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cold weather vs a papaya tree

Posted by smittee central florida ( on
Fri, Jun 25, 10 at 15:53

I read a post in texas gardening a papaya surviving a cold winter. I had to touch on the subject.

HERES MY INPUT ON THAT SUBJECT. Four years ago I bought a little papaya tree.YEAR ONE... it froze to the ground
got mushy and dissapeared.
YEAR came back from nothing and grew to 3'had 15 flowers, one fruit that didnt get any bigger then a dill pickle
YEAR froze to the ground got mushy and dissapeared. in came back from nothing and produced 45 wonderfruit non that were less then 10" long .(if you type in papaya in the search bar it will bring up picture of last years crop.)
YEAR FOUR..2010 it froze, got mushy, fell apart and dissapeared.. May 1, 2 leaves appeared at ground level. June 1, the 2 leaves are now a cluster 3 feet wide and about 18" tall. This is the tree I sent seeds from to several people. I did not plant the seeds I saved. I have had surgery followed by a stroke and week later a seizure and now i have blood clots on my lungs so my gardening this year is confined to my own adaptation of bucket gardening that is doing fairly well concidering, it was unattended for 3 different periods while i was hospitalized.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

Good luck with the physical problems Smittee, and thanks for the info on papayas, I planted two for the first time in my yard this summer. This kind of info is valuable.
Plant em if you got em.

RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

  • Posted by jofus 9b/10a (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 25, 10 at 19:35

Hi Smittee,
I agree, in your situation, just keep looking with fingers crossed and apply any TLC you can. However, as a practical matter, I assume you are well north of the 9b/10a climate dividing line. I live there and had my three papayas wiped out by the early January cold spell. They were dead as a doornail, and would not have regenerated themselves as yours did,..I am confident. Papayas are great for Homestead or the Keys, but need lots of care anywhere north of Ft Myers or Pompano beach. They can thrive all right, but require a lot more care as they are definitely not cold tolerant. Some say the extra work is worth it,..but not me. Best wishes for the future.

RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

I have never heard of the climate dividing line I would sure like to know where it is It would help me alot when it comes to buying things like palm trees. I live in auburndale just east of lakeland THANKS

RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

Smittee, have to admire your spunk to keep going despite all the physical setbacks. You are as tough as your papaya's.

We certainly live North of the line someone has depicted and we both have good success with papayas. If you've gottum someone said plantum. Sure applies to papaya's.


RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

  • Posted by jofus 9b/10a (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 27, 10 at 10:36

Smittee, Lakeland looks like it is in zone 9a, therefore extra care should be taken to successfully grow papayas. see :
Anyway, no one said they won't grow there, just that it's less probable unless protection is applied on those extra cold nights.
Sure, I know a guy who planted a tiny Kent mango tree north of Clearwater, and watched it grow to a massive, healthy, 60 ft giant. But does that mean everyone there will be as successful ? Duh,..maybe 1.0 % of them.
You already have the papayas so have at them. Just try to cover them and a bit of heat applied on those nights when it drops to 32 deg or lower. A word to the wise is all.
Good luck, you certainly deserve it !

RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

Hey guys! I thought you should know that there's a huge specimen at the Kanapaha botanical gardens with many trunks, and it fruits every year. Bear in mind that this is in Gainesville, zone 8.
Mine was planted in soggy nematody soil and died, but I'm trying again in a protected courtyard area this year. I'll heavily mulch this time and wrap the trunk with straw. The soil is lighter and the roots will have room to grow downwards, so the root mass should be able to survive!

RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

Mine had already set fruit when the Dec. cold hit. The first freeze did no damage nor a week or so later when we got the second....but the next night did them in. I hope to have them revive phoenixlike in the spring but in the meantime its off to the produce section to stock up on seeds!(space coast)

RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

  • Posted by saldut 9-10 st pete, fl (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 22, 10 at 17:14

Well, I'm in downtown St Pete near the water, and have had papaya growing for years, I have a few from seeds SSmittee sent me... thank you SSmittee..... in Jan. this year some froze, and I had to cut them back to good 'wood', well those guys are full of fruit now.... and the new ones are also, this past few weeks have been pretty cold and the fruit is not ripening very fast.... but the plants are still there. Mentioning Mango, I have several Haden, the big one is 40 years old and has been frozen quite a few times but is now huge up over the house and has these humongous delish. fruits..... so never say 'never'..... Merry Christmas folks.... sally

RE: cold weather vs a papaya tree

Smittee, that's good to know because you are about the same zone as my place in northern lake county. Thinking about starting some papayas there in march.

Thanks for the info.

RE: cold weather vs a colder weather

Whoops, I was thinking lake city, not lakeland. Lakeland is a bit warmer than my place. Still, I'm going to give them a try.

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