Simply Papaya

When I was a kid, I don’t think  I ever really looked at a papaya flower.  We had a couple of papaya trees in our garden and it seemed like we always had papaya to eat.  My mom just  scattered the seeds in the ground and without fail, the seeds would germinate, grow to be  fruiting trees in no time at all.  And  the papaya fruits back then were all huge which we could hardly finish eating.

So just imagine now in my adulthood , when I tried to grow the “simple” papaya, I am baffled why I am faced  with  some challenges. 

The first one  bore fruits but they kept dropping off before maturity . The tree was quite skinny and sickly. Maybe I didn’t fertilise it enough.

The next three plants bore lots of flowers but they were male and couldn’t bear fruits!

Lots of (male) flowers!

It is very frustrating, to say the least, that after nuturing a papaya plant for many months only to find that it is a MALE papaya plant. Here’s a close-up of the male flower.

Beautiful clump of non-fruiting MALE flowers

Finally I have a possible successful papaya tree… the female flower is already fertilised and the young fruit is forming nicely. Here’s how a proper female papaya fruiting-flower looks like.

Joy! A fruiting female papaya tree.

I learnt that even though you may have a female papaya plant, the flowers may drop if they are not fertilised. While some papaya trees may self-fertilised, others may require cross fertilisation. So pray that there are other papaya trees around your neighbourhood.

As a footnote, I grow all my papaya trees in large pots, not in the ground. So actually there is a different challenge growing it in a pot compared to directly in the ground.

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