Common whitefly is about the only insect pest which has affected papaya in Texas, leading to sooty mold on the foliage and fruit. Sweetpotato whitefly also is reported to favor papaya. The safest control is through spraying with a soapy water solution.
Prepare nursery beds of 15 ft. x 3 ft. Apply and work in a lot of well decomposed cow manure 20 days before sowing. Make ½” deep furrows at distance of 1½” apart. Sow seeds giving a spacing of ½”. Fill the furrows with1:1 mixture of dry crumbled leaves and soil. Cover the beds with black polythene sheet or straw. Spray water regularly to maintain the top bed moisture, remove top cover; and lightly irrigate to maintain constant moisture. One or two times spray with mild fungicide solution. When the seedligs grow to a height of 2″, transplant them to a separate bed at a distance of 6″x6″ or transfer into small perforated polythene bags filled with 1:1 seived soil and cow dung ensuring that the plant depth does not exceed 1½”. When the plant attains 4-6″ height, it will be ready to transfer into actual field.
Caution: Transplanting into polythene should be done under shady conditions and be kept for at least two days under shade.
Anthracnose appears on the fruit as irregular, water-soaked spots that later enlarge, darken and become sunken in the rind. Copper sprays have been of limited effect in severe situations, but would not be expected to be of much use under normal conditions in Texas.
In colder areas where overwinter survival is questionable, seedlings can be developed in late fall and carried through the winter in greenhouses. After frost danger passes in spring, these seedlings can be planted outdoors to provide fruit until the next killing frost.
Virus diseases are quite common and uncontrollable. They normally cause vein-clearing and yellow mottling of the leaves. Other symptoms include distortion of leaf growth accompanied by stunting, poor set and the presence of various greasy-appearing or yellow rings on leaves and fruit. Infected plants should be removed and destroyed.
Well-tended papayas should produce fruit within a year of planting, with mature plants capable of producing 100 to 200 pounds of papayas per year. Fruit can be ripened off the plant after appearance of a yellow tinge at the apical end, but the fruit attains best quality if harvest is delayed until the fruit is completely yellow.
Limited commercial plantings in the lower Rio Grande Valley rarely survive more than a few years because of freezing temperatures.
Weed and grass control within 3 to 4 feet of the papaya is essential for optimum growth and fruiting. Cultivation for weed control should be quite shallow, as the papaya’s roots are concentrated near the soil surface. The use of organic mulches is highly recommended. Fertilizer at the rate of one-quarter pound of ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) per plant should be applied monthly after planting, increasing to one half pound six months after establishment.
Germination is accomplished in approximately two weeks under full sunlight. The plants can be set out as soon as they are large enough (about 1 foot tall) to survive with minimal care. The pots of plants should be spaced 8 to 10 feet apart. Papaya seedlings should begin flowering in five to six months, at which time they can be thinned to a single female or bisexual plant at each site. In the absence of bisexual plants, one male plant is needed for every eight to ten females.
Seeds for growing your own Papaya
Here is a link that might be useful: Aloha seed
I am trying to grow papaya this year for seed. I am looking for a source for seeds and also one that is easy to grow for a beginner. I looked at the solo ones from
Trade Winds Fruit has a few different kinds of papaya seeds for a reasonable price. I would also check out ebay as another source.
I am on Beaver Lake Arkansas, i will check-out Tradewinds. Thank you.
Aloha has a great selection, and good prices.
ADVICE NEEDED! Where to start in my tiny kitchen?
I have ordered from Aloha seed, into Florida, with no problem, they are located in California so there should not be any problem with receiving seeds.
Aloha seed,but i am confused with import duties etc.
Since you are in the US I am not sure what issues you’d have ordering from alohaseed. I have ordered from them many times in the past with no issues. I think they are located in California so you should not have a problem with import duties etc. Their seeds are probably the best seeds to order from online. I have also ordered papaya seeds from both ebay and tradewinds and their seeds have not as reliable or as good a quality as alohaseed.
I am trying to grow papaya this year for seed. I am looking for a source for seeds and also one that is easy to grow for a beginner. I looked at the solo ones from Aloha seed,but i am confused with import duties etc. I am bringing them in the fall in a heated garage.