Papaya trees for home gardens, grow easily in tropical as well as sub-tropical places. In India, it is very common to have at least one papaya tree, in home gardens. Any place, with bright sunlight and a well drained sandy soil, is ideal for the proper growth of the plant.
The perennial trees having hollow trunks with soft wood, are really short lived. Usually, the tree grows up to a height of about 25-30 ft, in sunny places. Whereas, the trunk becomes taller in shady places.
However, a lot of dwarf hybrid varieties are available, that we can grow even in pots.
Generally, the papaya trees are having single trunk. If you like your papaya trees to branch out, you can prune the tip of the trunk, using a sharp knife or scissors.
But we should take extreme care, while cutting the papaya trees. Because, the plants have the tendency to rot faster. Avoiding the rainy season is equally important, for pruning your papaya tree.
Surely, we can grow papaya as an ornamental tree, in our gardens. The fruit bearing tree, with spirally arranged palmate leaves, is really attractive. Certain varieties, such as the golden papaya with yellow fruits, can definitely add colour to our gardens.
You can try it, along with other flowering as well as non-flowering plants, in your garden.
Commonly there are three types of papaya trees, male, female and bisexual. Among these, the bisexual species produces lots of fruits that are also larger in size. Moreover, we can use the seeds of these plants for propagation.
The delicious papaya fruits are rich sources of nutrients. In addition to the ripe fruits, we can use the raw ones for making dishes. In Kerala, we make different dishes with raw papaya fruits. The Papaya thoran and Papaya erissery are delicious side dishes, that go well with boiled rice and chappathis.
The colourful candied raw papaya fruits, are widely used in bakeries, for decorative purposes.
Likewise, different parts of the plant have lots of medicinal properties. aw papaya fruits, is an effective remedy for worm troubles in kids. The juice, made with the tender papaya leaves, is used for reducing the symptoms of ailments such as the dengue fever.
Never forget, that the latex(sap) of raw papaya may cause allergic reactions in some people.
Above all, different combinations of the fruit pulp, are widely used for cosmetic purposes.
When compared to other fruits, this delicious and nutritious fruit is much cheaper.
However it is really easier, to grow a few papaya trees in our home gardens. Because of having single trunk, the papaya trees require only minimum space. Hence, surely there is no need to worry about the size of our garden, while growing the papaya plants.
Let us see the simple tips, for growing the papaya trees in home gardens.
Propagation of Papaya trees for home gardens
Through the germination of seeds, we can propagate the papaya trees. For this, always remember to use seeds collected from ripe mature fruits.
Besides, we can buy seedlings of good quality papaya trees, directly from nurseries. Preferably, Indian varieties like the Red lady, Madhu bindu, Pusa giant etc. that are really delicious.
Germination of seeds
If you collect the seeds from fresh fruits, keep it in shade for a few days to dry. Then, saw the seeds about half inches deep in a medium prepared by mixing river sand, coco peat and garden soil.
Water moderately, on a daily basis. The seeds start sprouting, within a period of two to three weeks.
When the seedling reaches a height of about six inches, you can transplant your papaya.
Ordinarily, it is better to grow the papaya plants directly in the garden. The soft trunk has the tendency to rot faster, and hence always choose a location with a well drained soil.
You can prepare the pit by filling it with a mixture of garden soil, bone meal, dried cow dung and coco peat. After planting the seedlings, provide shade for a few days and water regularly.
Normally, the papaya trees need bright sunlight.
Within a period of about six to eight months, your papaya trees start blooming.
Pot planting Papaya trees for home gardens
For pot planting, it is better to select dwarf hybrid varieties.
Prepare a potting medium by mixing ingredients in the following ratio.
|Dried cow dung||20%|
|A mixture of bone meal and some other organic manure||10%|
Remember to find a sunny place for your potted papaya, which is essential for better blooming.
Balconies with sunlight for a few hours a day, and terrace gardens are equally good.
Feeding the plant occasionally, with some organic manure is essential for a healthy growth.
One of the main problems that affects the papaya trees, is rotting of the stem as well as fruits. Especially, in tropical regions, there are more chances during the months of monsoon.
Also there are possibilities of attacks by certain types of fungi. Applying some fungicides at the affected areas is an effective remedy, that can also prevent further spreading.
Keeping the above points in mind, try to grow and enjoy the freshness of papaya fruits from your own garden.