Papayas in Houston; When will they ripen?

ACW1972January 1, 2013

I have a Papaya tree planted in the ground in Houston. It has a half dozen large papayas on it. One has been hanging since summer. All are still totally green. When will they ripen? All I have seen on the net says that you cannot ripen them off the tree. I have coveered the tree so far but as the temperature drops I don't know what to do.

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alyx_c

I live in Texas but I am from the Caribbean. Papaya's have always grown on our property. We pull them green before the birds get them. You just barely slice the skin from top to bottom 3 times, put them in the dark (like a cabinet)on paper towels (they will bleed stuff). They will be ripe in 3 or 4 days.

I did this in April in the caribbean. Back in Texas I bought one at the store and tried it and I don't know what they do with the ones in stores but it would not ripen. In the pic the Papaya is the one barely visable on the right. It was turning yellow. I will post another pic in a min which will be this the one I picked. 3 days after picking I ate it.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:36PM
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alyx_c

The papaya the day it was picked.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:38PM
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alyx_c

First pic that did not load.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:40PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Alyx, that's interesting -- that you can slice the papaya you grew and it would ripen in a few days. I wonder if the one from the stores here is a different variety and that's why it wouldn't work. I love papaya. The ones I buy at the store take a couple of weeks or more to ripen while sitting on the drain board at home. The skin gets really mottled before they are sweet inside. In the winter it seems they never get as sweet as they do in the summer.

ACW, sorry I don't know if yours would ripen if picked now. I'm wondering if they need to show a slight bit of color to ripen well after picking?

I hope you get an answer to your question.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:58PM
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mangobaby

Hi ACW,

Where in Houston are you located? I am in cypress and I had over 100 ripe papayas this year. They ripened fully on the tree - there are a ton of them still on the tree. You can pick them if there is slight yellowing on them, but i they are totally gren they won't ripen. Can you post pic of your tree?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:23AM
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alyx_c

You don't "slice" it. We take a knife and slice just the skin, do not slice into the fruit portion if that makes any sense. And it's very possible they are different but I also think they do something to store fruit.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 1:08AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I knew what was meant about just slicing the skin. I didn't repeat it clearly. Yes, I also wonder why it wouldn't work on store bought fruit.

Phoenix said that Dr. Moy, formerly of San Antonio Botanical Garden, developed a papaya variety for cooler winter climates like San Antonio where the fruit will ripen before cold weather. I'm hoping they will offer some plants at the next SABG sale.

Here is a link that might be useful: Post about eating green papayas, etc. ...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 1:26AM
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ACW1972

I am in Sugar Land. Here is a photo of the tree. The oldest fruit is starting to show a few spots. Hope that's a good sign.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 5:35PM
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vossner(z9 houston)

Ack! I knew there was a papaya/houston thread. I just posted somewhere else. HEre is my papaya, supposedly a T R Hovey which I got believing it was a dwarf. eight ft is not dwarf to me! As you can see in pic taken today, it is full of unripened fruit. Too tall for me to get and force-ripen. Will just let them be. Does anybody know why it produced fruit so late? It was planted in march 2012. I only got to eat one papaya from this tree, the size of a large mango, and it was delish. The rest were either aborted or still in the tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: papaya

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 5:59PM
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mangobaby

Here are some pics of my papaya tree

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 9:01PM
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vossner(z9 houston)

mangobaby, where in houston are you? Im in Ft Bend county. your tree is beautiful and lush but I don't want a giant like that, not at all, don't have the space. were your pics taken recently? do you know which cultivar you grow?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:09PM
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greentiger87

I'm in Pasadena/Clear Lake, and got a lot of ripe papayas this year. We use most of ours green though, as you woul potatoes. Of the ones I've let ripen, only few have been really, really sweet. Often by the time they get that sweet, parts of the fruit have been turned to mush by a fungus.

The spring after a mild winter always results in an abundance of papayas.

T.R. Hovey will only be a "dwarf" in a container. In the ground, it will grow as any other papaya. The key difference is that it can bear fruit while still relatively short, so it bears fruit in containers (in theory).

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 5:47PM
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bossyvossy

"...so it bears fruit in containers (in theory)."

what do you mean? does it or doesn't it? I have a large pot where I could grow one but don't want to waste my precious large pot if it is less than 50/50 chance of fruiting. Also, if potted, would I still have to overwinter?

thanks

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 2:51PM
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bossyvossy

"...so it bears fruit in containers (in theory)."

what do you mean? does it or doesn't it? I have a large pot where I could grow one but don't want to waste my precious large pot if it is less than 50/50 chance of fruiting. Also, if potted, would I still have to overwinter?

thanks

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Pati..W

Help! What is going on with my papaya? It has a lot of little (size of a softball) papayas but the leaves are dropping like crazy. I do water it almost every day. This tree is around 10 feet tall and has been growing for about 3 years. A few months ago (around early spring) the fruit was turning yellow. I had to pick fast or it would get a rot look to it. The green ones were being picked because my friends from India wanted them for a green papaya salad. Not sure what is going on with it now.

I had a compost pile and the papaya came up from that.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 5:12PM
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carsonheim

OMG, I just found this forum! I've been active on some of the other gardenweb forums, but just started digging around and I'm sooooo pleased to find this one!

I'm in College Station, and wonder if papaya trees would grow here? We are building a new home, and my job is to create our garden. Please let me know if you think papayas could grow up here. I LOVE them!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 7:37PM
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marcie_new(z8)

I would think yes but protect them from cold I live in Giddings an hr awa and have one papaya growing not as pretty as the one pictured here but she did survived the winter well protected mine is from seed from the store at this time I am trying to sprout strawberry papaya seeds. Marcie

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 12:10PM
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