Cut Papaya in half - length ways.
Usually a ripe papaya will not have much green on the skin. I only have experience with this variety which is a Central American variety and a hermaphrodite. Papaya's are usually male and female with some varieties having the ability to morph their sex to the what is needed- ie too many males - some will turn to females- while others like this Central American variety is both sexes- I have had as many as 10 trees in the yard and all of them bore fruit. So my first pick in the Papaya realm was a lucky one.
Seeds are usually pulpy. Take a small spoon that fits in the cavity and scrape the seeds out on to a paper towel. I usually use a paper plate lined with a couple of paper towels. You can also put the seeds in a strainer and wash off the pulpy stuff. I figured mother nature has the pulpy stuff around to help her seeds out- so I leave them on. Put the paper plate in a high dry place- in my house that is above the cupboards in the kitchen.
Picture of dried seeds
This is what the seeds will look like dried. They loose about 1/4 of their mass. The seeds should be hard at this stage. Time for drying varies- About a week to two weeks. Try to remove as much of the organic material from the papaya- this may slow drying and attract unwanted critters.
I've always waited until around may to plant them when it's very hot- But this year I've learned about H202, seed mats..and a whole new world of propagating seeds. I will say- that I was rather surprised by the high propagation rate. It was a good thing because there was a road of trial and error to be traveled.. I leave the seeds in the pot until they reach about 8 inches. The less repotting- the better. They are much easier repotting younger than older. They do not like their roots messed with. As a rule of thumb- l let the papayas get root bound.
I usually will pot the plants in an 8 inch nursery container with large holes. Good drainage is imperative- This variety of Papayas are not forgiving when they have "wet feet". I treat Papayas like an anual. I start my crop for next year this season. If the winter is bad - I have my new trees in the green house to replace them. The growth rate is extremely rapid! Overwintering I leave the Papaya trees in the 8 inch container root bound- where they stay in stasis. When stored in the green house - I do not water them hardly at all. I will mist them. The Papayas are about 4 feet tall at this stage- and remain root bound. This gives them the good drainage advantage.
I have a rule of thumb - not to repot the papaya more than 3 times before going into the selected location. Keeping them in pots gives you the advantage of climate control ..you can move them out of the rain etc. I will upsize and repot for the last time into a 20 inch or so pot. The tree will start growing rapidly again. Papayas like to be in the ground. I was successful in growing 1 that bore fruit in a large pot- but as a rule of thumb- after about 5-6 feet they do not fare well.
Fertilizing your Papaya
I killed alot of trees trying fertilizers on them. I scoured the web, but it was mainly for industry and not helpful at the time. I had thrown in the towel - listing them as not liking any fertilzer - Until last summer I discovered thru DG thread - about Hibiscus Fertizer. We were discussing this in the Brug forum, and the place that sells it is here in Houston- So I bought some...and I did try it on the Papayas..At last ..they really responded to the fertilzer which is 18-8-28 combination specifically for Hibiscus. The Papayas really love it. As a matter of fact I use it on most of my tropicals now. This picture is a picture of the left papaya tree fertilzed with the 18-8-28 and the right...well not! See if you notice a difference. the pots are varied- which must be taken into account- still, it must be the perfect blend for the papayas.
This product is made by Houston Fertilizer, and can only be found there. http://yardgeek.com/
Finding a location
This unknown strain seems to prefer a part sun very well drained location. I would say these Papayas prefer to be dry by the end of the day. Once you've chosen a good location..the tree will really take off.
I have tried these trees in full sun, and they do not do well. These trees like a good half day full sun, the rest shaded. It doesn't seem to matter to them whether it's afternoon or morning half of the sun. It seems that the largest trees I have get morning sun, midday shade, afternoon sun.
This tree is 3 months old
Usually the tree will start flowering and turning into small Papayas. As I mentioned this strain all bore fruit. Fruit usually remains on the tree over winter ripening in late winter early spring. If it is a warm winter the fruit may mature in early fall late winter.
The tree pictured was planted in august at 4 feet tall. It is now about 11 feet, you can see it was growing so fast that longer spaces appear from the bottom fruits to the top. This was an "overwintered" tree which I will explain for Sub-Tropical or Non Tropical areas.
As soon as the blooms close, you will notice that the fruit begins to form.
Keep in mind, this is only 1 type of Papaya out of many strains. I pretty much hit the lottery in buying this particular type from the grocery store and it being a hermaphradite, neither female or male. Judging by the length of the leaves, I'd say this is a type from Central America. I've seen these in Costa Rica, liking similar sun exposure.
Face it: It's going to freeze, and if you want Papayas, the best thing to do is plant alot and treat them like annuals. Start a fresh crop every year, set aside a good 10 to 20 that you will over winter. If the planted trees survive then it's a bonus!
I started seedlings this year that will overwinter 2 winters before I plant them in the ground. I did start this ritual with only 1 over winter which works just fine.
The advantage of overwintering 2 winters is maturity and growth control. This is what the trees look like that I will over winter this year. They were overwintered in the green house last year. If this winter kills any of the papayas I have that are mature, these trees will be planted in early spring and be huge by the end of next summer, and bearing fruit.
Again, this also works over one winter, and the trees will grow very fast as well.
I've saved the seeds from that one papaya 5 years ago and have had hundereds of Paypaya and Papaya trees all from that one fruit. The key is to treat them like annuals. Papaya tree life span is not usually very long perhaps 5 or 6 years on average. There are always exceptions of course.
If there is one piece of advice I had to select above all others...it's water. If there is a side to error on, then let it be the dry side, other wise they will rot right down to the ground while you helplessly watch.
Papaya are great looking in pots, but if you expect fruit, you will be disappointed. Again, I was lucky in my first dabbles to actually get one to grow fruit, which turned out to be lucky as it was the last tree to grow fruit after all my experimenting the first year I tried all of this.
This year we actually got a hard freeze the day before Spring started, and the first freeze since I've lived in this house over 8 years. It was death and mayhem..but you know..this tree came back, and actually grew 2 tops...with papayas growing as we speak.
This is how I prefere them to look.
Notice how long the leaves are on this type of Papaya. You will notice a difference if you've been to Hawaii in the size and shape of tree trunks and leaves. I have since started some Hawaiin Papayas, the leaf stems are much shorter and the leaves very much broader then the ones in these pictures.
I took this data from my diary that was over a couple of years, so some of the comments and captions my seem inconsistent, but I think it's enough to get started.
I was so excited to find this forum. I am sure it was not meant just for me (ha) but i think it was as i am just now starting to try growing papayas. Great to learn about the hibiscus fertilizer. I used to live in Victoria,Tx south of Houston but I am back in FL now. The weather is much the same.
Randy, Wow! Thank you so very much. It is sincerely appreciated! I have my seeds drying now. If I start them now, and overwinter them in the garage, would they be OK? Guess I should wait until spring. I have enough to overwinter as it is! I'm sure they would grow better their first few months in sunlight and fresh air!!
I LeePerk! Welcome to Tropical Gardening! We have a great time here...lots of friendly folks, great info, great fun. Our only problem is staying on topic...don't seem able to do that much, but we sure have a lot of fun trying!
Really? coool. Where in Texas are you moving to? It's great for gardening here...Although I must admit..I think this is the first year in many that I'm looking forward to cooler weather as I've sort of bitten off more than I can chew this year ...trying to keep up is nearly full time job, and I already have one of those!
Wished I had known then how to grow them when I was living in Lafayette, La. Your pictures brought me back to South East Asia, where neighbours guard their papayas more than their "rambutans" and durians!!
IThank you very much being so generous with your growing tips.
