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Anyone growing Babaco(carica pentagona)

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I just picked up a Babaco (carica pentagona). i hear theyre supposed to be more cold hardy that papayas. can anyone confirm this or has any tips for growing this? i always loose papayas during the winter. i think they are getting to much water and are rotting because the way they die looks more like root rot and not cold damage. i was going to mound plant this one and see if it helps. thanks...

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I just picked up a Babaco (carica pentagona). i hear theyre supposed to be more cold hardy that papayas. can anyone confirm this or has any tips for growing this? i always loose papayas during the winter. i think they are getting to much water and are rotting because the way they die looks more like root rot and not cold damage. i was going to mound plant this one and see if it helps. thanks...

Babaco is hardier than Papaya in the sense that it does well in relatively cool weather (soil in particular), where papayas do not thrive or suffer root rot.

Babaco will still be seriously damaged by freezing temperatures.

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I have one in San Francisco and know of others who grow this on the SF Peninsula. Mine is about 4 years old and 20 ft. tall. It does well with our cool summers and cold/wet winters and is a good grower. It gets chlorotic pretty easily. Unfortunately, though, it is a male so I don't get any fruit. Every once in a while a fruit will start to develop, but they fall off before they ripen -- something that I suspect is due to the fact that the tree is male and in desperation throws a random female flower but can't support the fruit. So if you get one, and want fruit, make sure that you get a female and a male.

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1332546626' post=519493]

I have one in San Francisco and know of others who grow this on the SF Peninsula. Mine is about 4 years old and 20 ft. tall. It does well with our cool summers and cold/wet winters and is a good grower. It gets chlorotic pretty easily. Unfortunately, though, it is a male so I don't get any fruit. Every once in a while a fruit will start to develop, but they fall off before they ripen -- something that I suspect is due to the fact that the tree is male and in desperation throws a random female flower but can't support the fruit. So if you get one, and want fruit, make sure that you get a female and a male.

These are supposed to be self fertile. The fruits are seedless as well because it's a sterile hybrid (natural). Could it be the cool that's keeping it from setting fruit?

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A no go in Florida. Too bad, cool.

Alan

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They grow well in NZ, being very happy with our combinations of cool weather and little or no frost. They often don't last long here though, not sure why, although I still have some palnts that are nearly 20 years old. This short life is not a problem as they are one of the easiest plants possible to grow vegetatively, and fruit usually in first year from planting. This one in picture was my first plant about 15 years ago, 18 months after planting as a small cutting.

I can't grow true papaya here, they die every winter. I have grafted papaya onto babaco roots to allow the papaya to survive the temeprate cold wet season and got fruit, which unfortunately didn't fully ripen before the plant was destroyed by a rockfall. I've met a growers in subtropical Australia who has grafted babaco onto papaya roots, as this is the only way to keep them alive during the subtropical hot wet season. We had a good laugh.

Babaco do not need pollinators, and fruit well. If there is a Vasconcellea pollinator present you get seeded fruit, with the resulting seedlings having highly variable but usually intermediate characteristics.

Img_0465.jpg

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I have one in my back yard that lost its foliage in a light frost this winter but has already rebounded and is growing strongly despite chilly, wet recent weather. It's too young/small to fruit. One friend in an area of SF with colder summers than mine succeeded in growing it.

A friend in a part of SF closer to Thom and warmer than my area (Mission District) has two plants covered in fruit that aren't even getting full sun and didn't suffer any frost damage.

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Anyone know where I can get a couple of these. They do good here in Modesto, just cant find a source!

Jeff

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So, y'all got me thinking of what I might have - or not have. I got my Babanco at an SF Botanical Garden sale, and it was labeled as a "Bolivian Mountain Papaya" which in my mind was synonymous with Babanco. But, since the Babanco seems to be self-fertile per these discussions, I'm now wondering. I looked at my "Babanco's" flowers, and they are definitely male. They don't have female parts like an ovary, etc. Since the Babanco discussed here is a hybrid, I'm thinking my plant may be a precursor to the hybrid. Any thoughts? Nevertheless, mine has sailed through our SF fog and cool and has grown like a rocket and is always full of blooms regardless of season. And, flowers or no flowers, it is a nice ornamental. Here are some pictures -- this is my first photo posting, so I hope I get it right:

post-3374-000291400 1333653409_thumb.jpgpost-3374-082083800 1333653422_thumb.jpgpost-3374-051728900 1333653435_thumb.jpgpost-3374-045661500 1333653444_thumb.jpg

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Anyone know where I can get a couple of these. They do good here in Modesto, just cant find a source!

Jeff

they have them at our home depot and lowes down here.

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So, y'all got me thinking of what I might have - or not have. I got my Babanco at an SF Botanical Garden sale, and it was labeled as a "Bolivian Mountain Papaya" which in my mind was synonymous with Babanco. But, since the Babanco seems to be self-fertile per these discussions, I'm now wondering. I looked at my "Babanco's" flowers, and they are definitely male. They don't have female parts like an ovary, etc. Since the Babanco discussed here is a hybrid, I'm thinking my plant may be a precursor to the hybrid. Any thoughts? Nevertheless, mine has sailed through our SF fog and cool and has grown like a rocket and is always full of blooms regardless of season. And, flowers or no flowers, it is a nice ornamental. Here are some pictures -- this is my first photo posting, so I hope I get it right:

post-3374-000291400 1333653409_thumb.jpgpost-3374-082083800 1333653422_thumb.jpgpost-3374-051728900 1333653435_thumb.jpgpost-3374-045661500 1333653444_thumb.jpg

Might it be the mountain papaya, Carica/Vasconcellea pubescens?

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So, y'all got me thinking of what I might have - or not have. I got my Babanco at an SF Botanical Garden sale, and it was labeled as a "Bolivian Mountain Papaya" which in my mind was synonymous with Babanco. But, since the Babanco seems to be self-fertile per these discussions, I'm now wondering. I looked at my "Babanco's" flowers, and they are definitely male. They don't have female parts like an ovary, etc. Since the Babanco discussed here is a hybrid, I'm thinking my plant may be a precursor to the hybrid. Any thoughts? Nevertheless, mine has sailed through our SF fog and cool and has grown like a rocket and is always full of blooms regardless of season. And, flowers or no flowers, it is a nice ornamental. Here are some pictures -- this is my first photo posting, so I hope I get it right:

post-3374-000291400 1333653409_thumb.jpgpost-3374-082083800 1333653422_thumb.jpgpost-3374-051728900 1333653435_thumb.jpgpost-3374-045661500 1333653444_thumb.jpg

It's a Vasconcellea alright, but impossible to tell which one. In this country a lot of Vasconcellea species were introduced in the 80's, and they hybridise so freely that now basically every seedling is a hybrid of unknown parentage and amazing variation, it is probably the same over there. About 10m years ago I made an effort to track down all the original plants to try to build a collection of true genetics, but it was too late even then.

I'm guessing yours is not babaco as babaco is a bit cold sensitive, far more so than other Vasconcellea spp/hybrids, and it does not have the distinctive babaco look.

One of my hybrid Vaconcelleas;

IMG_5994.jpg

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