Dragon fruit, or pitaya, grows on a cactus plant. Unlike desert cacti, the pitaya cactus requires regular watering for healthiest growth and best fruit production. Dragon fruit is native to tropical and subtropical areas where high rainfall and moist soil is common. Regular watering encourages the cactus to produce flavorful, well-formed fruits. The cactus requires 25 to 50 inches of rainfall or supplemental irrigation a year.
Irrigate dragon fruit plants one to two times weekly. Water at the base of the plants so the moisture soaks deeply into the soil.
Provide approximately 1 inch of water at each irrigation. An inch of water typically moistens the top 6 inches of soil. Dragon fruit plants cannot tolerate overly wet soil.
Stop watering in early spring before the cacti flower. The plants require dry soil to flower successfully. Resume watering once the flowers open to ensure healthy fruit set.
Tips & Warnings
- Mulching dragon fruits with a 2-inch layer of bark or straw prevents the soil from drying too quickly and may help reduce watering needs.
- Uneven soil moisture, caused by allowing the soil to dry out too much between waterings, causes dragon fruits to split before they ripen.
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
How to Start a Dragon Fruit Cactus From Seed
Dragon fruit is the edible fruit from the Pitaya cactus, a member of the Hylocereus genus. It is called dragon fruit for...
Fruit Trees That Like Wet Soil
Fruit trees do not thrive in wet soil. Excess water in the surrounding soil inhibits the ability of a tree to take...