Dwarf Papaya
Same planting guide as Tree, Dwarf Papaya

QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE

1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - In-ground hardy in zone 10.  In zones 1 to 9, plant in a container so you can move the plant indoors and treat as a house plant over winter, or move to a protected area (somewhere that doesn't freeze) before the first frost. 

3. Planting Distance - 5 to 10 feet apart in-ground (zone 10 only).  One plant per 12 inch or larger container.  Transplant into larger container as needed.

4. Mature Height/Spread - 4 to 5 feet tall with a similar head span.  (Height is easily kept within this range through yearly pruning.).

5. Bloom Time - Early spring through summer and intermittently the remainder of the year.

6. Planting Instructions -

For container planting: Fill the container with soil to within 4 inches of the top. Dig a hole in soil to insert the lower part of the root ball.  Remove plastic containers and loosen up roots that have encircled the growing pot.  Place the plant in the hole and back fill to original soil line.  Water well, and if necessary, adjust the plant so that it is upright. Add additional soil to bring the level back up to the original soil line. Never insert the plant lower than the original top of the soil ball.

For in-ground planting in zone 10: Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant was grown. Partially backfill the hole with soil and place the plant into the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surrounding the hole. Refill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant with your fingers.  Check to be sure that the plant is not planted too deeply.  If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil.  Water thoroughly.

GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT

This plant is a real winner it is exotic and deliciously edible, ‘TR Hovey’ is a dwarf papaya and is perfect for growing in pots. Papayas need sunny, warm growing conditions and the soil temperature needs to be 60°F or higher. With the right cultural conditions ‘TR Hovey’ will grow quickly and produce ripe fruit in as little as one year’s time. Grow it inside in the winter and take it outside in the summer months. Fruit will start developing only 12 inches from the base of the plant.  Do not overfeed but fertilize moderately on a regular basis. Remember to keep the plant warm; if they get too cold they can get root disease.

SOIL PREPARATION

If you ordered one of our container offers that includes our special planting mix there is no soil preparation.  Open the bag of soil, pour the contents into the container, and water well.  For in-ground planting, although these plants perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2.  To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.

CONTINUING CARE

Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).

Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Pruning - Pruning improves the size and quality of the tree and maintains a healthy, happy plant.  Remove any branches that become overlapped, damaged, or unsightly.

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits and Vegetables. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - In-ground hardy only in zone 10.  In zones cooler than 8 (1-9), trees should be grown in containers and moved to a protected area (somewhere that doesn't freeze) before the first frost in your area.

When you bring your plant indoors for the winter, select a room that is bright, preferably one with a southern exposure. Indoors, plants tend to dry out from lack of humidity. You can boost the humidity level around your plant by filling a shallow tray with gravel and water then placing the pot in the tray.  The water level should be slightly below the gravel so the pot is not submerged in the water.  You may also use a spray bottle to mist the plant with water once a week.

All other watering and feeding indoors should be reduced significantly.  Do not overwater or allow your plants to sit in water. 

In the spring when temperatures begin to rise, ease the plant into a full watering schedule and move back outdoors for the summer.

 

CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.