Papaya is a herbaceous plant that has a short life period and has rapid growth. It consists of a hollow, segmented and straight single stem and has no branches. It presents many large, lobed leaves. The plant height can grow up to several meters.
The fruit has a huge variety of forms, its shape and size vary depending on the variety and type of flower. You all must be familiar that papayas come in three sexes: Male, Female, and hermaphrodite(bisexual). Male Papaya trees must not be considered as they don’t produce fruits. Female papaya trees need the male tree for pollination. Bisexual papaya trees are self-pollinating and even don’t require male trees for pollination.
HOW TO GROW PAPAYA IN POTS
Growing papaya in pots is not a difficult task but taking in mind; it is a little living small tree. You can grow any of the papaya variety in pots but do prefer a dwarf variety.
CHOOSING A CONTAINER
Pick a large 15-20 gallon size container for growing papaya in pots but make sure that there must be drainage holes in the bottom before planting. You can take a jar that is almost 18-22 inches in diameter and 12-15 inches deep.
Sow the seeds directly in the pot to use for growing papaya trees as they don’t transplant well.
GROWING PAPAYA FROM SEEDS
- Always keep in note that seeds must be given some treatment before sowing for germination. The very first method is to wash the seeds to remove the gelatinous coating before sowing simply. One more method is to submerge them in a container full of healthy water for a period of 4 days.
- Change the water twice a day. After two days of soaking, separate the seeds that are unsettled at the bottom or that are floating on the surface from those which are settled down.
- Leave the seeds that are resolved down for some another day. Again, remove the seeds that are floating on the surface. By this way, only the usable papaya seeds are left. On the final day, when water is changed again, add fungicides to it.
- After this method, retain the seeds on cotton cloth for 2 to 3 days keeping up the seeds wet. When a white dot appears, then it means they are ready for sowing.
- Begin to sow the seeds directly on the ground or in the pot or seed tray but make sure that papaya trees don’t transplant well and you will find a low success rate. Seeds will germinate in 2-3 weeks. The perfect germination temperature is around 70F(20C).
PLANTING PAPAYA TREE
- Once the seedlings germinate, sow them straight in a pot as papayas have a very little success rate when they are transplanted.
- Develop the ground well before planting. Make a hole in the soil that is of the same depth as of rootball of the plant but twice wide.
- Apply only slow releases 16-48-0,18-46-0 or balanced 15-15-15 fertilizer according to the product commands at the base of the hole, fill it with a thin layer of soil to prevent the plant roots from coming in contact with the fertilizer.
- The support of each plant should be 1cm above the ground level to avoid root at the base of the stem. After transplanting, a fungicide can be appealed to ensure greater conservation especially if planting during the rainy season.