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Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

Posted by meilie z7 MD (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 7, 05 at 12:24

I have a 1 yr. old papaya tree now in bloom. I have recently learned that there are 3 sexes of flowers. Can anyone tell me if these are found on separate plants or on the same plant? My flowers are apparently male, as they are long and slender and not taking to hand pollination. The seed I planted is from a South American/Mexican, elongated variety papaya.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

Hi meilie, I grew mine from seeds.The fruit came from the grocery store so i do not know the variety but i got blooms and fruit.The pictrue is poor but you can see a white bloom just above the lemon sized fruit.john

Here is a link that might be useful: papaya fruit


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

If it is a Mexican papaya then it will either be male or female. Sometimes the males do produce fruit, but it is small, about avocado size. They do not produce male and female flowers on the same plant. And, you will need a male plant and a female plant for fruiting. Now, Hawaiian papayas are different and are self-fertile. If your plant is just now blooming it won't have time to ripen the fruit unless you have a very warm greenhouse for winter's duration. They are such attractive plants whether they have fruit or not. The hummingbirds love the male blossoms especially and they smell so good too.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

This article shows the 3 types of flowers: male, female and hermaphroditic. Compare it to yours and see what you've got.

Here is a link that might be useful: Papaya article


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

Gee, I thanks for all the info, (that really is an excellent article) but now I feel gyped! 1) My tree only has male flowers, so no fruit.; 2) The male flowers have no scent. If it weren't for the fact that I salvaged this plant from the compost pile last Fall, I'd be upset that I spent good one money for a non-fruiting, non-scented tropical plant that takes up room in the basement and demands heat and light. ~sigh~

Guess I'll bring in an additional plant (more growing in the compost pile) and hope it's a female!


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

Update: I used a fertilizer with iron in it on my male papaya tree and I have spotted at least one hermaphadite or female flower. I may have created a sex change here. I'll let you know if it takes to fruit.

The weather is changing here, so hopefully it'll stay warm enough to get some flowers pollinated before I have to take my tropicals indoors.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

My Mexican papaya tree is PREGNANT! Hurray!!! The fruit is about 2x1" torpedo shaped so if all goes well, we will be eating papaya by November! We're having a late, hot spell here in Maryland, so the tree is still outdoors. It will be brought in as soon as it's too chilly for the "baby". I applied more fertilizer w/ iron in it to see it that helps bring more siblings.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

meilie, I'm very glad you made this post. Thanks to the other memebers here that replied as well, esp with the flower pics. I also have a papaya plant here as well. It's in a pot, but I'm afraid I have females. The papaya plant is about 4 feet tall now and has started flowering about a month ago. I am really new to papayas, being that I'm frequently post in the banana forums. I currently don't have the digital camera at the moment, otherwise I'd post a pic. I did get some photos with a 35mm camera tho. With papayas, I'm shocked at how fast they grow. In may, I picked up a very small seedling about 2 inches tall and have repotted it twice already. I only paid 2 dollars for the seedling, so it won't be a big loss for me being that the flowers are female. They are big and fat flowers, and this was the first time I ever saw papaya flowers.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

Hi Gardenguy,

Maybe we can get together and have our papayas congregate? What shape are your female flowers (round or elongated)? The sole papaya fruit is now about 3" long and growing. I have nipped the top leaf buds so it will stop growing up and more outwards so when I take it indoors I can have it sit under the lights, not above them. The new buds look to be male with some hermaphadite buds (I hope.).

I have potted a new plant thinking I may need it, and I have a few others still growing in the compost pile. If you would like to have one (for cost of shipping), I'll salvage one before the frost hits us. They do go into shock and may lose most of the older leaves, but the tap root is strong and they grow back.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

HI,
I'm glad I found this about papaya flowers & it would appear that my 4 plants are hermaphroditic. I do have another question while there are folks raising the plants are around. I have mine in a greenhouse & about two months ago the plants got dry. Ever since then the new leaves are growing curled all over the place. They don't come out flat like they should. I don't see any bugs of any kind so I'm confused.
Thanks for your help.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

Papayas are susceptible to a number of viral diseases, several of which can cause curled or distorted leaves. The link shows some of them, but you can google and find more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Common Papaya Diseases


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

UPDATE: My papaya tree is indoors for the winter. It's under a couple of shoplights w/ "diamond" metal reflective casings, 48" 40 watt bulbs (1 gro light bulb, plus regluar bulbs). These lamps are really quite bright, much brighter than the previous shoplights and they're very reasonable ($25./from HD). The tree is about 7 ft tall, leaves are another foot or so high. The first fruit is now about 3" long and I have more hermaphadite flowers opening! If this proves fruitful, I may have to dump all my other tropicals and start a papaya farm in the basement.