I will be moving to the Houston area near my brother and his wife. I'm from Cape Cod Mass. but had to be in NC for the past year. I had a great cottage style garden which I loved and really miss. Some of my very favorite plants will not grow in Houston and I had to morn for them for awhile. Now I am ready to learn about and fall in love with some tropicals ...and papayas will surely be one of them.
thanks for the welcome all. I am fairly new to Daves gardening. I joined sometime back but have just now gotten enough time to enjoy it. I am still learning my way around. rj you did such a wonderful job with the papayas do you know anything about pomegranites? I am trying to grow them also.
We have 2 papayas growing at work and I forget what ones they are. lol. Just found out we had them today. One is fragrant and the other one isn't and has mountain in it's name. It grows outside year round in our heavy clay.
In this pic it is to the left. That one is the fragrant one. You can barely see it.
So your moving to Houston...!!! We'll have to meet up when you get settled. I have quite a few plants, and your welcome to come and see if there is anything you like to add to your new place. I'll have a papaya tree waiting for your arrival!
I know what you mean about cottage style. I really like cottage style..and I think we can achieve that in very early spring here, like feb thru apr
I must admit I haven't tried pomegranites. I've started some kumquoat trees...I don't even know how to spell them.
I will get more details from her this weekend. I will bug her and if she doesn't have enough info our Direc of hort is a walking encyclopedia and I can bug him. lol. I love bugging them about the plants there. I sometimes drive them nuts with my questions but I tell them I am also asking for other people. lol
Thanks Randy. I would greatly appreciate that. I'll make a point to meet up sometime "next year" and get my papaya. I feel welcomed already!! I don't know much about tropicals but love the lush gardens they produce. Your garden looks like a tranquil place to be. I've been doing a lot of research on what grows there in the Houston area and planning a new garden is always exciting and challenging.
thank you so much for posting the info. I find it very helpful. Is there any way I can tell if I buy it from store--whether or not it is a hermaphrodite?Papaya are available in our grocery stores but they are not labeled as any variety.
okay...do this..go to the top of this thread and you will find communities...click on blogs...and then search for
rjuddharrison blog...it's got a weird search, or rather I'm not familiar with it.
Just to be conistent lets see if my Diary home page can link...this the place I found by the above directions. http://davesgarden.com/community/blogs/m/rjuddharrison/
and if it doesn't work...then just search thru all the names for rjuddharrion
I was up early and trimming . It seems impossible for me to grow small plants...everything gets giant. After several loads of branches, the garden really looked nice with humming birds buzzing through.. It was one of those days where I could have spent the whole day out there.
There you go Rj these little babies are from a store bought pomegranite...very easy to germinate...I just sucked the juice out of the pips and planted them into a sandy mix and ...thats it...(warm shade)...I have made dozens and and dozens this way.
Love Loquat trees ...not that crazy for the fruit ..but I find the leaves exotic and love the shadows cast by them...as they play over the cutains etc...to me they look Egyptian.Sadly they harbour the fruit fly over Winter so I had to get rid of mine...I only grow organic and although I use baits that catch a lot they are almost always a problem even for folk that spray...so mine had to go ..sadly...do you have fruit fly in the US?
Hey 77 sure I am doing fine ...how are you? did you enjoy your little visit?...this time of the year it starts to get very busy...twixt gardening and visitors...and the *grumbling* heat! gets to me ...I envy you going into the cooler weather ...but if I want Summer Tropicals... I have to grin and bear it...scary that we have bushfires this early in Spring.
Chrissy, yes, all went well. It was a nice little get together. Granddaughter and daughter were very happy with their gifts. I survived. Rested Sunday. Re-potted a few things yesterday, started some amaryllis seeds. Rested today. The weather was very nice this morning...so cool, not humid, just beautiful.
I am sorry that you have those brush fires. Will keep you in my prayers! Those are so dangerous.
We are excited about getting cooler weather. It is still in the low 90's here, and will be for the rest of the week. Take care!
Ha Ha Ha...I just had visions of me coming to Randy's place and toting plants on the plane up to Colorado, then back to Hawaii then adding to them what I plan on getting from Carol, and trying to convince the airline to let me on with my cloak of many plants! Somehow, I don't think that will go over real well...darn the luck...so Jeanne, you will have to enjoy the bounty for me as well! Get some beauties!
Chrissy - cute little pommies! Well done!
Loquats - one of the fruit I will be writing about!
Shari, yes...remember what Randy was telling us about weights and balances...don't think they would let you fly with all of those plants! I'll take good care of them for you! Don't leave out the pineapple in your article...eat one, plant one free! Just potted two more Monday. The one was the top of the one we had grown!! Neat, huh?
Yes, pineapple grove to go with my Banana tree grove!
When I was at Lowes today they wanted $23 or $27 for a fruiting banana tree...Good grief! The highest price I paid for mine was $10 for a couple, $5 for a few, $1 each for many, and was given about 6 for free...Now we have over 80!
By the way Randy, do you want another Banana tree? I'd be glad to bring you one.
Sago pups, amaryllis seedlings? Most of what I have are still little, except for the nanners...then we have small, med, and large trees!
There is a small airport near our house and as the planes fly over I'm sure they refer to our yard as the Banana Grove!!!!! They totally line the backyard!
We started with 5. Then we added 5 more free. Then were given 3. Then we bought 16 for $1 each...OK 29 two or three years ago...and they multiplied. However, when they bear bananas then they die...so last year we lost 5 to having fruit, and a few to the freeze. So, we had about 90, now we have 80 as of last week, that is. There may be more pups by now!
I had originally planned to give some to my daughter, but now she doesn't want any. Eventually we will have to find an outlet for some of them. I will see if our local nursery needs a supplier. Only fair, 5 came from there originally!!!! LOL
Wow! I can't imagine that many 'nanas! I guess we have about thirty plants and we were told that there were seven different varieties, although I don't know what they are - forgot to ask that!
Because of our climate they are replacing themselves even before we harvest off the mother plant. Our 'nanas average 35 - 50 pounds per hand and they ripen year long. Sometimes it becomes a problem - freezers full, friends run away from you, and we are all get sick of eating them fresh!
There is an old time saying in Hawaii that if you give someone unripe bananas you are truely a friend, ripe ones not so much because you are trying to get rid of the excess...
Many sailors here will not allow bananas on board ship, considered bad luck!
Bananas are also used here by friends from Micronesia as a medicine. Their nephew got caught between a rock wall and a backing truck, severely hurting and bruising him. They chopped down one of my plants and crushed the trunk in a bathtub of warm water and made him lie in it for a couple of hours three times a day. He also had to drink crushed trunk water. Believe it or not he had no aches and pains after two days! This cure came directly from their Mom in Micronesia, who is well versed in local herbal remedies, via telephone! They also use poltices made from coleus leaves for cuts, to avoid infection!
We only get a dozen or so bananas at one time...I wish we got more. Some of the trees do vary in type. Some of our bananas are not very good to eat. Some we only get 3-5 per tree. Do you know how to pollenate them?
Jenny! You cheated! You looked in my Word files and found my next article! Micronesian Medicine!!!! That is just too weird! I'm serious, I have the Kamani and Banana paragraphs already done! Aren't they amazing?? I am meeting with several of the "aunties" on the 8th to get some more info...
Even more banana trees...with my Grandson...tallest...and the little boy from next door. My Grandson helped my son plant the banana trees. We were even given some by his other Grandmother, so he calls them his banana trees. It has about 12 good size green ones on it now. I'll have to get more pictures of the bananas.
Lovely stand of 'nanas Jeanne! Do you have to baby them during the winter? Nice looking hut too!
RJ, I hope your friends greenhouse is going to be tall enough!
Ah Shari! You know what they say about great minds think alike (they also say foolish minds seldom differ, but we won't go there!) You didn't know I have little elves who get into other peoples computers and trump their articles before they are published did you?
I think I must have upset my kitty when I was busy sweeping the deck, and cutting the hole around the tree bigger, because an offering lay on the front door step in the form of a dead mouse. He takes it so personally sometimes...LOL
Okay...aaaaah...that is the first good tip I've heard on bananas! Thankyou, I knew there was something to it. I don't even water mine here because they're not happy..
