Papaya Care

Scientific name: Carica papaya

Papayas are large, fast-growing, tree-like herbs. They often reach full height in one year, especially the dwarf varieties. The stem and leaves contain abundant white, milky latex.

Papayas grown from seed can be either male, female, or hermaphroditic. Males do not produce fruit. Female plants need a male to produce. The more desirable hermaphroditic plants have both male and female flowers and don't require a second plant to produce fruit.

Papayas are heavy producers and frequent fertilization for best results. In South Florida, papayas planted in March or April will begin ripening in November or December. Papayas can produce 75 pounds of fruit per year or 2 to 4 fruits per week.

  • Average mature height: up to 20 feet
  • Cold tolerance: Protect from frost and freezing
  • Fertilizer: First 2-3 months - apply liquid fertilizer and then 1 pound of 4-8-6 granular fertilizer weekly.  
  • Light: Full sun
  • Soil: Rich, porous, well-drained
  • Spacing: 36-60 inches apart

Shop for Papayas at Wellspring Gardens.

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