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What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Growing & Caring for Papaya Trees

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 27th

Do you want to plant and grow your own Papaya? Here are some tips that can help.

          The Papaya tree (Carica papaya) is a tropical fruit that originated in Mexico and South America. It is now grown throughout the North American tropics and other tropical regions around the world.

The fruit of the Papaya is also called pawpaw and is eaten raw without the skin. The fruit is sweet, low in calories and high in potassium and vitamin A. Papaya is also used in drinks, jellies, salads, desserts and is also dried and candied.

There are many varieties of Papaya, but the main varieties grown in the U.S. are Red Lady, Maradol, and various Solo types. To successfully grow Papayas, you need a frost free climate, lots of sunlight, lots of water and good soil. If you give your plant all of these conditions, then you can grow a papaya from seed and generally have fruit in 6 to 12 months.

Growing Tips for Papayas:

  • Climate: Thrive in subtropical and tropical climates. Zone 10 to 11. They do not tolerate freezing temperatures and are damaged or killed if temperatures go below 32 degrees.
  • Pollination: The female plants produce fruit and may be cross pollinated with others by insects and wind. There are plants that may be self-pollinating (bi-sexual).
  • Growth Habit: The papaya is a short lived, fast growing woody herb. They generally have a single trunk and grow 10 to 15 feet tall, but some plants have been known to grow taller.
  • Sun Light: Grow best in full sun. Papayas love the heat and sunlight.
  • Fertilize: Papayas are heavy feeders and require regular fertilizing. Adding compost is also recommended.
  • Water: Papayas have large soft leaves and evaporate a lot of water in warm weather, so they need above average watering.
  • Soil: Papayas do best in rich soil that is high in organic matter. Make sure your planting location and soil has good drainage to avoid root rot.
  • Harvesting: Generally, fruit is picked when there is 1/5 to 1/3 color change in the fruit. After picking, keep at room temperature to fully ripen. Ripe fruit will keep 4 to 7 days in the refrigerator.

We currently have Papaya seeds and young plants for sale in the Garden Shoppe and grow the several varieties on the grounds of the Estates. Visit the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Garden Shoppe to see some of the varieties we have available. The horticulture staff is available to assist you and to answer any further questions you may have.

167 Responses

  1. David Van Der Berg Says:

    Hi guys, my name is David, I live on the East Coast of South Africa, and have a good few pawpaw trees in the garden. Unfortunately, we had a spell of frost, and the tops of the trees were severly “burned.” I have cut the worst of the dead matter off the trees, and would like to know if there are any other remedies I may try to facilitate a speedy recovery. Further, are you aware of any “companion” plants I may sow near the trees, that will boost yield, health and general well being?

    Thank you for your time and consideration of my request.

    You may e-mail me at this address


    Posted on September 8th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  2. mike simon Says:

    My papaya trees keep falling over when loaded with fruit. They become top heavy, what to do?

    Posted on August 24th, 2012 at 10:21 am

  3. yvonne Says:

    Hi! I have 4 papaya trees loaded with fruits but the leaves started to become yellow falling one by one. I am so sorry I might lost my trees and have not even tasted the fruits of my labor.

    Posted on September 24th, 2012 at 9:05 am

  4. cherry Says:

    I am interested of papaya live tree with 4 or 5 ft tall. I’m just wondering how much it will cost me with shipping included. I bought malunggay fr different seller and they ship 5 ft tall for me. The shipping gonna go to phx az. Let me know if you could and when. Thank you.

    Posted on November 17th, 2012 at 10:57 pm

  5. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    The papaya does not transplant well, and I wouldn’t advise shipping a 5 foot tall papaya. I would suggest getting seeds and growing them in a pot and transplanting to the spot when it is small. I have had luck with growing seeds easily then when the seedling is 1-2 feet put it directly in the ground. The solo variety has both male and female flowers so you don’t need two. I also like the red lady papaya. Look for seeds-we bought some from a website that sold hybrid varieties of papaya from Hawaii. We are growing them now in the ground. When we get seeds we can send. It won’t be long and I will harvest the seeds.

    Posted on December 20th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

  6. Sam Says:

    When’s the best time to grow and harvest papaya in Fort Myers, Florida?

    Posted on November 22nd, 2012 at 9:30 pm

  7. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    The best time to harvest the fruit is when the fruit is fully formed (depends on which variety on the shape). You should probably pick them before they turn orange. This means just some hint of orange so they are still green and a little hard. There is no specific time of year-fruit can be harvested at any time of year-depends on when you planted the papaya and how long it has been in the ground. Papaya can make fruit the first year in the ground. Usually 6mos-1 year before fruit. The new solo hybrids we started from seeds in the early spring and the papayas were planted summer. They are now producing fruit. They do prefer warm weather.

    Posted on December 21st, 2012 at 2:49 pm

  8. Sally Bacchus Says:

    Hi Garden lover:

    I have a healthy matured flowering papaya plant only regret is that all of the young fruits keep falling off the tree. It is mid december here in florida and the weather is constantly changing. Could the weather have an effect on the fruits.

    Posted on December 13th, 2012 at 8:14 am

  9. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Sometimes there is premature fruit drop because fruit flies are an issue. The weather hasn’t been cold enough yet for fruit dropping. Weather does have an effect, as well as, the variety of fruit.
    Could also be because they haven’t had enough moisture as we have gone into dry season. The papayas should stable off provided we don’t have any winter cold-they will get back to a regular schedule when spring time comes.

    Posted on December 19th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

  10. Sheryl Porder Says:

    We bought our 2′ Red Lady papayas last April and put them in 20″ pots. They began flowering in December and have two 6″ dark green fruits and many others of smaller sizes. I have fertilized them every month and take them into the garage on cold nights. They are still flowering and haven’t dropped any fruit. Do the Red Lady’s turn orange when they are ripe? Thanks for your help!

    Posted on February 12th, 2013 at 8:03 pm

  11. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Sheryl,
    Most papayas can be picked before completely ripened, actually it is preferable. Pick it green and let it ripen on your counter. If you let it ripen on the Papaya tree, it risks being eaten by other animals, including fruit flies. They do turn orange perfectly on the counter even when picked green.
    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on March 19th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

  12. Cheryl Haynes Says:

    I live in Tallahassee and would like to grow a papaya tree in a large pot on my patio. Are there any mini trees that would be appropriate?I know that the tree needs sun, which would be provided in warm weather. I am just trying to figure out a way to protect the tree during our colder months. Do you have suggestions?

    Posted on February 19th, 2013 at 4:31 am

  13. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Papayas are not an easy plant to grow in a container because they have a tap root and don’t like their roots disturbed. Growing in a container is possible, providing you use a large enough container, but this delays fruiting and can stunt growth. Select a dwarf variety of Papaya seed and also select a ‘Solo’ variety, as these are hermaphroditic and don’t require cross pollination. Check for seeds and more information. I would suggest a variety of Papaya seed called ‘T.R. Hovey’.

    Posted on February 21st, 2013 at 9:20 am

  14. shamim Says:

    my papaya tree is 10 inch hight
    how it grow fast and when fruit came on the tree
    which soi is suitable for papaya

    Posted on March 12th, 2013 at 9:48 am

  15. shamim Says:


    Posted on March 12th, 2013 at 9:49 am

  16. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Shamim,
    Papaya are fast growers in the summer because of our heat. They are truly a tropical! The soil should be good draining, and our soil in Florida is sandy so that is a good thing. I do know that we usually berm up the tree on a little hill so it has good drainage. We get a lot a rain in Florida so this would be bad for the roots. We do use compost as a mulch.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on March 19th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

  17. Debbie Says:

    I have a question about my papaya trees…

    For the first time in 4 yrs. I’ve noticed a wasp
    literally laying eggs in my beautiful fruit!
    At first I thought it a natural thing but then I
    noticed the fruit starting to die! I looked it up and found they are papaya wasp. I lost about 8 papaya fruits and wonder, how can I get rid of these wasp for good! My tree is about 9 ft and I have 3 more at 2 ft producing fruit. Can a papaya
    tree be cut about halfway and still fruit?

    Posted on March 21st, 2013 at 1:50 pm

  18. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    That is the problem with certain varieties of papaya. They now make papayas with thicker skin where the wasp is not able to inject it’s eggs through to the inside of the fruit

    Red lady is a good variety. Many people put bags tied over the fruit when it is green before the wasps can lay their eggs . You obviously don’t have the variety that has thicker skin.