Do they like any sort of particular nutrient...?
Not NBC...DGTV! We don't have any local manure, but I keep thinking that the marina - especially where they clean the fish, should provide a wealth of nutrients. Unfortunately, they throw all the detrius to the nurse sharks that hang around the marina when the fishing boats come in. Whadayathink? It the idea worth persuing?
Curly loves holes that are full of potting soil or have little niches to play in. We had a rock pile on the property line that I took apart to use them to line the iris bed and he was in the acting like a dog. He was rolling around and sticking his face into crevices and attacking the grass everytime it moved. And the rocks too. If I threw them out of the way he would jump over to them and sniff and pounce. LOL. He's crazy sometimes. Whiskers is just plain lazy and loves to sleep the day away.
Shari, it can't hurt to ask for fish leftovers for the yard. They might be nice and say yes.
Jeanne - those nurse sharks are about as tame as Pepper's Curly! But, I still think I would try to collect it before they got it in their jaws! I've been concerned about the smell too.
K - no seaweed here, darn the luck!
Pepper - I can just see him! My Bogie used to be like that, but they are both getting so old that they are "too cool" to play much anymore. Cagney not at all, and Bogie only when he thinks no one is looking, if you laugh, or he realizes he's been caught playing, he stops immediately and assumes the "Mr. Cool - meant to do that" stance. I miss the kitten in them. Enjoy Curly while you can.
Curly gets bored easily. lol. Eats bugs, hummers, mice, birds, whatever he can catch. He has bad breath because of it too. LOL. I think he will always be an active cat. Probably not as active as now but still running around. Whiskers always was somewhat lazy. lol
I've done homework again...this article suggests that the fish leftovers was the ticket.
Article is called: Terra preta: unearthing an agricultural goldmine
This is a link about a man made soil composition made in the amazon some 1000 years ago that scientist are trying to unravel it/s composition. It emphasises charcoal and fish products which continues as a theme throughout the article. Apparently the soils have survived through the years continuing to retain its viability.
-Among the most important properties are high nutrient concentrations (especially for calcium and phosphorus). Most likely, this is linked to a unique utilization of agricultural and fishery waste products
We believe that fish residues are an important portion of the high phosphorus concentrations. Phosphorus is really the number one limiting nutrient in the central Amazon.
“Another interesting aspect of terra preta’s high fertility is the char (charcoal) content of the soil. This was deliberately put into the soil by the Indians and doesn’t only create a higher organic matter — and therefore higher fertility through better nutrient-retention capacity — but this special type of carbon is more efficient in creating these properties.
“You can have the same amount of carbon in terra preta and adjacent soils and the infertile soil won’t change. Terra preta’s abilities don’t just rely on more carbon, but the fact that its char and humus is somehow more efficient in creating beneficial properties. That’s the truly unique aspect.”
Well there you go Shari...better get some fish! Yum Yum for the plants!!!!!
Wow Randy, you are really good at that research stuff! From now on we'll just ask you, cause you are so quick to find the answer! Now calling Prof. Randy...do you have any experience with avacodo seeds?
Have you tried to grow any other trees from seeds from the grocery store, or plants in general?
Question...how on earth do you water so many plants?
Jeanne - here's a nurse shark, its not a great shot, but will give you the idea. They are real sharks, they're just scavengers...they prefer to sit on the bottom and wait for food to fall to them, rather than go out and get it. Fairly timid...will leave the area if anything they are threatened by is near. That's why I called them "tame".
Randy - what great info! If I could just figure out what to do about the smell, I'd have a wealth of fertilizer! Maybe mix the fish with charcoal briquets? Hmmmm...
Hey, Chrissy, so the "Choot" works well on the 'nanas' and so does the Papaya? Hi JR, great thread, I've been lurking your thread from day one. Thought, I'll finally come out and say hi to everyone. :-)
I'm not the purish of organic gardener, but this year I skipped the fert. and this is how my flowering vine responded to just compost, and little water. :-)
Gorgeous Lily_love! Some things just want water, dirt and an occasional "gee you're pretty" to flourish. Welcome...no need to lurk, all voices are welcome in the Tropical Gardening Forum...and as you can see - so are all topics!
I've been away since the day you've got the Forum initiated. It's really up and running, we owe this one to you. Thanks Shari. Also, I've enjoyed your articles.
RJ, you pics. reflect a subtropical oasis! Way to go. I've seen your various posts, all beautiful lust planting. Congrats.
This tropical Hibiscus does so well here year after years. So, I thought, growing papaya would be just the equivalence? I'm trying to sow some seeds at present, so hopefully they will sprout. RJ, may have to call on you for support here. :-)
No RJ, it's a Fall blooming perennial. Quite charming as you can see here. They begun to bloom around end of July, early August this year due to our drought. One of our hardy Autumn's mainstay in our garden. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/77290/
Oh wow..I did not recognize them at all. I love those, but we can only grow them in Feb and Mar here. I don't know if they will grow from those fuzzy seeds, but I saved the seeds from blue ones I had a couple years ago.
Some literature indicated that devision is best in the Spring for those Japanese species. I found out that's true. I've a small clump of this way back 2000, now I've them all around the garden. Plus extra to share with friends. Just shared some with LaRU DGers, they are taking off nicely, but slowly. Blue? Ah, now that's one of my fav. color!
RJ, you've mentioned that Papaya seeds germinate pretty easily. I'm trying them out with the coffee-filter method. Not sure I'm doing it right. But how "easy" is it? Care to share?
Here is another pink; Tickled Pink plumie. All you need is a lei's necklace to offer the lovely Texas beauty when you knock on her tropical garden gate. :-)
Yes, they were a vivid royal blue. I wonder if the seed sill grow...
I've not germinated papaya seeds in coffee filters before. I'd start some l with the coffee filte, and try others in a seed try. That should increase your chances. it's going to need the hot humid conditions. What is the coffee fliter method anyway?
Let me know how that goes...I would throw some seeds in seed try..Ideally bottom heat and a cover over the seed tray.
I have used them too, and baggies with papper towels,...but not on Papaya seeds.
Yes most of the time don't have to use bottom heat either, but Papayas really respond to higher heat it seems. I'm not sure what the temps are for her location right now..but I'm guessing it's cooling quite a bit.
Wow...very impressive...adenium obesum...but I call, and I'll raise you a Strophanthus preussii - Poison Arrow Vine
Shari, Those are beautiful! Adenium or Desert Roses second to Plumies only in fragrance. But the colors and beauty I rate the two size by side. :-)
RJ, thanks I'll transfer some of the Papaya seeds into pottings, temp. remains on the 90'ish outdoor, so try them without the heated mat? Maybe?
Lily_love yes get them into the pot noe they shuld sprout pretty quickly...needing only warmth and humidity (if it is very dry make sure they stay moist)
Fish is a great fertilizer! bury it about a foot under anything you are planting...throw a little manure on it so as to deter any likely diners ...and anything you plant above it will leap out of the ground
as soon as the roots hit what the worms have done to it!
Those are beautiful Lily_Love! Plumerias have always been one of my favorites. We had two HUGE trees out in our front yard in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii for about a year and a half before we got base housing. We made leis for all the occasions at school. It was so much fun. I was the official lei maker for the family. I was 13 and my sisters were only 6 and 4. We had a ball. I know it was better for my folks to take base housing, but I sure hated losing access to those plumeria trees.
I have several small trees, but not enough at one time to make even one lei.
When I graduated from high school in North Carolina in 68 my folks ordered me a double orchid Moana Loa Lei from Hawaii! It was so gorgeous!
Plumerias will always be one of my favorite flowers, of course the orchids, hibiscus...even more so than a rose. Just because of the thoughts of Hawaii.
Phillipino Jasmine ...beautiful...could you please tell us the botanical name? if you know it?...it looks wonderful.
