Paul Nickerson

Propagating Papayas

In Propagation on September 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Papaya Seedlings

So about a month ago, I was talking with an older, Chinese woman about some mango trees I am growing. She was put off by the length of time it take for a mango tree to mature to fruition, and told me I shouldn’t be growing mangoes, but papayas. ‘Just remember,’ she stated, ‘you need one of each gender. If you have that you will get fruits very fast.’

Germinating papayas is almost too easy. After removing the seeds from fruit, soak them in a soapy solution to break down some of the fleshy material encapsulating the individual seeds. This is important as residual flesh rots and stinks. Once the flesh is removed from the seeds, they should be thoroughly rinsed.

Covered Seedlings

Sow the seeds just below the surface in a small pot, water evenly, and cover with a piece of plastic or a plastic bag. I first attempted to germinate the seeds on a paper towel in a plastic bag. After a week, I opened the bag to check on them. I had not cleaned off all of the flesh, and had to continue the process outside due to the smell. My second attempt was carried out in a covered pot, and had wonderful results.

Once the seeds germinated, I placed a clear container (we got tea in it from a Chinese take-out) over the top of the pot to keep in moisture and warmth.


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