What is better than having 1 papaya on an empty stomach? 2 papayas! Papayas are one of the favourite fruits of Indians when it comes to good digestion. So much so that no Indian ‘fruits and veggies-shopping-bag’ is complete without huge papaya being in it. This yellowish-orange summer fruit is rich in fibre and many vitamins and minerals. You may not always need to buy it from the market. You can easily grow them. Let us see the steps to grow papaya from a seed in a pot or grow bag.
Where Does Papaya Grow?Being a tropical plant, a papaya tree requires a location that receives plenty of sunlight, i.e. around 6 to 8 hours of continuous Sun. Also, avoid a windy location. Papaya cultivation is pantropical and it mostly grows in India, Australia, Hawaii And Central Africa. Also Read: How To Grow Lemon Tree In A Pot At Home?
How To Choose A Pot For Your Papaya Tree?Papaya trees love space. Hence choose a medium to a large-sized pot with 15 inches of depth and 18-22 inches of width, that could hold 55 to 75 litres of water. The pot must have enough drainage holes in the bottom to keep the soil moist. You may also choose an old drum or a barrel.
How To Prepare The Potting Mix or Soil To Grow Papaya?To grow papaya from seed, you can either choose a good-quality potting mix or prepare loamy soil by mixing the garden soil with manure in a 1:2 ratio. The pH of the soil should be neutral, and between 4.5 to 7. Loose, moisture-retaining and well-drained soil is the key to a good quality papaya tree. Here Is An Article On How To Decorate Your Outdoor Garden Space?
How To Grow Papaya Using Seeds?Now, let’s read about how to grow papaya seed into a full tree with the help of the steps below:
- Collect a good number of papaya seeds and wash them properly and remove the glutinous coating. Spread the soil evenly in the pot and sow the papaya seeds deep enough.
- It takes around 2 to 5 weeks for the seeds to germinate and form roots. Measure the temperature of the soil regularly. The optimum temperature for germination is around 20° C.
- Once the seeds germinate, apply a 15-15-15 fertilizer, and cover the pot with a thin layer of soil. Make sure the fertilizer doesn’t come in direct contact with the roots.
- Apply slow-release or liquid fertilizers at regular intervals for a healthy papaya tree.
How To Water The Papaya Plant?Tropical plants, like papaya, require a lot of water to thrive. Make sure the soil of the plant- at least the top one inch- is always moist. Provide enough water during summers and reduce the amount during monsoon. Avoid waterlogging as it may rot the roots and yellow the young leaves. Lack of moisture in the plant can lead to fruit drop and slow growth of the plant. Hence, always remember that you can grow papaya from seeds will require a sufficient supply of water. Also Read: How To Grow Banana Tree In A Pot At Home?
How Does Pollination Take Place?Since it is not a self-pollinated plant, birds, insects, and honeybees would transfer male gametes to female ones.
How Long Does A Papaya Tree Take To Bear Fruit?Papaya growing from seeds can take time to grow fully. Read below to know more:
- A papaya tree bears fruits within 9 to 12 months. The fruit changes its colour from green to orange upon ripening. If it is either completely green or has some yellow stripes, it is well developed but not ready to be plucked. Once it changes colour to yellow or bright orange, it is ripened and ready to be harvested.
- Gently twist the papaya fruit using your hands or a short knife, to pluck it. Use plastic gloves while plucking.
- Avoid exposing the fruit to sunlight while harvesting since it is sensitive to sunburn.
How To Take Care Of The Papaya Tree?Papaya being enormously high in nutrients requires a bit of caring too. Let’s check how can you take care of papaya in the best way possible.
- Mulching may prove to be beneficial to retain moisture if you reside in a country like India
- Pruning is not necessary.
- If planting during the rainy days, make sure to add a fungicide to protect the plant
- Papaya trees grow best in temperatures between 20° to 32° C.
- The tree might tolerate extreme temperatures like 0° C and 38° C but only for short periods, beyond which the tree would suspend its growth
- A healthy papaya tree has pointed patterned leaves
- Only female plants bear fruit hence keep 4 to 5 healthy trees well separated from each other
- You may spray ammonium sulphate solution to keep away pests and insects.