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Carica papaya (F)
  • RHS AGM

pawpaw

C. papaya is a tree-like, evergreen,herbaceous plant that can reach 6m in tropical conditions. The single, upright stem is topped with a palm-like spread of large, long stemmed, deeply divided leaves. Cream, scented flowers, which may be male, female or hermaphrodite, develop at any time of year directly from the trunk, followed by large, edible, melon-like fruits initially green, ripening to yellow or orange

Other common names
melon tree
papaya
see moretree melon
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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Cream Green Green Orange Yellow
Summer Cream Green Green Orange Yellow
Autumn Cream Green Green Orange Yellow
Winter Cream Green Green Orange Yellow
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1B
Botanical details
Family
Caricaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Name status

Correct

Plant range
S America

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How to grow

Cultivation

Plants require deep, humus-rich soil and sub-tropical conditions to fruit. Can also be grown as bedding or container plants for foliage effect in summer, with well-drained soil, full sun and a sheltered position

Propagation

Propagate by seed - plants can fruit within a year in suitable conditions and need replacing every few years

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Sub-tropical
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning needed

Pests

May be affected by glasshouse red spider mite, glasshouse thrips and glasshouse whitefly

Diseases

Susceptible to root rots

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