How to Grow Papaya Trees

  • , by Agriplex India
  • 15 min reading time

Papaya is one of the most nutritious and medicinally important fruits of the tropical region. It owes its popularity to various simple reasons like, it requires less area per tree, comes to fruiting in a year, is easy to cultivate, and provides per acre income. At a time, a tree can yield 100 fruits, each weighing about 1 to 2.5 kg and fruits are rich in vitamins A and C, which are essential for good health. 

How to Grow Papaya Trees 

Climate and Soil  

Climate: Papaya requires a warm and humid climate and can be cultivated up to an elevation of about 1000 meters with an annual rainfall of about 1500 mm. It grows and fruits well where the summer temperature does not get below 5°C. High humidity is unfavorable as the fruit quality becomes inferior.  

Soil: A rich well-drained sandy loam soil is the best for papaya cultivation. It cannot stand high water tables and water logging conditions. Papaya does not thrive well in calcareous and stony soils since they contain little organic matter. Acidic soils (below pH 5) are not suitable for the successful cultivation of papaya. The papaya tree matures and produces its first fruit in 8 to 14 months after transplanting. Papaya yields 15 - 18 tonnes for the first crop.  


Red lady - A Taiwan variety now largely cultivated in southern India.  

A large number of varieties or types are found in papaya due to its propagation by seed and cross-pollinated nature, resulting in a wide variation of varieties.   

Here are some Best Seeds for Papaya

 Land preparation: The site selected for planting the seedlings should be well prepared through repeated ploughing and harrowing and finally leveled pits of 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft are dug at 7 ft x 8 ft or 8ft x 8 ft distance. Drench pits with Chirayu (Bacillus subtilis and Trichoderma harzianum) 2g/liter at least 3 to 5 liter per pit and fill with 1 kg Bio organic Manure (Multiplex Annapurna or Mangala Biogold plus or MBF Brown Gold or JK Compost), 50g bio- activator mixture (Multiplex Navajeevan-G), 500g Rock Phosphate per pit before planting along with loose topsoil. Planting of the saplings in the main field may be done during monsoon. The plants are removed from the nursery/covered with a ball of earth and placed at the center of the dug pit and covered with soil up to the surface of the ball of earth. Light irrigation should be given immediately after planting.  

Fertilizer Application To maintain a continuous supply of fruits, it is important to provide them with an adequate amount of fertilizers at frequent intervals. It is also necessary to have a balanced C/N (carbon: nitrogen) ratio for proper fruiting. The following dose of fertilizers per plant has been recommended to obtain the maximum fruit yield.  

Recommended dose of Fertilizer Application: NPK – 300:300:600 g/tree per year  

 Major Nutrients  

Nutrient Description Recommended Application Rate
Nitrogen (N) Promotes vegetative growth, leaf production, and fruit size. 100-200 pounds per acre per year.
Phosphorus (P) Important for root development and flowering  50-100 pounds per acre per year.
Potassium (K) Essential for photosynthesis and fruit development. 100-200 pounds per acre per year. 
Calcium (Ca) Helps to prevent blossom end rot and other calcium-deficiency disorders. 50-100 pounds per acre per year. 
Magnesium (Mg) Important for chlorophyll production and photosynthesis. 25-50 pounds per acre per year. 
Sulfur (S) Helps to prevent fruit drop and other sulfur-deficiency disorders. 25-50 pounds per acre per year.


Here are some Best Fertilizers for Papaya   

The above fertilizer dose should be applied in six split applications, once in two months commencing from the second month of planting. The application is given in split doses to avoid nutrient losses due to volatilization and leaching. Application of excess nitrogen, which is a common practice among farmers, should be avoided as it increases vegetative growth and leads to poor fruiting.  

