As prescribed by Paulina Constancia
Basic Information About Papayas/Pawpaws
Papaya (most common name)
Pawpaw, Papaw (Australia & some Caribbean countries)
Tree melon (English)
Fruta Bomba (in most of Cuba)
Los Llanos (Venezuela)
Lechosa (Eastern Central Colombia)
Mamón (Argentina and Paraguay)
Info source for Papaya names
Origin: Southern Mexico, Central America, Northern South America
Distribution: Most tropical countries
Evergreen or deciduous: Evergreen
Flowers: Papaya has pleasant smelling flowers with five cream-white to yellow-orange petals of 2 to 5 cm length. The stigmatic surfaces are pale green in color. The stamens are bright yellow.
Leaves: The spirally arranged leaves are on the top of the trunk. The lower part of the trunk shows the scars from earlier leaves and fruits. The large leaves are about 50-70 cm in diameter, they are deeply lobed with 7 lobes.
Fruits: Smooth skinned fruits. Papaya fruits vary a lot in size and shape, depending on the variety and type of plant (round, oval, pear-shaped, etc.). Fruits can be small ( afew hundred grams) to big (several kilos). Usually the fruits contain many seeds surrounded by the smooth yellow to orange-red flesh which usually has a sweet taste.
Climate and weather: Papaya needs a warm tropical climate.
Pollination: Based on flower type there are three types of papaya plants: female, hermaphrodite, and male. Hermaphrodite flowers are usually self-pollinating. Female flowers are probably pollinated by wind or by insects (thrips, moths). Hand pollination can be used for better fruit setting.
Height: 5 to 10 meter
Light: Papayas need a lot of sunlight.
Type of soil: Papayas prefer light, well-drained soils. They do not like very wet soil.
Spacing (close range) 1.5 meter Spacing (wide range) 3 meter
Propagation:Papayas are usually propagated by seed.
Insect pests:Mealybugs, thrips, mites, white flies, fruit spotting bugs, fruit flies.
Diseases:Virus diseases, mildew, anthracnose, root rot.
Harvesting:Harvest by hand when most of the skin is yellow-green. Then keep the fruit for ripening at room temperature for several days. The fruit is ripe when it feels soft and its skin has attained an amber to orange color.
Uses:Eat papaya as a fresh fruit. Peel the skin, then slice the content and remove the seeds. To enhance the taste squeeze some lemon juice over it. Papaya can be mixed in fruit salads.
How to Grow Papaya
Info Source: Tropical Permaculture
My son Lucas helping out in the Papaya Harvest at KPAF.
He volunteered to lift the papayas. It may appear like he’s experiencing backpains after moving two papayas to the other end of the truck, but he’s actually rubbing the sticky papaya sap on his shirt which he eventually rubbed onto his eyes, then he cried for help because he started feeling terribly itchy all over. It’s too bad we couldn’t help anymore with the harvest after the first tree. I had to rush back to the house to give him a bath, and then it looked like he had two big insect bites on his eye lids. Perhaps, some microscopic insects were drawn to the fresh papaya sap that he had rubbed onto his eyelids, or maybe he had an allergic reaction to the sap and it caused the redness and irritation. Indeed, there are many things I am just beginning to understand about the world of PAPAYAS/PAWPAWS. Together we will learn more about this amazing fruit this week.