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Old 04-08-2008, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default subtropical papayas?

What experiences might you have growing papayas in subtropical climates (zone 9/10) ? Are there Carica cultivars with a reasonable taste that can be grown outdoors?

Thanks ...
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Personally I haven't done this (I live in the tropics), but I have a friend in Oslo who's growing the standard papaya's highland ancestor Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis (hardy to Z10) outdoors in pots. He overwinters them in his garage.

I have eaten V. cundinamarcensis fruits, and they're remarkably similar to "regular" Carica type papayas.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

I saw some growing at Leu Botanical Gardens, in Orlando. Maybe Eric, who is connected to Leu, and posts here, can give us some details.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

I personally grow several types here in 9b. I ran across a rare heirloom type from Asia that can handle temps down past 25F. It is called 'Sweet Sue' and is the largest growing papaya I have ever seen. It puts out large quantities of really sweet high quality fruits. It is very beautiful as well.
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Wow, that's one large Papaya plant! What are the names and characteristics of the other varieties you are growing?
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

I'm trying one for the first time this year. Right now it is in a pot and only about 12"-14" tall. I didn't have a good place to put it in the ground so I'll shift it up to a bigger pot as needed.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Wow, that's one large Papaya plant! What are the names and characteristics of the other varieties you are growing?
I am growing a hawaiian solo sunrise, and another solo type, along with one called waimanalum x-77. The solos are famous for their sweet fruit without any of the musky smell of the mexican types. The solo especially is one of the best tasting ones. They are named solo because they produce both the male and female flowers on the plant(70% of the time), so there is no need for another plant in order to get fruit. The x-77 is a hybrid that puts out fruit very quickly; sometimes as little as nine months from seed. It gives out loads of medium size fruits which are very sweet as well. I believe it is a cross between a solo type, and another larger one that gives large fruits. I also have seeds for the Caribbean red, and a heirloom type from Costa Rica. The heirloom produces loads of really small extremely sweet fruits that sort of clusters around the trunk. I plan on getting some going this year, along with some C.R. So far all I have growing have taken the cold when the bananas would not, so they seem to really do well in my zone. Of course it does not really get too cold here...
Btw, my banana has really recovered from the hit it took this year. I have two fresh leaves that have grown out of the fried others, and I see another new one forming, so I am happy about that.

I have seeds for trade on all papayas except the X-77, and the C. Red.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Its now November in southern California and the Solo Papaya I planted several months ago has started to bloom! The plant is overall about 8 feet tall. In the photo, you are looking at the 5 foot level, with the trunk about 4 inches across.

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Old 11-12-2008, 08:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamboo Conne'iseur View Post
I personally grow several types here in 9b. I ran across a rare heirloom type from Asia that can handle temps down past 25F. It is called 'Sweet Sue' and is the largest growing papaya I have ever seen. It puts out large quantities of really sweet high quality fruits. It is very beautiful as well.
Nice looking plant with a really impressive cold tolerance. Is it also more resistant to the root issues other papayas can develop in wet cold weather. Where did you get it?

-Brett
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

I have a problem growing papayas in my area due to cold weather. I tried it for several years without any success. Winter tempt always kill them and so the bugs.
So I am trying to grow babaco instead.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamboo Conne'iseur View Post
I personally grow several types here in 9b. I ran across a rare heirloom type from Asia that can handle temps down past 25F. It is called 'Sweet Sue' and is the largest growing papaya I have ever seen. It puts out large quantities of really sweet high quality fruits. It is very beautiful as well.
I will also be interested getting seeds from the above. I have 23 varieties of bananas I can trade with or cash?
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
What experiences might you have growing papayas in subtropical climates (zone 9/10) ? Are there Carica cultivars with a reasonable taste that can be grown outdoors?

