Boron deficiency in dragon fruit is easy to spot—from yellowing of leaves to deformed, cracked fruits and in drastic cases—cracking of the plant’s stem. Boron is essential to high-quality, high-yield dragon fruit.
Addressing the nutrient needs of dragon fruit across South America takes dedicated effort since soil conditions vary greatly across the region. Some soils are naturally low in fertility, others are poorly drained. Most areas are greatly impacted by rainy seasons, so it’s easy for micronutrient deficiencies to limit the growth of a dragon fruit crop.
Boron demands in dragon fruit
Dragon fruit can take several years to mature before producing adequate amounts of fruit for harvest. Dragon fruit producers should consider the boron supply throughout all of the plant’s growth stages.
A critical aspect of a plant’s growth is what happens under the soil—root development. Roots are perhaps the essential factor for the plant’s vitality. Boron plays a key role in root growth. If they lack healthy root growth, dragon fruit cannot absorb water or the nutrients they need to develop.
Once the plant is ready to produce fruit for harvest, management of boron for the formation of flowers is crucial. Deformed or undersized flowers can lead to poor pollination. As fruit set starts, ensuring enough boron is key in producing dragon fruit resistant to cracking and with high-quality sugar content.
While research in Brazil is still in its early stages, it’s showing there is greater demand for boron in white-fleshed varieties compared to red-fleshed varieties of dragon fruit. Insights from plant tissue analysis shows a difference in boron nutritional needs between the varieties, which could ultimately contribute to a more productive dragon fruit crop.
A tailored approach to boron application
Granubor® and Solubor® from U.S. Borax are both options for boron application in dragon fruit production. Because it can be utilized in all stages of dragon fruit plant growth and has a gradual release of boron, Granubor is an optimal choice as a soil application. Solubor is recommended for a complimentary foliar application during the fruiting and flowering phases of the plant.
Due to varied soil types and weather patterns across South America, we always recommend soil and tissue samples to analyze the specific boron levels in your fields. Work with your local agronomist to determine the correct rate of application.
By tailoring boron application options throughout dragon fruit growth stages, producers can increase their yield and optimize production. Contact with your regional U.S. Borax representative for access to high-quality boron products that contribute to your success growing dragon fruit.
Brdar-Jokanović M. 2020. Boron Toxicity and Deficiency in Agricultural Plants. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 21(4):1424. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041424