Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dragon Fruits (DF) In Melaka (Still Haze in Malaysia)

I have brought one of my visitors to see and have a look at DF planting in Malaysia.

Mr. Vishal and  me visit one of DF farms in Melaka
DF grown for more than five years without much diseases.

DF sorting machine which sort for six weights

Eventhough, Malaysia was badly hit by haze from Indonesia, the DF plants seems to survive. It is quite difficult to measure how haze  caused  effects on plants. However, physiologically plants cannot trap lights for energy to be converted and manufacture carbohydrates. Although DF are Crassulacean Acid metabolism (CAM),   there is  a carbon fixation pathway that evolved.  In a plant using full CAM, the stomata in the leaves remain shut during the day to reduce evapotranspiration, but open at night to collect carbon dioxide (CO2). Haze will cause heat to be trapped in the atmosphere that caused temperature to  rise which caused  growth rates increase with time resulted in less accumulation of dry matter. This in turn, which cause the plants will reduced in yield.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dragon Fruits in India

India is vast continent . And its climatical conditions varies. Dragon fruits is a cactus plant that can survive in many climatical situations. Be it dry or wet. Unlike like Malaysia is tropical country where rainfall is very high  annually, dragon fruits suffers a lot of disease problems. This is especially when the plants have grown bigger with excessive water shoots.

Someone from India has approached  me about dragon fruit planting in India. To be exact the planting is  in Bombay, where dry weather persists. From the picture they sent, the farm is quite big and clean.Plants are quite young and did not encounter much problems.

A newly establish dragon fruit farm in Bombay India

From my comments is that the farms will anticipate many problems in future if necessary actions is not carried out.


1. Surveillance
2. Pruning
5.Post harvest handling
6.Planting materials for reselling.
7.Agricultural inputs.

I hope this farm will become a model farm in India, There are very big market in India especially for fresh consumption and planting materials supply.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Enquiry from Egypt that Wants to Grow Dragon Fruits

Someone from Egypt email me about grow dragon from there;
Dear Sir,
let me introduce my self , I am Mahmoud Abo Elkassem , from Egypt , Age 31 , working Software Developer .

from 5 month and i feel interested about Dragon Fruit , and looking to plant it in my home and in the future i will try to make it commercial.

once i check a lot of site a bout varieties in Malaysia , Philippines, Vietnam ,
i start get so confused, many varieties with different name in the Three country for example : in Philippines fruit name "Saniata" , in Vietnam  "Dragon Fruit" , in Malaysia a farmer create new varieties  "Orange Skin"

so which one is the parent and which one is the child "Clone" ,
what varieties good for me in both way to plant it in home aed commercial ?

My answer:

Asalaimualikum Mr.Mahmoud;

Thank you for your email. There three types of dragon fruits 1. Red skin white flesh (Hylocereus  undantus), 2. Red skin red flesh (Hylocereus Polyrhizus ) 3. Yellow skin white flesh (Selenicereus megalanthus).

The popular commercial types depend on the country. For instant in Vietnam the popular ones are red skin white flesh, in Malaysia the red skin red flesh but, in Colombia yellow skin white are popular.

Genetically , red skin  with white flesh and red skin white flesh are related may be clones or cultivar, but the yellow ones are    vareities.

In Malaysia we prefer the red skin with red flesh because it fetch high price.

Thank you

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dragon Fruits in Gujarat, India

I have  a grower  from Gujarat, India that has grown dragon fruits. His problems were  sun burn(excess heat) injury to these plants.  He has given 15:15:15  fertilizer  by drip irrigation and still continue with the same grade. Their  plants are now 12 months old.

He said that their plants have flowered this season and also are bearing few fruits and  would like  suggestions of how and what grade to fertigate and quantity of fertilizer by drip.

He also  asked me whether he could  spray fertilizers to get better quality and size of fruits to these plants? If yes in what quantity and what intervals should I spray?

The problem he said that is it necessary to sprinkle water on the canopy during high temperatures in summer, and can we cover the canopy with a shade net to protect from sun burn? If yes please suggest the color i.e green or white shade net, and should it be 50% or 75% shade net.

These are my answers:

 If your plants had flowers you should change your fertilizers to 12:12:17:2 instead of 15:15:15. If you continue to give the latter fertilizer your plants will have more vegetative growth meaning that your plants will be grow more green shoots rather than flowers.You can boost your plants with foliar fertilizers with high K mixed with fungicides ; spray for every two weeks. Once the fruits came out you should wrap with newspaper envelope to avoid insect attack or cracking.
To avoid scorching, you could cover your plants temporarily with green net  50% shade.
This area is  very dry and needs irrigation. As dragon fruit is heavy feeder it needs high amount of organic matter

Fruits need to be wrapped as it would damage by insects and cracking

This plants need foliar fertilizer as to enhance more branching. Branching will promote more flowers

The planting distant is OK however do not let insect from mango trees attack the fruits.

Fruit growers may ask me questions or advice. I am obliged to answer wherever I could. Please don't expect for me to answer immediately, or I try to answer to best of my ability. If they have money they could invite to their so that I could give my expertise.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Visit To Vietnam

During the school holidays  in June, I had the chance to visit Vietnam. I was waiting to that date because this is the time to see dragon fruits in Vietnam. The weather was sunny and dry, the temperature is around 37 C. We drove to the Bethan Street where most Malaysian do their shoppings. this street is very popular with many  hotels too. Of course I saw a lot of tropical fruits such as mangoes, mangoesteen, ciku,guava, durians,  jackfruits, DRAGON FRUITS, etc.

Vietnam is the main producer of dragon fruits in the world. I always wonder how this crop had become a major contributor to  Vietnam's economy besides rice and other goods. The secret is always the weather: hot dry. To my analysis dragon fruits like hot and dry weather meaning that  less disease  occurrence. Unlike Malaysia, the weather is hot but humid.

There were two varieties of dragon fruits i.e red and white flesh. It could be easily noticed from its 'scales' where short scales are red and long scales are white. The shape between each other also differs.

To me Vietnam is still a young nation. They had a lot opportunities if their people work hard.

Dragon fruits, guava, mangoes and mangoesteen sold in markets

Red dragon fruits 'Longdo'

Durians, jacfruits, ciku sold in market

White variety  dragon fruits

Mangoesteen sold in pieces.
Dragon fruits grown in one of the orchard.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Manual of Dragon Fruit Planting (In Bahasa Melayu)

I have just completed my write-up on Planting of Dragon Fruits in Malay language. It takes quite some to finish it . This manual is simple and practical ways of how to plant dragon fruits. I hope to publish as soon as possible so that it can be practised immediately by the growers or hobbyists alike.
This manual is of  my very own effort and much time is devoted to it. I will translate into English once I have completed my other book.

I have to race against time because there are a lot work to do. However, you will be satisfied once you accomplished something on your own. I don't rely on anybody either to type the words or sentences, take photo, arrange the contents, paragraphs and layout whats not. Writing books or articles takes patience otherwise well begun half done or Malay proverb says hangat-hangat tahi ayam (direct translation chicken dung is always warm when it is out of its butt! ..and later cool).

Manual on Dragon Fruit Planting. I will translate in English very soon.