    The papaya can be cut and it will sprout again from the trunk. You will need to put a can (or bucket) on the trunk where it was cut because it will rot as water then gets into the hollow trunk.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on April 11th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

  19. Anne Says:

    I bought 3 papayas plant from Lowes ( 3′ tall),planted a few weeks ago(late February-early march), now they are all drooping and died on me. I live in FL near the beach so the soil is pretty
    sandy and well drain. We watered them well like every other day but it did not help.
    Please give us some hint of how to plant them correctly

    Posted on March 26th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

  20. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Anne,
    The papayas were so young with small roots-you probably drowned the roots. Even though the soil is sandy, there weren’t enough roots to take up all the water you put on. You probably needed to water them depending on the day. We were not so hot in Feb or March—trees respond to needs of temperature (water is needed for respiration through the leaves. Your papayas were so young, they were working on their roots only. When you water you water deeply then don’t do for a couple days if the weather isn’t particularly hot.
    Sounds to me like your watered them excessively. If you would have watered like that when the temperature is 90 that probably would have been okay.
    It was cool many of those time when you probably watered.

    They like to be planted in good soil-we use compost, and we berm it up like a big mound.

    Papayas don’t like sandy soil either.
    Try to improve your soil with a top dressing of garden soil-compost etc.
    Don’t put in hole, but top dress with this mixture.
    I put in a papaya at my house and I forget to water and it is growing great! We do have plenty of dew.
    Once the papaya gets a great root system going, and they are very large roots then you can add more water.
    You killed it with kindness.
    Sorry-try again.
    Do you have any local fruit society sales where you can purchase fruit grown locally? They usually have sales at Mounts Botanical Garden too.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on April 11th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  21. Rose Says:

    Just wondering how to take care of a papaya tree when just the leaves are on.
    Do I put Epson salt around the trunk or any kind of potting soil. How much do I water.
    I live on the West Coast in Fl.
    Thanky much.

    Posted on April 29th, 2013 at 10:24 am

  22. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Rose,
    There are so many questions about papayas. They are really not a tree, but a large herbaceous plant that happens to get taller than us.
    The papaya will only produce for 2 years. The 3rd year they will diminish their fruit, and it will still look okay, but it is time to cut down and get a new one. If it is only leaves at this point, it probably is not producing if mature size because of age. The Epsom salt is called magnesium sulfate. It is used mainly to help with photosynthesis and chlorophyll in the leaf tissues. It would affect the fruit and flowers, but it is not always necessary in papayas. They don’t seem to have magnesium deficiencies. I suggest compost or organic matter. Potting soil could be fine if it is a mix for vegetables-most potting soil is organic matter so that is okay. If you use a potting mix however that is really non-soil particles containing peat, perlite, and fine milled pine bark. There really isn’t nutrients in the mixes. I think a slow release fertilizer such as a citrus fertilizer should have all the nutrients the plants can take up in your soil. Papayas do like to be planted raised because they like to have a good draining site. Water well, and then let dry out in between.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 9:36 am

  23. Czarina Says:

    I have a papaya tree growing in a pot. It is about 3′ tall now and am thinking of transplanting. Will it die if I do? Should I just leave in the pot? Please advise. Thank you.

    Posted on May 11th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

  24. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Czarina,
    Papaya trees are tough to transplant when they get bigger, but 3 feet should be just fine. Make sure you berm the tree up (they hate to be planted too deep and wet feet). Papaya trees are only hardy to Zone 10 and Zone 9B protected next to the house. I would suggest Papayas like to be planted with some protection anyway from the winds. I have seen them blow over. They will take approx. 1 year to produce fruit anyway.
    Good luck

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

  25. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Czarina,
    Papayas are funny trees that way. Did you know that are not really trees because they don’t develop rings with cambium tissue. Papayas are really a herbaceous plant with good for you fruit-highest amount of Vitamin A and of course the papain enzymes that help us in digestion. Papayas don’t really like to be transplanted once they get big, but you have no choice because they won’t grow in a small pot. They have a large root system. Try it and get it going now so you will get some fruit production this summer into fall. They need night time moths for pollination and hopefully you have one with both male and female flowers.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 5th, 2013 at 4:14 pm

  26. judydavis Says:

    i bought a pawpaw tree along side the road between 3-4feet tall..i transplanted it and keep it in my sun room with lots of big windows in our home..i turn the over head lights on because not much direct sun comes in our home..we have lots of shade trees outside…it seems to be doing baby leaves are growing so i guess all is fine..being inside the house it will never get frost bite…

    Posted on May 12th, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  27. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Judy,
    Thomas Edison called his Papaya tree-“Paw Paws” If you put that term in google you will get papayas and of course the real paw paws are Asimina genus. Asiminas grow in the North around Virginia all the way to Florida where they are native. I am assuming you mean a papaya tree so I will my answer will reflect that. You can put a papaya outside as soon as threat of frost is gone. It will usually fruit in 6-9 months. It will grow immensely once it gets into that full sun conditions and real air (not inside air). They love heat and humidity. You can keep it in a large size pot because Papaya roots are large. The trees don’t like to be overwatered, but just enough to keep the leaves from shriveling. The flowers need to be pollenated by moths at night in order to get some of that good for you fruit.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 5th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

  28. Shripad R Jumde Says:

    I am planning to move to Houston, TX. I want to know can I grow Papaya, Guvava, Litchee and Pomogranate there?

    If Yes do you sell the plants?


    Posted on May 16th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

  29. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Shripad,
    Houston is tricky just like Florida. Parts of Houston are 9a which means it can get cold in the winter, and even colder to the North of Houston in Zone 8. Here at the Edison Ford Winter Estates, the temperatures can dip to freezing once in a blue moon. Usually the coldest we have had the last few winters was 34 for just a few hours. We are Zone 9B or along the coastal regions Zone 10a. Miami is definitely a Zone 10A and Key West Zone 10B. In the interior of Florida it is a 9A and they have some freezes of the tomatoes, but hopefully they harvest them in December before the freeze possibility. They then put another crop of tomatoes in again after that harvest until march-April. It is always a gamble, so if you feel lucky, grow all of those. They do need Zone 9B-10, but papayas if you have warm winter they will fruit within 6 months for certain dwarf varieites. Look for T.R. Hovey variety of Papaya. It grows fast and fruits beautiful papayas quicker. If you put it in the ground as soon as Feb or March it will hopefully fruit before threat of any cold. Lychees could probably work if you don’t get too much cold. Never in the 20’s. They do fruit better with some cool weather in the winter, but not for days. They like warmth-humidity in spring and summer. They fruit in June. Pomegranates like dry weather like Arizona and California. Guava is very cold sensitive so that is a no in Houston.
    We sell some of the trees, but it is probably best to get at a nursery for that area.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 4th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

  30. Susan Says:

    I planted a papaya tree about 3 yrs. ago and it did very well after using nylon stockings to deter the papaya fly. The fruit was abundant and very sweet. During the last few months the leaves became spotted and dried up on the edges then fell off. I gave it extra water but that did not help. The fruit was not sweet and also became spotted. I did not find any larve inside. Eventually, the whole tree quit producing, lost all leaves and just died. What was the problem?

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:41 pm

  31. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    It is perfectly normal for the papaya to say “that is enough”. Papayas produce 1 year really well, then they may produce another year or go into decline. It is nothing out of the ordinary for that to happen. Just plant some seeds from the fruit or order more seeds. Some good varieties are Red Lady and Solo. Grow more-they are so healthy for us. We have some seeds for sale on our website:

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 4th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

  32. HPBovell Says:

    I live in Atlanta, Ga. Have some Papaya seeds tht I brought back from a recent visit to the Caribbean. The temps seemed to have settled down now so I planted some in a pot and it is outside. What can I expect? Will they germinate and will I get fruit before the Winter sets in? How do I know if the will self-pollinate? We ‘usually’ don’t get below 32 until late December.

    Posted on May 23rd, 2013 at 1:59 pm

  33. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Patsy,
    It is real iffy. The fruit usually takes 6 months to a year for fruit depending on the variety. They do need pollination from a night time moth. There are female and male flowers-some have both of them on one tree, and some have it on separate trees. Female flowers are close to the trunk and male flowers hang low and droop.
    I would suggest starting the seeds indoors sooner next year. There are many varieties hopefully you got one that grows fast! Get it in full sun. Good Luck-December is coming.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 4th, 2013 at 5:05 pm

  34. kelly Says:

    I am new to papaya ownership, there are several in the yard of the home we just bought. My question is this: when we moved in, the most mature tree had a few small fruits and over the next 2-3 weeks, these began to grow orange. I picked th first when it was half orange and let it ripen on the counter. The next two stayed on the tree until almost completely ripe. All of them were delicious and I waited anxiously for the next fruits to start turning orange. But they haven’t. There are almost 15 fruits of varying sizes, but they are all dark green. Do I need to pick some so the others will ripen and grow?

