Identifying Male and Female Papaya Trees| The Key to Papaya Fruiting
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Papayas are one of the most commonly grown fruit. But one of the very common problems associated with growing papayas is the identification of the plant. Not planting the correct papaya plant for your garden can result in plants with huge flowering but no fruits.
See, there are 3 types of papaya plants and not all of them will bear fruits. Some of them can pollinate themselves but not others.
So in today’s post, we will discuss what causes papaya plants to bear flowers but not fruits, and how to choose the right papaya plant for your garden.
Types of Papaya Trees:
There are mainly 3 types of papaya trees
- The male papaya trees,
- The female papaya trees, and
- The hermaphrodite papaya trees.
The Male Papaya Tree:
The male papaya tree produces male papaya flowers.
The flowers look very different from other flower types. They are small, tubular, and large in numbers. They do not have any ovaries and so they do not produce any fruit.
The stamens of the male papaya flower bear pollen that can pollinate female flowers and produce fruit.
The Female Papaya Trees:
The female papaya trees produce female papaya flowers. The flowers have an ovary and are borne on the stem of the plant, where the leaf is attached. The flowers are bulbous at the base and pointed at the tip.
The ovary of the flower receives pollen from the male plant and gets fertilized and produces fruit.
The fruits have viable seeds.
The Hermaphrodite Papaya Trees:
These papaya trees produce hermaphrodite papaya flowers. The flowers have both an ovary and stamens. The stamens bear pollen.
The hermaphrodite papaya plants can pollinate themselves and do not need pollen from other male papaya plants.
Because of this advantage, the hermaphrodite papaya plants are the most preferred papaya plants for gardeners.
But in cool winter weather or if the soil moisture is very high the stamens of the flower fuse to the carpels or ovary wall and lead to female flowers. And the worst part, the resulting fruits are also not up to the mark.
Similarly, a high temperature and water stress can cause a reduction of carpels leading to a shift toward maleness.
Can You Identify Male and Female Papaya Seeds:
Unfortunately, there is no way to know before planting if the seeds will result in a male or female plant. You have to plant it, let it grow and then see if its a male, female plant or hermaphrodite papaya plant.
How to Tell The Difference Between A Male Papaya Tree and A Female Papaya Tree:
The best way to distinguish between a male and a female papaya plant is by their flowers. The male plants have long stems and small fragrant male flowers.
The female papayas have larger single flowers close to the stem of the plant.
If you have male and female plants in your garden they will pollinate but you will get fruit only from the female plants.
Can I Grow Only Female Papaya Trees:
Male papaya trees only bloom they don’t produce fruit but they are essential for pollinating the female ones. So you have at least one or two male papaya plants around.
Now, if you have a bunch of male papaya trees, just thin them out and make space for the other trees.
How to Make Sure You Get The Fruits:
Don’t grow only a single papaya plant. Grow several plants so there is enough possibility to have both male or female plants if you are lucky you might get a few hermaphrodite varieties.
If you don’t have space for growing multiple papaya plants, allow several papaya seedlings to grow to the flowering stage in the same spot, and then remove all but the healthiest hermaphrodite plant.
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