Thanks ...
I've planted about 15 mostly from 3 gallon pots. I killed 14 of them! The one survivor left is a solo I believe. I have almost killed that one about 5 times! It's been in the ground for a year and a half and is only about 8 feet tall. I am gong to try to find some of those sweet sues. It would appear they may be easier to grow. The 25F cold hardiness would really help as well as the root rot resitance.
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

I tried to PM the source and also try to post my intentions in other forums but so far there are no answer to my query to get the sweet sue papaya.
I exhausted all the avenues I know to obtain one.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

I could probably spare some seeds.
In answer to where I got them.. from a friend who grows many types of bamboo as well. His sweet sue papayas are impressive. This sweet sue was brought from Thailand to the Rio Grande area I believe.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bencelest View Post
I tried to PM the source and also try to post my intentions in other forums but so far there are no answer to my query to get the sweet sue papaya.
I exhausted all the avenues I know to obtain one.
Yah I could not find any either, and I looked pretty extensively. I will pay whatever a source wanted (within reason) if there are some sweet sue seeds available. It gets a little cool in the winter for the ones I have been trying to grow here.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamboo Conne'iseur View Post
I personally grow several types here in 9b. I ran across a rare heirloom type from Asia that can handle temps down past 25F. It is called 'Sweet Sue' and is the largest growing papaya I have ever seen. It puts out large quantities of really sweet high quality fruits. It is very beautiful as well.
In Reply to your Post Re: subtropical papayas?:

Hi. I just saw these same pics on the heirloom website and wondering if you have any of those sweet sue seeds around? Just curious: You had only offered about 50 seeds at the other site and I wondered if this is because these papayas only produce a very few seeds?

Very curious and interested to try some Sweet Sue in this zone (9). I have some papayas growing in my backyard right now. I think there are 3 males (flowers but no fruits) and one female (really big flowers that are currently becoming fruits).
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Its now November in southern California and the Solo Papaya I planted several months ago has started to bloom! The plant is overall about 8 feet tall. In the photo, you are looking at the 5 foot level, with the trunk about 4 inches across.

That's impressive! At what temps do papayas die? What's the low temp for your area?

Thanks,
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

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That's impressive! At what temps do papayas die?
Most true papayas (Carica papaya) are native to regions with record low temperatures in the low 50's F. Some of the cultivars have proven to be more cold hardy, for example the "Solo" shown here has been ok with brief (1 hour) excursions to the mid 30's F. By the way, I cut that plant down this summer because I was not satisfied with the fruit.

Quote:
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What's the low temp for your area?
Typically it will flirt with freezing about a half dozen times per year, and then only in the last hour before dawn. On those nights, the temperature was in the high 30's F from about 11pm to 5am -- when it starts plunging.

In the freeze of 2007, we had 3 nights where the over night temperatures were in the mid-30's F and then hit 28 F before dawn. All but one of my plants survived. My Passiflora quadrangularis died almost instantly, but my Passiflora edulis cultivar "Frederick" was just fine, with leaf-edge burn on about 10% of the leaves.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Exclamation Re: subtropical papayas?

Quote:
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What experiences might you have growing papayas in subtropical climates (zone 9/10) ? Are there Carica cultivars with a reasonable taste that can be grown outdoors?

Thanks ...
Hi I live in the 9 zone and a as far as what grows here and how well, well, it really depends...no one knows what to make of the weather in zone 9. It is humid in the 90s one day and one or two days later, it can go down to 65 degrees in the daytime, OK? (like it just did this week) and then back up to the high 80s a few days later--so the cool weather does get down this far, to North-Central Florida.
I just discovered that there are two small papaya plants happily growing in my compost area (they grew from seeds, I found them yesterday, and I wasn't even trying!) but I know that they will need to be potted and brought inside if it gets into the 30s. I have 4 others (about 8' tall, bought from a nursery last fall and planted this last spring), and I've got 5-6 fruits growing on one of them which I believe is the only female. So far, the largest fruit is about 6'' long and still very green. The rest are male and only produce their smaller flowers. Will try to upload some pics very soon.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: subtropical papayas?

BTW, hello everyone! I haven't visited this site in a while but I do grow pineapples and now my papayas are producing. I traced a google of sweet sue papayas to this site and like some of you, I am looking for some seeds for those wonderful trees. Anyone know if those sweet sue's have very few seeds? I'm wondering why the shortage and rareness.

Everything seems to grow very well here in zone 9 but I want the sweet sues (Tolerates down to 25 F) because our frosts put a "wet blanket" on the otherwise amazing climate that turns an ordinary compost pile into a virtual seedling farm, with no effort required.

I also have about 20 pineapple plants here and though I've been told numerous times that you can't grow them here, I say just tell it to my 20 pineapples (actually, I have an unusually well-protected area, so it takes a very hard frost to really get 'em--like last winter--but strangely, they seem to have been stimulated to produce fruit, although their leaves were turned into mush. They still survived and produced fruit.

I am working on getting the bananas going...
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