    Posted on May 27th, 2013 at 10:25 am

  35. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Kelly,

    I have heard of many questions lately concerning papayas, but the fruit not turning orange is the first. Some people (especially from Thailand) like to use papaya when they are green. They shred the fruit similar to cole slaw and use to make a wonderful peanutty salad. The only problem I can think of is the lack of sunshine. The sun and heat usually cause the papayas to ripen. You don’t have to let the papayas turn completely orange though just a hint of orange. Some varieties when turning completely orange are overripe.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 5th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

  36. kelly Says:

    Second question…can I grow new trees from my own fruit’s seeds and if so, how? Thanks for the help.

    Posted on May 27th, 2013 at 10:41 am

  37. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Kelly,
    Papaya are very easy to grow from your own seeds. If you have a compost bin, just throw the seeds in and watch them sprout. If you don’t have a compost bin-put some soil in a pot and push the seed down into the pot to cover the seed. NO need to soak if it is fresh. Water in and keep in a shady spot until it sprouts two sets of leaves-then you can put in more sun slowly, but you will have to watch for the seedling to not dry out.
    Good Luck-you should have papayas within 3-6 months depending on the season.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 4th, 2013 at 11:07 am

  38. Dave Says:

    Hi Edison…I have one male and one female that are about 6 ft tall, came from Lowes when about 3 ft. They are in 18 in pots in an enclosed patio with filtered sun. Both have been healthy until recently the leaves have started to crinkle up on both. Also both have very tiny (tip of needle size) clear balls all over the leaf branches. I sprayed them with Malathion…can’t tell if it worked on them or not…… I have had one good fruit several months ago but since they have all fallen off (about a dozen) as small 1-2 inch buds. Your recommendations? Thanks for all of your excellent support on this blog.

    Posted on May 30th, 2013 at 9:59 am

  39. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Dave,
    Chemicals sprayed on plants without identification of the insect first can be a no no. However, the description of clear balls over the branches could be a scale insect. Scale insects suck the juices (sugars) out of the plant tissues thus causing the leaves to become deformed. There are also thrips (they deform leaves) as the problem too-also a sucking insect. They usually show their presence by white stippled leaves. Malathion could be used, but I usually don’t use on fruit trees I am eating. It isn’t organic, but it is labeled for this use. Remember to always read the label exactly for description of what you can spray it on, and how much exactly the ratio of mixture to water. When making the spray concoction, more is not better. Sometimes it takes a while, and malathion is a contact spray killer-you may have to do it again to get new generations of the insects that missed the spray entirely. A more organic spray could be horticulture soap or oil and neem. Often times many of these sprays will cause the fruit to drop too. Besides the insects feeding on the leaves, the insecticide can cause harm. Once you get some good new growth on the papaya and new flowers if the insects are under control, you should get back to normal fruit production. Try a little worm poop or fish emulsion at the base to encourage new growth. They also make a great granular fertilizer from Espoma or Dr. Earth full of great nutrients for fruiting trees. Not too much nitrogen in the fertilizer, but a balanced. Their a specific fertilizers for grass or turf and then a mix that works better for flowering and fruiting trees. You don’t want to push too much growth and then fruit production is harmed.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 5th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

  40. Dave Says:

    Sorry Debbie I should have mentioned I live in Jacksonville,FL

    Posted on May 30th, 2013 at 10:01 am

  41. Anthony Says:

    I have 3 Papaya´s I have grown in pots from seed and are now about 12 inches high. I am now about to plant them in the ground. My first question is. How far apart should these be planted. My second question, Soil I see on the internet as rich soil, what composes rich soil, what mixtures ?. My soil is not good but can mix, clay, sandy etc with compost etc. Thank you for your help.

    Posted on June 9th, 2013 at 11:52 am

  42. Ellen luz Ramil Says:

    Hope you can help! My two papayas have produced great big heavy luscious fruits over the last three months. Recently they have been experiencing immature fruit drop and yellowing of leaves. Last week I noticed that some of the immature fruits have begun to rot in one spot. I presume I need to spray, but with what.

    Posted on June 14th, 2013 at 5:20 pm

  43. Edie Says:

    Help me please, Debbie.
    My 2 Papayas grew together from seed in Cocoa Beach, Florida. They grew quite large and produced many nice fruits. The problem is that every fruit has large white larve inside them even though the outside looks clean. What are they? What can I do?
    Thanks for your time,

    Posted on June 18th, 2013 at 7:34 pm

  44. Chano Says:

    I want to grow a papaya in California . I want to know if it will be able to grow and survive and what time of month should I start planting seed .

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

  45. vaarta Says:

    my papaya tree is only few months old and has grown big and has got few fruits on it. sometimes the little fruit when it is only couple of inches big turns yellow and falls down. since it has started furiting the leaves tend to turn yellow and fall.
    The other day I had a close look and saw that actually the leaves have got heaps of black dots on them at the back side. may be that is some type of disease.

    please guide me what to do to look after these plants.


    Posted on June 26th, 2013 at 2:10 am

  46. Liz K Says:

    I live in NW Tampa and have about 6 pots of young papaya trees (2-3 trees in each pot) I am willing to share with anyone who would like to come and get a pot.
    I throw the seeds from my fruit in my compost pile and they just sprout up.
    Also, when the cold weather nips off the tops of my trees or they get too tall for me to get the fruit, I cut the tree in half, and several more branches come out and produce fruit.

    Posted on July 10th, 2013 at 11:00 am

  47. Liz K Says:

    I just picked 2 papayas from my tree and both of them have sticky slimy snowy looking stuff all over them. What is it and can I wash it off and still use the papaya?

    Posted on July 10th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

  48. ALex_Lichi Says:

    Where can I buy seeds or seedlings Babako fruit (Carica pentagona)?

    Posted on July 12th, 2013 at 6:24 am

  49. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Alex-You taught me something new. I am in the Calusa Rare Fruit Exchange in Fort Myers, FL. and we have never talked about this fruit since I have been involved. I am curious since they call it the champagne fruit it must be delicious. It is also called the mountain papaya. It seems to be native to Ecuador. Carica papaya it’s cousin is native to South
    Florida where we are located because it was found in the early Indians mounds in 1500’s. I looked on information about the carica pentagona, and found info from California Fruit Club-they may have information on where to get. They also said it is grown commercially in New Zealand.
    Good Luck-if I hear any more about this cool sounding fruit I will let you know.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist
    Come visit our Gardens at the Edison Ford Winter Estates-we have a garden shoppe too and we are open 9-5:30 everyday in Fort Myers, FL.

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 11:19 am

  50. Grace Says:

    I have a question hopefully someone can answer. My neighbors planted like about 6 or 8 papaya trees in their back yard with 3 large ones up against the fence we share. After a while we noticed that our outdoor speaker started to fritz on and off and all the grass on that side of the house was dying. When troubleshooting the speaker we found large root systems coming from the trees that broke through the speaker wire. I am afraid that my pool piping also runs along that sid; can these big roots do damage to my pipes and ultimately pool it’s about 12 feet from fence to pool and pipes are closer.
    Any recommendations?

    Posted on July 14th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

  51. Tou V. Says:

    liz k. If I guess correctly, the sticky slimy snowy stuff you are talking about is the sap from the papaya tree. It is normal, so it is okay to wash and eat the papaya. I live in Tampa also and would love to have one or two trees if you still have any left to share. Thank you.


    Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 4:49 am

  52. Claire Donatelli Says:

    I live in Massachusetts. Last week I planted 3 miradol seeds and a few days later one sprouted. Two days later a second sprouted and the next day the third seed sprouted and today they’re over an inch tall. It was in the 90’s to 100 degrees the past 7 days but today it is cooler. I only get sun on my balcony in the afternoon like 1 o’clock to 7 p.m. I would like to transplant into a large pot and bring in the house in mid October, then put under a grow-lamp. Do you think I could make this work. I’m a diabetic and I eat papaya to level out my sugar. some papaya’s I have bought have ripened on my counter but, others have just rotted instead of ripening.

