Dragon fruit, or pitaya, grows on a cactus plant. Unlike desert cacti, the pitaya cactus requires regular watering for healthiest growth and best fruit production. Dragon fruit is native to tropical and subtropical areas where high rainfall and moist soil is common. Regular watering encourages the cactus to produce flavorful, well-formed fruits. The cactus requires 25 to 50 inches of rainfall or supplemental irrigation a year.
Irrigate dragon fruit plants one to two times weekly. Water at the base of the plants so the moisture soaks deeply into the soil.
Provide approximately 1 inch of water at each irrigation. An inch of water typically moistens the top 6 inches of soil. Dragon fruit plants cannot tolerate overly wet soil.
Stop watering in early spring before the cacti flower. The plants require dry soil to flower successfully. Resume watering once the flowers open to ensure healthy fruit set.