Anybody growing Waimanalo papaya in Houston TX Z9a?

vossner(z9 houston)January 15, 2012

I recently bought a tree which I am presently overwintering in the garage. I have a few questions:

1) It is supposed to be a dwarf (10 ft tall at maturity). It seems to me it would be hard to harvest fruit w/o climbing on a ladder. can you comment re: plant height?

2) can it be topped off to keep it shorter? Will this cause multiple trunks? If yes, do multiple trunks mean multiple fruit?

3) has it survived your z9a winters?

4) Like the flavor or prefer another variety?

5) If I decide to pot my papaya, will it produce less fruit?

thanks for your help

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Im not from Texas, but, but maybe i can help a bit.

1) Papaya plants will start producing fruit, in about 9 months after you plant them, and they will do this when they are still pretty short, each "wave" of fruit will be less than previous, unlike most other fruit trees, in the case of papaya, the first crop will be better than those that come after.

Commercially Papaya plants are usually only allowed to grow 2-3 years, then they are cut down and replanted. so they never really get that tall.

I just visited a farm, and came across a papaya tree, that was about 30 feet tall with branches, no longer produces fruit though. I will try and get a snap shot from the video i took, and post it.

Since Papaya produce fruit so soon after planting seed, so quickly, you can keep your tree small simply by replacing it every 2-3 years.

2) As for topping, I wouldn't do it. they will branch out but they lose productivity and look a bit ugly.

3) i have no experience with that.

4)Some of the newer hybrid varieties are replacing the Waimanalo variety now. more productive, and sweet with PRSV tolerance. also no males needed for pollination. ( with hermaphrodites ).

5) Yes, a papaya has 1 long tap root with very little in the way of lateral rooting, they are heavy feeders, and must never be kept in standing water, they can die within a few hours if their "feet" remain wet.

In perfect conditions, a papaya tree, can produce around, 45 fruit, in the first crop, ( Red Maradol / Red lady ) weighing around 2kg avg. each so we are looking at around 200 pounds of fruit possible.

Here is a link that might be useful: Papaya

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 12:38PM
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vossner(z9 houston)

Thank you so much for your answer and for the link. It looks like I don't need to worry about papaya being too tall for harvesting. Since it looks like I need to replace in 3 years or so, I will be sure to look up improved varieties over Waimanalo.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 4:37PM
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I grow Mexico Papaya last year from seed on April, 5 ft tall in 4 months and max about 8 ft. Hawaii papaya 10 ft in 4 months 14 ft tall before winter. All leaves drop and new leaves start to come out. Both have a lot of fruits but not mature so I have to cover them from frost and some still survive until today. Enjoy growing Papaya and good luck.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 1:13AM
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