How to Grow Papaya in Pots from Seeds – Complete Guide

One of the reasons why gardeners prefer to container is due to portability. If the temperature drops below 31F, then you can relocate the papaya pot indoors to save it from frost.

First thing, can papaya tree be grown in pots?

Yes, growing papaya in pots is possible and it has its share of benefits. Choose 15-20 gallons sized container and fill it with loose fertile garden soil. With adequate watering, full sunlight and regular fertilizing you can easily grow papaya in tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Papaya is the best fruit which grows in tropical plus subtropical climates with no possibility of frost or cold temperatures.

However, with proper care you can grow this fruit in non-tropical region.

Growing papaya in pots from seeds involves a step-by-step procedure. You can’t just sow papaya seeds in a 15-20 gallon sized container and water regularly to expect a quality harvest.

As the plant grows you might need to repot the papaya plant into a bigger sized container to provide the space to the growing roots.

So, stay tuned in this article I’ll discuss how I successfully grown papaya in a pot at home.

Plant fruits can take a variety of size. You can easily learn how to grow papaya tree for the best chance to harvest healthy plants and high-quality fruits.

Growing papaya from seed is the simplest and successful method. Undoubtedly, it is the cheapest one.

You can grow papaya with the help of seeds from the papaya you bought one. Though, papaya can be a finer plant. It is easy to grow papaya, but it is not needed to keep it alive for a long time and to get fruit from it. 

Growing Papaya in Pots – Step-by-Step Guide

growing papaya in pots

Is it worth growing papaya at home, when you can get one from near-by store?

Yes. Growing home grown papayas are delicious and free from chemical sprayed store fruits.

Apart from this, you’ll enjoy the journey of growing papaya in pots.

There are two ways by which you can grow this fruit, one is from seeds and other way is to purchase small papaya tree from nursery and plant it a pot.

I prefer growing from seeds; you can easily germinate these seeds and repot the seedlings to a container.

Read this important (Growing papaya in non-tropical climates)

  • If you’re living in a tropical region, then you can grow papaya from seeds. But, those who’re in cold regions shouldn’t waste time in seeds. Get dwarf papaya from nursery and you could save time.
  • Papaya plant can’t survive temperature below 30F. And the plant won’t thrive even if the temperature is below 59F.
  • Ideal temperature to grow papaya is 70-85F.
  • People living in Zone 8 and lower should move papaya pot indoors or keep them in a greenhouse to protect the plant from cold weather.
  • Even if you don’t provide ideal temperature for papaya plant, it can at-least survives and fruit in spring.
  • In this article, Aaron of showed how they successfully grown papaya in non-tropical weather.

Method-1 Growing papaya from seeds

As mentioned, if you’re living in a tropical region then, go by germinating seeds. Else, purchase dwarf self-fertile plant and you can expect fruiting within in 7 months under ideal growing conditions.

However, non-tropical region people too can try germinating papaya seeds.

1. Begin with ripe papaya fruit, open it plus pick the black seeds from it and place them in a colander. Wash the seeds with normal water and rub it to exclude the gelatinous material from it. 

2. Choose a five-gallon pot and fill it with sterile potting soil for each papaya plant that you want to grow. You require approximately three plants to ensure that you will have a mixture of male plants for pollination plus female to produce fruit.

3. In each pot, plant 3-5 papaya seeds, one inch deep and three or more inches from each other. Arrange utensils in that area which has full sunlight. Wait for about 3-5 weeks for the seeds to get germinated. 

4. Pick your outside planting area, which has complete sunlight and a warm area of the yard. Planting on the south side of a house with complete sunlight and shelter from the wind can help them to grow well. Add manure and peat moss to the soil at each planting site with the help of a shovel. 

5. The planting sites should be spread about 8-10 feet distant from each other. Dig a hole at each planting place plus put each planting pot of seedlings gently in a hole. Wait till seedlings start flowering for approximately six months old.

Classify female plants, which develop large flowers straight from the trunk and male plants, which can produce sets of small flowers that grow on stems with branches from the trunk.

Cut back all just one seedling at each place, but keep often female plants plus at least one male plant to pollinate ten female plants.

Method-2 How to plant papaya tree in pot or container

It is not difficult at all to grow papaya in pots or container, contemplating that it is a small living tree. You can grow all papaya variety in pots or container, but it is more suitable to choose a dwarf variety. 