Love Japanese windflowers too...yours are just lovely
All of these tropical beauties are making me just green with envy...
77...we made leis too as children ...I grew up just a few mins from Botany Bay and there were many beautiful frangipannis...we played with them all the time...they are Summer!
Ok, Chrissy here I believe this is the Jasmine. One of my friend is from the Phillipine, and once told me that the Jasmine is their National Flower, and that's the reason I called it Phillipino's Jasmine. :-)
Some also refers to them as Arabian Jasmine, so I'm not certain if the identity is absolute. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55234/
For those of you starting papayas from seed remember to let them dry out first as was suggested in Randy's first postings. I have heard this is the key. I've never had much luck with the seeds until I bought some this year. My dogs "helped" by opening the packet and "planting" them in my bed!! Luckily I was able to find many of them and have a number of them growing in ppots, waiting for thier permanent homes on the hill I am terracing. I also gave some away. Papaya do well here. I bought seeds for two kinds from India and I have seeds for three Solo varieties (the small Hawaiin ones). We only get the larger Mexican varities in stores here but they grow well here so I'm hoping to get some of the smaller, tastier ones growing here.
I should also add that I'm lucky that none of the seeds that the dogs scattered in my bed have sprouted and grown. I'm not much of a housekeeper!!
LOL, thanks for the tips on the Papaya seeds. Mine was dried out before I tried to germinate them. Hopefully I'll have some seedlings to overwinter in our zone. 1st Frost hits us around third week of Nov. So I'm hopeful that I'll have some time left.
It gets shade until around 11:00 am...then sun the rest of the day. I was suprised...I had always been told that orchids preferred shady areas, but ours bloom best when given lots of sun. Do get a bit of a problem with black spots on the leaves though.
Well, I certainly don't ever want to make you mad! Ha Ha... The orchid I posted is all one plant in a large basket, placed by some driftwood. But I do have orchids all over the yard...and I guess you could call their pots "buckets"...
Got a question for you...I was in Lowes the other day and they had some orchids...don't know what kind marked down for 50% off...I think they were $8. They had no blooms on them. They looked kind of rough. Wondered if they would rebloom...I'll have to go back there and see if they have any more and find out exactly what they were.
I have seen orchids that looked completely dead rebloom with a little TLC. As long as there is green on the leaves and the roots look fairly healthy, there is hope. That sounds like a pretty good price. I couldn't mail any to you for that. So go for it!
My sister in Oregon is a real orchid buff. She's always picking up cast-offs at the big stores and bringing them back to health. You do need a good light source and some humidity indoors (gravel trays, etc.). Oh, and she quarantines them until she's sure there is no disease. Most are just suffering from neglect. Good luck!
Orchids!!! Ooooh, should we ever lay eyes on orchids! They're so beautiful who could resist those beauties? Only, they're so darn addictive! LOL, or is that just me? I've found this at local HD, believe it or not. I haven't got the name down yet.
It sounds as if your climate would be ideal for plumies, it's so humid here. Growing plumie is a real challenge for me. It's so humid that ...growing cuttings out in the open ground is feasible most of our growing season...
Yes, I'm trying with plumies again, thanks to Clare on the Plumeria forum. Mine were zapped in the weird freeze we had last winter. Clare sent me some of Brad's cuttings and I found one at Wallyworld for $6 and another from a local grower. Should have some blooms next year. We're having a heat wave now, but the nights are under 50, so they will probably be going dormant soon. This year I am prepared if we get any really low temps!
Great plan for the plumie, karperc. Good lucks with them. When comes to gardening, I believe raising Orchids (certain types of orchids) are easier than Roses, and Plumie, or brugs. But as we learn of each plant's unique cultural requirements. The reward is so, so sweet.
Today I'm repotting my Papaya. For shortly a few weeks, this plant has gained 4-6" in height. :-)
Looking down at the plant. Likes RJ, mentioned this isn't a type of plant that can tolerate windy sites. It's got wind whipped pretty bad, before I moved it into a more sheltered location. Thanks RJ. for the tips.
Shari, thank you for the well wishes. This is my 1st Papaya, having found RJ's thread on this topic was/is a treat. My plumies going on its 3rd year, so far so good. My orchids collection is random. But, over all, I'm enjoying the fruits of my labor of love. Sharing them too, is a joy. :-)
That is a beautiful orchid. I have one opening up I haven't seen before.. A friend gave me the orchid as it was languishing in her house. I think it will be open enough to photograph tomorrow. The flowers are tiny little guys. I certainly enjoy the length of time they are opened, but they make you pay for it as they take a while to open. I've been watching this one for weeks now, watching it form from the stem and see little future flowers form
I started re-potting my papayas too this weekend. One thing I think I didn't mention, is that if you take off the lower leaves the plant will grow super fast. I don't think I would take any off yours though it looks about right. Looking at the leaves, I would say that is from Hawaii. I need to learn the different types...so much to learn..so little time...:)
I had a good year with plumies thank goodness...I just ignored them...mabe that's why!!!
Thank RJ; I'll see about defoliage some of the lower leaves on the Papaya next spring when I'll be ready to give it yet a bigger pot. But, I'm keeping the helpful info. in mind to apply later.
Waiting for our flowers to unfurl is something really fun, but require lots of patience. For instance; this Starfish's buds have taunted me for weeks. :)
Those are the coolest looking blooms..I would use that in a movie featuring alien plants..That is what I love about plants, just when you think you've seen the most bizzare looking life form, you see anothe even more strange and beautiful
Shari, I got the orchid. I'll have to get the tag and take a picture of it! I think it will be OK. A customer at the store who owns a nursery in Dayton, near here, said that she thought that it would be OK and to get some Orchid plant food from Lowes. I didn't get it today, but I'll go back and get some later. I'm sure it will be OK for a couple of days.
While I was there I told three people about DG! They were really excited about checking it out!
LOL, Chrissy; it may pop any minute and who knows what it's about to do. lol. For those of us that would like to learn more about this plant. I thought I'll demystify them. Enjoy reading. :-)
Thanks for that ...I inherited a planter box of them in the 70's and while very interesting at the time I was into all things fragrant in a nice way...well it was out on a deck and when the french windows were open we thought something had died out there...it took a while to figure out where the smell was coming from and I think I was turned off anything that looked remotely like them for decades...I would most likely put up with the smell now because it is so interesting ...thanks again L l :)
Pinwheel of white brug. Second flush this season. It has not been a good year for brugs due to high temp. and severe drought. Many gardeners even thought of giving up on them. But I can assure you; once the blossoms begun to unfurl, people will fall in love with them brugs all over again. :-)
I have purchased a very ripe papaya at our neighborhood fruit stand 2 days ago thinking: "Now that I can plant whatever I want, I'm going to use the seeds to start me a few papayas".
Then I discover this thread this morning, almost a whole year after it was started. I am happy to report that the work inside the new house is finished. It's now time to work outside the house. Today, I will be opening a bed on the western side of the house. The papayas will go on one corner. They should grow here: sub-tropical, no hard frost in 30 years, MiracleGro to the rescue, etc. etc. I'll keep you all posted.
Last year I tried the Tainung #1 F1 Hybrid and got some fruit before the first frost. I germinated the seeds in February and by late October I was harvesting fruit. I managed to get about 30% of the fruit before the first frost in late November.
This year I purchased 20 seeds of the Red Maradol but only one out of the 20 germinated and then it died. I will research the H202, seed mats but what size containers are you using to germinate the seeds?
Hi oldude, thanks for 'bumping' this thread back up. Special thanks to Randy for initiated such helpful topic here on raising Papayas in our mild climate.
oldude; what zone are you in? Is it a frost-free region? For Papayas to promptly make fruits within a year. It's worth looking into. Currently I'm nourishing two young NOID papayas in container culture. I'm a novice at seed-sowing, these were seedlings that were generously shared from DGer's gardeners.
