Rust Spots on Dragon Fruit Plants?

Rust Spots on Dragon Fruit Plants?
Does your dragon fruit plant have little brown spots? Are you wondering if this is bad for the plant? We will explain to you what these rust spots are, what causes them, what you can do to prevent them, and how rust on dragon fruit can be treated.

What are rust spots on dragon fruits?

Rust spots on Dragon Fruits are actually the fungal disease Botryosphaeria or brown stem spot disease. It is a non-aggressive disease that can cause small brown spots on the plant.

Here are some images from our own garden showing such spots:
rust spots on a dragon fruit plant (example) dragon fruit plant rust spots

What causes rust spots?

The cause is often stress. It is possible that the plant has suffered some injuries, where the rust spots subsequently develop. It could also be that the temperature is too low for the plants. A cause could also be that water has remained in that special place, so that the rust spots can manifest themselves. In Surinam, it is mainly the high humidity that could cause rust. We have also noticed that rust forms more easily where the plant touches the wooden post. Not all pitaya cutting varieties or dragon fruit plants are sensitive to it.

What can I do to prevent rust spots?

There are ways to prevent rust spots on your dragon fruit plants. We listed three of them for you.

  1. You have to make sure that the soil is not too moist and airy. Dragon Fruits don’t like wet feet.
  2. Copper sulfide is a drug that stops the rust from spreading. It is admittedly not a biological way, and you have to be careful that it does not get into the ground, because this also affects the microbiological environment of the soil.
  3. A biological way is to spray the affected plants with Neem oil dissolved in water. Add a little washing-up liquid so that the oil can mix better with the water. If necessary, treat the plants again after a month. The spots should then become darker, and you can clearly see that the rust has stopped spreading.
  4. The above are also dragon fruit rust treatment solutions.

Our solution

We do nothing about it ourselves. When the drier times start, the rust seems to stop and the spots become dry and eventually gray. Not always a pretty sight in itself, but the plant doesn’t seem to be bothered by it and continues to grow.
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