Pollenated Papaya Flowers not Fruiting

ER93October 2, 2013

I have 2 female papaya trees. One is 10 ft. tall and the other is 8ft. tall. They are both robust healthy trees and flower continuously. I just recently planted a third "male" papaya tree and have been using it's flowers to hand pollenate the females, However the trees have not been setting fruit, instead the petals fall off the flowers and the tiny white undeveloped fruits sit on the tree for a week not even trying to grow, and then just fall off. I have have been nurturing these trees with compost, Azomite trace minerals, and supplemental amounts of 666 NPK fertilizer plus epsom salts for magnesium deficiency. The trees are neither over or under watered as they seem to have been growing vigorously with rich green foliage. Could it be that they are just not sturdy enough to fruit yet? The trees are 11 months old but were in 1 gallon pots for the first 3. Help would be greatly appreciated!

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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

where do you live....? Mine also can grow like crazy and not set, and then set fruit all at once....something (certain temps or humidity, etc.) sets them off to set fruitlets and I'm not sure what that is....

I don't have any Male Papaya plants - I think my (and most and possibly yours) are hermaphrodite which means they don't need a male near them. I know the fruits they produce are 99% seedless....

mangoD

mangowoofie

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 1:46PM
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ER93

I live in Zone 10a. Our summers have maxed out humidity and rain with temps in the 90's every day, so it should be idilic.

I think my trees are definitely female because the flowers have no stamens and are quite swollen at the base. They were grown from store bought papaya fruits so they aren't a named self pollenating variety. I think thats why I also have some males in the mix.

However, in the time that this post has been online, it appears 1 of my trees has set it's first 2 fruits. the petals fell off the flowers however this time it appears that it was caused buy small green fruits that are starting to develop!

I'll post an update in the future to show the papaya's progress!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:52AM
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jcaldeira(Tropical - Fiji)

Why are you hand-pollinating? Perhaps it's doing more harm than good. Your outdoor papaya should pollinate fine without it.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 2:45PM
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tropicbreezent

You're probably right that they weren't quite up to setting fruit before. They look very healthy from the photos and if the new fruits stay green they should grow okay. Normally you shouldn't need to assist pollination, they manage very well by themselves even when there's a big distance between male and female plants. By the way, are you in zone 10a or equatorial?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 8:13PM
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greenman62

Normally when they fall off its water, either too much or too little
possible temps or suinlight as well. they like LOTS of sun.
They dont like the roots being wet for long, they need very fast draining soil. this is the number 1 problem for most i have seen, especially if the temps are under 60 degrees.
As far as sex...
I have had several papaya go from female to bisex.
i just had one go from bi-sex to a male
( i had chopped the top off to make the fruit grow lower)
I also have had several that will have perfect flowers and either male or female flowers at the same time on them.

Sometimes i get fruit with no seeds, sometimes with one or 2 seeds.

The perfect flowers have the stamens near the bottom of the flower under the petals
(you may have known this, just making sure)

I think sometimes they dont develop very well (stamens)
It may be because the seeds came from the store
and were an F1 (or other) hybrid

--
stamens are circled...
---


-------------------
my papaya chopped top few inches (regrowth)


----

This post was edited by greenman62 on Mon, Oct 21, 13 at 9:46

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 9:43AM
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greenman62

looking at your pics again, i noticed the flowers are on the end of a branch
(or whatever you call it)

Normally, only make trees have flowers on the end of a branch like that/

Most trees ive seen, the fuit/flowers for bisex, or females are always at the node of a leaf-branch.

It would be nice to find out what variety it is from
what store did the original fruit come from ?

I had a sticker with a number, and figured out the fruit i bought from wall-mart was a Caribbean Red.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 9:53AM
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ER93

Update: My trees are now at the 1 year mark starting to rapidly set fruit. They are now officially over 10 feet tall. From info iv'e found recently, 10 ft tall is when most female papaya trees reach sexual maturity. so it's a go! I know i'll have papayas this year. I have still been hand pollenating just to ensure fruit set. The closest mature male papaya tree is 9 houses down in our neighborhood of 2 acre lots, and I'm pretty sure it's the only one within a 2 mile radius. All of my male trees are short and get very small flowers which I just assume don't have enough throw. The trees are grown from the seeds of a oblong Caribbean red papaya from walmart. I am in zone 10a in the U.S. for sure, but I have also heard that the region I live in is considered to be an Equatorial Savannah. Sandy ground with slash pines and palmettos. Greenman62, interesting thought about the extended stem behind my flowers. I also found it odd. Attached is a picture of one of the trees as it is today.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 3:41PM
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ER93

Update: My trees are now at the 1 year mark starting to rapidly set fruit. They are now officially over 10 feet tall. From info iv'e found recently, 10 ft tall is when most female papaya trees reach sexual maturity. so it's a go! I know i'll have papayas this year. I have still been hand pollenating just to ensure fruit set. The closest mature male papaya tree is 9 houses down in our neighborhood of 2 acre lots, and I'm pretty sure it's the only one within a 2 mile radius. All of my male trees are short and get very small flowers which I just assume don't have enough throw. The trees are grown from the seeds of a oblong Caribbean red papaya from walmart. I am in zone 10a in the U.S. for sure, but I have also heard that the region I live in is considered to be an Equatorial Savannah. Sandy ground with slash pines and palmettos. Greenman62, interesting thought about the extended stem behind my flowers. I also found it odd. Attached is a picture of one of the trees as it is today.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 3:42PM
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greenman62

ER93

This is very interesting.
Most of mine are the same... Carib red - from Wall-Mart.
i still have the sticker it says Caribbean Red 3112

BUT... Your fruit are round - very round, with the small stem.
the fruit also appear to be darker...
none of mine are like that.
The roundness could be attributed to it being female,
but the color and stem have me stumped.

its possible the pollinator is from down the street (other plant)
but that doesnt change the stem thing.

Papaya always seem to amaze me.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:07AM
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greenman62

ER93
i dont see a way to email or IM you
i was wondering if you want to trade some seeds,
or i can pay shipping.
i ran across this post again, and that is one ODD looking papaya tree.
i have 6 types of seed, i want to do some cross pollination. I would love to have seed from this tree.
By the way, how does the fruit taste ?
Is it yellow or red ?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 7:36AM
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