5 Best Fertilizer For Dragon Fruit | How And When To Use

Dragon fruit is a delicious addition to any summer smoothie or cocktail (or mocktail!). But surprisingly few people know where this tropical fruit comes from.

Dragon fruit is one of many popular fruits that grow on cacti rather than trees, vines, or shrubs. These cacti are native to North and South America and grow in USDA zones 10 through 12.

While we tend to think of cacti as low-maintenance plants, dragon fruit is a notable exception. The right fertilizer is a must if you want to optimize growth and fruit production. So, after a bit of research, here are my suggestions for the best fertilizer for dragon fruit: 

Best Dragon Fruit Fertilizers

If you’re short on time and want to know which fertilizers I recommend for dragon fruit cacti, look no further:

EZ-gro 20 20 20 Fertilizer - All Purpose Liquid Plant Food

Best Foliar Fertilizer for Dragon Fruit Plants

EZ-gro All Purpose Liquid Food 20-20-20

Liquid concentrate for fast fertilizing results and an even NPK ratio that’s suitable for dragon fruit as well as other outdoor grown plants. 

Down to Earth Vegetable Garden Fertilizer Mix 4-4-4

Best Slow-Release Fertilizer

Down to Earth Vegetable Fertilizer 4-4-4

Evenly balanced organic fertilizer with 100% natural ingredients. A fertilizer that is suitable for use throughout the growing season and even on new plantings.  

Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit plants tend to thrive when fed a balanced fertilizer every couple of months. Most gardeners opt for a slow-release granular formula, but you can also use a liquid applied to the soil or as a foliar spray.

Dragon Fruit Fertilizer N-P-K Ratio

If you’re unsure what makes a specific fertilizer “balanced,” it’s time to take a look at something called an N-P-K ratio. This is a set of numbers that represent the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a fertilizer.

A balanced fertilizer’s N-P-K ratio will have numbers that are near or identical to each other. For example, a 10-10-10 fertilizer contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium.

Dragon Fruit Soil pH and Nutrients

Dragon fruit cacti prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6 and 7. The pH level can affect the availability of certain nutrients in the soil.

Granular Vs Liquid Fertilizer

A big part of choosing between granular and liquid fertilizers is a personal preference. But it’s also true that some plants respond better to one formula than the other.

Granular fertilizer is my go-to for dragon fruit plants, especially mature ones. If you want to utilize a liquid fertilizer, I recommend experimenting with foliar sprays.

Liquid Concentrate, Sprays, and Foliar Fertilizer for Dragon Fruit

There are many types of liquid fertilizers available for dragon fruit cacti. The most well-known are concentrates or sprays that you apply to the soil. Dragon fruit cacti also respond incredibly well to foliar fertilizers that are sprayed directly on the plants themselves.

Fertilizer Granules

Granules release nutrients into the soil very slowly — usually over the course of several weeks or months — which is optimal for growth and fruit production. Be sure to pair granular fertilizer with a consistent irrigation schedule.

Fertilizer Spikes

Fertilizer spikes are very similar to granules but are designed to be driven into the soil rather than scattered on top. While they work well for some potted dragon fruit, the fact that they only deliver nutrients to a small section of the soil means fertilizer spikes may fall short for larger plants.

Synthetic Vs Organic Fertilizer for Dragon Fruit

In terms of results, there are fewer differences between organic and synthetic cactus fertilizers than many people believe. With that said, I find that a combination of the two often yields great results for dragon fruit cacti.

Best Dragon Fruit Fertilizer Reviews

The best dragon fruit fertilizer will deliver the right level of nutrition in a form your cactus can easily absorb and put to use. Rather than reach for a traditional cactus and succulent formula, you’ll see much better results by using one of the fertilizers I recommend below:

1. EZ-gro 20 20 20 All Purpose Liquid Plant Food

Best Foliar Fertilizer for Dragon Fruit Plants

1. EZ-gro 20 20 20 Fertilizer - All Purpose Liquid Plant Food

Pros

  • Can be applied to the soil or as a foliar spray
  • Delivers a well-balanced nutrient profile

Cons

  • Must be diluted before each application

If you want to incorporate foliar feeding into your dragon fruit care routine, this EZ-gro concentrate is one of my favorite formulas. 

This is a professional-grade product that features a balanced macronutrient profile of 20-20-20 plus several trace nutrients including iron, zinc, and manganese. All of these support fruit production and long-term growth to help you achieve great harvest-time results.

Measuring and mixing this fertilizer in the right quantities plus the proper application is all it takes to get your plants fertilized effectively and to see results quickly. Use a standard watering can for smaller cacti or invest in a handheld sprayer for larger specimens.

How To Use: Dilute with clean water prior to use. Re-apply every 1 to 2 weeks throughout the growing season during routine waterings.

Pros

  • Slowly releases nutrients and microbes into the soil
  • Listed for organic production by OMRI

Cons

  • ‘Organic’ smell

Down to Earth is my go-to brand when searching for quality organic fertilizers. I recommend this vegetable garden formula for feeding dragon fruit cacti thanks to its even balance of macronutrients.

Thanks to its gentle formula – that just happens to contain only 100% natural ingredients – this slow-release fertilizer is suitable for use throughout the growing season and is unlikely to cause fertilizer burn or subject your plants to over-fertilization complications. 

How To Use: Evenly distribute granules around your dragon fruit cactus. Gently work the fertilizer into the soil using a rake before thoroughly watering the area.

