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Carica papaya (Papaya)

Carica papaya Photo/Illustration: Little and Lewis


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Carica papaya Common Name: Papaya Genus: Carica
The papaya is a herbaceous, fast-growing shrub that grows best in tropical and subtropical climates where it will flower continually, but it will perform in colder climates from high summer to early fall. It offers a striking sculptural presence to the landscape due to its lobed, 2-foot-across leaves and large, delicious fruit (sometimes reaching 20 pounds).
Noteworthy characteristics: Plants will die below 32°F. Large, edible fruit. Tropical-looking leaves. Short-lived, so it is best to always have some younger plants on hand.
Care: Best fruit production comes in full sun, but will tolerate shade. Needs rich, well-drained soil. Provide mulch.
Propagation: Wash seeds well and sow immediately. Cover with soil and germinate in a warm, bright place. Watch for damping off. Water seedlings very well in the summer but less frequently in the winter. Repot frequently.
Problems: Nematodes.
Height 10 ft. to 15 ft.
Growth Pace Fast Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Moderate
Characteristics Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage; Showy Fruit
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color White Flower; Yellow Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Specimen Plant/ Focal Point
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest
Type Shrubs,Tropicals

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