Q:

How do I take care of a papaya tree?

A:

Papaya trees produce exotic, tropical fruit, and grow up to 30 feet tall. Because they are fairly susceptible to pests, fungi and diseases, it is important to observe them carefully and treat them as needed.

  1. Provide adequate sunlight

    Papaya trees thrive in full sunlight. Position the trees on the south or southeast side of the house to protect them from harsh weather conditions.

  2. Use the right kind of soil

    To prevent over-hydration, use a well-draining soil or potting mix.

  3. Water appropriately

    Feel the soil near the tree. If it is dry to the touch within an inch of the surface, water the tree deeply around the root zone. Papaya trees require sufficient watering to grow healthy fruit, but too much water harms the plant.

  4. Use the right fertilizer

    Use a complete 10-10-10 fertilizer containing phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. Apply fertilizer every two months.

  5. Protect the fruit from pests

    Tie paper bags around the fruit to protect it from fruit flies. Use a hose to spray pests off of the tree as necessary. Spray the leaves with insecticidal soap if the infestation becomes serious.

  6. Prevent diseases

    Cut the tree down every 18 to 24 months, and start with a fresh plant. Dispose of used soil, and thoroughly wash and disinfect the container.


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