Papaya Growing Information Guide

Papaya Growing.
Papaya Growing.

Papaya Growing Information:

The following is all about Papaya Growing.

Introduction to Papaya Growing

In India, papaya (Carcia papaya) is one of the most highly consumed fruits. The commercially available papaya varieties in the market for human consumption are Red Lady 786, Coorg Honeydew, Pusa majesty, Pusa delicious, Washington, Pusa giant, Pusa dwarf, solo Ranchi, CO1, CO2, and other. All the varieties either are sold as a whole or fresh-cut form for consumption while some are sold to food processing industries. However, fresh-cut papaya is growing in demand and becoming popular for easy consumption among consumers and often found in supermarkets and on mobile fruit carts.

The origin of this fruit is from tropical America and was introduced in 1611 by Portuguese to India. Papaya is a perennial tree-like plant reaching a height from 4 feet to 15 feet tall, sometimes even up to 30 feet tall and is a major fruit crop grown throughout in India. It grows fast and produces fruits throughout the year with a huge potential for export. The plant has a short life and is sensitive to frost. Under favorable weather conditions, with best farming practices, a hybrid papaya cultivar starts bearing fruit by ninth month after transplanting. The demand for the fruit is all year-round and the need for increasing the production is always high. The demand for papaya gives an opportunity for many farmers to explore commercial growing and to make more income. Papaya is also known as “Paw Paw” in many countries.

Where can we grow Papaya? Well, they can be grown in outdoors, indoors, backyards, pots, containers, even in polyhouse and greenhouse.

Growing Papaya in Pots.
Growing Papaya in Pots ( Pic Source AliExpress).

Classification of Papaya

  • Kingdom – Plantae
  • Order -Brassicales
  • Family – Caricaceae
  • Genus – Carica
  • Sceintific Name – Carica papaya.

Top 5 Papaya Production Countries

Papaya Names in India

English – Pappaya.

Tamil –  Pappali Kai.

Malayalam –  Kappanga .

Telugu :  Boppayi Pandu.

Kannada :  Parangi / Papali.

Hindi :  Papita.

Bengali:  Pepe.

Gujarati : Papayi.

Konkani :  Pappaiphel / Papayi / Popai.

Marathi :  Popai.

Oriya :  Amrut Bhanda.

Punjabi :  Pepita.

Tulu :  Bappangai.

Soil Requirement in Papaya Growing

Though it can be grown on a wide variety of soils, fertile loamy soils with good drainage are highly preferred by papaya plants for healthy and optimum growth. Being a tropical crop, warm climate and high humidity are favored. Soils that are saline, heavy clay and waterlogged must be avoided. Soils having pH value of 6.0 to 6.5 are best while the plant can tolerate 5.7 to 7.0 pH.

Propagation of Papaya Growing

Papaya is propagated by seeds. After washing the seeds, gelatinous covering on the seeds must be removed as it will slow the germination process.

Bonsai Papaya.
Bonsai Papaya.

Land Preparation in Papaya Growing

Farmland must be plowed and harrowed twice for open field farming. Well-rotted farmyard manure along with organic fertilizer must be uniformly incorporated in the soil in the last plow during land preparation.

Planting pits should be dug 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm at a distance of 1.8 m x 4.8m for normal planting and 1.5 m x 1.5 m spacing for high-density farming that is recommended for high returns in commercial farming. For dwarf varieties, a spacing of 1.2 m x 1.2 m is adopted. Soil mixed with well-rotted farmyard manure of 15 kg, bone meal of one kilogram and neem cake of one kilogram must be filled in the pits.

Planting of Papaya Seedlings in Papaya Growing

The best times for planting in India is during the flowering seasons: February to March (spring season), June to July (monsoon season), and October to November (autumn season). Plant two to three seedling 15 cm apart in each pit. Retain one female plant per pit by thinning out at the flowering stage. As pollinator retain one male plant per 30 to 90 female plants. Reliable characteristics cannot be determined from male to female plants until they bear flowers. The plants start bearing flower by six months. Looking at the flowers, male and undesirable plants must be removed from the pits.

Some Exotic Papaya Varieties.
Some Exotic Papaya Varieties.

Irrigation in Papaya Growing

Irrigation must be carried depending on the soil and climate conditions. Provide irrigation every two to three days after transplantation until the plants get established. Irrigation must be carried out before the soil gets dried to avoid flower or fruit drop. Irrigation is done on a weekly basis during dry summer and 15 days during winter. Avoid irrigation during rainfall and depending upon rainfall irrigation must be given during monsoon season. To prevent root rot disease, water should not stay near the plant stem. Drip irrigation is recommended in commercial growing as the right amount of water per day per plant is worked out and given.

Fertilizers and Manures in Papaya Growing

The papaya plant is a heavy feeder and hence requires heavy doses of fertilizers and manures.  For open field papaya farming, 25 tonnes of well-rotted farmyard manure, 500 kg of NPK each per hectare, and 100 kg of micronutrients is mixed and given uniformly. For each pit, apply 15 kg of well-rotted farmyard manure, 200 to 250 grams of NPK along with 0.5% of Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4) and 0.1% of Hydrogen Borate (H2 BO3) must be sprayed for high yield and growth.

