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Where can I buy a papaya tree?

11 posts in this topic

I'm looking for a larger (5 foot plus) papaya tree. Where can I find a big one in So Cal?

Mark@WayToGoPalms.com

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Im not sure if this helps, but......

If you buy a papaya at the grocery store, the seeds will very very readily germinate. And, from seed to 5 ft might only take a few months.

I grew some from seed a number of years ago and from May to November they went from seeds spit out of a fruit to trees that were 10-12 ft tall.

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In So. California you are better off buying a plant unless you can generate the heat needed to germinate. There is a place in the Valley that sells a number of different types of Papaya though I don't remember the name (you can Google Papaya and SF Valley).

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Papaya trees grow like weeds in my place - we can't cut them quickly enough. Give them a year and they reach 3-5 feet and then become really difficult to remove. The fruit is extremely popular - a fvourite of crows, men and urchin alike so the seedlings are not to blame I suppose.

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I save all my papaya seeds and germinate them very easily. In California it'll take a year to get them from seed to about a 12" tall plant. Then it's off to the races. Once they're 12" tall and Summer hits you'll have a 7 foot tall plant with Papayas that very season with the fruit ripening next Spring. They are available periodically at Home Depot and Lowes and stores like that. I've found that the key is to plant them near other plants that are getting irrigated but don't irrigate them directly. That way the roots can go and get water but the trunks stay relatively dry so they don't rot out.

post-126-096206100 1294246681_thumb.jpg

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You also need at least one male plant for every 10 female papaya plants.

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They also become very unhappy at exactly 32 degrees and usually go into a death spiral after experiencing it. Papayas are the least hardy plant in my yard, but it's fun to watch how fast they grow over the summer.

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

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Hi Mark,

You can certainly get any fruit tree in any nursery in an asian community like in the San Grabriel Valley (including). Here's one in East L.A. next to Monterey Park, called Mimosa Nursery. 323-722-4543 that have it.

-David

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Mark:

As is becoming evident, you're better off getting small plants for papayas. There are a number of varieties with different ripening times, fruit color, size, etc. I've seen them all over the place, including Lowe's and Home Depot. They might be hard to find now, since they're definitely a warm-weather plant, but, it's worth the look.

They're easy to grow from saved seed, but some varieties won't come true, which might be good, or might not (play the genetic lottery!)

Be very careful to make sure they have perfect drainage. They'll rot fast if they get wet feet. If you have heavy clay, plant them in well-amended mounds of soil. They also benefit from warm sun hitting the roots in the winter time.

They're all over the place in Mexican neighborhoods, even in Guada La Habra, right up the road from you.

The big problem is that once a papaya grows tall, it gets too hard to harvest the fruit, so most people just keep new plants coming along and cut big ones down. (If you've got a fruit picker, you can let them grow to 20 feet or more, which they will.)

Also, keep in mind that a papaya isn't really a tree, but a large herbacious plant. That distinction can be important if you hit the trunk with overspray from Roundup. A woody trunk with heavy bark, like a pecan or orange, no problem. A green stem (even a fat one) can absorb a chemical like that with bad results, unless you want to kill it . . . .

Let us know what you do, and what happens. Your shared experience will add to the body of knowledge, which will be good for all of us. (Particularly if you prove the experts wrong about something!)

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In Orlando zone 9b they grow vigorously to form woody trunks and plenty of fruit. I planted mine 5+ years ago and it quickly grew into a monster - losing it's growing point to freezing temps but quickly branching by the following spring (usually the leaves freeze at 32°F but the stems and the top of the trunk melt and collapse in the high 20s) . At one point it got so full of fruit that one of the branches collapsed by its weight. I lost it to the 2010 winter but since it self seeds once it bears fruit many seedlings came back.

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I'm looking for a larger (5 foot plus) papaya tree. Where can I find a big one in So Cal?

Mark@WayToGoPalms.com

I have many years experience growing papayas. Most varieties will grow very quickly if seeds are planted directly planted into the ground - usually growing 3 to 5 feet within one summer. The 'Solo' types seem to grow the fastest, although they need to be replaced every 3 - 5 years. My experience with Mexican varieties is: they grow slower, live longer and bear fruit over a longer period of time. Most Hawaiian 'Solo' and Mexican 'Maradol' varieties are available for sale in larger sizes at Home Depot and Lowe's stores.

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