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Planting Papaya


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#1 Tomas

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 09:16 PM

We've got banana and coconut growing at our place and would really like to add a papaya or two. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the best place to find them, what the best time to plant might be and any other papaya growing tips I might need. I've walked by a garden center many times on Traversal road, I think near 65th but haven't ever gone in. Is that a good spot to go? Appreciate thoughts and suggestions.
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#2 Agnes62

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 08:15 AM

I don't know if this will help - I live near the coast east of Houston. Our climate is similar to Cozumel, maybe a little hotter in the summer. About 5 weeks ago,I bought a papaya and then just put the seeds in the ground. I poked a hole with a screwdriver and dropped a seed in each hole. We have a huge rain deficit this year, but I have been watering. So far, I have 4 plants coming up. I may have had a few others in another area - but I forgot about them, to be honest, and may have weeded some :-( I found quite a few websites with tips on trimming and caring for papaya.
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#3 GringaErin

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:31 AM

I "accidentally" grew a papaya tree. It's like a weed. From seed to fruit in under 9 months, and we had (I'm not kidding) around 100 papayas off it. Put a couple of seeds in a hole, water and presto... Once the fruit start turning to a lighter green/yellow, pick them and wrap it in newspaper. It will ripen up in about a day. I'm personally sick of them, but super easy to grow. Good luck!
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#4 Carey

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 05:09 PM

The place on the south side of the transversal around 75 has a very good selection with quite a few trees that are difficult to find elsewhere. Their prices are pretty high but I think it's worth it because of the variety. You might want to try a cayomito tree, they have beautiful gold leaves underneath and they had a few there. But the one we bought we should have looked more closely at the roots as there weren't many and we are having to do a lot of watering while it grows more and pushes them down through the rock hard soul.

We have mango trees that grow really well and fast. Love it here. But not from seed. AJ tried all approaches and none worked. But he has had success with buying small trees. 20 feet tall and just starting to have mangos, one of them.

Bird of Paradise trees grow very well here and are lovely. We have a fair number of those. Oleander can quickly grow to bushy tree height. Red hibisicus in particular can also get enormous and seem to flourish here more than the other colors. Oh plumerias! Flora de Mayo. Tons of those. They grow from cut off branches and we have many of them although none of ours have ever gotten bigger than about 5 feet as most variets get a periodic yellow fungus and they drop all their leavs. But they do flower and are lovely before the yellowing starts

We have one large unknown tree with squash ball green fruits that our Mayan friends can't identify. I should post a picture. AJ thought it was an avocado but it's not now that we see the fruit. Meaning he's also never had luck with avocados.

Mamey is another native tree that grows well here. Leaves look a bit like papayas. No telling what the fruit will be like as ours haven't gotten big enough for that yet.

Stay clear of the guanabana -- riddled with bores that ruin the fruit and the rats are attracted to them. We had a huge one we cut down when we saw all the rats in it. Bananas are also dirty trees. Attracting all kinds of insects and spiders and the bananas take like 3 months to ripen and then the plant dies back to the ground looking ugly most of the time. My opinion

Papayas are not trees by the way. They're more stalks like bananas. They die after awhile, says AJ.

If you want a tree that will grow to 20 feet in 9 months and give you temp shade, we had some meringa shoots still coming up if anyone wants them. We used them for years to provide shade until the deeper rooted plants could get big enough to provide shade. They grow like weeds, are good for the soil. But they are very shallow rooted and high winds blow them over. Good temp shade cover, however.
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#5 Steve

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 08:24 PM

Just go to the store and buy a papaya. They are full of seeds. Maybe 500 to 600 of them. Put them in the ground and water. They grow quick. I live near Chicago and planted a bunch of them. 95% of the seeds grew. Never got any fruit from them as our season isn't that long.
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#6 Tomas

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:35 PM

Thanks for the tips! Lots of interesting things to plant, I realize, but have a small space and I was hoping for another fruit producing plant and figured papaya would work in the space we have. I am hoping to find one already started in a pot a few feet tall or so, or a couple of them. Last resort I'll try the seeds!
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#7 Carey

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 05:38 AM

None of the trees I mentioned are spreaders especially if you prune the lower branches as they grow. You want to ruin your back yard in record time, plant a lil ceiba tree. Ha Ha

Mangos would be my recommendation instead of papaya. It is easy to find little mango trees for sale, they grow fast and well here, they are pretty trees. Prettier than papayas with smaller greener leaves and just as fast growing.
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#8 Tomas

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:03 PM

I like mangos, but don't think there is enough room for them in the spot I want to plant in. I'm going to use a planter bed, up against a sun exposed wall. Don't mangos get really big?
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#9 Carey

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:52 PM

Yes, mangos grow to full fledged trees so it wouldn't do to plant in a planter. The Papayas we have are about 8 feet tall and growing also. Plumerias, Flora de Mayo, do well in a big planter. They need pretty much zip water and like it here. We can give you a couple of cuttings if you're interested and AJ will tell you how to root them.

How about jasmine for a planter? They grow beautifully here have lovely white flowers and the night blooming variety have a marvelous aroma. Also four o'clocks grow like weed here and work well just about anywhere growing to the size of a two foot bush.
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#10 Tomas

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:28 PM

Carey, thanks for the offer on the cuttings. Some of the plants you mention, I'm not familiar with yet, but I'd like to see some, maybe try a couple cuttings of something too.
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#11 Ken H

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:04 AM

We've got banana and coconut growing at our place and would really like to add a papaya or two. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the best place to find them, what the best time to plant might be and any other papaya growing tips I might need. I've walked by a garden center many times on Traversal road, I think near 65th but haven't ever gone in. Is that a good spot to go? Appreciate thoughts and suggestions.


I purchased a Papaya tree from that garden center in January of this year and planted it in my back yard.The tree actualy looked like a small plant when I purchased it. However, has it grown as of this moment it is about five feet tall with blooms on it. I don't remember what I paid, it wasen't very expensive.......KenH
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