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Papaya Tree Suggestions

Posted by bookwyrme 9 (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 28, 12 at 0:30

I'm hoping to try papaya here in Southern California.

Is there something people here would suggest? I'm looking for something self-fertile & ideally smallish, as this is a suburban yard.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

I have a Solo type planted in my yard, I've had it for about half a year and there are flowers on it now. Its supposed to grow not as tall as some other varieties.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

  • Posted by gnappi 10 Coral Springs Fl. (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 28, 12 at 17:09

Buying a tree is in my experience a gamble, far more than growing your own. I planted several varieties and of them all a "caribbean red" had the best fruit, and is the most productive. The "solo", "sunset solo", "red lady" were smaller trees, and of the three only the solo and sunrise bore fruit which were small and not as sweet as the Carib red.

I never read of a "Carib red" anywhere, I bought it in a supermarket and am glad I did. If you want to try growing your own I'll send you some seeds.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Papaya with the "Caribbean Red" sticker (usually only on the East coast of US) are more than likely Maradol papaya imported from Belize. Maradol payapa sold on the West coast of the US are most likely imported from Mexico.
The sticker has a PLU code, a 4 digit number (3112 for Caribbean Red papaya)you can look it on on the link.

We were in Northern Central Florida awhile back and bought a papaya called "Royal Star papaya" from a produce stand that was excellent, much better than the CR that I have tasted. The Royal Star is some natural hybrid and a proprietary seed, variety grown down in the West coast of Mexico, according to their website


Here is a link that might be useful: PLU search

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

  • Posted by newgen 9 Central California (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 29, 12 at 19:14

I got 2 T.R. Hovey dwarf papayas a few weeks ago, they're supposed to be productive within a year, and are very short, in container if you want. Google that name. Good luck.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

newgen, can you spare some seeds once your TR Hoveys fruit for you?

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Me too, Newgen - my little plants are in the ground and sprouting new leaves....Rodney - if I beat Newgen in the seed race, I'll send you some....we'll see if they fruit to edibility within a year....them's some big claims....


Mexican Papaya Tree

... not to hijack this thread - this is my Lowes Mexican Papaya after being in the ground almost 2 years exactly. Not real sweet but good cold - this one was 3 1/2 pounds.


Mexican Papaya 031512


RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Nice tree mangodog! I will (hopefully) upload a picture of my papaya tomorrow when the sun is out.

Suggestion: Grow it in WELL DRAINING soil in a SUNNY spot. When I gave these two things to my papaya, it quickly outgrew its old spot. Also, papayas like nitrogen. I gave mine some Ammonium Sulphate (21-0-0) and it really took off.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Get some seeds from Alohaseed, they have small packets of certified seeds. Hybrids ( Not to be mistaken for GMO ) like the Red Lady, are very sweet and productive, and they are also PRSV resistant. they are located in El Centro, CA.

there are other varieties available also, when using seed from store bought fruit, if the original fruit was a hybrid, the seedlings wont come up the same.

also if the farm where they grew these fruit was using male pollinators instead of all hermaphrodite, there is a chance you will get a male tree.

So i recommend seeds from a supplier. I am sure there are other good sources, I only mentioned Alohaseed because i have purchased from them.

a tip if you do use a store bought fruit for seed, take the seeds from a elongated fruit, not the roundish ones. elongated fruit come from a hermaphrodite parent. where the round ones come from females.
female trees need a pollinator, where hermaphrodites, can pollinate themselves and other female trees, sounds kinky I know. but you have a better chance of having a hermaphrodite papaya tree if you take seeds from a fruit that came from one.

Commercially, Hermaphrodites are preferred and farmers will plant more than one tree in a location, removing the females once they flower, reason is, 1) elongated fruit are preferred by buyers, 2) Herm, trees produce less fruit, becouse the rounder fruit take up more space on the trunk 3) same reason for shipping, round fruits make them bulkier, and take up more space for the same amount of weight.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

That's a beautiful papaya tree, Mangodog!

I'm wondering what to do with the papaya tree after you harvest the fruit. Papaya trees are short-lived I read. Is it possible to cut it off at the top and have it grow suckers beneath?

