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  • Anyone growing papaya?

    I was just wondering if anyone else out there is growing papaya and if you've had success. The tree below is in it's 3rd summer and is finally producing some fruit but they do not seem to be growing too fast. It was grown from seed from a supermarket papaya. I had four trees last year but I didn't have room for them all in the basement over the winter so I pared them down to one tree. This tree has put out male, female and hermaphroditic flowers (both male and female parts) in the past but now seems to be forming mostly hermaphroditic ones which is why I have fruit (it formed one fruit last year but it dropped at about baseball size). I'm hoping these fruits will stick this time. Has anyone fruited a papaya? I'm especially interested in those who have done it in a pot in colder climates. How long does it take to ripen fruit?

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    Steve - Clarksburg, MD zone 7a

  • #2
    I grow them. Somehow they fruit much more if 3-4 plants planted not far from each other. I planted now golden brazilian papaya. Will see how it does.
    Central Florida 9b
    WL: green figs with berry flavor.
    ​​​​​​

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    • Sparky
      Sparky commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not sure what type it is but the male flowers are always single, not multiple on a long stalk like I see online.

  • #3
    That is beautiful! I’ve tried and tried and tried from seeds and even nursery bought plants and never had success.

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    • Sparky
      Sparky commented
      Editing a comment
      If I don't get fruit this year then it's toast!

  • #4
    They need lots of feeding... flowers that you see are normal. Fruit can drop while small if they're infected with fruit flies. I just hang sticky papers around and it helps to reduce fly issue.
    Central Florida 9b
    WL: green figs with berry flavor.
    ​​​​​​

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    • #5
      I understand this is no help but papaya literally grows like weeds here in Brandon Fl and there is plenty of fruit. Every year it will die back and then come back, Im sure further south this isnt a problem at all.

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      • #6
        Here in sunny San Diego I've been growing them for over 15 years. Summers get up to 3 digits and Winters short periods below freezing. I get the young plants by throwing seeds and raking them into the compost under the shade of Cherimoya and fig trees where they germinate when the temperature gets into the high 80/90's. All my trees are on raised beds. My Papaya don't like cold wet roots but love lots of water in the heat of Summer. They start producing around the 4th year and by the 8th year they are too tall for picking fruit. I used to just cut them down and replant but am now trimming them down and letting the side branches take over. I would imagine that if you expect fruit from the potted plant you will need to feed it heavily. The Papayas I have in the ground get lots of compost. I get fruit year round but very little ripens in the Winter and that is not very good quality. The Summer is a different story I get really good tasting fruit and have plenty for my buddies.

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        • Sparky
          Sparky commented
          Editing a comment
          Mine is finally setting fruit but the fruits are not growing very fast. I'm concerned about them ripening before cold weather comes. Do you think the tree would survive all winter in a garage that stays above freezing? I'm not sure if it will be worth the effort to overwinter.

        • PBfigs
          PBfigs commented
          Editing a comment
          What variety do you grow? I tried to grow Hawaiian Solo papayas, but they always die in the winter Where in SD do you live? I am in Scripps Ranch

      • #7
        I started a new papaya last season, due to selling my mature tree for a offer I couldn’t refuse. It stays in a heated greenhouse for the winter.
        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
        Connecticut zone 6b. No wish list. Experiments on different varieties and keeps only the best tasting.

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        • #8
          Have you gotten any fruit from your papayas?
          Steve - Clarksburg, MD zone 7a

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          • Forbiddenfruit.garden
            Forbiddenfruit.garden commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes. Last year I had 7 or 8 papayas. This papaya tree was started about 1 year ago. It’s just starting to make the fruit. It’s a little late , but since I have a heated greenhouse I’m going to let them form. These trees are vigorous growers and are like weeds. I will see if I could find a pic of the tree I sold last season.

        • #9
          Last known photo of the tree I sold. They were all in the same pot. It had one last fruit before it sold.
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
          Connecticut zone 6b. No wish list. Experiments on different varieties and keeps only the best tasting.

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          • Sparky
            Sparky commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice. How long did it take from fruit set to ripe? I don't think mine will make it before cool weather sets in. I have an unheated greenhouse but it won't be worth it to me to heat it through the winter just to get a few fruits.

          • Forbiddenfruit.garden
            Forbiddenfruit.garden commented
            Editing a comment
            Here in Connecticut the fruit flower starts in late March/ early April and ripens in august. It stays in greenhouse until mid may/ early June. Depending on the weather. I have to watch night time temperatures in the spring.

        • #10
          Sparky i just wanted to show you a updated photo of the papaya that I posted earlier this season. It is now in my heated greenhouse and will probably ripen next season.
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
          Connecticut zone 6b. No wish list. Experiments on different varieties and keeps only the best tasting.

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          • Sparky
            Sparky commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice! I actually sold my tree but I found some volunteer papayas in my compost pile so I potted up a couple. They are in my basement for the winter. I also planted one in the ground in my greenhouse just to see if it can make it through the winter.

        • #11
          It's the only tree that has grown really well for me with little effort. I don't even know the exact variety, it was given to me as a seedling, probably started from a store bought fruit's seeds.

          Take a look at the growth from planted in Dec 2020 to Oct 2021. First flowered in April 2021 (so 5 months after planting), first fruit formed in May, and the first ripened fruit fell off in early September. The more mature fruits though are just ripening. They're coming out at over 2kg (over 4lbs), and I have over 30 of them on the tree (I stopped counting as there were so many) and afraid the tree will break from the weight hence the supports.

          This is obviously specific to my area (Miami, FL) but I'm still amazed at what it has done for me.

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          Last edited by slowpoke; 12-03-2021, 02:22 PM.
          -Dorian Miami, FL, Zone 10b
          Wanted (Col de Dame Grise/Blanc, Popone, Black Tuscan, Martinenca Rimada)

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          • Sparky
            Sparky commented
            Editing a comment
            Looks great! I wish I could grow more tropicals!

          • PBfigs
            PBfigs commented
            Editing a comment
            How do they taste? I tried to grow the Hawaiian Solo and Strawberry papayas, but they die off in the winter here in 10a. Haven’t tried growing the larger varieties like yours. What is your lowest temperatures?

          • slowpoke
            slowpoke commented
            Editing a comment
            They have that papaya taste They're sweet, but not sure about being specific as I'm not a big papaya fan so I haven't tried too many different varieties. I'll keep growing it and mainly giving away the fruits, just excited to have something growing with not much effort.

            Usually temperatures don't drop that much here. It will be rare to get much lower than 40-45F. I think last time it got below 40 was in 2010 when it dropped to 35F.

        • #12
          If I'm not mistaken unripe papaya is edible. I've ordered papaya salad before at a Thai restaurant and I believe it's made with unripe papaya.
          Martinsville, Va
          Working at MetalRainTanks.com
          Wish list: Anything edible and hardy in 7a

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          • Sparky
            Sparky commented
            Editing a comment
            You are correct, definitely edible and that's what is in the Thai salad.
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