    Posted on July 21st, 2013 at 12:55 pm

  53. Mohamad R Says:


    I live in central Florida and I have two beautiful papaya trees loaded with fruits. The trees have grown quite big. the trunk at the base is about one feet thick, and each trunk had branched into few big branches. Problem is I planted them close the house, about two feet. Friend of mine is warning me about roots creeping beneath the house and causing structural damage.

    Should I be worried. I am contemplating cutting them down, but that would break my heart. Please advise.


    Posted on July 28th, 2013 at 6:43 pm

  54. glenn s Says:

    I live in southern california and planted a papaya tree from seeds that i picked up in hawii it grew well the first year and had some small fruit on it then we had some frost that killed the top of the tree all the leaves and fruit fell off. i cut the tree below the damaged part and after a while it spouted some new stokes. it had a-bought 8 new stokes growing. i cut off some of the smaller ones,leaving 4. do i leave all of them or just leave the biggest one.
    My next question is if as i have read that the trees stop producing after 3 to 4 years can you just cut them part way down as i did this one and you are good to go again?
    thanks glenn

    Posted on August 6th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

  55. pulsartomi Says:

    I’ve tried several times papaya from seed, but every time it stopped growing and slowly died after developing the 1st set of true leaves.I suspect the damp-off disease.Or it is about insufficient water/light/nutrients?
    Thank You

    Posted on August 22nd, 2013 at 4:56 pm

  56. Rajesh Says:

    I have planted Hybrid pappaya plantation in one acre in India (in Mathura District, near Agra in UP). My querries are :-

    (a) How often I have to give it the manure.

    (b) What are the diseases they are prone to and their recommended remedial measures?


    Posted on August 24th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  57. Sura Weiss Says:

    Hi, I live in Los Angeles and have 3 tiny pots of seeds I have sprouted and would like to keep them in pots, not the ground, if possible. The plants are 3-4 inches tall and need to be moved. Our nights are cooler than your Tampa nights and we have way less humidity (my Mom used to live there). What size pots should I move them to (I get they have a major tap root and don’t like to be disturbed) , or is it just a really terrible idea?

    Posted on August 25th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

  58. aimy Says:

    In my garden pappaya trees are not giving fruit . when it becomes flowering yellowish color comes and the tree leaves shrink after words it the tree spoils.KINDLY HELP US

    Posted on September 13th, 2013 at 12:04 am

  59. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi aimy-Since I am not there to see your tree, you have to look at the flowers and see if it is a male or female flower. Guess what, the female flowers only give fruit when pollinated. Check to see if the flowers are pendulous hanging down at least 6 inch or short close to the trunk. If it is a male pendulous flowers you will never have fruit. If you plant another papaya tree chances are it will be a female. The male flowers are important for fruiting of the female flowers.
    Good Luck-

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:57 am

  60. Oh where! Oh where is my Carica Papaya? | Grandma Glasses Says:

    […] successfully grow Papayas, you need a frost free climate, lots of sunlight, lots of water and good soil. If you give your […]

    Posted on September 13th, 2013 at 4:34 am

  61. Tricia Lempeotis Says:

    We have 2 papaya trees, both planted earlier this year. They both have a lot of fruit and seemed to be doing well until this week when we received approximately 4 inches of rain a day for the last week. We live in Sarasota. The leaves on both plants began to droop excessively and look like they are dying. They are still green and don’t have any spots or white fuzz. Will they recover as the soil dries out or is there something we need to do to help them out?


    Posted on September 26th, 2013 at 10:21 pm

  62. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    HI Tricia-Sorry this took so long to answer-I will now be answering this blog. The papayas hate to have their feet or roots wet. When you had this rain event the roots were exhibiting there discomfort by dropping leaves. Hopefully the rain drained away early enough to not kill too many roots and the papaya grew new leaves. When we plant our papayas in Fort Myers at the Edison Ford Winter Estates, we plant on a raised berm just for that reason. Papayas produce fruit in a year and generally decline the 2nd and 3rd year. We usually start new plants from seeds every year.
    Good Luck

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Come visit our Garden Shoppe and Edison Estates-open every day from 9-5:30. We also have a Garden Tour specifically about the plants of Thomas Edison on Wednesday at 10:30.

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:46 am

  63. noy Says:

    I have a 5 month papaya tree. It start to produce fruit but the friut kept on falling. I was thinking if I should chopped off the leaf where the friut is growing maybe thats interfere with the produce of the fruit. Is that a good idea? Ive already fertilized the tree. Please help.

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

  64. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Noy-Several things to keep in mind about papaya. The leaves are necessary for production of energy for the papaya to thrive. If you chop off the leaves, there is not any good ingredients for photosynthesis. You may have a problem with pollination of the female flowers. If you have a female of course that is the only papaya that can produce fruit. If there are no male flowers anywhere nearby, the pollination that usually happens at night doesn’t occur. If you have male and female flowers on your papaya that is a help. If you just have female flowers, you need to have other papayas around the neighborhood that are male to help pollinate female flowers. By the way, moth are the pollinators.
    Don’t fertilize too heavily with synthetic fertilizer high in nitrogen, this may just support leaf growth and not fruit growth. Try using organic worm poop and manures.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:51 am

  65. Shafiq Says:


    I have a Papaya tree in the garden of my house. It is full of fruit. The leaves are becoming yellow first and then falling one by one.

    On one of the branch, green fruit is still hanging but No leaves left. Looks like my plant is not healthy.

    Can you please urgently advise, what to do.


    Posted on October 1st, 2013 at 1:33 am

  66. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Shafiq-Papayas live for approx. 2-3 years producing fruit best the first year. They are best planted new each year-fruit production dwindles. Try to order seeds and start in a pot. When seed germinates and the true leaves are formed, repot into a larger pot when at least 4″ in height. Then plant in the spot you would like to grow it since Papayas do not like to be moved. Try red lady papaya seeds or solo seeds. There are some varieties know to have good characteristics. If you purchase a papaya from the store and sow the seeds from inside of the fruit, you are not sure what vareity you have if there was cross-pollination. I do enjoy throwing them in the compost pile and seeing what comes fromt he papaya seedlings. The main idea is to get a papaya that has both female and male flowers on one plant. Many papayas are either one or the other-thus if you had a male papaya you would not get fruit.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Our garden shoppe is open 9-5:30 every day. Check it out too, we sometimes sell papaya seeds.

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

  67. mike ladell Says:



    Posted on October 4th, 2013 at 9:02 am

  68. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    HI Mike-I can’t believe you have a papaya 12 years old. There are other paw paws they refer to in the east coast of United States called Asimina sp. It is also called Paw Paw. Many in the tropics call papaya Paw Paw. I have never seen as papaya live for 12 years. Edison planted papaya on his estate in the early 1920’s for rubber research, as well as, for a food source. I know he called them paw paws from the island term. Good Luck with your paw paws.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Come visit the Edison Ford Winter Estates-we are open 9-5:30 every day.

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:36 am

  69. TedReverie Says:

    I have planted Mexico papaya from seeds in Sugar Land, Texas in April 2013. They are now 2 feet tall.
    I am wondering if they will survive the cold winter. Should I put protective covering during the cold months of winter and early spring? Thank you most kindly for any feedback hereof.

    Posted on October 16th, 2013 at 12:49 am

  70. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Ted-Papaya are not cold tolerant. I am not sure how cold you get, but Zone 9B is it. If someone just 20 miles east of Fort Myers, which is along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, tries to grow papaya, often they get cold damage. Place Christmas tree lights and maybe a tent when you get a cold spell. Good Luck. If you start a variety that fruits quickly, you can start in the spring and get fruit before the cold in December hopefully.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:21 am

  71. Al Says:

    Will papaya trees damage house foundations if they are planted next to my house?



    Posted on October 22nd, 2013 at 10:35 am

  72. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Al-Papaya trees have very agressive roots. I wouldn’t plant too close to house, but they won’t damage foundation. They are really superficial.
    Many people plant papaya near the wall of the homes to provide some cold and wind protection. Close but not too close.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    We have garden tours every WEd. at 10:30
    WE also have a garden shoppe-we sell papayas too!

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

  73. bonnie richardson Says:

    I live in central Fla. and love my Papayas but have like a white milk like liquid that runs down the fruit. What is this? Can I still eat the fruit if it grows to ripe stage? Bonnie Richardson

    Posted on November 1st, 2013 at 9:09 am

  74. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Bonnie-That white milky sap is a protease called latex. Just wash the sticky substance off-many tropical fruits have this sap.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Come visit the Edison Ford Winter Estates-we do grow papaya and Edison called it paw paw.

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 2:55 pm

  75. bonnie richardson Says:

    I have a milk like liquid that runs down my papayas . What is this? Help!

