Growing your own Papaya, tips, and tricks to a deliciously successful fruit

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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Do you love Papaya? I sure do. It has such a sweet-tart, creamy taste and is great for you.

Growing Papaya (Carica papaya Linnaeus) isn’t hard. You can keep the seeds from an organic Papaya, and 9 times out of 10 they will grow into a hardy tree and produce fruit.

It isn’t 100% clear where Papaya originated but most people believe they traveled with the Spanish and Portuguese to the Americas.

Papayas thrive in subtropical and tropical regions.

Papayas enjoy tropical and subtropical climates.

Botanically they are considered large herbs and can grow to 30 feet tall at their max height so plant them in an area where they can grow nice and tall. Unless, of course, you read on and learn a helpful trick.

Sometimes I throw the seeds in a container or in the yard and wait for the surprise trees to show up and share their tasty goodness with me.

Years ago I tossed some seeds into a pot and multiple trees popped up. At the time we had 12 rescue bunnies. They have all since gone over the rainbow bridge but fear, not they lived long happy lives and taught me a lot about herbs and gardening. But that is for another post.

Gizmo, of the bunnies, ate the top off my 12″ tall Papaya tree. I thought that was that and figured it would die soon after. It didn’t die and it came back even stronger.

Sometime later, one of my garden friends told me that in Cuba and Puerto Rico they cut the tops off just like Gizmo did so the plants would grow back dwarfed. This way it is easier to reach the fruit. Thank you Gizmo, for that tip. You always were a great gardener.

Normally, a Papaya grows between 6-15 feet before it produces fruit. It will continue growing but after a bit of time, the fruit isn’t as sweet.

Left to nature the cycle would go something like this … fruit from the older tree drops, rots, and the seeds grow into new plants with sweet fruit. Most gardeners cut down the older trees when the fruit stops coming in sweet, but you could just leave them there for looks and animals if you’d like.

It only takes about 6-11 months to grow from seed to fresh ripened fruit. It all depends on the soil, light, water, and temperature during that period.

This makes Papaya a great first choice when starting out with fruit trees or a school garden. It isn’t instant satisfaction but pretty darn close.

You can eat Papaya plain and they come in their own biodegradable bowl. Papaya is great in salads, in dressings, in sauces, you can make jams and chutneys, or you can add a dash of salt and lime juice like they do in Mexico. Hello Yum!

There are some great Thai dishes that use green papaya which is also fantastic. The green papaya is not ripe yet.

You can save the seeds to grow new trees at a later date or dehydrate them and grind them up for parasite medicine for you and your pets. The seeds are great for killing parasites. Many animals like to eat them fresh too and receive benefits from it but check with your vet first just to make sure. They taste peppery.

I love the seeds and use them from time to time as a crispy dehydrated treat in salads. Please do your research before using them and consult your doctor if you are on any medications or have concerns about eating them.

Papaya filled with nutrients like Vitamin C, A, Magnesium, and Potassium and is thought to help with digestion, lower cholesterol, improve heart health, support eye health, is filled with antioxidants, boosts immunity, and can help with weight loss.

If you want to try to grow Papaya here are some tips and tricks.

  • Papaya trees like a good amount of water like most fruit trees. It takes a lot of water to make those juicy fruits. However, they don’t like sitting in water so well-drained soil is the best.
  • They like a bit of sandy loam Alkaline soil is perfect for Papaya.
  • They do enjoy nutrients and as we don’t promote chemical fertilizers we suggest using fish emulsion, compost, or another organic product like worm castings.
  • You can grow them indoors but need to make sure they have access to plenty of bright light and a nice size pot so they can grow big and strong.
  • They can also be grown in a greenhouse if you monitor the temperature. Papaya thrives in subtropical and tropical climates. Zones 10-11 are great.
  • There are a few varieties like the Sunrise Solo (most common), Golden Yellow, Mountain Papaya, Red Lady, Maradol, and Bella just to name a few. They are different flavors and sizes.
  • Cool fact. Payapa has male, female, and bisexual plants. It is the female flowers that turn into the best fruit. However, bisexual flowers can also produce small fruits. The males are great for cross-pollination. Plant a lot and you are bound to have all three. The pollinators can help you fertilize the female & bisexual flowers when you have males close by so plant a bunch of seeds.
  • To pick the perfect fruit they should be a little soft and have a nice red, orange, or yellow flesh, depending on which variety you planted. I personally love the yellow/orange. Those are ready when the fruit is completely yellow. I like to let most things ripen on the plant but you can remove them and let them ripen off the plant as well. The fruit should be firm but push in just a touch with light pressure. If it is too soft make a juice or nice cream, or freeze them for future use in smoothies.
  • When they get to about 12″ tall, cut the top off. I know it hurts, but they come back better than ever and stay smaller in height so you can reach the fruit easier. It worked when Gizmo did it.

