August 6, 2022

Papaya plant

The Papaya tree (Carica papaya) is a tropical fruit that originated in Mexico and South America. It was taken to the Caribbean and Southeast Asia first and then spread to India, Oceania, and Africa.

It is now grown throughout the North American tropics and other tropical regions around the world. This large, short-lived perennial plant with a single trunk can reach up to 30 feet (9 m.) at maturity. Palmate leaves are deeply lobed and over 3 feet (1 m.) in width.

The fruit of the Papaya is also called pawpaw and is eaten raw without the skin. The papaya fruit is slightly sweet, with an agreeable musky tang, low in calories and high in potassium and vitamin A. Papaya is also used in drinks, jellies, salads, desserts and is also dried and candied.

Papaya grows best in sandy, well-drained soil. Papaya trees will not survive water-logged soil for more than a day. Papaya plants grow and fruit best in areas where temperatures remain warm to hot (70°F–90°F). Root growth is best if soil temperatures remain above 60°F and slows or declines below that temperature. Papaya is very frost sensitive; temperatures below 29°F will damage and may kill the tree.

Well-cared-for plants may begin to produce flowers 4 months after planting and fruit 7 to 11 months after planting. Generally, fruit is picked when there is 1/5 to 1/3 color change in the fruit. After picking, keep at room temperature to fully ripen. A ripe papaya will be aromatic and give slightly to gentle pressure. The flesh of ripe papayas is juicy with a buttery consistency. Ripe fruit will keep 4 to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Papaya plant

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