    Posted on November 1st, 2013 at 9:14 am

  76. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Bonnie-This white milky liquid is the latex contained in the stem of the fruit. When picked let it ooze out and clean and dry off after. It is mostly the protection and liquid needed for this plant to exchange sugars through the vascular system.
    It is not harming to you. It is normal. Good Luck
    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 1:10 pm

  77. Deanna Waterloo Says:

    I have a 3 yr old tree thet has been producining a heavy amount of fruit for the last 2 years. Yesterday , I came home and it was pulling out of the soil and leaning towards the house. Is there a way to stabilize the tree or am I going to have to start over as I have read that they only produce fruit for 3-4 years. It had at least 12 large papayas on it and is still blooming.

    Posted on November 1st, 2013 at 11:13 am

  78. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Deanna-The papaya only produces as you suggested 2 years at the most. The papaya has a huge root system, but it really is classified as an herb-there is no woody tissue and the strength is easily turned over with strong wind and sandy soil. Just start some new seeds and plant on a berm to keep good drainage for the papaya roots.

    Debbie Hughes, HOrticulturist

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 1:14 pm

  79. Dorothy Salo Says:

    Please help!
    It has been cold here this winter.
    My papayas look sad and becoming soft to the touch on the top of the tree. The bottom is still hard. When it is cold I cover them. Should I cut the soft tops off the tree and hope for the best? Can you e mail and give me your phone #? and opinion.

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 12:40 pm

  80. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Dorothy-The soft tops are not a good sign. You can cut off the tops and if the weather continues to be warmer, you should get new growth from the bottom possibly. Cover the area you cut off with some type of pot or device to keep water from rotting it more. You probably will get growth from the bottom not the cut area,

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 10:49 am

  81. sajeev Says:

    I am delighted to see so many posts on papayas.
    I live in Barbados (temps year round: Max 28-30C Min 24-26 C. In Dec Jan it can go down to 21-22 at night. There is moderate rain and good sunshine.
    I planted seeds and got a a dozen trees with many bearing fruits. The fruits become quite large about 9-10 inches diameter and are more round than oval. The begin to yellow on the tree and if left to completely yellow there or if picked when green and allowed to completely yellow on the counter, they remain very hard and don’t soften like ripe fruits should. Also, the surface develops puckered black spots which end up making the entire skin wrinkled and black.
    Any advice as to what I am doing wrong will be greatly appreciated.

    Posted on January 29th, 2014 at 9:04 am

  82. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Sorry Sajeev-Since we never know what we are going to get from seeds-genetics can be tricky. It could just be a varietal problem, and hopefully they are just not ripening because temperatures are not good. They get a fungus or rot because of low temps. Fungus hopefully won’t be a problem when temperatures get more summer-like. When the weather gets better, you may see an improvement of the fruit. They are truly tropical! They really do best in the summer during warm days and nights.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 30th, 2014 at 8:24 am

  83. sajeev Says:

    Thank you!
    Summer is just round the corner here, so hopefully things will improve.
    Shall keep you posted.

    Posted on January 30th, 2014 at 9:35 am

  84. Brad Says:

    ive actually been talking to a few universities who are working on a cold tolerant papaya
    It may be a few years away, but there are lots of people in the states who would love to grow them.
    Lots of people still do actually…
    I am in New Orleans, and myine survive the winters if it doesnt get a hard freeze, like this year (below 25 for 2 days straight)
    some years it never goes under 40F

    I really never heard of that.
    It is possible it is the variety. since you used store bought fruit for the seed.
    If it was an F1 hybrid, one of the parents may have been a babaco, or mountain papaya.

    Make sure they get lots of organics, compost, worm castings, bat guano etc…

    and they need very good drainage.

    Posted on February 14th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

  85. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Brad-I hope they come up with a papaya that is cold tolerant because even tropical areas like Fort Myers, FL. where we are along the Caloosahatchee River it does stay freeze free. Just 15 miles inland, they can get a freeze and wipes out their papaya. Just so you know, papaya trees are not actually trees-they may be more like an herb. They need to be replanted after a couple years. Try a variety from Hawaii called Solo or T.R. Hovey which stays small and fruits sooner.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL.

    Posted on March 18th, 2014 at 6:58 am

  86. Paul Moxon Says:

    After some 20 years in Brasil I became addicted to the mamao. Here, directly east of your garden at West Palm Beach, we seeded two successful “trees” starting a year and a half ago. They have grown about 16 feet at this moment – with 25 fruits. They are beautiful with between 3 to 6 pounds. But…they are hard as a rock. I took the first fruit when showing 1/3rd yellow skin. It was not ripe. Internally it was surprisingly hard. So I waited until the next fruit (6 pounds) that showed 90% yellow. I left it inside for another 10 days. This second fruit was similar to the first one: hard. The growth of the 25 fruits, large and small, stopped three months ago. The skins have no damage, no attack from bugs or birds. What I can do to bring them to maturation?

    Posted on February 22nd, 2014 at 6:11 pm

  87. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Paul-We have the same mammey here on the property that Thomas Edison planted years ago. You need to be extremely patient in order to let the fruit ripen. They are ripe when you use your fingernail to scrape a little tissue and the inside is a little orange colored. Sometimes the fruit can take up to a year to ripen. It is slow. I have tasted only once since our tree has really lost production and we do get cold spells and the leaves all fall off. The fruit is wonderful. Just be patient-once picked, it can be ripened on your counter, but it needs to be already orange-fleshed on the tree. Once on the counter it will get softer. But it can not be green when picked or it never ripens.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL.

    Posted on March 18th, 2014 at 6:55 am

  88. David Says:

    Hi, searching the Web and found this site so maybe someone can advise me please.
    I am growing a beautiful healthy Papaya tree, its about 8 months old and has already about 15 small fruits on it, its in a large 30 gallon pot and I water daily [sometimes twice] and the water comes out the bottom.

    My problem is the leaves are drooping very badly with the heat, I for sure must have one of the hottest gardens in the world being on an enclosed rooftop in Vietnam which is blasted with about 10 hours of fierce sun each day.
    During the night when the temperature drops to about 28C the leaves do pick up so what I want to ask is the drooping going to be a problem or do I just have to live with it,its not possible to give it more water as its soaked now but I was wondering if I where to cut off some of the lower arms would it relieve some of the pressure and help the upper arms and leaves. Thanks David.

    Posted on March 7th, 2014 at 3:18 am

  89. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi David-Sounds like you have a variety that has a large root system. I would recommend a smaller variety by trying seeds from Hawaii called Solo or T.R. Hovey. Google more dwarf versions of papaya as they may not need to be watered so often, but still be in a 30 gallon pot. A papaya that would stay smaller so as not to take up all the room in the pot. Bigger papaya usually means bigger roots. Even in Florida our sun is so strong afternoon sun wouldn’t be a problem. Any way to get a little afternoon shade on your rooftop-maybe winds are a problem too. As long as it recovers at
    night it shouldn’t be a problem. You could remove some of the lower arms for sure.

    Debbie Hughes,Horticulturist at the Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL

    Posted on March 17th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

  90. Helen Brvenik Says:

    I have 5 papas on my plants since October and will not rippen. Do you have any suggestions?

    Posted on March 23rd, 2014 at 1:13 pm

  91. Taffy Says:

    my papaya tree was started form seeds. The leaves are falling, and so is the fruit; and, worst of all, the fruit has larvae inside. Why? And, what should I do?

    Posted on March 25th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

  92. Armando Says:

    We have many Papaya trees growing on our property near the beach in sandy soil. Several have grown in areas where we never planted seeds and are giving fruit. My only problem is when I sliced them open, they are full of maggots. Reading your reply to #17 above, do you think its from wasps? Do you suggest spraying a soap & water solution to keep bugs off?


    Posted on April 2nd, 2014 at 12:51 pm

  93. Maria Says:

    I just bought a papaya tree that is about 4′ tall with fruit on it already. A couple of them have dropped off and I found out that they have fruit wasp lavrea in them. My question is. Will the rest of the remaining fruit also have the fruit wasp in them
    And should I go ahead a pull off the remaining fruit so I don’t have these fruit wasp in the rest of my garden?

    Thank you, maria

    Posted on April 6th, 2014 at 9:42 am

  94. Debra Gittens Says:

    hi, you did not answer the question on why the fruit will be green on the outside and have worms inside. Please give some advise as to how this can be prevented.

