Saturday, March 28, 2020

Papaya seedlings make excellent fruit

Two years ago a friend sent me seeds from a Brazilian papaya fruit that she claimed was the best papaya she ever tried.  I started the seeds, gave away a bunch of seedlings, and killed a few in the open ground in Vacaville.  When outside, the seedlings melted with the first frosts in the fall of 2018. However, two seedlings got lucky as they were moved to my work greenhouse. They grew well over the last summer (2019) and started blooming in August.
While the first few flowers fell off, the plant started making the fruits right away. I had the first ripe fruit in mid-January, five and a half months after blooming.
Soon after I was able to compare the fruits from my two trees. While they both are excellent fruits and definitely the best papayas I ever tried, my favorite is #2.  This fruit has really complex flavor profile with refreshing citrus notes.

The trees are very vigorous and will need to go out of the greenhouse soon. I wonder if there is a way to propagate my seedling #2.

Some publications state that budding is doable in papya https://www.ishs.org/ishs-article/49_10

The seeds from clone #2 are available at reallygoodplants.com

6 comments:

  1. Both have beautiful coloring! I love the experiment...start to finish! Keep us posted!

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  2. Wow! How tall are they and are they in ground?

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    Replies
    1. when in greenhouse, they were in 5 gallon pots with the roots escaped to the ground. Now they grow in a coffee orchard in Goleta, CA.

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  3. I'm very interested to know what the minimum greenhouse temperature is that these two papaya plants experience each year? How cold does your greenhouse get in the winter, and how often do you water the papaya when the weather is cold. I'm asking because I've killed many young papaya plants...I keep them in my so-called growing room(unheated except for T-5 grow lights and electric mat) during the winter. The coldest nights inside are 45F and I usually stop watering papaya when the temperature drops below 60F-65F or so.

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  4. I just sent you some questions, and then realized that you were now growing the papaya in Goleta, which is next to the ocean. But I hope you can still answer my questions which pertained to successfully growing the papaya in the greenhouse.

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    Replies
    1. The greenhouse temperature is usually above 55 even on the coldest winter nights. I was watering them every day as they were in 5 Gallon pots.

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