I will be bringing in the gingers soon, so it'll have lots of company. Do I dare try a tomato? What a shame the season is over, the Trombone squash are going full swing too.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

Hi All,
I have two 18 inch papaya plants growing in a pot since this March. One recently put on what looks like a flower. From the location and shape of the flower I'm guessing is a hermaphrodite. What do you think? Here are two pix
Thanks,
Andrea


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

I have two small trees (4') tall planted from seed (from a red papaya if I remember correctly) Base of "trunk" is about 1.5" and all leaves are on top 18". I have not seen any sign of flowers. The trees are about two years old and live in great SW light under large skylights. They are in fairly small pots - 9". Should they have flowered already and, if not, does anyone have ideas/suggestions?

Thanks,

Alan Smith


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

I heard a story from a friend of mine in Miami that if you drove a nail into the stem of male plant it would change into a female. I have no idea if this works. Around here the plants sprout up all over the place like weeds.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

thank you for the photos i realized i have papayas (lots) growing in my compost!)


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

I think hawaii grown papayas are more likely to have hermaphrodite flowers wich increase fruit yeild.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

kenhi@netscape.com
Growing papaya trees in pots

Can anyone please tell me what size pot (gallons) I should
use to grow papaya trees in:
1. To grow the tree till it flowers
2. T grow the tree till it bears papaya fruit.

Thanks


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

Hi
We have a few types of papayas including a rare dwarf papaya from the philippines. I even have one that has both male and female flowers on the same tree. Today I read a realy great blog article on papayas and had loads of information
http://nipahutgardens.com/blog.asp?view=plink&id=135 It even shows you how to grow the plant in non tropical areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Papaya - Not Just a Tropical Fruit


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

The sex of the papaya tree is a gamble, but the odd are mostly determined on the fruit / parent combination.

The mexican "large" variety most popular in markets now, is the Red Maradol.

and it is similar in regards to sex chance as the Hawaiian varieties.

the elongated torpedo shaped fruits are from Hermaphrodite
( bisex ) trees. the rounder shaped fruit come from Female
trees.

so here is how the percentages work out.

TREE______Pollinator__________Male_____FEM_____HERM

HERM______MALE_________________33%______33%_____33%

HERM______HERM__________________0%______33%_____66%

Female____HERM__________________0%______50%_____50%

Female____MALE__________________50%_____50%_____0%

Example, if all your trees are Hermaphrodite, and they are the only pollinators, your seeds, will have a 66% chance of growing to be Hermaphrodite, and 33% chance of becoming female trees.

A hermaphrodite tree pollinated by a male, will give you equal chance 33% male 33% Female and 33% Herm.

Most papaya plantations work to have as many Hermaphrodites as possible. so if you get seeds from an elongated ( hermaphrodite ) fruit. it was most likely pollinated by another Herm. or self pollinated, which would result in a 66% chance that those seeds will be Hermaphrodite.

Hermaphrodites are preferred not only because they can self pollinate, but also because the elongated fruit on those trees is more productive ( more fruit mass per tree ). and is usually preferred by consumers.

commercially, farmers will plant 4 seedlings per location, and. with seeds that have a 66/33% Herm / Fem. chance.

this way there is only about a 7% chance that all 4 would become female, and they can have a field that is over 90% hermaphrodite.

I know that some funky GMO stuff is happening now, and all these rules of thumb will get tossed out the window. personally, I stay away from anything GMO.


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RE: Papaya: Sex of Flowers or Tree?

amazondk, driving a nail through a tree is an old trick to put it into shock. naturally a plant in shock will try to produce as much seeds as possible before its perceived death.

the plant your friend did this on was probably hermaphrodite, meaning it had the ability to produce both flowers. what happens sometimes is these flowers only flush one sex at a time preventing pollination. if it produced both sexes, by definition it is not a dioecious variety, which many Papya plants are.

the nail probably sent the plant into shock promoting it to flower more prolifically, helping it produce more flowers of both sexes.

male flowers are closer to the tree in clusters while female flowers hang lower to eventually hold fruit. they are easily distinguished once you know what to look for



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