problem with carica papaya seedling survival

marcyoungJanuary 2, 2013

Hi
I live in a temperate zone, have a large conservatory, its mid summer now. My papaya seedlings (ex shop fruit)get to 1cm 1/4" high then die. I have tried various soil and sterile soil-less mixes, lately a very sandy/gritty/bio char well draining mix. Tried the range of full sun to full shade, they are warm 20 - 40 C, its humid. Tried bleaching the seeds, natural fungicides to prevent damping-off, keeping some of them dryish and keeping others moist and in-between, Tried adding onion mold to compete with other negative pathogens.
Its been 2 years of experimenting now, just can't get it, which is a shame , cause I love papaya. Kiwi fruit seedlings seem to be going the same way, and they are a good 6" high.
Any ideas welcomed?

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myamberdog

Marcy - something weird is going on there. You've tried e =verything I would have tried.....hmmmm.....

Wonder if it's something airborne and maybe you'll need to sterilize the conservatory???

Also, try sprounting then growing the seeds in the house....try to eliminate one cause at a time, maybe....good luck....

Can you post any pictures of the situation?

MDog

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 1:41AM
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marcyoung

MDog- unfortunately it would be near impossible to sterilise the conservatory, earthen floor, porest cement walls and hundreds of plants.
Germination is fine, its just getting them to grow,(though I've never managed to sprout them in a damp paper towel in a warm place, they go mouldy) I did read yesterday a recommendation of planting the seeds under 1" of manure, worth a try.
Maybe they need symbiotic fungi, perhaps I could buy a nursery plant and mix some of the root soil into the seedlings.
I'll take a picture tomorrow.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 4:07AM
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marcyoung

1" seedling and the dead ones

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:59PM
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tropicdude

Not sure whats going on, maybe something with PH or water? I have planted over a 100 papaya seeds, and have used all kinds of soil, I may lose a few to dampening, but its maybe less than 5%.

I soak my seeds for 24 hours in water, then just plant them in regular yard soil mixed with coconut coir, nothing fancy.

at the moment I have 3 seedlings that have just sprouted, and are at the critical stage, so fingers are crossed. one is of a new variety I will be testing this year, and was planted directly in a large 10 gallon container outdoors. as i want to avoid transplant shock, and want good root development.

You can try sterilizing some soil yourself, I heard you can put some soil in the oven, and sterilize it that way, add some beneficial fungi / bacteria to the soil after.

Also, soak you seeds in some seaweed solution, which is said to give seeds a boost, and make them more resistant. seaweed has some natural hormones that help seeds germinate ( GA3 ).

check the Ph of your soil and water also.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:43PM
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tropicbreezent

Marcy, which part of NZ are you? I'd suspect it could be a pH problem. As others have suggested damping off is probably a very minor issue. Pawpaws hate acid soil. One place I lived the pH was 5.3 and the seedlings would grow a while and then wither. I ended up digging a deep hole (very sandy soil) and filled it with washed charcoal mixed with the same sandy soil. With the charcoal (very high pH) and the sandy soil (very low pH) I got a mix that just made them rocket up. I've read that their preferred pH is 8, a lot higher than your average garden plants.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:21PM
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marcyoung

Banks Peninsula, I never thought about the pH, its neutral here around 6. I recently read in papaya growing instructions at rarexoticseed, to sow the seed under 1" of manure, it sounded odd, but now makes sense. The pH of most animal manures is approximately 6.8 to 7.4 Thanks I'll bump a few pots up to 8 and see how it goes.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:09PM
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tropicbreezent

I've only ever been to the North Island but some friends recently hired a campervan and spent a few weeks touring South Island. They loved it.

If you use chook manure make sure it is aged well. That stuff fresh will knock over even alkali loving plants. Good luck with your pH manipulation.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:54AM
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OCchris

I know this is an older post but I just wanted to add something that I do to my seeds~Mycorhizae (sp?) powder. I have yet to lose a seed, that is after all the sorting, cleaning and whatnot. I planted jackfruit, papaya, cherimoya, and mango last winter and all have grown outside with no special care. I think i have approximately 50 or 60 Hawaiian papaya about 1.5-2 inches tall so far. Just my 2 cents. Thank you for all the great reading material in Garden Web.

Best regards, Chris

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:40AM
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OCchris

I know this is an older post but I just wanted to add something that I do to my seeds~Mycorhizae (sp?) powder. I have yet to lose a seed, that is after all the sorting, cleaning and whatnot. I planted jackfruit, papaya, cherimoya, and mango last winter and all have grown outside with no special care. I think i have approximately 50 or 60 Hawaiian papaya about 1.5-2 inches tall so far. Just my 2 cents. Thank you for all the great reading material in Garden Web.

Best regards, Chris

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:41AM
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jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)

OCchris, I had the same idea last year and ordered some mycorrhizae from Fungi Perfecti (MycoGro)....I haven't tried it much yet but I did read that some of the mycorrhizae are known to protect roots from the bacteria that cause root rot. This MycoGro has the largest number of different organisms of any brands I checked, which I why I ordered it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 5:09AM
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OCchris

jbclem~Seems that it works as I have not had any problems with root rot either in pots or out in my yard where I have had root rot previously. I have used it to coat seeds and as a "tea" for all my plants. Big investment but so far so good. Best of luck to everyone!
Cheers, Chris

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 3:15AM
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greenman62

ive grown dozens of papaya to maturity.
One thing i notice,is that they dont like wet feet.

Even as a seedling, you have to let it dry just a bit.
and they LOVE the heat. at 20C if the feet are very moist, they will just get yellow and shrivel.

I would give the full sun as soon as they can take it. They should acclimate in just a few days to it.

I have no problems in the summer, unless it rains every day here (in New Orleans). In the winter, even inside they dont do well. Not enough sun and heat.

good luck

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 5:01PM
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PRO
RAREXOTICSEEDS

Hi There,
Our clients rarely complain about our services.
If you have any questions about our services, we advise you to look at our FAQ : http: //www.rarexoticseeds.com/en/faq .
Also don't hesitate to contact us at contact@rarexoticseeds.com we will answer you with pleasure and in time.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2015 at 1:58PM
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mangofang

RareExoticSeeds - I don't see any papaya on your list(s)...or are you using some latin name for them....

    Bookmark   March 10, 2015 at 2:41PM
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tropicbreezent

I had a look at the site to see what they actually did have in the way of seeds. It is listed, under the scientific name Carica papaya and the common name Pawpaw

    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 2:30AM
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mangofang

Thanks TB! Silly me.....

    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 10:35AM
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