How to Grow Papaya

How to Grow Papaya (Papåya)

 

The papaya, or papåya, is a large, short-lived perennial plant that thrives in the tropical island climate. It can be used in a variety of dishes and truly makes the perfect addition to your garden or backyard here in Guam.

Time of Planting: Year-round. They thrive best when soil is less damp.

Time to Germination: Under full sunlight, seedlings may emerge in about 2-6 weeks. Seedlings will flower after five to six months.

Propagation: In order for papaya trees to thrive, they require some fertilizer or compost/soil mixture. Provide young plants fertilizer every 14 days using ¼ pound of either fertilizer or compost mix. Fertilize older trees with 1 to 2 pounds of fertilizer once a month.

Special Considerations: Grows best in full sun. Plant on the south or southeast side of your home with some protection from wind. Plant directly in your garden, as they do not transplant well.

Common Pests and Diseases (and how to manage):

 

Disease: Not worth worrying about or trying to treat them. Just plant more trees.

Pests: Try protecting developing fruit from pests by placing a paper bag over them until they are ripe.

Harvest (when and how): Fruit can be harvested when either green or yellow/orange in color. Remove from the tree when desired size and color has been reached and consume within 1-2 weeks.

Eating: When ripe and sweet, the fruit flesh turns from green to yellow or orange and is ready to eat. The fruit is also eaten when still green, with a more bitter and firmer texture. Consume within 1-2 weeks of harvest.

Storing: Once ripe, it will quickly turn to mush if not properly stored. Leave the skin on while the fruit ripens. Ripe papaya should be refrigerated to slow down the ripening process; whole fruit should keep in a plastic bag for about a week. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 10 months.

How to Store Papaya Seeds:

 

Recommended Population Sizes: The more seeds, the more likely they will propagate.

 

Harvesting: Extract from the ripe fruit.

 

Cleaning and Processing: Simply cut the papaya in half, scrap out the seeds. Clean and dry them, if desired.

Storage and Viability: Best to plant them immediately following extraction into fertile soil.

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