Papaya (Carica papaya) is native to Central America, but has spread throughout the world. This large, short-lived perennial is characterized by a single trunk that can reach up to 9 meters in height at maturity. Its palmate leaves are deeply lobed and measure more than 1 meter wide. There are three different types of papaya trees according to the sexuality of their flowers, so we can speak of female plants, male plants and hermaphrodite plants. Note that female and hermaphrodite plants are the only ones that produce fruit.
Depending on the type of tree, this fruit is round, small to medium and oblong, medium to large. The flesh of the fruit is usually yellow, although there are also some red and orange types. Planting papayas is an excellent way to enjoy these exotic fruits every year. Papaya trees grow best in tropical and subtropical areas, so if you are lucky enough to live in these regions, learning how to plant a papaya tree is probably a very good idea. Read on for more information about pawpaw trees and how you can easily plant them at home.
What do you need to plant papaya?
Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious papaya? Being able to grow this fruit at home is a privilege that, if you have the opportunity to experience it, you cannot miss. It is important to highlight that papaya has great health benefits, besides having an enormous nutritional power, it provides the necessary fiber for a good digestion.
- You can plant papayas in the ground directly, in pots or growing bags. The size of the papaya plant requires a proportionally large pot to grow, but if you prefer soil, choose a sunny spot.
- When you have decided where to plant, prepare the soil. You should make a soil mixture for the plant using equal amounts of coco peat, normal garden soil, homemade compost and if possible, cow manure. Make sure the soil is light and friable, allowing for easy water drainage.
- Get the seeds. This is where store-bought fruit comes in. Put the seeds you find in the papaya fruit in a bowl filled with water. Note that only those seeds that settle at the base should be used to grow the plant.
How to plant papaya trees?
Prepare the soil mix and plant all the selected seeds at a short distance from each other. This should be done in a small container or seedling tray. Create a top layer of soil and sprinkle water over it. In about 10 days, you will begin to see shoots growing out of the soil. Once four to five leaves have appeared, it is time to move the plant to a larger pot, but you should only plant one plant in a pot, or to the garden soil.
Establish an adequate drainage system by aerating the soil in the grow bag or pot you use. Keep the pot in a place with abundant sunlight. Water the plant every day, leaving one day from time to time. You can continue to add a little cow manure to your plant every month. Also, add compost when it is time to fruit.
Since this plant needs a lot of sunlight to grow, the months of March or April are the best time to plant papaya. Your plant will be ready in 8 to 10 months and as soon as winter arrives, fruits will start growing on it.