I am in Zone 9 not very far from the Gulf but still not frost/freeze free. I still would like to try the Red Maradol ,because it is supposed to set fruit quicker. I am going to try it again using Randy’s method but I don’t have my greenhouse completed. Maybe I can get a few started this fall and bring inside as frost threatens.
Here is a picture of the Tainung #1 F1 Hybrid about a month before the first frost. It was less than one foot tall when I planted it in the spring.
My papayas were Hawaiian variety and are less cold hardy than the Mexican varieties. Still any low temperature without protection is going to damage or kill the plants.
Digging up the roots is very easy since the roots are soft. I dug up three of them in about fifteen minutes.
Oh wow..surprised to see this thread..I'd forgotten about it. Nice plants Jeanne!
I start the seeds in a very shallow seed tray, about 1 inch deep. I usually wait till around June to start the seeds, as they really respond best in very hot temps. This year I started them at the beginning of this month and they sprouted within a week. Best performance is when the seed tray can be almost dry by the end of the day, Papayas are really not fond of dampy wet. Knowing all of that I still lost alot of my seedlings last week when I upgraded them to smaller pots from the seed tray, mixing a good drainage soil..when it rained last week, they stayed too wet. That has been my number one issue with the plant, is keeping it happy with the right amount of water.
I've experience about 50 percent of Papaya plants coming back after a freeze. My oldest tree is about 4 years, and was fried a couple of years ago during that easter freeze.. It was just a stick in the garden..but it came back, and it grew 3 different tops. Again the biggest problem it faces trying to come back is too much water, as the spring days usually aren't warm enough to dry out the soil to avoid root rot. The roots are tap roots, like carrots. In general they do not like their roots messed with at all, so if you really love your tree, better not move it. This can work to your advantage, because the older it gets, the tougher it gets and can weather freeezes and tolerate more water than it's younger counter parts. This is the reason I treat them like anuals. Like you experienced, they can grow so rapid and produce fruit in one season, why not treat them like anuals? I usually stock a few 2 year old trees in small pots, keeping them fairly stunted until I need them. If it's a warm winter, then your friends will love you, as you have lovely gifts to give away. It really is a popular plant, in fact was the most request plant at a round up I had at the house this weekend.
I've read that the papaya seeds aren't viable very long, so I always save the seeds from the fruit. I've grown them for 7 years now, all from one original Papaya I bought at a grocery store.
Thanks all it is good to know if they do freeze it will not be difficult to dig them out as mine really love where they are located. Seems to be the right amount of sun and extremely good drainage. This is the first time i have ever grown them but have found they also make a nice plant.
Hi, everyone! I am a papaya lover from way back. One comment about location: Don't plant them up against fence posts or right next to a building foundation. Their tap root can be like a giant carrot, and it creates quite a hole when the root quickly rots away.
I tend to call a papaya a plant, not a tree, because they're not woody. "Trunk" very juicy and crispy-fibrous, easy to chop anytime, no matter how big.
I bought seed from a California supplier, and have sixty or seventy little ones, I'll have to take some photos to share tomorrow when the sun's up. The seed seller was all out of the big types, some can have huge fruit! My seed from a fruit made thirty guys and two girl plants, and really small round fruits. OK, girl photo:
Hum, I need a better 'girl' photo... The bud does open, and when the fruits are properly pollenated, they're green, not like these little ones that didn't have a male plant anywhere near. This was a wild papaya in a ditch.
Yes, in fact the tree/plant is hollow inside. If it should freeze, I've read that cutting the top of the tree off and then stopping up the trunk with something (since it is hollow) and the tree has better chances of coming back. I've tried this a couple of times without success. I think it might be definition of "cutting off the top" as I've cut some of them in half, and they came back. I decided not to do that on the oldest tree for which I'm glad as it came back on it's own. The very tip top of it rotted, but grew 3 other tops instead.
Another tip to accelerate the growth of the tree is to continuously trim off the lower leaves, and much like the palm tree, it will really speed up the growth, also will divert energy into growing papayas...that is how the tree in the first picture of this thread got so big, and had so many papayas.. That and fertilizing it with that Hibiscus fertilizer.
When they have so many papayas, I tend to let some of them fall to the ground. I have 4 trees (I'll refer to them as trees for lack of a better term) in the front growing from dropped papaya fruit.
Looks like I may have a papaya after all. I started it from a seed 5 yrs ago. It is in a pot and I take it inside in the winter. From what I have read they will not live long in a pot but I just keep babying it so who knows.
I don’t get the hydrogen peroxide H202 connection to germinating papaya seeds, I do know those Potassium nitrates (KNO) soaked seeds will reduce and maximize germination sooner than untreated and planted. Is this how you are using the hydroponics H202?
Maybe misunderstood what you said in this quote,
I've always waited until around may to plant them when it's very hot- But this year I've learned about H202, seed mats..and a whole new world of propagating seeds. I will say- that I was rather surprised by the high propagation rate. It was a good thing because there was a road of trial and error to be traveled.. I leave the seeds in the pot until they reach about 8 inches. The less repotting- the better. They are much easier repotting younger than older. They do not like their roots messed with. As a rule of thumb- l let the papayas get root bound.
aah...I was simply writing about all the new ways I had learned about propagating seeds in general. I think my point was that one might not have to wait until may to plant because of these techniques. If I hadn't written it though, I would have thought other wise! As it is, I still wait till may or later, because the seeds like hot..very hot. Here, the papaya seeds need no coaxing to sprout except heat.
Very cool on that papaya tree...! Now there looks to be a species that will produce in a pot!
Thanks for clearing that up on the Hydrogen peroxide.
By the way I just ordered seeds for the Improved Solo and Red lady. As soon as I get them I am going to germinate and keep them in small containers as you do. Thanks for the advice.
I have been following this thread with great interest ( I love papayas and they sell for $3.50+ at the grocery store here!)
Do you think ANY papaya seeds will germinate, or are there any vendors out there that sterilize the fruit?
I have always been able to get the papayas from the store to germinate.
To do so though, required a drying period...seeds spread out on a paper plate and put high and dry area in the kitchen.
If the seeds are planted while goopy from the papaya they generaly rot. That is not to say some won't grow as I have several "wild" papayas growing from dropped fruit...what process happens for them to grow is not known to me, but I imagine they germinated after drying out somewhat.
To dry seeds, I scoop a half a million seeds out of a fruit, put them on an unfolded newspaper, put a few layers of newspaper on top, then kind of gently rub around in circles. This pops the little water sac that's around each seed. The newspaper will get sodden and need several changes.
I read someplace that they won't sprout with the water sac still on. What is that anyway??
you can actually wash of the water sack via a strainer, as the strainer will keep the pin head sized seeds in the container...I have not tried this yet, because I figure mother nature puts the stuff around the seed for a reason, and for which I've had such good success, not needed to try it.
all phases of the papaya are extremely susceptible to root rot...alot of us loose seedlings because they are too damp...one cannot stress enough that your potting mix must be as such that they are dry - nearly completely each and every days end
They're really tough as seedlings, that's why waiting until it's roasting hot works out best, because if you do over water them then they have a greater chance of drying out. Even knowing this, I lost at least 13 seedlings when it rained a couple weeks ago.
Next papaya that I get, I'll wash off the gel and photograph them.
The one you brought to me is now about 4 feet tall, Randy. Everything is struggling in the 104+ temperature. The ee's are 3x4 feet but the edges are burned like a torch. The water evaporates before it can hit the ground. Will the papaya need to be dug and put in the garage or somewhere for the winter?
