How to Grow Papaya Tree from Seed and Expert Plant Care Tips

Drying papaya seeds for planting

Have you ever wondered how to grow a papaya tree from seed? Well, it’s easier than you might think. You see those black seeds after slicing a ripe pawpaw into half? You can use them to grow your own papaya tree indoors or outdoors.

Besides, it’s the most cost-effective way to grow this delicious and nutritious fruit compared to purchasing young plants from a shop.

Although papaya trees were originally cultivated in Mexico and Central America, today, they can be grown anywhere in tropical and subtropical areas. 

By following these six easy steps, you can grow your own papaya tree from seed right from your garden.

How to Grow Papaya Tree from Seed With These Five Easy Steps

Step 1: Collect the Seeds

Select a healthy and ripe papaya fruit that is yellow and slightly soft to ensure the seeds are mature. However, collecting seeds from unripe papaya fruit is not recommended because the seeds are fully mature. 

Cut the papaya fruit into half and toss out the little black seed at the center. 

Step 2: Prepare the Seeds

How to grow papaya tree faster

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The seeds from ripe papaya fruit are often covered with a jelly-like coating (seed coat), which needs to be removed for the seeds to sprout. 

You can remove the seed coat by soaking the seeds overnight and then rub them gently with a paper towel or cloth. Alternatively, you can pour them into a fine mesh strainer and gently rub them against it to remove the coating.  

Rinse the seeds with water to ensure all the coating substance is removed.

Step 3: Dry the Seeds

If you plan to plant the seeds immediately, you don’t need to dry them. However, if you plan to plant them later, you need to dry them. Spread the clean seeds on a paper towel and let them dry in a cool, shady place for about two days. 

When fully dried, the seeds should feel dry and not sticky. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can be intense and damage the seeds. After the seeds are fully dry, store them in paper envelopes in a cool and dark place until they are ready for planting. 

Under optimal conditions, dried seeds can remain viable for about 2 to 3 years, but their germination rates may decrease with time, so don’t keep them for long. 

Step 4: Germinate the Seeds

Soak the dried seeds for 24-48 hours to soften the seed coat and encourage fast germination. Then, fill the pots or seed trays with a well-draining potting mix. Plant the seeds about ½ inch (1.25cm) deep.

Plant several seeds in each pot to increase the chances of successful germination. Move the pots or seed trays to a warm and sunny area because papaya seeds need warmth to germinate. Water the soil lightly to keep it moist but not waterlogged. 

The seeds should germinate into seedlings in about two to four weeks. 

Step 5: Transplant the Seedlings

How to grow papaya in pots from seeds

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Once the seedlings are about 4-6 inches and have two sets of leaves, you can transplant them in your garden or into a larger pot. Select the strongest seedlings and thin the weaker ones. 

If you’re planting the papaya seedlings outdoors, like in your garden, choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil. Papaya trees thrive in rich, loamy soil.

Additionally, if you plan to plant them in pots, choose a container with good drainage and which is at least 18 inches wide to give the plant plenty of space to grow.

How to Care for Your Papaya Tree

After knowing how to plant a papaya tree from seed, it’s important to know how to care for the plant so that it yields delicious tropical fruits. 

Provide Full Sun Exposure

Whether you grow your papaya trees as outdoor plants or houseplants, they require full sun exposure. Give them at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day. 

Plant Them in Well-draining Soils

Papaya trees thrive in well-draining soils, preferably rich, loamy soils. Poor drainage can cause root rot, so if you grow the plant as a houseplant, ensure the containers have drainage holes.

Water Regularly

Watering your plant regularly and deeply (especially during dry periods) will encourage deep root growth. Ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged, and only water when the topsoil is completely dry.

Prune Regularly

How to germinate papaya seeds faster

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Regularly remove damaged, dead, or diseased leaves to keep your plant healthy and maximize on fruit production.

Fertilize Frequently

Use a balanced fertilizer that has a high Nitrogen content to promote healthy growth. Fertilize your plant every 2 to 3 months during the growing season, but reduce the frequency during colder months. 

Check Out for Pests and Diseases

Once in a while, check your plant carefully for signs of pests like spider mites and aphids or diseases like powdery mildew and root rot. 

Protect your Plant from Frost

Papayas are very sensitive to frost, so if you live in cold areas, cover your plant with frost cloth or move your potted plants indoors during cold winters. 

Conclusion

Learning how to grow papaya trees from seed is not only the cheapest and easiest way but it’s very fulfilling and satisfying to nurture fresh, home-grown fruits.

Whether you are growing them outdoors in your garden or indoors in pots or containers, the joy of watching them bear fruits is unmatched.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does it Take to Grow Papaya from Seed

Generally, it can take nine months to two years from seed germination to fruit production. However, the time can vary depending on factors like care conditions and the plant’s variety.

Can I Plant Papaya Seeds Straight from the Fruit?

While it’s possible to plant the seeds straight from the fruit, it is important to prepare them by cleaning and drying them for successful germination. 

How to Germinate Papaya Seeds Faster?

Typically, papaya seeds take between 1 to 4 weeks to germinate. However, you can speed up the process by soaking the seeds in warm water for 20-48 hours to soften the coat. Alternatively, you can do seed scarification by scratching the seed coat with sandpaper or a knife to help water penetrate the seed easily for fast germination. 

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Mary
Mary
🌿 Hello! I'm Mary, the nature-loving soul behind Serene Eden. Gardener, plant whisperer, compost connoisseur, sun-soaked plant enthusiast, and avid bee-watcher. Let's cultivate beauty, one bloom at a time. 🌱🌼