Bookwyrme, the climate in SoCal should be very good for papayas. Solo type papayas are one of the lower bearing varieties that are also self-fertile. But as Gnappi stated, they may not be as sweet as other varieties.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Actually, FruitCally, Papayas can live a long time - it's just that many of those in tropical countries with year round growing find that they produce fruit so fast and throughout the year that they simply re-seed them all the time. However, because my fruits take about 10-11 months to ripen since they were formed, I am not likely to cut them back until maybe they get out of reach - maybe 12-15 feet high or so, and then I'll cut the heads off and they will branch and continue to fruit, though I've heard the older the plant gets the less tasty the fruit is...

we'll just have to see....

thsts my take on growing them anyway....

Don't forget, it's been about 2 years from a two foot plant to the first edible fruit..that's much longer than it takes for them to produce in the tropics...


RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Mangodog, thanks! Those are very good points you've made. I think that's a great idea to cut them back and let them branch off for additional fruits.

Our papaya trees are still young so only time will tell how best to grow them in the home garden. And you're absolutely right, they do take quite a while from planting to fruiting.

We'd love to see updates from your papaya trees in the future.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Commercially papaya trees are only allowed to grow, 2-3 years, and then are replaced 1- because , unlike most other fruit trees, Papayas produce the heaviest crop the first year they produce, every year after that they become less productive. 2- because after 3 years they become more difficult to harvest because of height, and 3- More susceptible to falling over due to winds.

Its possible to get fruit from seed in as little as 9 months.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Will do FruitCally...

and tropicdude - cannot get fruit in less than 2 years from seed in SoCal because of the cool winter nights where growth slows to a crawl - my experience anyway - unless there is a variety out there that is super early with its fruit production


RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

I love Papaya and had no idea they grew in Ca. I have a volenter tree thats been growing between two buildings for about 5 years, and is now 15 feet.. its had fruit for several years but this is the first year that i have been in town for a harvest, the fruit is excellent, have taken about a dozen and there are a dozen more on the tree maturing, there are 4 or 5 good sized suckers. Since its doing so well should i leave it be or top it ? The height is not a problem, dont think the wind will topple it as its well protected, i use an aluminium ladder against the trunk which is about 9-10 inches diameter at the ground.

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Hello I'm 14 and I have over 7 fruit trees one of them is a tr hovey can anyone tell me more about it?

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

Hi Cameron
congratulations on your tree.
Papaya is my favorite fruit. It is VERY healthy for you, it has an enzyme that helps digest proteins.

Anyway, as far as growing.
Papaya love the sunshine, the more the better.
They do NOT like cold weather.
anything below freezing can kill them.
even temps in the 40s can hurt/kill them if the roots are wet.
Papaya grow fast and like a lot of organics in the soil. Well rotted compost, composted coffee grounds etc

You can feed them regular fertilizers as well. One higher in nitrogen when they are growing. lower in Nitrogen when they are fruiting.

They like fast draining soil, and its better to try and water them away from the main trunk. They get "root rot" very easily

The TR Hovey is a dwarf and shouldnt get very tall, which makes it good for containers, so you can bring it inside or protect it on very cold days.

good luck. its a great plant!

Here is a link that might be useful: growing papaya

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

greenman - my TR Hovey is about 2 years old and over 8 feet in height! Cameron - I live out in Palm Springs and the fruit I have out here on the tree, the TR Hovey, is huge. Must be 4 pounds at least.

Just remember to not let the base of the plant stay wet in the winter. Cold and wet HATES these plants and will kill them. It's always better with Papaya to plant them on a mound and create a moat around them where they can get water.....
Let me see if I can post a picture here in the next day or two to show you how it looks...
GOOD LUCK.....Gary

RE: Papaya Tree Suggestions

i Gary
sorry for the late reply
I am actually curious about your TR Hovey. How does the fruit taste ?

I have(had?) several large trees, all from store-bought fruit.
Maradol, or Maradol hybrids i am guessing.
The fruit is very good, but i am experimenting with 8 different types of seed.

This winter took a real toll on my trees, some 15+ ft tall
the roots on most still seem OK, i had pulled up 2 of them, but everything over 1ft off the ground turned to mush.
i will chop it off and hope they regrow...

I plan on doing some cross-pollination when these get a bit bigger.

I have been prepping the soil and raising it a bit too

Do you have some extra TR Hovey seed ?
I have lots of stuff to trade...

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