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.