Micronutrients (Micronutrient Mixtures)  

 10-15 kg per acre Multiplex Srushti or Kiecite Powder or Mangala Borosan + 90 % Bentonite Sulphur granules 10 kg (Multiplex Fertisulph or Mangala S – 90 or Gromor Sulphur or Sulphur Bentonite 90 % (Granular) or Gandhak-90 or MAHADHAN BENSULF or Sulfonate)  

Click here for more Micronutrient Fertilizers


Papaya responds well to better water management through the rapid development of fruit and the supply of fruits regularly. Regular irrigation helps in fruit development and induces the tree to bear several fruits with larger sizes. Plants should be irrigated soon after manuring. However, excessive water leads to water-logging conditions, which are very harmful to the plants. The ring system of irrigation is better than the bed or basin system as it prevents collar rot disease. Trenches may be dug between plant rows during monsoon to avoid water stagnation in the field. Drip irrigation will also serve the purpose in waterless places.  

Thinning of Fruits  The operation is performed immediately after the fruit set and involves thinning of the fruit clusters, leaving not more than two fruits at each node. This prevents the damage of fruits due to overcrowding and their competition for nutrients and fruit drop.  

Crop Protection  


  1. Fungal Diseases  

Collar rot or stem rot: Water-soaked lesions appear on the bark just above the ground level and terminal leaves turn yellow, and finally drop down. Fruits also shrivel and drop off; roots deteriorate to decay and the stem is girdled at the base.  

Root rot: The top roots become rotten due to fungal infections and also to stagnation of water in the subsoil and uptake of nutrients by the fibrous roots is interrupted, resulting in very poor fruiting or no fruiting at all.  

Powdery mildew: White powdery growth appears on both the surfaces of leaves and white stranded patches appear on the fruits. Young, infected leaves dry up prematurely and drop down, which results in severe yield reduction. The disease is favored by high humidity, moderate temperature, and cloudy weather and is a serious disease in south India.  

Anthracnose: The disease affects both the leaves and the fruits. In the initial stage, fruits show spots that first appear as brown superficial discoloration of the skin. Later on, these spots turn into circular, slightly sunken areas. Gradually the lesions join together, and sparse mycelial growth often appears on the margins of such spots. Necrotic spots are produced on leaves and stems. The disease is caused by wet weather conditions.  

  1. Viral diseases  

Papaya mosaic: The affected plants become stunted in growth, and show yellow mottling and distortion of leaves. Leaf petioles bend down, and tendril-like structures are formed from the leaves. All these developments ultimately lead to the death of the plant. Diseased plants yield little or no crops. Several species of aphids act as vectors in transmitting the disease.  

Papaya leaf curl: Its causal organism is the tobacco leaf curl virus. The leaves are severely affected and show symptoms of curling, crackling, and distortion of leaves accompanied by vein clearing and reduction in leaf size. The affected plants either do not flower or bear a few fruits only. The disease is transmitted through grafting and by white fly.   

Papaya Tree Diseases

Disease Management:  

To control collar rot:  

Use a well-drained field for papaya plantation and remove badly affected plants and burn. 

Pasting of Biojodi (Consortium of BACILLUS SUBTILIS and PSEUDOMONAS FLUORESCENS) 10 gm/l to the infected part will control the disease.  

Spraying or pasting 1 gm Bordeaux mixture or any Copper Oxychloride (Nagcoper or Maincop Blue Copper TRUCOP or Blitox) 2 g/litre  of water on the infected stems will check further spread of the disease.  

To control root rot:  

  1. i. Seed treatment with Multiplex Biojodi (Consortium of BACILLUS SUBTILIS and PSEUDOMONAS FLUORESCENS) 10 gm/10 ml of water Multiplex Chirayu (Bacillus subtilis and Trichoderma harzianum) 50 gm/10ml of water to treat 1000 gms of seed. 
  1. Sterilization of the nursery beds by burning with dried leaves or Spraying 40 % formaldehyde two weeks before sowing; and application of 100g CuSO4 and 1 kg lime along with organic manures in the pits as a basal dose. 

Drenching with Biojodi (Consortium of BACILLUS SUBTILIS and PSEUDOMONAS FLUORESCENS) 5 gm/l and Bactinash 0.4 gm/L of water will control the disease.  

To control Powdery mildew:  

Spray Sulphur (Nagsulp or Wokovit or Mainsulp) 2 g/litre. OR Hexaconazole (Contaf plus, Nagzol or Sergent).  

To control Anthracnose disease:  

Copper Oxychloride (Nagcoper or Maincop or Blue Copper or TRUCOP or Blitox)  2 g/litre OR Carbendazim + Mancozeb combi (Jodi or Bendaco or Macoban C) 2 g/L OR carbendazim (Nagcarzim or Benmain or Bavistin) 2 g/litre.  

