If I was in charge of papayas around here, nobody would have any papayas. I have been growing them since I’ve been here, but I’ve only had a couple fairly bad fruits in all this time.
They are easy to plant. Drop seeds on the ground and they sprout. Don’t drop seeds on the ground and papayas will still sprout everywhere in places you don’t expect, like the ones I have now. But, in my experience, most of these trees will never reach maturity. The few that do get big and start making fruit seem to want to fall over. We had one very promising tree loaded with fruit and one night I heard this crashing sound, and there it was on the ground with the fruit scattered everywhere (these were the couple bad fruits that I tried to salvage and ripen. Apparently they were too green). The trunk tried to grow again but after a while, it also died.
A couple days ago, Joel went to the window and saw this outside.
What the heck?? The top of the tree just fell off like someone had whacked it off with a machete. The tree has a couple sprouts so it might grow again, but this fruit is certainly lost. I picked out a few of the most promising looking ones and we will see what happens, but I’m not holding out for anything remarkable.
I have a couple other promising trees at the moment, one at the back corner of the house and the other just outside the front fence.
I have another small papaya also just outside the front fence that has male flowers, something you don’t see as often.
Maybe I need some instruction on papayas. I haven’t noticed any other trees getting special care, and I’ve seen others loaded with fruit that seem to be doing OK. Maybe I need to lighten the load on mine and remove some of the fruit so they can support the rest of the fruit? I don’t know. The one that just fell was super tall, but the others have been short enough that removing fruit would be possible. I’ll have to do some asking around.
Meanwhile, thank goodness, other people know how to manage papayas. They are available in the markets year around and they are delicious.