    Posted on April 30th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

  95. Jennifer Hermes-O'Dell Says:

    I recently purchased 2 small (about 18 inches) Hawaiian Papaya trees from a local nursery and am trying to decide where to plant them. We live in Southern California, zone 10 and rarely get frost. I’m wondering how they would do in a pot? How deep are the roots?

    Posted on May 31st, 2014 at 4:05 pm

  96. maryrose Says:

    I am interested in growing papaya leaves for cancer treatment; I live in miami area, what would you recommend?

    Posted on June 6th, 2014 at 9:56 am

  97. maryrose Says:

    what papaya trees are best for harvesting the leaves?

    Posted on June 6th, 2014 at 9:59 am

  98. maryrose dewey Says:

    I live in north Miami Florida

    Posted on June 6th, 2014 at 10:29 am

  99. David Says:

    Tampa- Florida:I recently purchased (2) Red Lady Papaya’s in which both plants were contained in one plasic pot.I transplanted the 3 ft Papaya’s today and did not separate the root ball into (2)individual plants.Can anyone advise me on whether I will have a problematic issue on the plants survivability as a result of keeping both Papaya plants together. Any guidance and a response would be greatly appreciated, Thanks

    Posted on June 16th, 2014 at 12:19 am

  100. Eric Says:

    I heard (here in Hawaii) that you can pinch off the very center branch shoots at the crown of a papaya tree and this will stunt the tree at that height while still allowing it to be productive. Is this true? If so, do you have any other specific guidance as to how to do this? Photo(s) perhaps?

    Posted on June 29th, 2014 at 10:43 pm

  101. Dee Walker Says:

    I decided to plant some seeds from a papaya I bought in a grocery store. One of my plants is about 6 feet tall and has started blooming and has 3 tiny fruits so far. There are no male flowers on the plant so I guess moths are at work that you mentioned in previous posts. Thank you for all the information I received from reading your reply to others. Now I know what to do and how to take care of my papayas from watering, fertilizing and when to harvest them. I did plant them in a raised bed before I even knew that was best for them. I live in central Florida and enjoy planting a variety of plants. I planted a male and female kiwi, muscadine grapes and also have a Meyer lemon tree, navel orange and a Honeybell. Thanks again. 🙂

    Posted on July 6th, 2014 at 1:43 pm

  102. Victor G Says:

    I live in Jupiter FL and planted a Papaya about 2 yrs ago. It was maybe 3 ft tall when I planted it, in full sun. I fertilized heavily when planted and nearly killed it, but when it recovered, it shot up like a rocket and is over 10 ft tall in about 1.5 yrs. I don’t know the variety. It flowers profusely from very long drooping stems and has done this for nearly a year, but almost never sets fruits, then they drop off. I have one on there now that is maybe 3″ long and I hope it stays. There are maybe 100 flowers on it.
    Is the plant maybe just not old enough, or do I need a second tree or what? I have neighbors not far a way that have lots of fruit but their trees are older. The flower stems on mine are really long, seem longer than others, they are as long as 3 ft, with yellow flowers on the end.

    Posted on July 7th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

  103. Julie Yih Says:

    I have papayas growing well in this climate. However the fruits are now falling when they are about 3-4 inches long. some of the leaves have small white fungi like insects that atract small ants. Could they be the problem, if so can you suggest a treatment?

    Posted on July 19th, 2014 at 5:02 am

  104. petesawh Says:

    I live in florida.My papaya tree is beginning to bear fruits.However, I noticed that everyday I am losing about two or three leaves per day because the leaves go yellcow. Soil is well drained.How can I protect these leaves? Should I fertilize during the fruiting season or when fruits ore on the plant

    Posted on July 22nd, 2014 at 12:10 pm

  105. OLYMPIA Says:

    Hello… Please help me. I have 4 papaya trees that i have grown from seeds out of my neighbor’s trees. One is about 7-8 feet tall and full of fruits. the other 3 are about 3-4 ft tall and starting to flower. the fruit is slim and long not the usual round ones. A month ago, one fruit , about 5″ long feel on the gound. My 1st harvest.. so i took it inside and placed it on our counter …just curious if it will ripen. it turned a little yellowish so I sliced it in half only to find out that the seeds are all brown. I got one green fruit from the tree and cut it open…and found that all seeds which should be white are all looks sick. my neighbor suggested i should spray with SEVIN to keep away the bugs that could have infected the fruits. I took all the fruits from the tree because i think they are all infected. the tree has started to flower and when i see that the flowers have turned to small papaya fruit, i started to spray them with SEVIN..almost once a week. Am starting to have fruits now and curious to find out how fruits are doing…i picked up one fruit , green and hard about 7″ long, cut open and found that seeds are again brown. what shall I do? the tree is tall and healthy, has plenty of fruits but I wont be able to enjoy them. Please help…thanks a lot.

    Posted on August 9th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

  106. Beverley Rimes Says:

    I live in S.C. And bought a papaya tree half price. Love the foliage and want to know if I can grow in pot inside in winter?


    Posted on August 13th, 2014 at 10:07 am

  107. gene tucker Says:

    I have a papaya tree that is about 15feet high and doing good but it has a another branch starting to grow out the side should I cut it off or what should I do the new branch is about 3 feet from the ground

    Posted on August 21st, 2014 at 7:49 pm

  108. Gerry Says:

    I have a papaya that is roughly 15 high, center trunk with a couple of side branches and is 4 years old. It has borne fruit each year. I have just noticed the new leaves are misshapen and shriveled. Is this a result of not fertilizing enough? It gets full and partial sun, is well drained and mulched, but I have not fertilized it this year.

    Posted on September 7th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

  109. Marjorie .Mccaskey Says:

    I am a seventy year old farmer on the East Bank of the Demerara River in Guyana . I am embarking on planting 500 Papaya trees. I use a mixture of sand, cured poultry manure, soaked with calcium and carbendazim which is place in a hole at the top of a mound I prepare for each plant to be transferred into. The soil in the area is stiffish clay, so I have cut a number of drains which I would fold periodically in the dry season as watering is not a very suitable option.
    I would have liked to incorporate triple superphosphate I the soil because of its denseness.That however is not readily available .
    I will endeavor to ward of pests as organically as possible. I hape to get a productive life of at least two years

    Posted on September 7th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

  110. vivian Says:

    I have two papaya trees and the fruits keep getting some kind of bug that makes wholesale and they drop green from the tree. There is a large one I’ve been watching and I have been spraying with a mixture of dish soap water and vinegar to keep them from the fruit. Is there any th ing else that can be done? That one is starting to show the dark spot

    Posted on September 11th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

  111. angela Says:

    Anyone can suggest solutions to save my once gorgeous papaya plant? It has yellow small leaves that gradually die. What can I do to correct it?
    Thanks for the help.

    Posted on September 13th, 2014 at 10:59 am

  112. Ingrid Says:

    Hi…I have few questions!! I have a papaya growing in 7 gallon pot for 2 yrs now. Doing well getting new leaves, but I haven’t seen no new flowers buds yet? The lower leaves turning yellow,not sure why! So I bought another papaya-red lady hopefully it will pollinate, I know it will take some time. Any suggestions would be very helpful …..Thank you…Ingrid

    Posted on September 21st, 2014 at 11:28 am

  113. Jill Says:

    I have a papaya tree 5 ft high. It is about 12 months old and has 14 large fruit with about 10 more small ones and still blooming. The problem is I live in zone 8 in Ga. and its getting cooler up here than in Fla ! I kept the plant in the greenhouse last winter then planted it in a raised bed. Do the first fruits have time to ripen before frost? Do I cover them up when it gets in 40’s? Is there anyway to protect the tree during winter this year such as christmas lights, cement blocks around trunk or wire cage covered with plastic. Never had a plant anymore fun and exciting as my papaya. Please help before the frost gets here.

    Posted on September 26th, 2014 at 8:36 pm

  114. Dave Says:

    I have a wonderful papaya growing in our backyard in hawaii. It’s about 3 years old, 20 feet tall, a trunk about 12 inches in diameter, and it fruited wonderfully for the past 9 months. But it’s getting very tall, the top 4 feet (and two side branches) are flowering, but not fruiting. Do I need to trim the top off? Do I need to fertilize better? Does it produce fruit only seasonally? I have no idea how to manage it properly.

