Pitaya Cultural Calendar



From the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida


Wait about a month after planting or until plants begin to grow to start fertilizing. Fertilization in the first year should be frequent (every 2 months) with light applications of 0.25 lb (118 g) per plant. Use a 6-6-6, 8-3-9, 8-4-12 (palm special) with 2-3% magnesium or similar formula. The addition of 4 lbs (1.2 kg) of well-decomposed manure or compost around the base of the plant but not touching the stem is recommended during the first year. Apply 4–6 minor element sprays from late March to September.

Plants growing in high-pH, calcareous soils should be drenched around each plant with 0.25–0.5 oz (7–15 g) of chelated iron. Apply small amounts of ferrous (iron) sulfate at the base of plants growing in neutral and low-pH soils. The rainy, warm season is the best for the application of minor elements.

During the second and third year, gradually increase the amount of dry fertilizer to 0.3–0.4 lb (136–182 g) per plant every two months using any of the above formulas. Gradually increase the amount of manure or compost to about 6 lbs (2.7 kg) per plant. Use the same number of minor element sprays and gradually increase the iron chelate soil drench to 0.75–1.00 oz (22–29 g) per plant. During the fourth year and after, apply 0.50–0.75 lbs (227–341 g) of fertilizer per plant of the above formulas, using 3–4 applications per year and the same minor element and iron chelate recommendations. Apply manure or compost at 5 lbs (2.2 kg) each application, twice per year.


OperationJanFebMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugSeptOctNovDec
General NPK1
Apply NPKApply NPKApply NPKApply NPKApply NPKApply NPK
Nutritional sprays2Apply 4 to 6 minor element nutritional sprays during the warm period of the year.
Iron applications Apply dry ferrous (iron) sulfate to plants growing in neutral to low-pH soils and apply soil drenches of chelated iron to vines growing in high-pH soils.
WateringDo not water during this time unless the plant is flowering.Water only during periods of prolonged dry periods.
Insect controlMonitor for insect pests year round. Contact your local county extension agent for current control recommendations.
Disease controlMonitor for insect pests year round. Do not overwater pitaya. Contact your local county extension agent for current control recommendations.
PruningRemove damaged and weak stems. Selectively remove some stems to enhance growth and vigor of remaining stems and to induce flowering.
1 NPK, nitrogen-phosphate-potash.
2 Nutritional sprays should contain manganese, zinc, and other micro-nutrients.



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Bibliography

Crane, Johathan H., Balerdi, Carlos F. and Maquire, Ian. "Pitaya Growing in the Home Landscape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS1068, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date Nov.2005. Revised Nov. 2016. Web. 17 June 2017.

Published 19 June 2017 LR
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