LOL. If you want to heal fast, then keep telling yourself you are better than ever and you will actually be better than ever. Ignore the pain the best you can by finding something else to take your mind off it. It doesn't always work but sometimes it does. :~)
You better bet that I am concentrating hard. After the many, many, many, many pre-op tests, they all came back super good. They couldn't believe what good condition I am in for a lady "my age". (hate that statement). I happen to have a very high pain tolerance or I couldn't have lasted this long. The doctors are amazed. I have never smoked and that is way in my favor. And having friends like DG and many others here at my side, I can't loose. God has blessed me all my life. Have you heard: "If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it". I always depend on His Will.
I was just browsing at http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net and came upon their papaya seeds. They say that the fresh seeds are dormant. According to them, the seeds must be at least six months old to germinate. This may explain why I could never get seeds from the little Hawiian papayas to germinate.
P.S. For those of you not familiar with them, this catalog is fascinating and informative reading.
Thanks Katiebear...that is interesting, and sheds some light on things...
Ironically I had read something similar, but I think I interpreted it to be fresh seeds are the best. I'm so glad I didn't toss my old seeds now.
Usually I put them on a paper plate and set them above the cabinets in the kitchen...I let them dry out. for several months...My last batch I planted I took them from above the cabinets...I had put them up there last spring. Then I have packages from each year...so I take some old seeds and some new seeds and plant.. ..I really don't know which ones are sprouting to be honest..but they all are about 6 months old as I've not had any new Papayas yet...I'd say the next round will be next month and Oct to rippen.
I knew the enivitable would happen..and it has...for several years nothing bothered the Papaya's...but something has discovered the delicious taste, and have had two of them munched on the trees this summer.
If a bird finds a papaya, look out! Cover them on the tree with a plastic trash bag, or just about anything.
My seeds from a fruit sprouted in a timely manner, a week or so. The mail-ordered seeds took more than two weeks to sprout.
I got the little water sac (??) off the fruit-seed by dumping the seed on several layers of news papers, putting several layers of news papers on top, and rubbed them gently. After several changes of newspapers, most of the seeds were free from the sac. Planted right away in Pro mix, 1/4 inch deep. I think I wrote this before.
No seed from dropped fruit made it past something?? Lots of earwigs there, maybe them, they eat new sprouts, I hear. Or maybe field mice.
My papaya seeds were at least 7 mos old when I planted them in the Miracle Grow. I planted about half of my seeds. I just dumped them in several 4" pots, and I believe almost all of them have germinated. They are growing like little weeds. They are several inches tall. I will have to separate them eventually. So far so good!
Thanks Randy for this thread! It really has been fun!
Maybe the "fragrant papaya" is a male tree. The flowers on a male tree smell wonderful. thanks for the papaya growing tips. It always seems that the volunteer trees grown from seeds deposited by birds grow better than the ones I try and grow. Am still trying though.
Yes, she is looking for seeds...She planted some fresh seeds, and then read that they are dormant for 6 months I think before they are ready...I hadn't heard that before, but...I have seeds from a variety of times...1 yr 2 yr...
I think the info on seeds is rather ambigous as I had read..fresh seeds were the way to go..so...who knows.
Sorry about the posting. I can't help with the seed in question as I live in N.E. Mississippi. However, as a child, I did get a papaya to grow from seeds but in zone7a it was killed by the first frost. Warmly, Leeflea51
While puttering in the yard yesterday I was thinking about this thread and I put some ideas together. I have read that there are seeds which have germination-hindering thingies (a technical term I picked up) in them which are removed in the digestive process if eaten by a bird and then pooped out (don't know if it would work with humans and I'm not about to experiment). The papaya might be one of those seeds since many of those who've had seeds grow say it was the bird-planted ones that germinated.
Interesting thought Katie, certainly my papaya all over our garden are bird planted! Even all the babies under the trees have probably gone through the birds first as they spend hours hollowing out the fruit!
Edited to add a Bon Voyage Randy, I am sure you will have a great time with Carol on the BI!
Thanks! I certainly will. I'm leaving fri morning from LAX.
I spent most of the morning cutting down Hawaiin Wood Rose...the vine managed to cover much of the back garden via the mid ranged canopy...it invaded the big Papaya tree, and that was all I needed...mess with my papaya tree..hmmm...
I've a roughly 1-year old papaya tree. Does anyone know how old will the tree be likely to yield flowers and fruits? I don't know of its particular kind of papaya. A seedling was giving to me last year. It's now about 5-6' tall.
At first glance, this looks to be quite similar of the tree I'm growing from Hawaii. I think the ones I'm growing from Hawaii are Male, Female types.. I don't have much experience with this variety..this is my training tree!. My tree is about 8 feet, and a year old as well. Mabe Jenny can shed some light?
Aloha, goofing off at work - with our climate we usually have fruit within 9 or 10 months from a bird sown seed, type unknown of course!
Some papaya, as I am sure you know, are male or female and you will not know which you have until they flower. With this type you will, of course, need both sexes to get fruit.
Many Hawaiian papaya are bisexual, so you only need one tree although I believe that having a male tree around is just so much the better. I may have this totally wrong though, perhaps Dave or Carol would know. We have one huge papaya with many branches (a male) which we never completely chop down just for this reason - the tallest branch is taller than the house, so I would guess he is about 25 feet tall. I rather suspect him of fathering many papaya in our neighborhood!
I do have one papaya that everyone calls a papaya on steroids - it is certainly not a mexican variety. I have never seen such huge fruit running around 4 lbs in weight each. I wonder if anyone can name my noid? Bird sown of course! We have to use a bucket on a pole to pick them as they are far too large for the usual pickers to handle. If anyone knows which variety (if indeed it is a variety) this might be, I would love to know.
I am afraid I am not much help as I pay no attention to the papaya at all, except for pulling them up as weeds. I do know that there are certain Hawaiian varieties that are well thought of as far as flavor and the fact they are bisexual (I know there is a proper botanical name for bisexual - but I can't recall it). I rather think that most of my papaya are so cross bred they are types unto themselves!
Thanks, that does shed some light. I would suspect that blooming on the 1 year old trees would be soon.
I'm not sure what the large papaya you have is. I do remember in Liberia, W. Africa, the papayas were incredibly large, some as big as watermelons. These particular Papayas were grown on a chicken farm...and yes, the guy heaped tons of Chicken doo around the trees, most likely the reason for the size.
I remember a lecturer at Montreal's Botanical Garden telling us about tomato seeds. Before you start throwing holy water at your screens because this polarbear is off-topic, let me assure you that this seems relevant. Read on, please.
He told us that if we wanted to keep your tomato seeds to replant them the next year, we should slice open a very ripe tomato and squeeze out the seeds and that semi-gelatinous stuff that surrounds them into a shallow, wide dish. You left those on the kitchen counter until they got moldy. Apparently, that causes 2 things to happen:
1) The mold destroys the germination inhibitor contained in the goop (as KatieBear said), and
2) Your wife will go ballistic at you and threaten divorce if you don't get your disgusting stuff off the kitchen counter ASAP.
The moldy crust could then be thrown away and the seeds could be washed and dried for use the following year. Wrapping them in a paper envelope was also crucial. I wonder (as did KatieBear) if that is not one way to get the papaya to germinate in less than 6 months. Squeeze the black globules, collect the goop and the tiny seeds, let them get moldy and when the goop is neutralized, sow them directly into the ground.
I have a papaya sitting on my counter. I'll try and keep you all appraised of my progress. The discussion goes on and on. This thread is generating quite a bit of response.
I've always dried the seeds with the gelatinous part on them...I'll have to try planting some I have saved from a couple years ago.
It seems we are destined to re-write the Paw Paw directory per our experience!
Aloha, this working sure cuts into my DG time trying to keep up with you all!
My monster has the typical very sweet orange flesh, I will try to take a picture when I get home althought I don't believe we have a ripe one at present...
Of course you may have seeds - have you any idea how many are in the monster? I can't even put the seed into the compost pile because all of them germinate even after a hot pile! Anyone else who might want seeds of the beast let me know!
