Biannual papaya

Do any of you have experience growing papaya as a biannual, or with overwintering papaya in general?

My growing season isn’t quite long or hot enough to fruit papaya in one year, best I can tell, and even if I did they’d of ripen a few fruits in the fall, not ideal for good brix or flavor. I’m going to be starting some dwarf varieties during the summer, letting them put on some size, keep them indoors over the winter, and then set them out in ground to finish growing and fruit next summer. I doubt I’d be able to bring them indoors after that since they’ll be pretty big even if kept in pots, but I am hoping I’ll get enough off of them to make the care worthwhile.

I’m using Waimanalo, since they’re pretty short and supposed to be very sweet.

Thoughts, recommendations?

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I grow a bunch of fruits in containers as you describe, though never papaya. I’ve been tempted but figure it’s probably not very well adapted to staying dormant for 5 months of the year. Maybe though. I’ve had great luck with Tamarillo, though, which i didn’t expect to do all that well. I’ve had the same one going for 8 or 9 years and it makes a couple quarts of fruit every year. I figure papaya is after warm temps and bright light though, and until I build a heated attached greenhouse with some lights, I’ll probably stick to subtropicals.

ECHO in Ft. Myers sells seeds of a dwarf papaya. And Logee’s in CT sells plants, fyi

Good luck though and let us know if you have success!

They set fruit in the North American fall and (attempt to) ripen in April.

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That very trait has been the downfall of some of my other attempts. Loquat, for example, seemed very adaptable to pot culture. I raised seedlings and grafted a couple of cultivars to them. But every year they’d flower in December and make tiny little fruits that were (sort of) ripe about the time I’d set them out again in May. I wound up tossing them, and learned to pay more attention to flowering time.

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Just bought some Waimanalo and Hawaiian Solo “Sunset” seedlings. Arriving next week.

Did you end up growing these? If so, any notes on what you saw?

I am also expecting a bunch of seeds of Hawaiian Solo Sunset so we will see how this goes.

I’m tempted to put at least one seedling papaya into the ground.

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Why wouldn’t you?

You mean put one into the ground? Space constraints mostly but we like papaya enough to give it some space of it’s own :slight_smile:

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I didn’t have time to plant them last year. I recently planted two though. I’m not expecting fruit from them given when I started them, but I want to gauge growth and if they’ll flower before frost this year so I can time things right for next year.

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Got it.

For others who are interested:

Found the following helpful links about these varieties:

Waimanlo Hawaiian Papaya

Solo Sunset Papaya (Hawaii)

You can also find threads on these on other forums. Will post any that seem particularly helpful.

I bought the seedling papayas and the seeds from:
https://www.kauainursery.com/ in Kauai.

I happened to be able to pick them in person but am having them shipped. Their website isn’t the best but you can call them. They also ship and do orders purely over the phone. Prices and shipping were pretty reasonable - call them to ask. Will update this with prices a bit later once I get the receipts out.

Edit: adding prices:
The sizes I picked, I got the following prices:
Papaya at $10 per plant. They were about 1-1.5ft tall. They had bigger plants certified for shipment to the mainland but I picked these since I wanted to grow them myself and also since I figured shipping would be less damaging to slightly smaller plants. IDK.
Guava seedling - $12
Ship costs were a base rate of $25 for a package accommodating about 16 plants (based on sizes) and then $3 per plant. So for me, for 11 plants, the ship cost was $25+$33=$58.
I decided to pay $10 more for overnight shipping.
They apparently only ship on Mon, Tue and Wed.

Guava seeds and Payapa seeds packets @ $6.50 each. Pic below.


Will post pics of the shipment once it arrives.

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I grew two seedlings I think two winters ago and last spring I planted them, they only got about 3 feet tall, the top died back a few inches and I’m waiting to see if they regrow. They are green and I don’t see why they won’t but only time will tell. I’d imagine I’ll have the same issue you mentioned. I have a tiny babaco papaya in my greenhouse that I may keep potted. Just a fun experiment for me.

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Edited post above to add costs for plants and seeds, shipping costs, pics of seed packets.

Update - received the shipment today. All plants arrived in perfect condition with excellent packaging and on time.

I’m impressed!





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