Some readers may be wondering why their dragon fruit plants are turning white. This could be due to a number of factors, including poor drainage, over-fertilization, or a problem with the plant’s root system. If you suspect that one of these issues is causing your plant’s color to fade, take measures to correct the problem before it becomes more serious.
There are several possible causes of this, so it’s important to determine the cause in order to properly treat the plant.
One possible reason for a dragon fruit plant turning white is a lack of sunlight. If the plant isn’t getting enough light, it will start to turn pale.
Another possibility is that the plant is over-watering. If the soil is too wet, the roots will rot and the plant will start to turn white.
A third possibility is that the plant is suffering from nutrient deficiencies. This can be caused by a variety of things, including poor soil quality or incorrect fertilization.
We will talk about the possible causes of the problem in more detail below.
Even though dragon fruit likes heat, too much sun and heat for too long can hurt it and cause sunscald. To get rid of this pitaya problem, make sure to put young plants and pitaya where they can get some shade during the hottest parts of the day.
Since pitayas are in the cactus family, it makes sense to think that they can survive long periods without water. Even though they are cacti, they do need a lot more water than other cacti. There is a fine line here, though, because too much water can cause diseases caused by bacteria and fungi, and not enough water in the soil makes the plants less likely to bloom and produce fruit. Don’t water pitaya in the spring when it rains a lot because it will get too wet, but do water it when the weather is warmer and it’s less likely to rain.
Dragon fruit stem either a bacterium or a fungus can get into a dragon fruit plant and cause it to rot. Depending on whether the rot is caused by bacteria or fungi, the stem and leaves can turn yellow and rot. This is caused by the Xanthomonas campestris and Erwinia carotovora bacteria, or by the Colletotrichum gloeosporioides fungi (Anthracnose), which looks like reddish-brown lesions with white centers. Sprays of copper fungicide, mancozeb, and metalaxyl are often used to treat it. Each chemical is sprayed once a week and the diseased parts of the plant are cut back.
The best way to treat rot is to figure out what is causing it. Treatments for fungus infections are different from treatments for bacterial infections.
It’s important to remember that when plants have root rot, they:
- Have a hard time with drought;
- More likely to get sunburn;
- Stop growing, fruits are getting smaller;
- Able to catch other diseases.
Fungus seems to be more of a problem in tropical countries because they have the right conditions, such as humidity, moisture, and heat.
Fungi spores may already be on a healthy plant, but like a human’s immune system, if the plant is healthy, strong, and well-fed, its own “immune system” will keep the fungi at bay.
Or, the spores of the fungi could spread to a healthy plant through infected pruning tools or insects that carry them.
If a “weak” plant is exposed to the fungus, it won’t be able to defend itself well enough to fight off the infection. But even a “weak” plant that isn’t exposed to fungi or bacteria will look healthy. So, the best thing to do is to avoid getting sick in the first place.
Prevention is much easier and better than treatment, but you still need to make sure your plants are “strong” and healthy.
Pests and diseases that affect dragon fruit
We’ve already talked about how bacteria and fungi can cause disease in dragon fruit. Anthracnose, which is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, can make dragon fruit sick. It makes circles of damage that look like halos on the stems and fruit. Bipoaris cactivora is a disease that makes black or brown spots on the petals and fruit of pitaya plants. When the infection is bad, it can also cause the branch or stem to rot.
Cactus “Virus X,” also known as the “cactus mild mottle virus,” is a new virus that affects pitaya. The infection shows up as a mosaic of spots of light and dark green on the branches. Most of the time, pitaya branch tips get soft rot from enterobacteria. About 15 days after the infection, the tips of the plant become soft, turn yellow, and start to rot.
Plants that don’t have enough calcium and nitrogen are most likely to get sick. Most of the time, this disease isn’t too bad, but you should still cut off the branch that has it. Botryosphaeria dothidea is another fungal infection that makes the stems of cacti look blotchy and reddish-brown.
Sometimes they look like a “bull’s eye,” and other times there may be more than one spot coming together. This disease starts when the infected branch turns yellow and moves on to the other symptoms. This disease can be spread by pruning shears and other tools that are not clean. Most diseases are spread by dirty gardening tools and dirty gardening techniques.
So you don’t spread disease, it’s important to clean your tools between uses. You can clean and disinfect tools with rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or a very weak bleach/water solution.
