Pic of potted dwarf papaya with fruit, zone 4

arctictropical(Z4)September 8, 2013

I planted this by seed last year under high intensity grow lights. It bloomed for the first time in it's 2nd year, outside. It's only 29" tall. It's exciting to see that maybe I'll actually get the chance of eating my own home-grown papaya!

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Very kewl...

Ive been searching the last 3 days for a cold-hardy papaya.

I live in New Orleans, i have several growing, but they all get real tattered looking before spring.

They usually bounce back OK (except i did loose a couple)
But,. it interrupts the fruiting cycle real bad.
Often, the fruit that was on the tree in the spring , had made it all winter, and is hard, or insipid.

I think i will make raised beds and get some heavy black plastic to keep the roots dry, but i need to try other varieties also.

arctictropical, i hope you get to eat some papaya.
What variety is that ?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:33AM
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You're an inspiration! Your papaya tree has a bushy crown and a solid trunk--very healthy looking plant. This makes me want to get one to plant now. I just bought a couple of varieties to plant. They're the Red Papaya and Mexican Red Papaya. I don't know if they're the same or different varieties. I just planted one in the ground. The others are still in their pots. Down here, the papaya fruit gets bugged by the fruit flies a lot. It's not easy to get good fruit here.

It's amazing how you can keep a tropical plant alive and fruiting in your climate. Thanks for sharing the picture. Do post more pictures as your papaya fruit mature.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:01PM
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I like to grow papaya in zone 7b (Raleigh, NC) but rarely get them to fruit in the ground. Last year, one tree out of a dozen really took off and had full sized fruit on it in early June. We had a long hot summer and by November none of the fruit were ripe. They eventually rotted after some frosty nights. I think they take a bit longer than I had planned to ripen. I ate a lot of green papaya salad that year.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Kevin, first off it's been a LONG time since we chatted...Soon and I am glad you are doing good..

You never told me you had one of these..What kind is it?
I can't believe you didn't have to buy it grafted at that age and that you grew it from seed of all things....That is a feat I don't think any of us can do, well, especially me if I even tried.

Did you over winter it inside, and how? How much sun does it get? When will you bring it inside? Before a frost?
Does it do ok with much cooler nights below 50?

Wonderful job there and once I know what kind it is I plan on trying..I know a place that sells them grafted, so that might work too.

Thanks :-)


    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Trianglejohn..I meant to tell you WOW..That is a whole lot of fruit!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Hi Mike. Thanks. I wish I remembered what variety it was! It was some dwarf seed on ebay. I will bring it in before frost and put in under my high intensity grow lights for its 2nd winter. It doesn't really grow inside that much. Just kind of sits there, but at least it doesn't die! Once it gets outside in the bright light and heat, it starts to look healthy again and starts growing. So far we have still been in the 50s at night. When it gets down to the 30's, I'll bring it inside.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:23PM
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You got the skills. Mango would be a great plant for you to try. They might grow near all year with Halide lights. And potted Mango fruits are sweet. All in less (possible) then two years if you start with a 3-5 gallon plant.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Papaya fruits taste terrible when they survived and ripen through cold winter. But they make fine disk as green papaya salad or papaya chicken soup ( chop it in 1" cubes and cook them in chicken stock).


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 6:09PM
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Thanks for the advice. My papaya plants will actually be in a warm basement room when the lights are on during the daytime. About 80 degrees throughout the winter, 60 degrees at night. Hopefully this helps! Same room where I have plumeria that bloom in the winter.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 8:07PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

That's pretty awesome you guys!! Great job!! I've never really considered growing papayas in a container before...

I'd love to try a dwarf one like yours artictropical...what variety is that btw?

Hi Mike!!!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Talking about Papaya, in Vietnam, from time to time there were always some "male papaya" grew (not preferred) in the majority of normal "female" papaya. "Male" papaya has a very long stem connected to a smaller fruit. But in US while I had grown many papaya from seeds, have yet seen one "male". Have anyone noted this?


    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Male papaya photo

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 5:39PM
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Male fruit

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Hi Mike. I don't remember the variety, but the smaller papaya plants shown in the pic are also dwarf..... Dixie Queen I believe, a red variety. Sapote, I have NEVER seen male papaya plants like this. Amazing! So how can they produce fruit if they are male?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 7:05PM
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The peasant called them "male" papaya but I'm sure scientifically they are not just straight male flowers or fruits. I'm sure we can look up in the net for info.

What intrigues me is that I have never seen one in my California garden, while I had seen quite a few in our backyard in Vietnam, growing from seeds in both places.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Wow! I've been looking for the male papaya seed. I love the flower .I use it for cooking some stir fry. sapote, where did you get the male papaya seed from?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 1:47PM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

Sapote - I've seen some "male" papaya fruit out at a lady's place near Fullerton, CA m- looks just like in that picture. Also, I've overwintered green papayas on the stem before, and I thought when they ripened in the spring they tasted fine.....hmmmmm.....I'll have to see again this spring how they compare to the fall ripening ones....


    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Here's an updated picture of the original papaya at the top of this thread. I brought it inside the first part of October to avoid a killing frost. The change in temperature and light made it loose all of it's leaves except a few at the top. I thought it had died. It lost some of it's fruit, but it has recovered and two of the fruit still remain, so I'm hopeful it will continue to ripen next Spring/Summer.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 11:35PM
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looks healthy
mine just lost all their leaves too.
we rarely get freezing temps here in New Orleans, but 2 weeks ago it froze (light freeze)
same thing, a few leaves at the top remained.

the one thing you DONT want, is the roots wet at that time.
last year, it rained for 5 days straight with temps ijn the mid to upper 40's and it killed 2 of the 5 trees i had
they hate cold + wet roots

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 12:42PM
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Mangodog,was that in ground or in pots? Either way,its a feat..but just wondering about how the deserts to it.
I tried,but nothing but a heated greenhouse ever kept them alive.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:39PM
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