Weed Control in Papaya Growing

Weeds compete for light, nutrients, water thereby interfere with yield. Weeds can be controlled either by cultural control methods (transplant seedlings free of weeds) or mechanical control methods (mowing, discing, plowing or hand pulling of weeds). Two hand hoeing’s and weeding is recommended from February to March and the next in July to August must be done to remove the weeds and break the surface crust for better aeration and water absorption. As papaya is a shallow-rooted fruit crop, using herbicides is not recommended.

Pest and Disease Management in Papaya Growing

The most common pests that affect the papaya plants are stem borer (Dasysesrugosellus), aphids (Aphis gossypi), a grey weevil (Myllocerusviridans), fruit flies, and red spider mite. The infected parts of the plants are to be destroyed in all cases of the listed pest attack and spray 0.3% of Dimethoate or 0.05% of Methyl demeton.

Powdery mildew (oidiumcaricae), damping off, stem rot, and anthracnose is the main reported diseases; apply 1 gram per liter of wettable sulfur, 1 gram per liter of carbendazim or thiophanate methyl, and 2 gram per liter of kavach or mancozeb can control the disease.

Intercropping in Papaya Growing

Most of the farmers practiced intercropping in papaya farming for a secondary source of income. In a survey, it is found almost 80% farmers in the first year practiced papaya with chili and papaya with eggplant/brinjal intercropping in the first year. In the second year, they planted vegetables such as pumpkin, gourds, and yams. Papaya can also be grown in orchards such as mango, guava, or litchi as a filler plant. As papaya is heavy feeder its recommended not to intercrop with any other heavy feeder crops.

Harvesting in Papaya Growing

Few cultivars such as red lady 786 over bear fruits and the fruits are so crowded that hampers their full development. To give proper space for fruit complete development its recommended for fruit thinning to get well-sized fruits. At the time of ripening the fruits start changing to yellow from green from five to six months after flowering. Papaya plants grow rapidly in a warm climate, by six to eight months starts flowering, by five to six after flowering the fruits are well developed and are harvested all year round. The farm needs harvesting and packing at least once in a week throughout the year making it a labor-intensive crop.

Harvested Papaya Fruits.
Harvested Papaya Fruits.

Post-harvesting in Papaya Growing

The main objective of post-harvesting of papaya is to prepare the fruit for the market by keeping fruit quality, appearance, texture, and flavor. Harvesting of fruit must be carried at the right stage such as for far destination markets, fruits which attain 10 to 15% yellow in color are harvested. When picking fruits care must be taken not to drop them to the ground to avoid cuts and bruises. The fruit is perishable and fruits that are bruised rapidly develop to decay or ripening and lowers the market value. The fruits must be placed in a single layer in cartons or covered with straw or strips of paper between fruits to avoid bruising.

Economics of Red Lady Papaya Growing

Red Lady 786 or Taiwan Red Lady papaya is one of the prominent cultivars out of 48 species of papaya used for commercial growing. Cultivation of papaya is easy while consuming less area per plant and comes to fruiting within a year. Thus, it is a popular fruit for a farmer to cultivate and providing more income per hectare. The ripe papaya fruit richly contains carbohydrates and minerals and is consumed fresh-cut. They are also used in various other industries such as garment cleaning paper, textile, and pharmaceutical and adhesive manufacture industries. This fruit is known as common man’s fruit as well as from the status as a home garden crop to that of the commercial crop.

Some of the basic facts to know about the commercial red lady papaya growing is as follows:

  • A single Red lady papaya plant produces about 60 to 70 fruits under best cultivation practices in a season.
  • Each fruit can weigh about 1.35 kg.
  • Red lady papaya plant can produce fruits for up to three years.
  • The plant starts producing fruit from a tenth month onwards.
  • About 1000 to 1100 plants can be planted in one-acre farmland.
  • One acre farmland can produce about 50 to 60-ton fruit.
  • Bamboo or any other support must be provided to the plant from high wind.
  • Market pricing per kg of red lady papaya varies from region to region.
S.NoParticularsCost per Acre (Rs.)
1Total Cost77,025.00
2No.of Plants per Acre = 1050
3Yield per plant ( avgno.of fruit x avg fruit weight = 55 x 1.20 = 66 kg)
4Yield per Acre ( Avg fruit weight per plant x No.of plants per acre = 66 x 1050 = 69.3 tonne)
5Total Income (Rs. 5500 per tonne)3,81,150.00
6Net profit per acre3,04,125.00
Total Profit cultivating red lady papaya per hecp.a = Rs. 7,51,188.75

Bottom Line of Papaya Growing: Papaya growing is one of the commercially successful proven business in the world. With proper cultivation practices, one can get decent profits in Papaya Growing.

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