    Posted on October 11th, 2014 at 1:04 am

  115. helen Hermestroff Says:

    grew Papaya tree from seeds. Heavy with fruit, but beginning to see small black spots that feel rough to the touch. What are they and how do I get rid of them. Will they damage my fruit crop?
    Thanks, Helen

    Posted on October 31st, 2014 at 6:41 pm

  116. Olivia Says:

    Hi, how are you? I have a papaya tree myself at home and it has had fruit. There are two problems. 1. The tree has given at least 10 papayas and when it is growing the papayas haven’t grown any more.What should I do? 2. My papaya tree has developed or has these with puffy balls on the stems where the leaves are. Is that a plant defense or disease? Should I buy papaya food or papaya defense? Thank you Have a great day!

    Posted on January 21st, 2015 at 4:38 pm

  117. Joyce Knight Says:

    What is the best way to stabilize a papaya tree which is heavy with fruit?The tree is about two years old .The first year we had little fruit .Now the tree is quite full of fruit.

    Posted on February 6th, 2015 at 8:54 am

  118. Marcella Smith Says:

    I grew Papaya, Strawberry and Waimanalo, from seeds this November, the package said they would produce fruit in 9 mth from seed, that makes August hopefully. Over 20 made it, and are not over 2 ft tall under shop lights (Its March 9th in Kansas City). I’m trying to think ahead to next fall, is it possible to chop off some of the top to stunt its upward growth, like you would a pepper plant or a Gogi berry bush?

    Posted on March 9th, 2015 at 7:07 am

  119. Ilona Della Bernardina Says:

    I live in Bali, Indonesia. From seeds grew papaya tree and is gigantic with lots of very big fruit. I didn’t think it will grow so very tall and is just by the house, actually between my and neighbor’s house. What to do with the tree when it will be 3 years old and about to die? How to safely cut the tree ? Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank you.

    Posted on May 10th, 2015 at 7:20 am

  120. Janie Nightlinger Says:

    I hace a papaya tree that has grown to 15 ft. It has fruit on it It has sprouted limvbs low on the tree. Should I cut them of or leave them? Because I only have the one tree tha has produced fruit. Does this mean there is a male somewhere in the vicinity??

    Posted on May 23rd, 2015 at 4:28 pm

  121. Belinda Peck Says:

    I have fruiting papaya trees which I started from seed from a fruit I bought to eat. The trees are growing very well. One tree has fruit which has started to have ooozing white sap, it’s is sticky, coming out of tiny little holes in the skin on the fruits. This has just started about two weeks ago, so far one tree is showing this. The fruits do not seem to be rotting but are covered with this sap coming from tiny holes. I cannot see a hole, if there is one it would be hidden under the white sap. Can you tell me what this symptom might be? I have researched online and have not found anything like it. I am in the Amazon rainforest of southeastern Peru.
    Lots of papaya are grown here.

    Posted on June 13th, 2015 at 2:02 pm

  122. anil bondalapati Says:


    I am planning to plant Papaya trees in 100 acres and would like to get more information regarding this cultivation. Please share the information.


    Posted on June 16th, 2015 at 10:21 am

  123. Kathy Says:

    I just planted a 3-4 ft papaya tree in our Venice Fl back yard. Lots of sun. Why are the leaves turning white from the center of the leaf to the outer and wilting?

    Posted on August 23rd, 2015 at 7:47 pm

  124. Joseph Says:

    The white substance that you find when you cut a pawpaw leaf, what is it

    Posted on August 28th, 2015 at 12:43 pm

  125. Laura Gatward Says:


    We have a papaya tree that is mature and very tall. It is literally 1 foot away from the house (made of concrete). Will the roots affect the house? How far do they spread? (For example I know that coconut trees have shallow roots and are unproblematic).

    Thank you!


    Posted on September 22nd, 2015 at 5:11 am

  126. Joe Says:

    I have about a 15 foot tall papaya tree growing in the backyard. It gets good sun. Has 5 or 6 fruits growing about as big as a shoe.
    But this past week we had epic, historic rains… roughly 20 inches in 3 days, and now the tree is dead.
    The fruit isn’t ripe yet, so it’s just a total loss.
    Next time I’ll plant it atop a something that will guarantee drier, better drained roots.

    Posted on October 8th, 2015 at 11:25 am

  127. N Kale Says:

    My papaya tree gives very tasty and sweet fruit. Lately I noticed that there is a lot of fungus attacking the fruits. What is the remedy. Thanks

    Posted on November 1st, 2015 at 10:39 pm

  128. Manjunath Says:

    Why should we sow 3-4 seeds in a single pot and after getting all four plants planted in the ground , why should we trim off the remaining three plants In 2-3 months ??
    Is it for a good root system??

    Posted on November 25th, 2015 at 5:33 am

  129. Ingrid Says:

    Dear sir, I have a Red lady papaya tree less than a year old and already bear 3 times. The first 2 times the fruits had some form of disease and could not be eaten. The 3rd time it bear I got some organic fruit spray for insect etc and it was good. The fruits and tree look healthy and I was please with the result. The papaya are ripe but when I cut open them they have larvae inside. I throw away most of them because I am afraid to eat it. Can it be eaten and what causes it?.

    I am patiently awaiting your answer.


    Posted on November 29th, 2015 at 5:38 pm

  130. Yolonda wells Says:

    My papaya has gotten some frost damage lost leaves and Some rot can the plant be save had it for a few months I leave in zone 7 please help Thank you

    Posted on December 18th, 2015 at 6:24 pm

  131. Deby Says:

    I have read through all the comments and replies and see many are concerned about bottom leaves turning brown and dying off. However I don’t find a reply that addresses the problem fully. I’m thinking its normal, like a Palm, it gets its nutrients from the leaf so needs to stay on plant until fully dead. Please address the issue. After reading I’m not sure if it’s normal or a watering problem.

    Posted on December 19th, 2015 at 11:46 am

  132. Ken H Says:

    I have grown a Papaya from seed, and it is currently about 5 feet tall. I have it inside for the winter here in Eastern PA. It has always done this, but I want to know what it is, and if I need to do anything for it. There is a sap that it emits from either the leaves, or the trunk, or both. I usually go thru a stage where I loose the big leaves when I move it inside, but the small ones always grow (I sweat it out in the winter months though!) The large leaves get brown bumps on the stems, before they fall off. Does it have bugs or something?


    Posted on December 28th, 2015 at 1:59 pm

  133. Brad Says:

    they usually turn yellow before they fall off, i guess brown if they stay on longer.
    the plant normally looses a few leaves.
    they only last 6 months or so.
    the plant takes the nitrogen and other minerals back before shedding the leaves, that is why they turn yellow/brown.

    If you dont fertilize, you can give it some nitrogen and magnesium at this point
    epsom salts has magnesium. 1 to 2 teaspoons every 2 months. for larger plants. 5ft+
    give them as much sun as possible, and they need very good draining soil.
    dont let the roots sit in water, or stay wet.
    mulch around the bottom. compost first, mulch on top.
    they love worm tea and fish emulsion.
    composted coffee grounds too

    Posted on January 25th, 2016 at 4:14 pm

  134. DonH Says:

    I will be planting two Hovy papaya plants into pots in the next two weeks and would like to know what size pot I should use? I live in Lutz ( nort west Tampa area).

    Posted on January 26th, 2016 at 4:51 pm

  135. Debbie hughes Says:

    I have some white waxy insects biting at the underside of the lower leaves, which seems to aid the shed its leaves. A few bite on my fruits, but the fruit is fine after forming crystals to repel the insects.

    Posted on February 25th, 2016 at 6:27 pm

  136. On behalf of Debbie hughes Says:

    The roots act like straws and when watered and while the roots are saturated with water, the plant responds by drooping and softening the leaves. Once the water has seeped into surrounding areas, the leaves stand up again, in a water absorbing mode for the next few days. Once the soil is dry,

    Posted on February 25th, 2016 at 7:12 pm

  137. arlene Says:

    Finally I’ve got lots of papaya for the first time in year. Because this winter has been so mild the tree is thriving. However, I have black spots and am not able to find a treatment for this. They are beautifully formed and not yet ripe. What can I do about the black spots??? I’d hate to loose this fruit.
    Thank you

    Posted on March 3rd, 2016 at 10:14 pm

  138. Rafael Says:

    Hi I have a Papaya tree with fruits that stay green forever. I mean they have been on the tree for 4 months fully grown and no signs of yellowing. We harvested some and same. Is there such a thing like a green papaya?