Pros

  • Made with organic, non-GMO ingredients
  • Provides the ideal amount of nitrogen and potassium
  • Can be made into a liquid feed

Cons

  • It May have a strong odor

For those who feel most comfortable using non-GMO products in the garden, I always recommend something from Dr. Earth. While many of the brand’s fertilizers will work on dragon fruit, the amount of nitrogen and potassium in this formula is perfect for promoting growth and fruit production.

In my experience, Dr. Earth’s fertilizers are as good for plants as they are for people and the environment. With this fertilizer, your dragon fruit will receive a wide variety of micronutrients and soil-boosting microbes.

How To Use: Apply approximately ½ cup of fertilizer to the soil around your dragon fruit cactus. Work the granules into the soil and water thoroughly. Feed every 2 months.

Pros

  • Balanced nutrient ratio
  • Use as a foliar feed or traditional liquid fertilizer

Cons

  • Slightly acidic

This Jack’s Classic fertilizer is proof that you don’t need anything fancy to grow yummy dragon fruit in your backyard! It’s a wonderful water-soluble formula that can be used as a foliar feed or applied directly to the soil.

I should note that this fertilizer leans somewhat acidic. If the soil around your dragon fruit already has a low pH, you may want to choose a more neutral formula.

How To Use: Fully dissolve in water before applying to foliage or soil. 

Pros

  • No measuring or mixing required
  • Ideal for smaller, potted dragon fruit
  • Good for pet owners

Cons

  • May not distribute nutrients evenly

While I prefer using a granular or liquid fertilizer for my plants, I know of several gardeners who swear by these Jobe’s fertilizer spikes. I recommend using these on potted dragon fruit cacti versus those planted outdoors.

These spikes eliminate any need for measuring or pre-mixing fertilizer with each application. I also find that they’re a great alternative to granular fertilizer if you have a household pet who likes to dig around in your garden containers!

How To Use: Drive fertilizer spikes 1 or 2 inches into the soil around your dragon fruit. Be sure to evenly space out the recommended number of spikes and avoid placing them too close to the cactus’ base.

How to Fertilize Dragon Fruit

When applying traditional liquid, granular, or spike fertilizers, cover the entire soil surface around your dragon fruit cactus. Avoid making direct contact with the base of the stem as this could burn the flesh.

If using a foliar spray, apply the fertilizer in the early morning or evening. Applying in the middle of the day will decrease the amount of fertilizer absorbed by the plant and increase the risk of sunburn.

Avoiding Fertilizer Burn

Cacti are just as susceptible to fertilizer burn as other types of plants. While the dragon fruit cactus is a heavy feeder, it’s still possible to overload this plant with too much nitrogen. 

Keeping a close eye on the amount and frequency of your fertilizer application is key to preventing fertilizer burn. Also, avoid feeding your dragon fruit in the wintertime as the plant should be dormant.

When to Fertilize Dragon Fruit

Feed throughout the growing season. In most regions, active growth occurs between March and September, but the season may be even longer in particularly warm climates.

Early-season applications are the most important because they provide adequate nutrition for flower and fruit production. Some gardeners prefer to taper off nitrogen once flower blossoms emerge.

Fertilizing New Dragon Fruit Plants

I recommend starting a fertilizing regimen as soon as your dragon fruit cactus has adjusted to its new environment. Supplement the soil with aged compost or manure every 2 months to encourage healthy root and stem development for the future.

Fertilizing Mature Dragon Fruit Plants

After a few years of growth, you might notice your dragon fruit’s nutritional needs change. Adapt your fertilizing routine as needed by spacing larger applications a bit further apart during the growing season. Supplement the soil with compost or manure twice per year.

How Often to Fertilize Dragon Fruit

As a general rule, dragon fruit should be fed every 2 months with a slow-release granular fertilizer. When using liquid fertilizer on the soil or as a foliar spray, it may be necessary to feed once a week.

Of course, the feeding guidelines provided with your chosen fertilizer will always trump these generalized recommendations. 

Verdict: Best Fertilizer for Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is a must-grow cactus if you have the space and climate to accommodate it! But be prepared to spend a lot more time feeding and watering this plant than you would most other cacti species.

For something simple and straightforward, I recommend picking up a bottle of EZ-gro 20 20 20 Fertilizer All Purpose Liquid Plant Food. This formula is a great option for dragon fruit (and other vigorous plants) and is easy to tailor to your garden’s exact needs.

EZ-gro 20 20 20 Fertilizer - All Purpose Liquid Plant Food

Best Foliar Fertilizer for Dragon Fruit Plants

EZ-gro 20 20 20 Fertilizer – All Purpose Liquid Plant Food

Liquid concentrate for fast fertilizing results and an even NPK ratio that’s suitable for dragon fruit as well as other outdoor grown plants. 

If you’d rather use organic fertilizer on your dragon fruit cactus, then I suggest choosing Down to Earth Organic All Purpose Fertilizer Mix 4-4-4. Its gentle formula makes it ideal for use all season long without the risk of fertilizer burn.

Down to Earth Vegetable Garden Fertilizer Mix 4-4-4

Best Slow-Release Fertilizer

Down to Earth Vegetable Garden Fertilizer Mix 4-4-4

Evenly balanced organic fertilizer with 100% natural ingredients. A fertilizer that is suitable for use throughout the growing season and even on new plantings.  

FAQ’s Fertilizing Dragon Fruit