Papaya are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow. These beauties thrive in tropical climates year round and can be grown in the summer gardens and pots in the more northern parts of the states. Getting the right variety is key to getting good fruit production. Many varieties are female or males but a few are self fertile and some are dwarf growers making container growing possible.
Papaya thrive on good soil and lots of water. Be sure to give they fast growers what they need to get into fruit as soon as possible. Heavy mulches of hay or leaves help keep the roots cool and moist.
Growers in tropical areas are able to harvest lots of tree ripened fruit, great in fruit salads, smoothies and ice cream. More northern gardeners get a few ripe ones before winter sets in, but lots and lots of green papaya. Green papaya are a staple to many Thai, Indian and South Asian dishes. They are used in salads and curries. We have found they make great potato chips if sliced thinly and fried.
You could not ask for a more tropical looking plant in the landscape than papayas. The large deeply cut leaves and huge cantaloupe size fruit that hug the trunk, scream South Seas Island. Pair with bananas and citrus for a beautiful tropical look.
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