    Posted on April 1st, 2016 at 6:36 pm

  139. Suyanne Says:

    There are small white liquid coming from the fruit as if pierced then eventually it turns brown, what is this an will it affect the fruit once it ripens

    Posted on April 21st, 2016 at 5:58 am

  140. Lida Says:

    I have 3 papaya trees. Only one gets the fruit ripe at early stage. The other two trees get the fruits full term but this particular tree when the fruit are the size of the lemon the fruit get ripen and then fall off the tree. Please help

    Posted on April 27th, 2016 at 8:28 pm

  141. Manuelteresa Says:

    I have a 2 year old papaya, we have had good fruit and currently have more growing. Our tree must be deformed or maybe we did something wrong. We have the main stalk and six other stalks branching out growing more fruit. In researching the net I have not seen any pictures of a tree like this. Has anyone seen this type of tree?

    Posted on June 19th, 2016 at 11:27 am

  142. N. Albert Says:

    i have grown my papaya – in Egypt – from seeds from Qatar.
    it appeared to be hermaphrodite and it fruitful
    the first fruits were tasty, now the fruits-although orange and ripe-are tasteless. it is even red from the inside, but it is so dry. what is wrong?
    is it too hot for the fruit growth? what should i do?

    Posted on August 1st, 2016 at 9:25 am

  143. nitin kadam Says:

    Just I have planted the taiwan 786 papiya 3000 plant in termeric plantation 8×8 on side of soil bed just 10 days has completed heavy to heavy rain fall .rain water is lodgged in between beds of soil so what precaution measures should immediate taken and what organic pesticide should use

    Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 11:10 am

  144. David Says:

    We were given a papaya tree (about 2 feet tall) 2 years ago.
    We live in North Georgia.
    I tried putting the tree out on the back deck for sunlight in the summer and it quickly was a victim of Scale. I treated with every thing I could find and it did survive.
    I have since kept the tree indoors all the time in a sunroom that gets direct or indirect sunlight probably 6 – 10 hours a day. Temperature in the rest of the house (not in sunlight) is about 75F.
    It is now about 4 feet tall but has not produced at all. I am not sure how much to water or to “feed” for our situation.
    I am afraid to put it back outside again.
    Can anyone offer advice?

    Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 6:25 pm

  145. Emma Says:

    Over a year ago now my husband lopped off the top of this papaya tree. Since then it has sprouted a couple of green off shoots. Today it has fallen over… the top part of the tree seems hollow and I think where water has collected it has rotted….

    Any advice gratefully appreciated.

    Posted on August 31st, 2016 at 6:36 am

  146. Ana B Says:

    We have 3 dwarf papaya trees which went into the ground late spring. All were growing great one even started fruiting. Then we got 5 inches of rain in 2 days. The leaves look wilted. We haven’t watered them for 3 days now fearing too much water is the issue. Is there anything we can do to help them survive? Is too much water the culprit?

    Posted on September 5th, 2016 at 1:37 pm

  147. Terry Richardson Says:

    What is eating blossoms off papaya tree? : I live in NW Florida and have been growing papaya trees successfully for several years now. This year there seems be be something eating the blossoms just as they are about to open. Does anybody know what might be doing this and how to combat it???

    Posted on September 9th, 2016 at 1:33 pm

  148. Priya Says:

    Hi.. My papaya tree is fruiting well.. Bt the fruit s not tasting sweet.. Any remedy pls

    Posted on October 12th, 2016 at 1:55 am

  149. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Did you grow it from seed? If you bought it, do you know what cultivar it is?

    Posted on October 18th, 2016 at 3:09 pm

  150. Arun surana Says:

    My papaya tree leaves are shrinking and all the leaves big leaves falled. .what to do to help him /her.. Only one live but planted two papaya tree.

    Posted on October 26th, 2016 at 10:48 am

  151. Arun surana Says:

    Location North western India
    Further guide on fertilizer for papaya tree.

    Posted on October 26th, 2016 at 10:52 am

  152. Jerry Says:

    My papaya tree is almost 20′ tall and I can’t reach the fruit. Can I cut the top 5′ off? Or will that ruin it?

    Posted on November 2nd, 2016 at 5:47 pm

  153. Sharon Says:

    I’m growing four papaya trees, sucessully, I thought.
    They are about 6′ tall, in good soil and had started producing. This morning I found two on the ground, eaten through at the point where the stem of the tree ended and leaves and fruit were growing. What happened? Do you know?

    North Port, Florida

    Posted on November 19th, 2016 at 1:29 pm

  154. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    It sounds like a rodent got to your fruits. You can try some of the tips for keeping rats out of your fruit trees from this article by The University of Florida: However, we don’t recommend poisoning because the toxin is passed on to any animal (bird or mammal) that preys on the poisoned animal and could lead to the predator’s death.

    Posted on December 21st, 2016 at 10:42 am

  155. Les Says:

    I hear all the comments about the advantages of Epsom Salts for everything except papaya. What, if any, are the advantages and what mixture should I use.I have them growing in Miami, Fl.

    Posted on February 4th, 2017 at 12:21 pm

  156. mary Says:

    first time growing papayas – I have a beautiful tree with much fruit and flowers but non are ripening on the tree – I have some fairly large papayas – green for months. also what is the best treatment for pest control?

    Posted on February 25th, 2017 at 4:05 pm

  157. norm patterson Says:

    Hi Debbie, Great info that you are providing, thanks. I am going to take your advice and plant a tr hovey in a pot. I will probably use a smart pot that air layers the roots. Do you think that a 10 gallon smart pot would be ok for a couple of yrs or should I get bigger one?

    Posted on April 12th, 2017 at 11:54 am

  158. Melanie Joy E. Orandoy Says:

    What would be the growth and fruit evaluation of papaya applied with humik plus G

    Posted on April 27th, 2017 at 3:01 am

  159. Mandi Says:

    I have four papaya tree that I planted from seed. They are about 5 feet tall now and have branches from the base of the trunk to the top. This seems unusual to me as all papaya trees I’ve seen have a branch free trunk besides a cluster of leaves at the top. Do I need to cut these other branches off?
    Thank you in advance!

    Posted on July 1st, 2017 at 11:34 am

  160. Margaret Says:

    My dwarf papaya trees (in pots) have some sort of sugar/salt grain like substance on the leaves and trunk. They don’t appear to be insects, but I have no idea if this is normal or not. Any advice?

    Posted on August 1st, 2017 at 8:29 pm

  161. Stafford-Ames Morse Says:

    For those with papaya trees now too tall, cut the trunk down to about 5 feet and put a can on its cut trunk area Coffee can will do. Soon you will two new arms from it and papaya again.

    Stafford-ames Morse
    Papaya farmer in Waiahole, Oahu, Hawaii

    Posted on August 11th, 2017 at 1:11 pm

  162. mohamad bagheri Says:

    Good morning
    I’m looking for commercial red dwarf papaya seeds
    You can give me seed
    I want the best red short pink seed

    Posted on November 20th, 2017 at 6:29 am

  163. David Herter Says:

    We have just seeded papaya and they are 5-7 inches tall planted in 6 inch plastic pots. We are at the bottom of Citrus County, Zone 9a and close to 9b. Should we leave them in these pots through the winter? Or discard them and start again in February? We are at one of the highest elevations in Florida (72 ft!!!WooHoo)and have full sunlight on the south side of the house. Papaya, pears and bananas are the only fruit my wife can eat so we decided to try growing our own. If we keep going with these plants should we begin with some kind of fertilizer or compost or potting soil? Where can we find more on going information as we go through our first adventure of growing papayas? Thanks, in advance.

    Posted on November 22nd, 2017 at 4:20 pm

  164. Eve L Says:

    I managed to grow several trees from seeds I took from a papa fruit. However, when the plants reach about 3-4 feet the leaves begin to turn yellow and the trunk leans to one side. It continues to lean over until it dies. Why is this happening? How do I get my trees to grow to their full potential ?
    Over the last week two of the trunks have started to develop dark spots spreading over the entire green trunk.

    Posted on November 27th, 2017 at 2:16 pm

  165. john Says:

    what kind of fertilizer to use and how often?

    Posted on December 6th, 2017 at 12:43 pm

  166. Ken Says:

    I recently moved to FL outside Miami from the northeast and would like to get a dwarf papaya I could plant in a container. I’ve read your blog on seeds and varieties etc.

    Do you sell any plants or seeds like the TR Hovey or Solo varieties mentioned through out the blog?

    Posted on December 28th, 2017 at 10:25 pm

  167. Anita Kelly Says:

    My solo papaya tree is 1 1/2 yrs old and loaded with fruit. But when it starts turning yellow the fruit develops brown spots on it. Do I need to spray the tree, and what do I use? I live in southern California.
    Thanks for any help.

    Posted on January 20th, 2018 at 1:26 pm