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How To Grow Papaya Trees In Your Garden

Updated on May 3, 2013

Gardening is useful in many ways, which is why so many people do it. It promotes being active outdoors, which is thought to help with your overall health. It can help you relax and take your mind off of other matters. If you're looking for a hobby, gardening is a good choice.

In addition, a beautiful garden is pretty and can really enhance the overall look of your home. Regardless of what you grow, whether it's flowers or trees, you will see the results of your work. With fruit trees, you can literally taste the fruits of your labor. One good fruit tree to grow is the Papaya tree.


What you need to know about Papaya trees

Before you plant your first Papaya tree, there are a few important things that you need to know about the Papaya.

  • Papaya trees are very sensitive to local weather conditions. Cold weather or standing water can quickly kill a Papaya tree.
  • Papaya trees are relatively weak and vulnerable to toppling over due to strong winds. This is especially true as they get older and taller.
  • Papaya trees grow quickly and can bear fruit within a year and throughout the year, but they usually do not live very long.
  • Papaya trees like lots of sunshine, enough water and good soil.
  • Papaya trees do not transplant well. You can plant them in pots, but its better to plant them where you intend them to be.
  • You can use the same planting method regardless of which variety of Papaya you select.
  • Papaya fruit comes with lots of seeds and are easy to grow under the right conditions with little maintenance.
  • Papaya trees come in three varieties. Unlike males, Hermaphrodites and females will bear fruit. Female trees require a male or Hermaphrodite to pollinate their fruit. Hermaphrodites do not.

There is not much you can do against weather conditions, so expect to see some of your Papaya trees die prematurely for various reasons. That's why is best that you plant many of them, so that some of them will make it.


How to plant Papaya trees

Fortunately, Papaya fruit have lots of seeds and it's easy to plant a lot of them. Retain the best that survive and get rid of the rest. Here are a few guidelines and other tips to use.

  • Select a location that receives plenty of sunshine and has good fertile soil. Add some compost if necessary.
  • Ideally, the area should also be shielded from strong winds. You can select a location that is blocked by a house or other trees.
  • To prevent standing water, you can raise the surface of the soil or create grooves around the area for the water to be disposed of.
  • There's no need for special seeds. The ones from any fruit will do. Select the ones that are the darkest or black in color.
  • Plant lots of seeds and cover them with a thin layer of soil. They will grow by themselves and you can then cull the weakest and select the best of them.
  • After several weeks, you should see the first seedlings. The strongest of them will outgrow the rest. Remove the weaker ones and leave the strongest.
  • As you remove them, increase the distance between each young tree. You want them to be separated as they grow up.
  • Papaya trees require lots of nutrients. Buying some fertilizer for your Papaya trees can really help them grow.
  • If you live in a dry area, don't forget to water them.

Papaya trees are most productive when they are one or two years old. After that, their fruit tends to become smaller and less numerous. It also becomes harder to harvest the fruit as the tree gets older and taller. Cut them down and replace them with new trees.


How to tell if the Papaya tree is a female or Hermaphrodite

Hermaphrodites are preferred by most people. The fruit tends to be elongated and can self-pollinate. Female fruit tends to be rounder and require a male or hermaphrodite or the fruit will not grow and fall off. This is why it's a good idea to know what kind of tree you have.

In the beginning, there is no way to tell them apart. However, once they grow older, Papaya trees can be differentiated by looking at their flowers before they bloom.

  • With a female tree, the flower will be wider at the bottom than at the top. The shape resembles that of a cone. The flower is large and close to the trunk. There is a miniature fruit that isn't present with the other two types.
  • With a male tree, the flower will be thinner at the bottom than at the top. The shape resembles that of a bullhorn. The flowers are more numerous and further away from the trunk.
  • With a Hermaphrodite, the flower will be roughly even in thickness and resembles a cylinder. They bear a slight resemblance to both male and female flowers, which is what they are in essence.

Don't worry too much if you can't tell the difference. Eventually, you'll find out. As you plant more trees, it will become easier for you to tell the difference.

Once you know what you have, you can remove most of the male trees. Just leave one or two if you have only females. With hermaphrodites, you don't really need males or females around. Once you've found your first Hermaphrodite, continue to plant the seeds of the Hermaphrodite only.


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