The papaya plant has an erect branch-less trunk 6-20 ft tall, and a palmlike head of foliage at the top. The trunk remains somewhat succulent and soft wooded, and never develops true bark. It is ringed with prominent scars from previous leaf stems and contains an acrid milky latex sap.
The leaves are deeply incised and lobed, up to 24 in across and borne on 24 in petioles. The five-petal flowers are fleshy, waxy and fragrant. There are three different tree types, female plants, male plants and bisexual plants. The female and bisexual plants are the only ones that produce fruit.
Depending on the tree type, this fruit is small to medium round or medium to large oblong shape. Fruit flesh is generally yellow, although some red and orange types exist as well.
|Plant Height||18 inch (46 cm)|
|Plant Spread||6 inch (15 cm)|
|Maximum Reachable Height||30 feet.|
The best place to plant a papaya is on the south or south-east side of a house with some protection from wind and cold weather. Spread a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, leaving an 8-inch gap between the edge of the mulch and the tree trunk.
Dig a hole about twice the size of the bag in which the young tree is growing. Remove the soil from the hole and add some compost and manure. ... Take the plant out of the container. ... Do not disturb the roots. Place the tree in the centre of the hole.
|Watering||Because of shallow roots, growing papaya trees will not tolerate wet conditions.|
|Temperature||Above 55 degrees F.|
|Fertilizer||Provide young plants fertilizer every 14 days using ¼ pound of complete fertilizer. Fertilize older trees with 1 to 2 pounds of fertilizer once a month.|