Here is the monster - Randy's description of the papaya in Liberia sound just like mine - sans the chicken poo! It is the only monster I have, all the rest are just the regular ones maybe 8oz to 1lb each. All the locals I have shown and who have tasted Big Yellow say that it's definately a Hawaiian type, but none have seen the size before so it remains unnamed...
I haven't got a ripe one at present, these are about half grown. As the plant is way above the roof line I can't really put anything next to them for comparison size wise...
BHM, now I understand why you refer to it as "The Monster". How high off the ground are those fruit? I would say about 15 feet. I would love to plant that here because I have a penchant for large plants but I just don't have the space. Thank you for offering, though.
About 15 feet is right Sylvain although it has lower branches too. We kept this plant in this spot when we saw it growing so that it would shade the windows that I have under the roof line in the living room. It's done rather a good job, the fruit is a bonus!
The papaya grow rather tall in my garden and every now and then we cut the tops off. Here are some in one of the wild corners of the garden, the dark blob almost in the center is my neighbors roof...ridiculous really, but they are my bird feeders!
rjuddharrison and Braveheartsmom, I keep getting thread reminders to this site but I'm glad I am.. Reading you talk of Tropicals is so intersting. I'm unfortunately in zone 7a but am lucky enough to be able to grow gardenias. Since, I live in N.E. Mississippi, I suppose it is apropos to have gardenias, Most people associate magnolias with Mississippi but I think it should be the gardenia. Hope you don't mind my butting in but I am so interested in the subject. Leeflea51
I love gardenia! One of my all time favorites! I have a few here and there in the garden, but they are still small yet. Will you post pictures of yours? Perhaps we can start a gardenia thread - did I tell you how much I love them?
Jenny, Aloha to you. didn't know you were in HI. How exciting. I order some of my orchids fro HI. Havent't been to paradise since1972 was young then. I'm now 51..Re: photos. I must get a digital camera first. I'm behind on all new technologies. Oh, how I'd love to be able to see the beautiful sights and sounds of the Islands again. I do hop you know how lucky you are. Were you born and reared there? Lee p.s. what's the time there. It's 11:26 am here.
No, I moved to Maui 6 years ago although we had been coming for 6 years before that. We had to wait to move until they lifted the quarantine restrictions for bringing pets in, no baby of mine was going to spend 30 days in a pound! It's 6.45 am here...
Jenny, didn't know about quarantine. What are your babies? Sorry I had to go eat. Owen, the friend with whom I live brougth in some good Southerm food from Pigg;y-Wiggly( a grocery store), fried chicken, squash casserole,stewed tomatoes and the ubiquitous corn bread. Since I don't know where your are from originally, I think I have to go into detail about things. That' fine. Am kinda quirky that way. He also broought in some fresh scuppernongs, a hybrid of our native muscadine grapes. They are a bronze color and wonderful. The skins are too tough to chew but the pulp is just too good! I saw Rudd's profile. He seems like an interesting person. Would like to chat with him at some time. I just hate to impose. Will end and go take my pain meds. Do be so kind as to respond any time. Warmly, Lee
that's what threads are for, the more ..the merrier...!
Oh my ..Piggly Wiggly..I haven't heard or seen that grocery store since I left Washington State. We had them there...and a target like store called Wig Wom...LOL
My Jenny, that Papaya tree is tall! One of the blokes in the neighborhood was able to grow a tall Papaya like that. I got all whiney when I saw that the tree was peaking in the second story window. I do believe I may bring back more Papaya seeds.
Ironically, most people here have no idea what the trees are.
Rj, hello. As I mentioned to BHM, you have a most interesting profile posted. I do so get tired of the same old people whom I see and talk to day in and day out here in N.E.Mississippi. Didn't know Piggly Wiggly ( the Pig as we refer to it here) was in Washington State. I see you are posted as living in Houston, TX. Is that correct? anyway, I won't intrude on you two much longer but it's so interesting your being from Africa. Too, I'm curious about your accent, if you even have one but if you do, is it similar to that of South Africans oor Mamibia. I'm sure you think me silly but the people are all the same around here, except for some Mexicans. rsvp at your choosing. Kindly, Lee
Your not intruding :)
Yes, I am living in Houston now , in fact I've just set a record for living in one place for the longest span so far in my life. I've been in my House for 8 years now, and I really love that patch of earth and house. In fact it's difficult to pry me out of there these days, even though I pretty much have ticket to the world working for an airline.
Our family moved to West Africa, Liberia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
when my brother and I were in our mid teens, so we sport no South African like accents. Liberia was founded after freed slaves returned back to Africa. The countries flag is like the US but only sports 1 star, they use US currency, paper dollars with their own coinage, speak english albeit pidgeon english which is a variation. Once one of the most peaceful countries, became a battle ground for one of Africas most brutal civil wars rivaled only be East Africas Somalia. Liberia is now on a very slow recovery after achieving peace with the help of a diverted US aircraft carrier on it's way to the Gulf.under the elected leadership of the first woman president MS Ellen Samuels, affectionately known as Ma Samuels, a Liberian term of respect, and adoration.
My brother and I attended an American Cooperative School, or ACS that provide schools around the world with the intent of maintaining the mainland US education standards. All types of nationalities attended school, and many of us are still in contact with one another, with frequent school reunions.
Living in Liberia was very influential into evolving into who I am today..
Jr, thank for the most intersting posting. Liberia. I got it confused with Namibia or another West African country. I'll go to the links you provided. Is the climate in Houston any thing like Liberia? I was born and reared in MS and am still not used to it. It's particularly difficult with this asthma. So kind of you to inform me. Warmly, Lee
Ironically, the summers are pretty similar. It wasn't until I moved to Houston that I began recognize alot of the same or similar trees and plants. Similarities end though during winter. In Liberia it's rainy season or dry season. In fact that area is where the Hurricanes start out. It's the rainy season now, and they have the most terrific storms I've witnessed.
Around noon or just after most activity ceases, shops and stores close until the peak heat of the day subsides. At the time, most shops consisted of a network of garage like area mainly operated by Lebanese
Rj, so the climate of Houston is somewhat similar. You know, my ancestors must have come from the very North of Europe as I find it hard to cope with the summer heat. Here , in the South, it seem we only have 2 seasons: Summer and a little less Summer. No, in fact, we can have rather harsh winters. It's thoses that can wipe out my gardenias if the temps. fall below 0F. What's the west African country that I'm thinking of with a female president with close ties to the US. Think the capitol is Monrovia or am I completely confused? It seems the country is in the north-west part. Lee
Very interested to read about your overseas experiences. I believe it is the best form of education you can get. I worked for 6 years in Saudi Arabia, but prior to that traveled all over the Middle East including Lebanon during a gap in the civil war there. Spent 2 years in the British Virgin Islands, then 6 years working in Spain (which is where eventually I retired to) followed by 2 years in the Czech Republic (where I developed my interest in bonsais), but mostly in Russia and former Soviet countries. Now I lead a quiet life enjoying my garden and plants, hill walking in the nearby mountains, enjoying the beautiful indigenous plants of the Mediterranean, painting, Tai Chi and local Spanish politics. So I have had very interesting exposure to plants and trees in the various countries I worked in. More recently have been travelling in Asia, - Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and last year China. Some fabulous gardens in some of these countries especially Thailand. Hope I haven't bored you all.
Yes...I'm off today...and am puttering around...will go to lax stay overnight, and then on to the Islands tomorrow ...breaks it up nicely...oh alright...the truth you say!? There are more first class seats available out of LAX...
Yeah, Yekepa was so beautiful. My best friends at that school were from Spain.
Notice my oldest Papaya tree is getting pretty tall!
The double head came after a hard freeze...it actually had 3...but...lost one when the papayas got too heavy!
I'm in USDA zone 10-B. Do we get frost down here? I've been here 3 years and I haven't experienced anything that even closely resembles that. However, we do get some pretty decent drops in temperatures.