1. Select a container or pot for the papaya tree, which is three times wider than the root ball. A 15-gallon container can keep a 5-foot tree. Adjust it according to the appropriate size container. Clean the container with mild soap and water and let it dry.

2. Set the container at the location where you want the papaya tree to grow well or a dolly available to move the container if you going to replant the papaya tree. It relies on the capacity of the container, it will be too difficult to move.

3. Fill up half of the container or pot with light potting soil. Set the root ball of the papaya tree in the middle of the container. Put additional potting soil throughout the root ball until the container is completed within four inches of the head. Assure that the tree is in the middle of the container. Push the soil down to ensure that it does not move out of its place.

4. Then you have to do is water the papaya tree well but do not let the water stand on the soil. To avoid dampness stress of the tree, watered the soil every 3-4 days. Put a layer of mulch on the head of the soil to conserve moisture and hold tree roots at a constant temperature.

5. Feed your papaya tree in every four weeks with the help of a water-soluble fertilizer that carries even parts of nitrogen, potassium, plus phosphate like 10-10-10 formula. Do follow the manufacturer’s instructions before mixing fertilizer with water; Do not over mix it.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Papaya? 

Following planting a small plant in the ground, it can take about 10 months approximately to get ready to ripen the fruit.

The climate performs a role in the number of months to grow papaya and bear the ripe fruit.

In warmer regions, harvesting can take up to 6-9 months after sowing the seeds, but further temperate regions require 9-11 months to produce fruit when grown from seed.

If planted following in the year, the cold weather of fall and winter reduces the growth plus extends the number of months, the plant has to grow before producing fruit for harvest.

How to Care for Papaya Tree? 

Papaya likes to be warm with both sunlight plus reflected heat, so the warmest place towards the house where nothing else seems happier is a perfect place.

They like to be as free as possible from the wind. However, this is not as important as their necessity for the sun. Papaya can also grow prosperously in a shade, but the fruit is seldomly sweet.

They are best planted towards mounds or the foundations of a building where water can manage well. 

1. Watering

Watering is an important phase in growing papaya. Plants must be kept on the dry surface to prevent roots from rotting, but their large leaves also require sufficient water to support them. In winter, the plant prefers to be drier.

A plant that has been damaged by frost is unusually sensitive to root rot. In summer they can manage all the water you can give them provided that soil drains properly.

2. Care plus frost protection

Papaya requires an environment free of heat and frost, but may usually face mild freezes with some kind of overhead shield.

In the event of frost, it can be prevented by making a frame around the plants and covering them with bedding, plastic wrap etc. Electrical light bulbs can also be used for excess heat.

Potted samples can be moved to a frost-protected area. Prolonged freezing, even if it is not stable, can negatively influence plants and fruits. Mexican papayas are more stringent than Hawaiian types.

3. Fertilizing

Rapid growing papaya needs daily uses of nitrogen fertilizers, but precise rates have not been established.

Feed it monthly plus adjust according to plant response. If they are used with deep irrigation after the hot season starts they may take fairly heated organic fertilizers such as chicken manure.

Phosphorus insufficiency circles dark green foliage with reddish-purple discolouration of leaf veins plus stalks.

4. Soil and wind

It is necessary to have good soil. Papaya requires light, well-drained soil. The cactus mixture works best in this.

Shelter from wind is most helpful but not important.

If you have a hot sunlight spot with protection from the high winds that would be great for your plant. Else, accept the sunlight place in your yard.

5. Sun and heat

Papaya needs full Arizona sun. If the soil temperature is over 55 degrees and, drains well then, the basin will empty in over only 30 minutes.

When this happens irrigating is fine for flooding and the tree will react with rapid growth. You can’t think how fast it can be. 

How to Grow Papaya Tree in Cold Climate?

Papaya is a tropical fruit but, if you are looking to plant it in a cold climate plant then, you have to put it in a big pot or container and try to overwinter it in a completely protected area such as a greenhouse.

A further approach is to begin the seeds in autumn or early spring. As soon as the temperature rises to plant seedlings outside, the tree will grow till the frost comes and get killed, but there is a probability that you will find some juicy papayas too.

How to Harvest the Papaya Tree? 

