papayas in containers

godsdog(z10 LA ss22)May 8, 2008

Anyone growing, or have opinions about growing papaya in a half wine barrel? what about blueberries? I had papaya in the ground but the 2-3 days a year of frost has meant no fruit. In a container I could roll them under a cover. The ones in the ground got 8- 10 feet tall.

the idea with blue berries is that i could control soil conditions better, perhaps. The other thing, is that now that i have plants growing everywhere and I'm starting to think about the landscape aspect (I know, I didn't plan very well) I could move the container plants out of sight when unattracive. Is anyone doing any of this and if so how much work and how successful is it?

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Better chance in ground.For those few frosty nights cover the Paps with plastic and make sure it does not touch the leaves-the gap is your thermal protection. You could easily have a year of no frost and with Paps 10' should get some fruit.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 5:07PM
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I grow Pusa Nana dwarf papayas in earth boxes. I move them into the greenhouse in the fall, and back out in the spring. I start the seeds in June. It takes about a year and a half to get fruit (delicious) when the plant is about three feet tall. Got the seeds from Gud seeds.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 3:30PM
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I remember reading on crfg site that Papayas do well in containers. In fact, that might be a great idea since they are very frost sensitive.

Re Blueberries, I have first hand success :-). For past 3 years I have been getting fabulous blueberry crop in containers. (Mine are in 15" pots but ready for bigger pots and half barrel should work great.) My soil is ordinanry potting soil and I use Azelea/Camellia plant food (meant for acidic plants) monthly during growth seasons. That maintains acidity.

One more thing: you will not want to move Blueberries out of sight. They look beautiful! Here in California the varieties are semi-deciduous (I forgot names of my varieties! Sorry!!) -- and get nice hot pink color in the fall.

Fruitlack, where in CA are you? I am on Peninsula in SF bay area and would love to grow papayas at home!! Wonder though if heat is sufficient to get them to fruit and mature. I would appreciate all the help/experiences shared re this.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 4:36PM
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Our piano tuner gave me a junkmail flier for Earthboxes that had a photo of a stubby papaya plant loaded with fruit in an EB. Knowing nothing specific, I ordered two boxes and searched the internet for info on papayas in containers and found almost nothing. Ordered Pusa Nana seeds from Gudseed because they were dwarf and needed no cross polination, unlike some papayas. Discovered that the best way to start the seeds was in those cheap styrofoam seed starters (24 cell). Out of 24 seeds planted, I get about 2-3 mature plants. I live at 3k feet in Sierras. The papayas seem to ripen irregardless of the temperature, maybe a little slower in the greenhouse in January than outside in the summer, but they ripen nonetheless. I use Supersoil from WMT, and some old Bandini granulated vegetable fertilizer. My greenhouse is more of a sunroom with fairly moderate temps and humidity. Papayas have been a major "Hack" victory for me. Using common sense and basic gardening knowledge, papayas have been a low effort beautiful plant with a steady supply of delicious fruit.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 8:47PM
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Thanks a lot, fruitlack, for providing the info. I am looking into gudseed asap!!!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 12:28PM
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The one I got was about 4ft already with fruit on it and the nursery had it in a 3gal container which wasn't that much space. Plus the fact it wasn't getting much sun with all the other trees covering it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 3:46PM
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...and which nursery and which variety of papayas was it, ericjwi?

I am soooo glad to know about papayas...being able to grow papayas is my dream :-), and if I can do that without moving to tropics, I would prefer it more!!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 1:20PM
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gardenerme(z9/21 inland socal)

fruithack: Would love to order seeds but cannot find website for gudseed. Can you give me a link?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 4:28PM
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I am bumping this thread. Gud seeds site seems to have gone down (out of business??) but on Hawaii gardening forum there's talk about an online nursery that has several varieties of dwarf papayas (as per the report).

On the other hand, I bought some yummy Golden Papayas from Brazil in Costco (brand is Caliman, and their size is slightly bigger than a pear so I'm hoping the tree is small too :-)) and could not throw away the seeds :-) so have started them in peat pellets. Does anyone know about which variety this is, and what can I expect in terms of the height/success of the plant in Northern California?

Thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 3:54PM
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homey bird, I imagine you found a solution by now. But is the place to go with.

For Dwarf, go with Waimanalo or Red Lady. I'm also trying Red Maradol just to see how big it will get (should be dwarf or semi-dwarf if I understand right)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 5:05AM
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No, I had not found a solution yet :-) So thanks so much for sharing your information!!

Definitely will check out the varieties you mention.

Please do post your experience with Red Maradol.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:37PM
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vid_nand(Z 9 CA)

Hi All,
I am happy to see this thread. I am also interested in growing papayas in containers. From my research i came to know that the variety 'carcia papaya tainung' which is available as a plant in logees and as seed in alohaseeds
But alohaseeds have 2 varieties of Tainung(#1 and #2) I am not sure which one is Carica Tainung.

You can read about the variety here

A discussion forum where people talks about this.

Btw. I live in Cupertino, CA (south bay). Anybody from this side..?


    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 5:05PM
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Hi Vidya,
I live on the SF Bay peninsula -- a slightly different microclimate but close.

All of us would appreciate if you could post your experience with the papayas if you happen to plant. As for me, I have not yet walked the walk. :-)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 12:36AM
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I have three papaya trees in the ground. They are two and a half years old and about five feet tall. They first began to flower at eight months old but would not produce fruit. The daytime temps. were in the mid 60's and the night time temps. were in the 40's. After about a month of this I decided to lay black plastic mulch on the ground about ten feet long by about four and a half feet wide with holes just big enough for the papaya plants to stick through. The plastic raised the soil temperature by about ten degrees as well as the air temperature around the plants. Almost immediately the plants all began to set fruit. They have been continuously producing excellent tasting fruit ever since. I have left the plastic on the ground even in summer and have had no ill effects.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Hello vid_nand

Can you share your experience of growing Papaya in Cupertino? I am nearby and hence am curios to know.

also if you can let me know how much height was your papaya and the fruiting pattern.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 4:12PM
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I tried growing papaya in containers and the roots went right through the drain holes at the bottom. They're doing great but next time I think ill just put them in ground

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 8:18PM
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craze4mango_tx(9a- houston)

Beware of GMO PAPAYAS!!!
If the variety you are growing has fruit that never gets the dark pots on skin caused by ring spot virus or is grown from seed of fruit grown in hawaii, it is likely GMO...

Why avoid GMO papaya? GMO means plant has insect DNA spliced onto thepapaya DNA which makes the fruit create a type of "pesticide" that drives away ring spot virus, and thus the fruit is pretty clear, spotless......

HOWEVER: The fruit continues creating this substance until digested in stomach...where the "pesticide" is absorbed and creates digestive issues and may bring a varying degree of hormonal imbalances, including infertility.

Just sayin' decide...but make the right choice cuz if you grow from GMO seed, your plants are propagating pollen that is contaminating the natural DNA structure of the natural papaya population...very serious stuff .
I suggest we dont mess up a good thing...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2014 at 1:59AM
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