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Papaya -How long from bloom to ripe fruit

Posted by blooming_annie z 8/9, Chas, SC (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 20, 08 at 18:44

Hello everyone. How long does it take papaya to ripen once it has set fruit? I have 3 vigorous 6 ft tall plants that are all budding now and I would be absolutely ecstatic to get fruit. Might even be a moot point as the buds haven't opened yet so I don't know whether I have boys or girls or its. Not sure of the variety but it might be a Maradol if that helps. Our first frost is frequently after Thanksgiving. Oh, and the plants were started last fall and overwintered in a greenhouse.

Thanks for any input and tips.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Papaya -How long from bloom to ripe fruit

Hi Anne,

That's an excellent question, although I can't tell you exactly how long, I might be able to give you a guesstimate...a little back history, I live in FL so my 2 plants are planted in the ground. Jan of this year we had a freeze that killed the whole top of my papayas, they are planted 7 months before. It did not kill the tree, just the whole top with leaves and fruit all turned brown and died. I cut the whole top off each tree and figured I had nothing to lose, hoping a new branch would re-grow and it did after about a few weeks...around mid Feb. Here is a picture I just took today and as you can see 6 months later the fruit is nowhere ripe at this point. Maybe two/three more months? I think I started getting flowers mid to late March. I noticed it takes a long time for these guys to ripen on the tree. Usually we won't get frost(if we're lucky) till late Dec/early Jan? For me, my best guess from flower to ripe fruit 7-9 months?

Hope that helped some, sorry for the long post...

You can see where I cut the whole top off...

RE: Papaya -How long from bloom to ripe fruit

  • Posted by cagary zone 10 CA (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 24, 08 at 21:16

I sure hope you didn't plant your papayas in the ground. Your flowers are at least 3 or 4 months away from producing ripe fruit. In other words, your going to need at least another few months of WARM weather to get fruit and your cool weather is just around the corner when the fruit will just sit there and not ripen. You have to get those plants back into your greenhouse this winter and you'll have ripe fruit next summer.

RE: Papaya -How long from bloom to ripe fruit

I have a single papaya tree in the Arizona desert. It is about 2yrs. old. It has perhaps twenty fruit looking much like those in the picture above. It must be a hermaphrodite as I am aware of no other papayas in the neighborhood.

It is actually a volunteer, sprouted near the compost pile and surprisingly survived last winter with three nights in a row of below 28F. It is on the east side of the house against the wall, so it gets PM shade (although it is now grown above the roof line)

The first few fruit set several months ago, but many more have set since and even more in the last month.

The trunk is ~8" in diameter and the tree is over 15' tall.

Will the fruit ripen before mid-Dec when it starts to get cooler? Obviously I can't take it indoors.

The leaves are recently turning yellow, not just the bottom set which drop off, but more uniform throughout the plant.

Should I fertilize?

Any suggestions on getting the most out of this surprise?


RE: Papaya -How long from bloom to ripe fruit

I would go ahead and fertilize...from what I've read Papayas likes fertilizer. When my tree was young,I fert. often, once a month. Mine is almost two years, so I have not done it much. Few yellow leaves are normal, but if you have it on most of the plant, it sounds like maybe nitrogen defiency, I would use a complete fertilizer and water it in well...

As far as whether it will ripen by mid Dec, if the fruit are about the same size as above, there is a chance it will, that is 3 1/2 months away, but its hard to be sure. You can ripen them on the counter once you see some blushing of color on the skin, don't pick it too soon or it will rot. I have cooked with green papaya before(used as green zucchini) Do a search on "green papaya", there are some recipes out there on GW.

Good luck!!

New to papaya growing in US

Just started growing papaya last year. 3 survived 26F 3 nights. Other two slowing rotting down toward roots. Fruit on the survivor looks OK. Will appreciate any and all advice. It is now March and my plants (all) are recovering from the freeze. Tks. John

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