Papaya fruit harvesting occurs 10–12 months after planting. The fruit is sensitive to sunburn plus should thoroughly separate from the tree with the help of plastic gloves, pick it up lightly with a twist or you can use a knife, leaving a 0.5 cm stalk. Moreover, harvesting must be performed according to the following steps-

  • 0% Ripe that is quite green but well developed.
  • 10–15% Ripe that is two yellow stripes with a 10–15% yellow covering surrounded by a green bright green colour.
  • 25% Ripe that is 25% of the outside of the shell is surrounded by yellowish-green colour.
  • 75% Ripe that is 75% of the surface is in yellow in colour.
  • 76-100% Ripe that is the surface of the shell of papaya is yellow to orange in colour.

Does papaya need full sun?

Yes, papaya tree does well in full sun.

You should provide ideal temperature of 70-85F for optimal growth of this plant.

How often to water papaya tree?

Depending on the climatic conditions and plant growth stage, you should increase or decrease watering frequency.

Seedlings need twice in a week and adult plant need to be watered regularly in hot days. In cold regions you can reduce watering to once in a week.

To avoid overwatering papaya tree, check the soil moisture before watering. If it is dry water generously, else allow the potting soil to be dry by 2 inch.

How to grow papaya tree faster?

It is enticing to grow this fruit plant quickly. Choose dwarf cultivars that grow quickly and regularly fertilize the plant.

In tropical regions this fruit plant grows well, this shows that papaya grows when temperature in between 70F-85F.

Ensure to provide ideal temperature and water regularly.

Most important have patience.

How Long Does Papaya Plant Live?

It depends upon them, but mostly papaya plants are short-lived because they grow older, they become sensitive to all types of diseases.

However, there are papaya plants that continue to fruit and live up-to 5 years, but with every year fruit production decreases.

As long as the plant continues to give delicious fruits, you can keep them. Else, you can easily start another plant with quality yield.

Most of the time, they can die in their second or third year. Besides it, some trees look indestructible.

Instead of taking a nap, they take off and become several new trunks. There is also 40-year-old papaya that lives so long.

Some of the general problems while growing papaya

  • The most general problem is the root rot because of over-watering. If the weather is cold then, keep papaya plants dry. If you live in an area that has torrential tropical rain, then there is not much about it you can do. Every wet season you may lose many of ripe papaya plants. This is not a problem, as long as you can start new plants regularly. 
  • Powerful winds are other general cause of papaya failure. Papaya plants have a very lightweight root mode, they become heavy as they grow, and they blow off easily. Then, the solution has to replant in time. Then there are birds, fruit bats problem. Everyone likes papaya. The only solution is to choose the fruit as long as it begins changing colour. It would be fine ripen on the kitchen bench.
  • When it gets too long, cut it down about two feet from the ground. Sometimes it kills them, but sometimes they grow back with multiple trunks. The most suitable time to cut papaya is during the dry season. When the trunk is empty, if we fill it with water it will rot. You can shield it by wrapping it upside down with plastic utensils or a bag. Humid weather can promote rot.
  • The virus and diseases transferred into the papaya caused by spread sucking insects. Those problems can be high during times when plants are already stressed, for instance, as they have wet feet.

Young, strong papayas are least influenced by insects and diseases. Simply keep lots of planting, and always keep the best. The planting process outlined above, and regular replication is the choicest way to assure a constant supply of papaya. 

Benefits of Planting Papaya at Home

Papaya is one of the worldwide most used fruits. The papaya tree is quite large, and it is spiral on the top part of the stem.

The plant of papaya is 4-7 feet in length. Moreover, it originates from the southern parts of Mexico and the northern, plus central parts of North America too. Presently, papaya is now cultivated in most tropical countries.

Papaya is cultivated extensively in remote villages in Thailand. And it is now one of the most growths of all time. Raw papaya is a beneficial fruit for us. And ripe fruits are tasty plus nutritious.

Raw vegetables hold a type of “Papine”, which enhances digestion and refreshes the liver.

Ripe fruits are rich in vitamins A, B, C and calcium, iron plus other nutrients too. Raw fruits contain loads of healthy components. It works on treating worm infections, ulcers, kidneys and cancer problems.


Papaya can be grown in pots from seeds. Choose pot that fits small plant and pot every 2 months up-to 6 months. Then you can select a pot in which papaya plant can grow for longer time.

Repotting is essential to avoid root bound.

Size of the pot to grow papaya should be 25 gallons filled with organic potting soil and mixed with old compost or worm castings.

Needless to say the pot should have a drainage hole that removes excess water from the pot.

Fertilizing, watering and providing adequate sunlight are essential for optimal growth of papaya plant.

Regularly monitor the plant for pests and powdery mildew disease. Use pesticides and insecticides to avoid such conditions.