Some diseases are spread when an infected plant touches a healthy plant, so it’s best to leave some space between plantings. If that doesn’t work, a copper fungicide may be used to treat diseases caused by fungi. But the best way to keep diseases from spreading in dragon fruit is to use clean tools, remove and throw away diseased plant parts, keep the plant healthy by watering and fertilizing it, and keep the area around it free of weeds and pests that can also spread diseases.
Keep an eye out for bugs like the leaf-footed Leptoglossus that feed on plant sap. It is known that these insects can spread Botryosphaeria dothidea.
Stem rot treatment
If the information above helped you figure out what’s wrong, you can now get the right treatment.
You might want to keep in mind that if your plant is getting sunburned, this could be a sign that the roots of the dragon fruit plant are not healthy, and the sunburned area could be a way for other fungal pathogens to get into the plant.
So let’s look at what can be done.
How to fix soft rot
If you figured out that your problem was soft rot caused by bacteria, you can fix it by cutting off dead stems.
So that you don’t spread disease, it’s important to clean your tools before and after each cut.
Pathogens on the surface of the blades can be killed by soaking them in an alcohol solution, a bleach solution with 10% bleach, or by heating them with a flame.
In the early stages of an infection, spraying the affected areas with copper sulfate or any other type of copper fungicide will help the plant.
Copper fungicides won’t heal an infected plant, but they will keep it from getting sick. Because of this, it’s important to use the fungicides as soon as you notice the disease, or even better, before it starts.
Whitewashing is the process of painting disease-prone areas with a solution of lime, an antifungal agent, an insecticide, and a fixing agent, like natural clay, to stop the disease from happening in the first place.
You will also need to improve the health of your plants in a planned way by making sure the soil drains well.
Do not use chemical weed killers around the base of your plants because it can change the bacterial diversity and balance of the soil, leading to more “bad bacteria” and less “good bacteria” which can hurt the health of your plant.
Make sure the Dragon fruit plants get enough magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and a little calcium.
Make sure plants, especially young ones, aren’t getting too much direct sunlight by covering them with a shade cloth or putting them in a shady area.
As the plant gets older and stronger, this may become less of a problem, but the plant will still need sunlight to make good fruit.
The treatment for botryosphaeria
For this treatment, you’ll need to cut off any dead branches and make sure to throw them away far from any plants. When you do this kind of pruning, don’t forget to clean your tools properly.
Fungi will break down more quickly if you keep a very thick layer of mulch on the ground.
Always use good sanitation by sterilizing your tools and good watering practices by watering in the morning, so the plant surfaces can dry quickly to prevent disease.
As the weather goes from cool to warm, you’ll need to change your watering schedule and pay close attention to how much water your plants need when it’s hot. Even though they are cacti, you still need to water them.
How to treat anthrax
You will have to take care to get rid of any diseased
Cut off any diseased stems, making sure to get rid of all the diseased parts. Cinnamon powder can be used to close the wound and stop any new infection from getting into the plant.
Make sure you clean your pruning tools with a 10% bleach solution or by heating the cutting edges. Be careful not to burn the plant with the hot blade. Let it cool a bit before using it on the stems.
If it’s going to rain a lot and be foggy, try to put down some copper hydroxide before the rain starts.
Copper will help cut down on new infections, but it won’t “cure” any infections that are already there.
Again, you will need to improve your plants’ natural defenses and health in a planned way by giving them good food, good soil, good growing conditions like drainage and the right amount of shade.
One way to do this is to water the plants in the morning so that the surfaces of the trees can dry quickly during the day.
Do not use chemical weed killers. Instead, keep the areas around the plants clear of weeds.
When disease symptoms show up, remove and throw away any plants or parts of plants that are sick, such as fruits, stems, and flowers.
In conclusion, it is still unclear why the dragon fruit plant is turning white. It is possible that it is due to a lack of sunlight, water, or nutrients. To prevent the plant from dying, it is important to take measures to remedy the situation. This may include increasing the amount of sunlight the plant receives, watering it more often, or adding fertilizer.
Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is the fungus that causes this. Anthrax is the name for the symptoms of a disease caused by Colletotrichum species. Anthracnose looks like reddish-brown spots on the edges of vine ribs that are surrounded by yellow or white circles. The centers of lesions can turn white and may join together to form a big mass that rots a lot of the vine column.
Even if the outer part of the stem or branch rots away, as long as the main or central cylinder is still there, it can still support the vine. But it could affect how much fruit grows. This is why there are still healthy leaves at the top of the plant, even though the bottom is damaged and looks bad.
But, as was said, even though the leaves at the top look fine, fruit production may be hurt, which could cause the fruits to be smaller.