Living Crop Museum


Wilmington College 2005 

 Tropical Crops

Common Name:


Latin Name:

Carica papaya



Crop Origin:

Central America


Perennial fruit

Date Planted:

transplanted 1 June, 2006

Growth Stages in Ohio

Papaya Jan 1 06.JPG (2912389 bytes) Papaya feb 6 06.JPG (1486512 bytes) Papaya March 4 06.JPG (3486582 bytes) Papaya Apr 4 06.JPG (3248998 bytes) Papaya May 5 06.JPG (2655349 bytes) Papaya 3 June 05.JPG (3028643 bytes)
January February March April May June
Papaya 1 July 05.JPG (3446854 bytes) Papaya 7aug05.JPG (2359616 bytes) Papaya 3 sep 05.JPG (2450740 bytes) Papaya 1 oct 05.JPG (2515182 bytes) Papaya 4 Nov 05.JPG (2867973 bytes) Papaya 2 dec 05.JPG (3642431 bytes)
July August


October November December

Cultivation in Ohio

Primary Uses:

Fresh fruit


Papaya is either male or female.  Only female plants bear commercial fruit.  Plants are started from seed in a nursery.  Papaya may also be propagated from cuttings or tissue cultures.

 Seeding Rate:

Puerto Rican trials have shown that papaya plants set in the field on 6 ft (1.8 m) centers made stronger, stouter growth and were more fruitful than those at closer spacings. Some growers insist on an 8 x 8 ft (2.4 x 2.4 m) area per plant.


Optimum pH range is 5.5 to 6.7.  The best results have been obtained by giving 9 oz (250 g) of nitrogen, 9 oz (250 g) of phosphorus, and 18 oz (500 g) potash to each plant each year, divided into 6 applications.


Most insects causing damage in the Caribbean area include papaya fruit fly, (Toxotrypana curvicauda), papaya web-worm, or fruit cluster worm, (Homolapalpia dalera), papaya whitefly, (Trialeuroides variabilis), and red spider mite, (Tetranychus seximaculatus).


A serious disease of Papaya is the mosaic virus which has been controlled only by introducing GMO varieties with resistance.  Other diseases include Papaya ringspot virus, Bunchy top, Anthracnose, phytophthora blight, Root-rot by Pythium sp., Powdery mildew, caused by Oidium caricae, Corynespora leaf spot, and Black Spot.


For the local Hawaiian market, in winter months, papayas may be allowed to color fairly well before picking, but for local market in summer and for shipment, only the first indication of yellow is permissible. The fruits must be handled with great care to avoid scratching and leaking of latex which stains the fruit skin.  Picking starts when the plants are 11 months of age and continues for 48 months when the trees are 25 ft (7.5 m) high, too tall for further usefulness.


Brief exposure to 32 F is damaging; prolonged cold without overhead sprinkling will kill the plants.  In Ohio plants must be overwintered in the greenhouse.    TCS



 Papaya leaf.JPG (2044920 bytes)


 Papaya flower.JPG (1124680 bytes) Papaya fruit ripe.JPG (1588156 bytes) 


 Papaya seeds.JPG (1358664 bytes) Papaya fruit cut.JPG (1805515 bytes)


Papaya distribution map.jpg (31377 bytes)

  More Information