Paw paws / Papayas are a tropical fruit native to southern Mexico and Central America. These plants love the heat and frost-free areas. Papayas grow as a single trunk with a non-spreading habit. They are fast growing but also short lived.
Attractive trees with large tropical deep-lobed green leaves that are spirally arranged around the trunk. Ideally suited to add to your tropical planting with the benefit of delicious fruit.
Good levels of vitamin C & A. High levels of magnesium, iron, copper and potassium. Also good levels of fibre.
How to Eat
Protect your fruit from possums, rats and fruit bats. With a hessian bag over fruit or a plant pot slid onto trunk of tree to prevent climbling pests. Papaya can be eaten green or fully ripe. Green fruit should be cooked to remove the latex content. Added to skewered vegetables and meat for the barbeque or to a curry. The fully ripe fruit are picked once they are in full colour and will soften at room temperature. Can be eaten fresh or added to desserts, ice cream or savoury dishes.
A healthy plant will produce 30kg of fruit a season. Once the tree is 3-4 years old the yield per year will decrease. If the climate is warm enough the fruits can ripen year round. In the cooler areas fruits will ripen late autumn to early winter.
Generic Fruiting Time
Not wind tolerate as the leaves are easily damaged.
Not salt tolerate.
Papaya need a warm, sheltered position. Papayas need regular mositure during the hotter months.
Light well-drained slightly acidic loam with plenty of nutrients.
Fertilise your tree with an all-purpose organic fruit tree fertiliser every 2-3 months in the hotter months. Mulch with lots of organic matter.
Do not need pruning.
Papayas are susceptible to root rot - make sure the soil is free-draining. Also a variety of insects including thrips, white fly and mites are attracted to these plants. Ask your local garden centre for a spray if they become a nuisance. Keep your plants stress free with plenty of mositure and nutrients.