Growing papaya in your backyard requires utmost care and protection from wind and direct sunlight. Papaya roots are generally weak to hold tall and heavy trees. You can grow them at home also.
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The best tips for growing papayas include protecting trees from wind, cold temperatures, and too much water. Papayas also need six hours of sunlight a day and frequent fertilization to bear fruit all year long. Growing papayas requires pollination to produce fruit, calling for male and female trees. These trees might grow 33 feet tall (10 meters), making it important to allow plenty of space for growth.
One of the most common mistakes gardeners make when growing papayas concerns overwatering. Root rot commonly kills these trees’ tender root systems. They do best when planted in well-drained areas, and tolerate sandy or rocky soils. Decreasing water might protect trees from root rot.
Mature trees become susceptible to wind damage because the shallow root system might not support the weight of the tree. Growing papayas in areas shielded from strong wind might prevent breakage of limbs or uprooting. Some gardeners prune papaya trees to keep them from growing too tall and toppling over.
Growing papayas from seed represents the most common way to start new plants. Seeds should be washed and air-dried after removing them from the cavity of fresh fruit. Sacs enclosing the seeds should be removed to allow germination. Several seeds sown together help ensure that male and female plants sprout to allow pollination. Seedlings typically appear two or three weeks after sowing.
New plants that appear spindly or weak can be weeded out to increase the chance of healthy trees. When transplanting, care should be used to avoid damaging the fragile roots. Planting in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day typically increases the odds of abundant fruit all year long in warm climates.
Male papaya trees produce flowers before female plants. Usually, many blooms appear on weak stems, but the male tree does not produce fruit. Female trees produce one large flower on a short stalk, while bisexual papaya trees typically develop smaller fruit. One male or bisexual tree might be capable of producing enough pollen for a dozen female papaya trees. If growing papayas indoors, a small brush can be used to transfer pollen to female plants.
When at least one-third of the fruit turns yellow, papayas can be harvested. They are ready to eat when they become slightly soft. Numerous varieties of papayas exist and provide good sources of vitamin A and potassium without excess calories.
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