Red Lady Papaya Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 9 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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Description

The Red Lady Papaya Tree is a tropical plant that produces as much as sixty to eighty pounds of sweet, succulent Papayas per season. Not only are they large producers, but the reliable Red Lady Papaya Trees can make fruit in their first year. The fast growing Red Lady Papaya can be grown in the ground in USDA Zones 9 to 11, or in a pot in Zones 4 to 11. Red Lady Papaya Trees grow to about twenty feet tall with a crown of leaves that is ten or more feet wide. They like full sun, plenty of water, and the umbrella-like trees add a tropical look to the edible landscape. Red Lady Papaya Tree leaves can be used for making tea, their fiberous trunks, leaves and stems make great mulch, and the dried leaf stalks are a quick-lighting kindling.

Red Lady Papaya Trees grow bunches of green fruit that form after blooms at the trunk top under the shady canopy of wide leaves. The ripe Papayas turn yellow and orange, and their flesh is orange, sweet, and contains many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial enzymes. Each fruit produces hundreds of seeds, so a few Red Lady Papaya Trees can be the basis for many future crops. Red Lady Papaya Trees are self-pollinating, naturally resistant to many pests, and tolerant of almost any type of rich but well-drained soil. They grow best in full sun with deep watering and heavily mulched soil to stop weeds and grass from forming at the tree base. Plant a few easy to grow Red Lady Papaya Trees and add a touch of tropical flavor to your edible garden.

Papaya Tree Care

Red Lady Papaya Trees grow easily with little maintenance. The trees love to feed and do best when organic material is available in the soil. Red Lady Papaya Trees can be fed compost, leaves, grass clipping, manure, or fruit tree fertilizer. Even if you don’t have a formal compost pile, you can compost organic material directly on the ground around your Red Lady Papaya Tree. Cover freshly added materials, such as vegetative kitchen waste, with sand or grass clippings and water in well.

Red Lady Papaya Trees should be planted in full sun if possible. The trees need at least six hours of direct sun per day to bloom and make fruit. Also, it’s a good idea to place them in a spot that has protection from strong wind. Plant on the south side of a shed, tall hedge, or building to protect from cold northern winds, which may reduce leaf and bloom damage in a storm. Seeds dried from ripe fruits can be started in pots in early spring. Plant new plants after all chance of frost, and water them once per week for the first three months. You can also grow Red Lady Papaya Trees in pots as long as the pots drain and are positioned in direct sun.

Fruit and Harvesting

Red Lady Papaya Trees are fast growing, so a new tree can make fruit in the first year in the ground. New Papayas grow at the top of the tree and start out as small and green. Papayas get larger over a month or two, and the mature fruits are from six to eighteen inches long. The largest Papayas weigh up to four pounds. Harvest Papayas when they turn yellow. Allow harvested Papayas to ripen indoors in a cool place with good airflow. Papayas can also be harvested and used when green for salads. Ripe Papayas are eaten fresh, added to salads, frozen, blended into smoothies, and used to thicken stews.

Red Lady Papaya Tree leaves can be dried and used to make tea. Papaya Leaf Tea is a traditional herbal preparation prized for its many health benefits. The fresh green leaves from the Red Lady Papaya Tree can be used to wrap meat before cooking and their enzymes naturally tenderize beef, chicken, and pork. Other parts of the Red Lady Papaya Trees are also useful. The seeds can be dried and ground as a spice, the leaves and leaf stems can be used as mulch, and the entire plant can be composted.

Growing Zones

Advice

Some Red Lady Papaya Trees have been reported to live up to twenty years, but this is uncommon. A single Red Lady Papaya Tree can grow and produce fruit for up to three or four years, but one tree will not live for decades like a hardwood or citrus tree. This is not a problem since Red Lady Papaya Trees grow so easily from seeds and the new trees grow so fast. As a Red Lady Papaya Tree gets older, the crown of leaves and fruit will naturally grow smaller and smaller. This is a normal process and no amount of extra fertilizer or water will reverse it.

When one of your Red Lady Papaya Trees begins to show diminished growth at the crown, usually after about four years or so, simply cut the tree down at the base and compost the plant material. Red Lady Papaya Tree trunkls are hollow and made up of coarse fibers. A fully grown Red Lady Papaya Tree can be cut down and chopped up with a sharp, sturdy machette. Always use caution when using sharp gardening tools, and be mindful of the surrounding area when cutting down taller plants.

FAQs

What is the origin of Red Lady Papaya Trees?

Red Lady Papaya Trees are naitive to Central America. They have spread to many tropical spots around the world.

How big do Red Lady Papaya Trees get?

Mature Red Lady Papaya Trees in ideal locations can reach heights of thirty feet, with a crown as wide as ten or fifteen feet.

How long do Red Lady Papaya Trees live?

On rare occaision a Red Lady Papaya Tree can live for up to twenty years, but most live for three or four years.

Can I Grow a Red Lady Papaya Tree in a container?

Yes. Red Lady Papaya Trees do great in pots. Grow containerized Red Lady Papaya Trees in sturdy pots that have drainage holes, and be sure to never allow the soil to stay soggy.