Just yesterday, the weatherman said we would be experiencing the coolest temperatures of the season after the passage of hurricane Hanna. The night time temperatures would fall to the high 60s/low 70s. We just put another blanket on the bed and didn't worry about it.
Over here in San Diego we are practically frost free. Frost ? What's frost? lol
For you guys who plant your papayas in the ground...how do I know the seedlings are good to go to their final spot? This is my first time with papayas and I'm super excited! : ) I also have a 6 inch baby guava tree in a pot and a fig that is bearing fruit right now.
This morning I went to a gardening seminar, where I bought a Brazilian banana tree for 12 bucks! Did I say I'm excited?
Roberta : )
I lost one tree. It had 10 inch long Papayas on it, so it was already leaning, but a huge branch dropped like bomb in that section. The papayas are on the front porch rippening now. The others look like they will survive. The front garden is looking alot better. Not sure if the banana tree with bananas on it is going to make it. It's looking a bit haggard.
One of our banana trees that went down had bananas on it. They are still on their stalk, so they will ripen eventually.
I am still trying to get reorganized. It will take awhile. Got to wash out the Refrig and freezer tomorrow. Take more pictures...many things to do! They just lifted the boil water ban, so now I can clean tomorrow.
Still cleaning out here, waiting on power still. Have a guy coming out tomorrow to look at fence.
Looks like the bananas on the banana tree are still doing okay. The treen looks pretty bad though. I probably should cut off the yellow leaves?
Hi Everybody, Thought I'd bump this thread while I'm awaiting the arrival of Jenny's monster papaya seeds.
I wrote to the owners of http://www.jlhudsonseedds.net about our papaya seed germination experiments Received a very nice response today, detailing their experiments with germinating a lot of different papaya seeds. If anyone wants a copy of the email send me a dmail giving me your email address and I'll forward it to you. In short, just as we have discovered, germination is all over the map.
What if one were to own a parrot, a parakeet or some sort of large pet bird...
You could feed papaya seeds to the bird and just plant the sheet of newspaper at the bottom of the cage after the bird is finished "processing" the seeds. It seems easier than training some wild and ungrateful bird to poop in a certain spot. I know for a fact that our Florida birds are just plain untrainable.
Come to think of it, my friend Cassandra has 2 or 3 large birds. I think I will ask her to do that for me. It's so crazy, it just might work.
Wonderful idea, Sylvain. Let us know if it works. After reading the varied results the people at JLHudson have had I'm hoping we can come come up a more reliable method for germination. I can see troops of DGers going to pet stores, asking to "rent-a-bird" for seed germination purposes. Maybe someone could have a small home business as I think there are other seeds that must also make this trip in order to germinate. I should have planted the dog poop after the dogs ate some of my papaya seeds. See if a dog's intestines have the some effect. I can see a whole new area of scientific inquiry opening up here.
Step right up ladies and gentlemen. Here are first quality, pre-digested papaya seeds, at the amazingly low price of $5.00/sheet. Just lay the sheet flat on the ground, cover with 1/2 inch potting soil, keep moist and watch your papaya seedlings sprout. (The crowd claps appreciatively).
Astound your friends, amaze your neighbors, amuse your children. Great for window sills. Makes a great holiday gift. Results may vary. But wait! Order within the next 12 minutes and we'll include 2 sheets for the same very reasonnable amount of $5.00 or 2 easy-pay payments of 2.50. Hurry, quantities are limited; our birds can only produce so much.
Come to think of it, some of the most successful Papaya's I can remember were at Brother Wrights chicken farm in Liberia. Aside from the digestion, perhaps the bird dooo works almost as well. Have to make a note of that.
I'm about to cut open a Papaya I picked a couple days ago and share it with the office.
Thanks for that info on the seeds! It's pretty consistent with my experience. They sproute when they feel like it and not before then!
The unusual way I look at life and its viscissitudes makes you laugh. There is nothing funny about selling the newspaper sheets at the bottom of the budgie's cage. What's funny is that people might be willing to pay for soiled newspaper. That right there is funny. I'm just the guy who writes about it.
Observing some seeds that sprouted wild in the garden, I noticed that seeds coming up in very loose soil with large mulch grew extremely fast, in fact the same tree that volunteered in very little soil is 5 times the size of others growing from the same time. Sooo...I prepared a loose mixture with quarter sized pine bark mixed in, and the propagation rate is off the hook.
The seedling, more treelike, you brought to me last year grew beautifully and even teased that it was going to bloom and then the frost got it even though I had wrapped it as carefully as I could. This spring, as with most of the tropicals, it came up from the root with 5-6 stems. I cut all away after a few weeks leaving the strongest. It is growing very fast and more like a vine. Thin stem from top to soil level and seems to be attempting to wrap around a nearby banana. We shall see.
Mike is saving a mango seed for me. Don't expect much success but I sure enjoy trying.
Just checking in on this papaya theme after a few months. Just want to say that for the first time in my tropic gardening life I have two healthy five foot papaya trees in the back yard with flower buds on. After trying for years on sandy soil, killing with fertiliser, etc...I think I finally have figured out how to do it by accident. I made a wire framed compost in the back part of the yard. A couple of volunteer papaya plants started growing on the edge of the compost from food scraps. When they got several inches in height I transferred them out of the compost to about 1 foot away on each side of the compost...and have been watering them. They are looking wonderful...sandy soil for drainage...me to water them...and roots growing right under the compost heap to nourish them. I have finally have hope of harvesting home grown fruit.
By the way, I just want to make sure you all know that green papaya makes a beautiful vegetable in your stir fry...just cut up small...as well as for eating ripe. The soft overipe fruit also make great jam...just add a bit of ginger powder as well to balance the strong papaya flavor. aloha
I have been growing papaya for a few years now.
i had bought a fruit from Wall Mart that said "Carribean Red" which i think is just a type of Maradol. (mexican)
The first time i had lost a papaya it was because of root-rot.
I lost one tree a couple of years ago.
They hate wet roots and need well draining soil, but hate wet roots, especially if its cold.
The roots had bumps on them (root knot nematode) which they get easily if they are susceptible in cold-wet weather. -Also , the roots will turn to mush.
This past year, i had learned my lesson and built up the soil several inches when planted it, about a 10inch plant. it grew to over 15ft in a year and a half.
I had grown several large trees that survived years here in New Orleans until this last winter.
It got down to 25F, and stayed under 30F for a couple of days. Then it rained hard for 2 days, and got down to 25 again.
This time, even with a raised bed, the trees did not survive/
Many of the roots still seemed OK, the raised bed heleped, but the tops of the trees turned to mush.
Papaya is an herb, not a real tree.
It has a very high water content in the cells
If they freeze, they will turn to mush.
The bottom 2ft of the trunk, which was woody, was OK,
but this wasnt enough to save the tree.
I used very little fertilizer on them, mostly chicken poo.
twice i had fertilized the large ones with high N fert, but 1/2 strength.
they LOVE worm castings.
I had added a LOT of coffee grounds to the soil, and while that helped. what it did, was bring in worms. worms LOVE coffee grounds, and papaya LOVE worm castings.
I had thrown some seeds in a pot which had lots of rock and sand, and a little organic material.
one papaya took off, and i cut down the others.
i had forgotten about the plant, and forgot to water it,
it was surprisingly healthy with very dry rocky/sandy soil.
(it was only getting 1/2 day of sun)
My large plants do well in full sun, they grow faster, ,as long as they get water.
i try to keep several plants over winter in the greenhouse so i can plant them out in the spring.
Hi..there...a few months since I looked in. Just to say that I use green papaya cut up into small bits for stir fries and stews. It is a good extender. If very green...flesh is white in color with not much taste. If getting near ripe then the flesh may get a yellow color to it when cooked and a bit more flavor. Some papayas are not that tasty so if I have a tree like that I will not wait until it is ripe but use it as a vegetable.