Propagating PawPaw Seeds

Conventional Mix

20 litres Peat Moss,  20 litres Vermiculite – Grade 3,  120 gms Superphosphate (grind to a powder)

90 gms Lime or Dolomite,  27 grams Sulphate of Ammonia (grind to a powder), 7 gms Trace Element Mix,  9 gms Sulphate of Iron

Organic Mix

20 ltrs Peat Moss,  20 ltrs Vermiculite – Grade 3,  70 gms Guano,  60 gms Dolomite

10 gms Organic Potassium (grind to a powder),  1 ltr Blood and Bone

Guano and Organic Potassium are available from Nutri-tech Solutions – Ph:  07 5472 9900

Wet mixture in a bucket before filling pots. Pots need to be sterilized before use with a 3:1 water/chlorine solution. Seed should be soaked in water for 24-36 hours, changing water as it discolours, before being planted no deeper than 10mm. This soaking allows faster germination, replacing the moisture removed in the drying process. Pots should be placed in a shadehouse, 30%-40% shadecloth is ideal and protected from rain. Bench tops made from mesh are ideal to ensure good air circulation around pots. An easy way to rain-proof your shadehouse is to buy “builders film” from any hardware store and fix under the shadecloth with short lengths of thin gauge wire. The biggest danger to seedlings is from being too wet; wet conditions encourage Pythium and Phytophthora so seedlings should be damp not wet. I find that one watering a day in the morning is sufficient. If a small number of seedlings are being grown, then best control is gained by hand watering. If an overhead system is used, then turn it off just as the water starts to drip from the bottom of the pots. The fertilizer in the conventional mix should last 4 weeks if the seedlings appear a little yellow then a dose of soluable fertilizer such as Thrive will help. Email or call if you need help.

Red Lady Papaya seed from Garry Grant called RB5

It throws both bisexual and female seed.

The bisexual flower is about 3 inches long and is skinny.

The female flower is about 2 ins. long and is short and round.

Bisexual fruit is thin, long and has a smaller hole in the centre so professional growers prefer them because they give more weight but they are also more tropical so they won’t perform in a colder climate whereas the female is more cold tolerant. They also have a different flower. For the backyard, it is better to have one bisexual and two females so you can hand pollinate.   

About Hybrids

Hybrids are the result of crossing 2 "fixed" (stable) parent lines. Hybrids are more vigorous than their parents, produce more fruit and are less susceptible to disease. All papaya are affected by climatic changes but when grown under stable conditions hybrids are very consistent in fruit shape and size. Hybrid seed for sale here is only the first cross of the parent lines, producing F1 hybrids. Hybrids cannot be successfully grown from seed collected from F1 fruit and will be inconsistent in shape, size and yield.

Bisexual papaya are affected by a condition known as carpellody or "cat-facing" and is caused by the fusing of the ovary and stamens during adverse weather conditions. This fruit is deformed and unmarketable. Carpellody is one of the reasons bisexual varieties are not normally grown in sub-tropical areas.

With dioecious varieties growers generally plant 4 seedlings to the site, thinning sites to 1 male site to 10 female sites. Planting density varies between growers but on average is 750 sites to the acre, or 1850 to the hectare. The amount of seed required is 50 grams per acre or 125 grams per hectare.

With bisexual varieties growers generally plant 2 or 3 seedlings to the site, thinning to 1 bisexual tree per site. Some growers market the female fruit of the bisexual, although the flesh is not as thick. Seed required is 40 grams per acre or 100 grams per hectare.

Germination is tested before dispatch and we guarantee a minimum germination rate of 50%.

Contact:  Garry Grant, 18 Vaughan Road, Darts Creek, Qld  4695     Ph:  07  4975 1317         www.papayaseed.com.au

Authored by: 
Garry Grant
Sourced from: 
STFC newsletter Oct Nov 2008
Date sourced: 
Oct 2008