Red Lady Papaya

puglvr1(9b central FL)June 10, 2012 those that grow red lady papaya is this variety considered a semi dwarf/dwarf tree? How long usually does it take to see some flowers...the tree is very short appx. 14" tall when I planted it a week ago and it has already grown a little taller since. Thanks!!

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Mine got between 8 and 10 feet tall. I think you'll get flowers next year.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 3:27PM
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rednofl(9b Goldenrod Fl hz 10)

I have 2 that finally survived a winter and they are about 10' right now. It will begin to flower once it gets maybe 3 or 4 feet tall. You should have fruit this winter.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 3:59PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Nancy

I grew red lady papaya in July 2010, I planted it about March in the ground, by October I had ripe fruit. It was growing kind of bended but it probably got about 6 feet tall, the roots are massive! you really need a lot of space. After we got some frost that year I pull it out.
Now I have planted Know You which is consider a dwarf, I have it in a container and I got some fruit last year, because of the warm winter is still alive and producing more fruit. The roots are coming out of the pot, after it fruits I will take it out and going to try a new variety next spring.

Red lady October 2010


    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 5:30PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks everyone for your responses...appreciate it!

Wow Silvia, that tree had some really large fruits!! I planted mine kind of close to the house because of the freeze but if it gets too large I might have to cut it down and grow something else,lol...but we'll see what the winter brings. It might make the decision for me. Hopefully, I will have fruits as quickly as you.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:04PM
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Papaya is a tree, not a bush. I'm getting my first fruits at 6 feet tall but only on one tree. The three other trees at 6 feet are still barren so far.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 3:28PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

"Papaya is a tree, not a bush."

Sorry Lou, I don't understand? Yes, I agree with you that Papaya is a tree, did I mention it was a bush?

Thanks for your comments, I hope to get some fruits at 6 ft or less would be even better.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 11:01AM
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No, you didn't mention bush(I did). I was just remarking that a papaya is a tree, and most trees have to grow to a certain height before they will flower and produce fruit whereas a bush can produce flowers and fruit at a much shorter height. Your picture was showing a very small tree that would have to grow up to produce fruit, much unlike a bush. Not to worry as they are quick growing trees if they are happy.

Sorry if I confused you.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 5:01PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

No Worries Lou, thanks for clarifying :o)

I confuse easily,lol...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 7:39AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Good morning Lou - What varieties of papayas are you growing? which one is fruiting?

Hi Nancy - I have some pictures for you today from the dwarf variety Known You, it is not so dwarf after all,lol.

Roots are coming out of the giant pot

After the fruit ripens, it is coming out! For now the fence is holding it.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Hi Sylvia,

The TR Hovey is the one that has a papaya fruit on it. Because of the small size tree(only 6 foot), it casts all the other fruits it makes off and is only allowing that one fruit to grow. The other TR Hovey papaya tree I have, it makes fruits but casts all of them off because it is a little shorter than 6 feet. I think they have to get around 9 to 10 feet tall to be reliable producers of papaya.
I can't remember the names of the other papaya trees I have.

Strange thing this year is all my different apple trees are flowering again in the middle of June. None of them seem to be setting more apples.... just flowering. I never saw this happen before. Is Mother Nature getting old and senile???


    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:40AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Lou, this time in our gardens is sure very weird! I picked peaches from the farm nearby, the only thing is that they are on the mountain top and maybe get colder than in my house, my peaches, nectarines and mixed fruits are only flowering now. I had a lot of plums early in the season and now I have a lot of bananas, avocados and blackberries to make up for the other ones,lol

Hope that you get some papayas ripening and report on the taste, I had the some ripe Known You last summer and is very similar to the red lady, looking for other one better tasting...maybe not available anymore, in my memory those are from my childhood, oh well, I will keep looking.:)


    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 12:59PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Holy Smokes Silvia, that is definitely not a Dwarf,lol...but look at all those papayas! Nice tree!!

How's your Mango trees doing?

My Potted Glenn mango has 4 fruits...not ripe yet, maybe another week or two. I also have some fruits on the mango trees I planted inground.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 2:09PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Nancy, you are for sure the Queen of the mango trees! I only have the potted Fairchild and still young and not fruiting. Your fabric pot looks like a good idea!

I am going to eat all the mangoes that I can this July when I go to Jamaica on vacation,lol. Too bad that I cannot make it to the mango festival at the Fairchild gardens this year since it is about the same time. Mangoes are on top of the list for flavor!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 3:11PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Silvia!! Lol...that's actually not a Fabric pot. Its a black nursery pot that I "lined" with some shade cloth I had left over. It serves its purpose in keeping the pot a little cooler this time of year.

