Dragon fruit farming in Kenya

Dragon fruit Farming In Kenya

Dragon fruit farming in Kenya

In this article, we will explore the process of Dragon fruit farming in Kenya, a fruit that has gained popularity and is profitable if one manages to venture into farming it.

We will also delve into step-by-step maintenance and also mention the nutritional value that dragon fruits offer.

Nutritional richness of dragon fruit

Dragon fruit is rich in essential vitamins and minerals but low in calories.

This fruit also contains fibre in enough amounts.

Below are some of the nutrients that dragon fruit offers;

  • 3 grams of protein
  • 29 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7 grams of dietary fiber
  • 8% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) of Iron
  • 18% of the RDI of Magnesium
  • 9% of the RDI of Vitamin C
  • 4% of the RDI of Vitamin E
  • 136 Calories and zero fats

Dragon fruit species

The main two species grown for commercial production include:

  • The one which has fruit with bright pink skin and white flesh (Hylocereus undatus)
  • The one which has fruit with bright pink skin and pink flesh (Hylocereus sp)
  • Yellowed skin and white flesh (Hylocereus megalanthus)

Process of Dragon Fruit Cultivation

Here we will let you know of the whole process followed when cultivating the dragon fruits from the climatic conditions required to the harvesting stage;

Climate Requirements For Dragon Fruit Farming

It grows well in tropical climatic conditions under a rainfall of 50 cm.

The temperature for dragon fruit cultivation should range between 20 °C to 30 °C.

If you are in a sunny region, for the fruits to grow, you will need to shade them because they cannot grow well under harsh sunlight.

Soil Requirements for Dragon Fruit Cultivation

The three main types of soil are, Sandy, Loam and clay. These three can grow the fruit.

Sandy soil with a 5.5 to 7 pH value is the preferred ideal soil since it has good organic matter and a good drainage system that favors the fruit’s growth.

Preparation of land

Plough the field until the soil acquires a fine promising tilth. You also plough to make the soil weed-free.

After that, you should apply any type of organic compost in a proportionate ratio to avoid burning the plant.

Dragon Fruit Plantation Method in Kenya

The common propagation method is by use of cuttings.

Seeds are not recommended because they take a lot of time to replica the mother plant’s characteristics.

Pile up the cuttings 2 days before and use 20 cm of these cuttings for planting in the field.

When digging the pits to place the plant, ensure a distance of 60cm by 60 cm by 60 cm.

Fill the pits with topsoil, manure and recommended fertilizer.

It is advisable to use the superphosphate fertilizer in an amount of 100 grams.

Fertilization and Pruning

Apply a balanced fertilizer high in potassium and phosphorus to promote flowering and fruit development.

Prune the plants annually to remove any dead or damaged branches and maintain the desired shape and size.

Pruning also helps improve air circulation and reduces the risk of diseases.

Irrigation stage of dragon fruits

With the various irrigation methods to choose from, it is advisable to use the drip irrigation system.

This is because the rest of the methods will subject the fruits to a lot of water.

Since the fruit does not require much water, it is better to irrigate them at the planting stage, flowering & fruit development stages.

Pests and Diseases

Dragon fruit are generally tough plants but watch out for the following problems which can crop up:

  • Caterpillars
  • Snails and slugs
  • Mites, mealybugs and other sap suckers
  • Fungal problems

You can visit pest and disease control board to get more advice on how to control the pests in case they invade.

Dragon Fruit Harvesting

Dragon fruit season is between August to December. From the initial day of planting, the fruits start appearing in the first year.

From August to December month, it bears the fruits, and the fruits are ready for harvesting after one month of flowering.

Apart from this, the flowering time continues till December. Picking up these fruits can be done up to 6 times within this period.

When the fruits turn red, it is the best time for harvesting.

The ideal time for harvesting is after 3 to 4 days of color change.

On the other hand, you should harvest them after 1 day of color change for exporting. You can get 5 to 6 tonnes of production per acre.

Dragon fruit market in Kenya

There is a high demand for dragon fruits in the country but the supply is low.

Demand for dragon fruit is high in upmarket areas in Nairobi, such as Westlands, Muthaiga, Karen and Parklands where there are a lot of Asians who love the fruit.

You can also export the fruit to Asian countries.

Where to buy dragon fruit seedlings

You can pick your dragon fruit seedlings from;

Naivasha nursery

+254 7 232 136 02

Embu nursery

+254 7 989 190 07

You can also order through +254 7 246 983 57 to have them sent to you.

Profits from dragon fruit cultivation

The estimated production per acre of dragon fruit in Kenya ranges between 3,250-3,900 kilograms per year. One plant can produce 15 kgs to 25 kgs and an acre can accumulate close to 6400 plants.

In return, you can sell a kilo of dragon fruits at approximately KES 900. Mind you, some dragon fruits tend to be bigger hence two fruits weigh a kilo.

In one year;

3,250*900= KES 2.9 million

3,900*900= KES 3.5 million

This amount can be added if you choose to export more than you sell locally hence its a promising agribusiness that can reap millions of shillings.


Dragon fruit can undoubtedly be ranked as one of the best fruits that can bring a good outcome.

In as much as the whole process seems tricky, with the right knowledge, it’s possible to earn millions out of the income it will bring.


1. How long does dragon fruit take to grow in Kenya

The plant matures after 12 to 18 months if planted from its vines through propagation, although it can also be planted from seedlings but takes more time.

2. What conditions does dragon fruits need to grow

They can handle heat, drought, humidity and poor soils but will grow tastier fruit with regular watering. Choose a sunny spot and then boost the soil with compost, manure and certified organic fertilizer.

Check out

  1. Tomato Farming in Kenya

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