I’d love to hear your experiences with Papaya. Share your recipes, growing techniques, or anything else you’ve experienced with Papaya. We all learn when you share.

Plant Power On!


The easiest way to start gardening and loving it!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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I hear so many people tell me they have a brown thumb. “I can’t grow anything”, ” everything I try to grow dies.”

With experiences like that who would want to try and grow something, especially food for themselves. It makes the gardening process way to heavy and stressful. It just seems too hard and you already feel like you’ve failed. Feeling like you failed stinks. I’ve been there too and understand how you are feeling.

You can grow things and we can show you how.

Failing doesn’t build confidence or bring you the peace you were hoping for from gardening. So let’s change your thought pattern and instead let’s think of it as experimentation.

So you experimented and the experiment didn’t go in the direction you wanted. They often don’t, but it is not the end of the world because you get to experiment again, and again, and again if needed.

Only this time you are going to start with something simple. Like a house plant that can take almost anything.

Sansevieria trifasciata is one of the easiest plants to grow.

Enter the sansevieria, sometimes known as a snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword, viper’s bowstring hemp, and many more. Those are the common names and aren’t always the best way to find a particular species of plant. If you want to get very specific use the Latin name which in this case is Sansevieria trifasciata. This way we are all working with the same plant.

This experiment starts with a fun, easy mission. Find a pot you love, then order a sansevieria and plant it in this new cool pot. Name him/her/they and then enjoy watching that plant settle into the pot and live a long happy life.

You don’t need to overwhelm yourself with all the stuff you see on-line or in all the books offered on Amazon about gardening. Just K.I.S.S. on this one.

You will hear things like you need to fertilize it once a month, light requirements, soil needs, how invasive it can be, and on and on but we are keeping it very simple and in a pot, in the house.

In future posts, we can break all that other information down but for now, just keep it simple. Get a basic potting soil, a plant, and a pot. You can even purchase one that is already planted in a pot you like.

There is only one goal in this experiment and that is to get to know your new friend. It may sound silly but plants are alive and the more you interact with them the more you get to know them.

Pet your buddy when you pass by. Say hello. Tell them a joke or dump your day on them. They love it! Just enjoy your relationship with this one simple plant.

The fantastic thing about Sansevierias is that they are in the Asparagaceae family and are a pretty hardy plant that doesn’t need a ton of care. They actually thrive being left alone and can deal with a variety of light situations. Low light? No problem they can handle that. Bright light? Ok, they enjoy that as well. They just don’t love extreme blasting sun all the time, it can burn them out but they will usually survive that as well.

You don’t need to water it all day every day because it is a succulent and they can go for long periods of time without water. In fact, they enjoy it when the soil drys out a bit. They definitely do not like to sit in wet soggy soil so just a touch (cup) of water in the soil, not the leaves, every few weeks. That will make them very happy.

Set an alarm on your phone that tells you to touch the soil once a week. It will be good for you and the plant. Overwatering is normally the biggest issue with plants believe it or not.

In this experiment, you get to just look at your plant, enjoy it, say hello each morning, and say good night before bed. That is it. That is the goal of this experiment to just enjoy the beauty and natural aspects of this plant for as long as you wish.

If you want to do this for a month, great. A year, fantastic. Go at your pace and just enjoy watching the experiment.

You can try drawing your plant. It doesn’t have to be perfect just doodle it. Take the time to really look at it and see the lines, colors, shapes. It is a form of meditation that will chill you out quickly while connecting you with nature.

See how your breathing shifts when you do this. It is pretty amazing. You will also notice when the plant starts to grow and see the new leaves breaking through the soil. That is always a thrill for me. I love watching things grow and create new forms.

Soon you will want a friend for your Sansevieria trifasciata.

My guess is that you’ll enjoy this new relationship so much that it won’t take a year for you to want to bring a friend home for your plant buddy. But give yourself time that way you have no pressure and can just enjoy the process.

If for some reason it dies you didn’t fail. You can experiment again. Failure isn’t really a failure at all, ever. You gain valuable information from the experience. Next time you’ll have a new experience and will gain valuable information from it too.