Its too far of a drive for me to go to Miami's Fairchild Festival...but,they are having a Mango Mania in Cape Coral one week after the one in Miami. I went a few years ago and they had lots of mangoes for sale.
Mango Mania in Cape Coral

Enjoy your vacation in Jamaica! Eat some Mangoes for me :o)

Here's a close up of two of my almost ripe mangoes. I wrapped them in hopes of keeping the birds away.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 3:48PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Nancy, those are some beauties! and they are well protected like the pot with the shade cloth, it looks like it has pants,lol.

Thank you for posting about the other mango festival, we might just make it there if we are not too tired from the vacation.:)


    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 6:08PM
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My Red Lady was maybe 2 1/2 ft when I planted it about 5 months ago. Not it is 5 ft tall and has female flowers (?) - which are dropping off. Should I be hand fertilizing? I do not see any male flowers. The plant is very healthy otherwise.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 3:19PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi pinkharley,

I found this older post from of the members here posted this on an older thread...

"As for variety, the plant you have now came from a grocery store fruit which may not grow true to seed. I tried that once and the fruit tasted terrible. It is best to get a named variety such as the Red Lady papaya that I described in an earlier post. Another advantage to the Red Lady is that it is a dwarf and all of the plants are self fertile. That means no male is required so you could grow just one plant if you wanted."

So it sounds like you should'nt have to hand pollinate the flowers. I also only have one plant and I'm not planning on doing any hand pollinating so I'm hoping mine will develop fruits on its own. Good luck and hope you get some fruits soon.

The whole thread is below...her response is the one dated Jan. 4th 2009

Here is a link that might be useful: happy_fl_gardener's thread...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 2:06PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

So, its been about 6 weeks since I planted my Red lady and when I went to water it today I noticed that it has several buds on it already!! Probably won't actually turn out to be fruits just yet...but very excited to see flowers in such short a time!!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:16AM
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jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)

Just had to add my two cents. I have been messing with papaya trees here on the SW Florida coast for the last four years. Have chucked out all but the Red Lady's,..a joy to grow, fertilize and harvest compared to the other types I tried. My first tree developed into two trunks, each producing a plethora of fruit for two consecutive years though they only reached five feet tall. A violent wind/ rain storm late last fall bent them both over at a 45 deg angle, but they still bore mucho fruits their 2nd year. After all were gone, one trunk finally died a few months ago because the bend exposed it's roots. So I bought another 2 1/2 ft, two trunk Red Lady at Lowes and planted it in early March. Its already grown a foot and has flowers, - expect to be picking big, elongated, delicious fruits before years end.
Have 4 mango trees that are ending the best season ever in their 4 year lifespan, except for my favorite, the Kent, which dropped them all early. But they are young trees, must be patient, will have a bonanza next year I am confident. Have solved the fruit fly problem I had in 2011 by hanging big glass glass jars filled with apple cider vinegar on each tree. Had to punch holes in the metal caps, but an easy fix to a problem I thought would require a more involved remedy.
Ah yes, home grown papayas and mango's, doesn't get any better in my book. ( smile )

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 2:30PM
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jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)

OOPS,..meant to say " just a few ounces of apple cider vinegar " in each glass jar,..that's all that's needed !

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:48PM
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JenniferinFL(9B Florida)

I bought some Red Lady Papaya on clearance at the local Walmart. Unfortunately they were in pretty rough shape, any tips on getting them back to health? They are basically a spindly trunk with a leaf or two on top. Very small root system, I would guess either underwatered or overwatered or overheated. I stuck two of them in the ground anyways with a peat, black kow and topsoil combination. One has gotten about ten leaves, but, I cut off the top of it because it looked like it was rotting back which seemed to prompt that growth. Should I cut back the other two?
I highly doubt I'll get fruit from them this year, but at least maybe I can cover them or grow a couple cuttings off them for next year. Additionally, should they be planted in full sun? Mine are in more indirect sun. It's bright, but they are partially shaded in the afternoon.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:54PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Joyfus for the great info...looking forward to trying my first Red Lady sooner than later :o)

Congrats on your Mangoes as well...this year has also been my best so far since I planted most of them about 5 years ago. If we can only have another "mild" winter or at least NO freeze next year it sure would be great!

Jennifer, I would go ahead and plant your papaya tree in the ground...water it well and give it about 1/2 the recommended dosage of fertilizer in about a week...they are heavy feeders so I fertilize mine about once a week (with about 1/2 of the recommended dosage) and give them plenty of water till they get established.

I planted mine in Full sun...and regret it now...morning sun would have been better and since its summer and it is started to droop from the intense heat even though I watered it daily. I finally had to place a shade cloth over it so it would have some shelter from the hottest part of the day and its doing much better. I should be able to remove it in a few weeks once it gets more established. (I just planted it 6 weeks ago).

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:23AM
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