A picture of a Papaya

Papaya

Carica papaya

Also known as

Pawpaw, Melon tree

Starr 061105-1374 Carica papaya by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Tender

H1a

RHS hardiness

15°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

10m

Max

2m

5m

Min

1m

Fruiting

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Pick the fruit when the skin starts to yellow as it will ripen after you have picked it. Handle it carefully because it gets bruised easily. Keep the fruit at room temperature to fully ripen.

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A photo of Papaya
A photo of Papaya
A photo of Papaya
A photo of Papaya
A photo of Papaya

Papaya Overview

Papayas are tall-growing perennials with large hand-like leaves and are easy to grow. They require monthly fertilization and plenty of water, but can easily become water-logged causing root rot. They produces fruit year-round if conditions are favourable.

Common problems with Papaya

Black leafspot, papaya mosaic virus, anthracnose, powdery mildew, papaya fruit fly, two-spotted spider mite, and papaya whitefly. Phythphthora blight causes damping-off, root rot, stem rot, stem girdling, and fruit rot.

Papaya Companion Plants

How to propagate Papaya

Seed

Sow seeds directly any time of year, but late summer is best. Sow 5 seeds per hole and space trees 2-3 m apart. Germination takes a few weeks.

Special features of Papaya

Crop rotation

Papayas are heavy feeders and require regular fertilizing.

Other uses of Papaya

Culinary. Grown throughout the tropics for the edible fruit.

Medicinal

In some areas, papaya leaves are made into tea as a treatment for malaria but it is not proven to be effective.

Edible

The fruit, flower buds, seeds, and leaves are edible. The ripe fruit can be eaten raw, without the skin or seeds. The unripe fruit can be eaten cooked, usually in curries, salads, and stews.

Fruits

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