To control Downy mildew:  

Spray Multilaxin 3 ml/liter + Copper EDTA (Neel Cu) 0.5g/liter OR Copper Oxychloride (Nagcoper or Maincop or Blue Copper or TRUCOP or Blitox)  2 g/litre OR  Bordeaux mixture 1% OR Mancozeb (Ridomil gold 80 WP or Syscon or Master or Krilaxyl Gold) 2 g/litre OR Trifloxystrobin (Nativo) 0.5 gm/L.  


 Mite: Mites suck the sap of the leaves and yellowish spots appear on the dorsal side of the infested leaves which finally dry up and fall off prematurely.  

Aphids: Aphids are known to transmit viruses. They feed on leaves and suck the plant sap. Necrotic spots appear on the leaves, which later on turn into blister patches of green tissues.  

White flies: White flies are a common pest of papaya and are destructive/active during the dry season. They suck the cell sap and are seen clustering between the veins on the ventral surface of the leaves. The leaves become yellowish, wrinkle, and curl downwards. They also act as vectors in transmitting the virus. 

Pests on Papaya 

 Pest Management:  

To control  Sucking pests:  

Imidacloprid 30 % (Brightstar or Confidor Super) 0.3 mL/L OR Imidacloprid 70 % (Hotstar or Cohigan WG or Admire) Imidacloprid 17.8 % (Nagmida or Imidacel or Confidor or Cohigan) 0.5 ml /liter OR Acephate (Nagace or Tamaron® Gold or Hunk or Acefex or Tremor or acemain or Asataf) 2 g/litre OR Acetamipride 20 % SP 0.5g/liter (Ekka or Nagtamiprid or Harrier or Nagamiprid or Rekord or Manik or Acetacel) OR  Plant extract (Biostrike) 3 ml/litre. or Neem oil 1500 ppm (Multineem or Vijay neem or Neem Baan) 3ml/L of water will check the sucking pests.  

To control mites:  

Spray the plants with Checkmite 10 gms/l of water with no Fungicides and bactericides OR 4ml/l of water. If needed, repeat the spray once after 15 days.  

To control Nematodes and Soil borne pests:  

The root-knot and reniform nematodes cause severe damage to papaya. In the nursery nematodes can be controlled by application of 10 gm of Multiplex Safe root (consortium of PAECILOMYCES LILACINUS + TRICHODERMA HARZIANUM) per pit and for the control of Root grub infestation Soldier (powder) 4-5 gm per pit or 4 Soldier (EPN) cadavers per pit or granular insecticides such as Phorate and Carbofuron 10 gm per plant.  

Note: To increase fruit number and size: Spray GA (Gibberlic acid) 20ppm (20mg/liter) at the flowering stage and 50ppm (50mg/liter) at the fruit forming stage.   

Management of Viral diseases:  

  • Thoroughly screen the nursery bed for the infected seedlings and rogue them carefully transplant only healthy seedlings and remove the diseased plants in the main field.  
  • Spray with insecticides to check the sucking pests such as Aphids and Thrips which are transmitters of the viral disease.   
  • Collateral hosts of the virus such as tomato, tobacco, and cucurbits should not be grown in the vicinity of papaya plantations, and Spray 1% groundnut oil to inhibit vector transmission.  
  • Weeds should be removed which may act as an additional host.  
  • Inclusion of Manganese micronutrients in the regular sprays will reduce the multiplication of Virus in the infected system and recovery of plants is observed.  
  • Integrated nutrient management supports the virus in control. Less nitrogen and more Potash.  

Harvesting Papaya 

Papayas are ready to harvest when they are fully ripe. The skin will be yellow-orange and the flesh will be soft. Papayas can be harvested by cutting them from the tree. They can be eaten fresh or stored in the refrigerator for a few days. 


Papaya is a delicious and nutritious fruit that is easy to grow. It is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Papaya has several health benefits, including improved digestion, boosted immunity, cancer prevention, heart health, and improved skin health. If you are looking for a healthy and delicious fruit to add to your diet, papaya is a great choice. 


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