Do you want to challenge your gardening skills?
If so, you should grow Papaya in your home garden because it’s literally a herculean task to grow Papaya at home.
If you are going to give it a shot, you should know all that you can before you start, so we will let you know what you need to do to understand how to grow Papaya in your home garden.
Papaya is grown from its black seeds, which take 1-2 weeks to sprout and reaches flowering maturity in 5-6 months.
One of the most important things about the Papaya plant is that it grows in similar conditions as required by Bananas.
In short, Papaya needs bright (direct sunlight), plenty of water, humidity, and fertilizers to grow happily!
Basic Requirements to Grow Papaya in Home Gardens | How to Grow Papaya Indoors
Carica papaya can be planted in containers as well as in soil, depending upon the space and location you have for this plant in your garden.
Following are the basic requirements that a papaya plant needs to grow and yield fruit.
Papayas are a fantastic summer patio plant for sunny locations.
For the best growth, place this plant in the brightest spot in the garden, as it requires 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Rotate the plant occasionally to prevent leaning and help it grow straight and upwards in the pot.
Papaya plants require temperatures up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit for sufficient growth. If you decide to retain the plant during the winter, try to maintain a warm, humid environment; this plant will not thrive in droughts.
Papaya in pots are frequently planted on patios in warm areas. However, any temperature below 65 degrees Fahrenheit will make them unresponsive.
You can grow Papaya only if you have enough water to give this plant because it needs prodigious water to grow properly. Try to water the plant every 3 to 4 days as it grows. You should water it thoroughly, but never let the soil become saturated.
It’s a food-loving plant! Give your papaya plant plenty of food. The papaya plant grows very quickly and requires fertilizers to maintain that growth, so give it a balanced fertilizer weekly.
Pruning and maintenance
Papaya plants cultivated indoors may quickly reach the ceiling in a handful of months due to their rapid growth. They are frequently cut off at the top to keep them in check because of their rapid growth habit. Trim the main stem to a height of a few feet.
In the initial growth years of Papaya, several new shoots emerge from the plant’s root system. You should choose the best shoot when it reaches a height of one to two feet and cut off the others, including the core stem.
à Give the plant a severe pruning before bringing it inside for the cooler months if you moved it outside for the summer.
How to Grow Papaya in Garden Soil?
The process of growing Papaya from the seeds is the same as we use to grow other fruit plants.
Here are the steps:
- Take out the seeds from fresh, healthy papaya fruit and remove the pulp properly. Dip the seeds in water for a few minutes. Those seeds that will settle down at the bottom are worth growing and will germinate.
- Prepare the potting mix in a small container and put all seeds at a regular distance in it. Water the pot and wait for the seeds to germinate
- Transplant the seedling at the 4-5 leaves stage into a big container. Keep one seedling in 1 container.
- Keep the container in a sunny spot and water the plant daily at the start, then with the 1-day gap.
- If you find any insect pest attack, it is better to spread neem cakes on the soil. It is an effective way to control pest attacks.
- Fertilize the plant regularly. If you have to add home-grown compost, the best time is the end of January or the beginning of February.
How to Grow Papaya in Containers?
Papaya can also be grown in containers if you do not have enough or proper space for it in the garden. Let’s see how!
Care instructions for Papaya
To be grown in a container means the plant will have limited space and will need more care to be kept alive and happy. On the other hand, container-grown Papaya is convenient to maintain because it will be easier to protect it from cold weather by moving it in and out of the house.
Container Size Required:
Start with a 15-20-gallon container with a diameter of at least 18 inches because Papaya may grow vigorously in the beginning. An excellent choice is a big pot made from an old barrel or sizable bucket.
Drainage is how excessive water moves out of the container or root zone, and it is one of the critical factors for plants to grow and remain alive.
Adequate drainage prevents the plant’s roots from rotting and drains out the excess water to ensure that the roots do not have standing water.
Use a spongy, well-drained, extremely rich-in-nutrient potting mix when growing the papaya plant indoors. If the potting soil is overly thick and has poor drainage, root rotting issues will occur.
Potting & Repotting the Papaya:
One repotting (from a small-sized pot to a bigger container) is mandatory for papaya plants grown from seeds.
For the Gardeners living in the USDA Zone 9, their Papaya is a one-season novelty plant. Cut back the Papaya to the soil level at the end of the season to allow the other shoots to fill in.
Preventive Measures for Papaya Plant:
- In Summer, the papaya plant requires heat, and humidity means asking for shifting them outdoors!
- It gains a lot of weight, although it seems like a lightweight young plant. So be careful while moving it indoors or outdoors.
- When the day temperatures start exceeding 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the correct time to bring the Papaya outdoors.
- Select a humid and sunny (65-70 degrees Fahrenheit) spot for it to pass over the winters
Note: if you do not have a humid, sunny spot for Papaya inside, you should insulate its base with bubble wrap or aluminum foil.
Q: What are the common Papaya pests?
Some of the typical indoor papaya plant pests are:
Note: The chances of attack of the above pests will be minimum if the papaya plant is given adequate drainage, fertilizer, humidity, and heat.
Q: How to grow Papaya from seed?
A papaya plant grows rapidly even when grown from the seeds taken from the papaya fruit sold in supermarkets.
To grow Papaya from seed, scoop the papaya seeds out, spread them out on a single piece of paper towel, and let them air dry for a week to prepare them.
Next is to roll the seeds to remove the dried husks covering them, then store them in a cold and dry place.
Place papaya seeds in seed-starting soil and keep them warm, wet, and dry to support sprouting (the most favorable temperature for the highest germination rate lies between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit).
At this temperature, seeds germinate faster. Transplant the seedlings into larger containers when they are a few inches tall to let them develop into mature papaya plants.
Q: How and when to harvest papaya plants?
Generally, a papaya plant grown from seeds taken from a grocery store does not flower and yield fruits.
However, if you have raised it from an authentic fruit-yielding variety and given it adequate humidity and heat, it will surely yield fruit in 6-12 months.
The right time to harvest a papaya fruit from the tree is when it turns yellow completely. You can store it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.