give it support in the right way.
– Make Use of Wood Stakes
You can also use stakes made of wood to support your plant. Sometimes, these wooden stakes have burlap wrapped around the posts to help trap moisture. To keep the post from decaying, some people wrap it with PVC.
How to Support Dragon Fruit Planted on the Ground?
To support dragon fruit planted on the grounds, you should first consider the height and top of the post, and then you should prepare the land by digging holes. After this, provide proper height and spacing of the posts, and lastly, use wire rebar at the top.
You must remember that it is more common for large-scale farms to build cement posts rather than wooden ones. This is because cement pillars weigh around 200 pounds; thus, they are more durable and won’t be easily knocked down by the wind.
If building a trellis may seem like a lot of work, you can opt to grow dragon fruit and let it lay on the available surfaces, like rocks, railings on your balcony, or even your wall. The best support you can give a dragon fruit plant is a strong frame consisting of a central vertical pillar at least eight inches in diameter and five to six feet high, mounted on top of which is either a strong square frame or horizontal supports.
Remember that you should build a dragon fruit trellis that is high enough for the branches of this plant to umbrella out to have optimal fruiting results and for you to more easily take care of the plants and collect its fruits.
– Consider the Height and Top of the Post
Be sure to plan and consider having enough allowance for the height of the trees to climb and adequate depth for the roots when you build the trellis. A maximum height of five to six-foot posts is just enough. If you make the post too high, the dragon fruit may just keep climbing forever since these plants are semi-tropical plants that can obtain moisture and nutrients from the air and host plants. As a result, this could prolong the fruiting period.
Therefore, a shorter post that enables your plants to extend their branches is more beneficial. In addition, you can avoid future problems when getting the ripe fruits or pruning the branches if you build the trellis at just the right height, so be sure to get it right.
When your dragon fruit plant starts to branch out and overrun the posts, you can secure some wires or rebar at the top of the post, so you can still support the overgrown branches. Others use old tires from bicycles or other vehicles. On the other hand, if you use old tires, keep an eye out as they may become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, beetles, or rodents. This is because some water may be retained inside the curved edges. This is also not ideal for the long term, so you may need to replace them after a while.
– Prepare the Land by Digging Holes
Farmers prepare the land by digging a hole and planting dragon fruit cuttings. They typically fill the holes with fertilizers like composted cow dung and potassium, so the plants can gradually consume the nutrients as they grow. This is important to have a steady place because this is where the plant is going to grow and have the right support.
– Provide Proper Height and Spacing of the Posts
The height of the cement posts is around five feet, and they are placed around six to eight feet apart from each other. This is done to give the roots enough room to spread and not compete for nutrients. It is then covered with hay to help retain moisture and improve the soil as the hay decomposes.
– Use Wire or Rebar at the Top of the Posts
For the top of the cement post, some wire or rebar can be attached so that it can hold the branches as the plant grows. Others use rectangular support bases or bicycle tires. Ensure that it is wide enough so that high winds or rain won’t cause the branches to break.
How to Support a Dragon Fruit Tree Without Trellis?
To support a dragon fruit tree without a trellis, use a pile of rocks so that they would stand still and back it up. You can also use the railings of the balcony, or go ahead and use the wall as a support.
– Using Pile of Rocks
Dragon fruit plants can also be grown and supported by a simple pile of rocks. Heated by the sun, the rocks become an ideal climbing surface for the dragon fruit vines. Make sure that you have good soil underneath those rocks, because your plant will be getting its nutrients from it, as well as from the surrounding air and nearby plants.
– Placing Railings of Balcony
Another surface you can utilize to support the dragon fruit plant is the railings of your balcony. This is applicable to dragon fruit growers who need more garden space. Ensure you have enough support on the branches until the roots have clung to the railings. This way, you can use all the space available around your balcony in the right way and have your fruit tree growing in a prosperous way.
– Using the Wall
Like the railings, you can use your wall and let your dragon fruit plant climb it. Once the air roots are developed, even if their roots on the ground are severed, they will not perish. The air will provide their needed nutrients, and they can still thrive. Another advantage of the wall is that it also shields the plant from the bitter winters and scorching summers.
Given that the dragon fruit plant is considered a sub-tropical cactus with heavy branches that are vining, it must be properly supported in order to thrive to summarize what we have learned about how to support this plant:
- For dragon fruit plants in a pot, the most common support to use is wooden stakes, which are sometimes wrapped in burlap to help keep the moisture in.
- A wooden pole in the middle of the pot and a tomato cage are also good options. Just make sure to adjust the height based on how tall the dragon fruit plant is.
- Use a rectangular support by putting four pieces of bamboo stakes in a large pot. When planting the four vine cuttings, it is recommended that they be of the same variety to prevent root competition.
- Growing a dragon fruit plant without a trellis can also be achieved. You can also use flat surfaces like balcony railings, walls, or just a pile of outdoor rocks to support your dragon fruit plant.
- Big farms mainly use cement posts or pillars to support the dragon fruit plants, as these supports are more durable and long-lasting.
Now that you know the different ways to support your growing dragon fruit, you can choose what you think would be best suited for you and your plant. Just remember to stay away from treated wood to prevent your plant from being exposed to harmful chemicals.
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