The papaya plant has an erect branchless trunk 6-20 ft tall, and a palmlike head of foliage at the top. The trunk remains somewhat succulent and soft wooded, and never develops true bark. It is ringed with prominent scars from previous leaf stems and contains an acrid milky latex sap. The leaves are deeply incised and lobed, up to 24 in across and borne on 24 in petioles. The smooth-skinned fruits are green, yellow, orange or rose colored, and can weigh as much as 20 pounds, but typically are about a pound. They hang on short stalks in clusters directly from the trunk beneath the umbrella of giant leaves. Papayas flower and fruit simultaneously throughout the year.
Did you know that Papaya seeds are a natural dewormer for reptils?
Hardy zone 10-11
Plant the seeds in warm (80? F), sterile potting mix. Seeds should be planted in sterile soil as young papaya seedlings have a high mortality rate from damping off. Potting soil can be sterilized by mixing 50-50 with vermiculite and placing in an oven at 200? F for one hour. Under ideal conditions the seeds may germinate in about two weeks, but may take three to five weeks. Gibberellic acid can be used to speed up germination in some seasons. Seedlings usually begin flowering 9 - 12 months after they germinate