There are so many plants to experiment with. Even “expert” gardeners are not perfect with everything they plant. That is part of the fun to see what thrives and what doesn’t and then modify the experiment and try again.

Mama Nature does the exact same thing, all the time, for billions of years.

I’m excited for you and can’t wait to hear how it goes. Let me know about your experience in the comments below.

Plant Power On!


10 Ways To Garden, which way works best for you?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post, document, email, or site may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, The Plant More Project may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). We use this money to help run our organization and continue our mission. Here’s a link to our full disclosures, terms & privacy if you’d like to read more.

There are so many ways to garden and each has pros and cons. Explore these 10 options and choose which works best for you.

Think about the seasons before starting a garden of any size so you can plan out the details in advance.

Containers offer a lot of flexibility and design options.

1) Container Gardening


  • They work well for any size space, especially smaller spaces.
  • You can move containers around easily unless you get a giant one.
  • There are so many colors, sizes, and shapes to choose from.
  • You can choose containers to compliment your home decor.
  • You can find them everywhere at thrift stores, specialty shops, and people are always giving them away.
  • You can put them at any height so they are easy to get to.
  • They are easy to clean up, re-paint, and make look new again.
  • They hold water well with no hole and have the option for better drainage with a saucer on the bottom.
  • Inexpensive to start with.
  • You can start small and work your way up the gardening ladder with containers.


  • Some containers can hold water too well and you get root rot.
  • In the summer months, containers tend to dry out quickly so you have to water more.
  • Containers can crack and break.
  • Containers need soil and sometimes bugs like wet soil.
  • Because there is less soil your plant will use nutrients faster so you will need to fertilize more often.
  • The large ones can be expensive and heavy.
  • Plants will need to be stepped-up when they get too big for their container home.
Raised beds offer you a larger space to grow than containers.

2) Raised Bed Gardening


  • You can create any size or shape you desire.
  • You can make them tall so you don’t have to bend as much.
  • They help define your garden space and look aesthetically pleasing.
  • They help keep some garden pests out.
  • Easy to weed.
  • Drainage is a little better when the soil is higher.
  • You can pack more plants into a smaller growing space.
  • A great option for beginners.
  • They can be temporary or seasonal.
  • Pretty easy to build and you can put them on wheels.
  • You can cover them to start seeds earlier.
  • No soil compaction because you never walk inside the bed, just around it.
  • Inexpensive materials. You can build a raised bed from scraps of wood, tires, rocks, cinderblocks, and more. The options are endless.
  • You have more control over your soil because it’s contained.


  • A raised bed made from wood can rot.
  • Requires a lot of soil to fill it up.
  • They don’t have the best air circulation. Some plants don’t like that.
  • They can dry out fast so you need to stay up on your watering habits.
  • The cost of materials can be pricey if you want a certain style. Think recycled and save time and money.
  • Requires some handy person skills and tools to set up.
  • A raised bed can become a litter box for your feline friends.
  • If you have a cement floor under it there is less room for root growth.
Grow a garden without using soil.

3) Hydroponic Gardening


  • No soil needed.
  • Uses water more efficiently. Uses less water than soil gardens.
  • Fewer pests and disease.
  • You can grow more in the same amount of space.
  • Many plants grow faster in hydroponic gardens.
  • You can control the PH easier.
  • Saves you money.
  • Reduces fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides leaching into the water systems.
  • You can monitor the nutrients easier.
  • No weeds. This is a big one.
  • You don’t need pesticides, herbicides, or other toxic chemicals.
  • It looks impressive and yields a lot of food.
  • The water pump sounds like a fountain and is soothing.
  • Less labor-intensive.
  • Calming and fun to play with.


  • Materials and set up can be costly.
  • You do need to spend some time managing it.
  • Could be dangerous because of water and electricity near each other.
  • You have to educate yourself about hydroponic gardening.
  • Need electricity to run the pumps and air stones.
  • Because the plants are close if there were a disease it could spread quickly.
  • The pumps could fail or lose power.

4) Aeroponic Gardening


  • Similar to hydroponics with many of the same benefits but uses less water as it sprays a mist instead of a water flow.
  • Nice air circulation. Most systems have a timed mist.
  • Moisture control.
  • Can plant more in a small space.
  • Simple set up.
  • You can create them yourself.
  • Sends nutrients right to the roots.
  • The plants are cleaner without the soil.
  • Easy to scale.
  • Roots don’t sit in water like in hydroponics.


  • Similar cons to hydroponics.
  • You need to maintain the nutrients.
  • You must clean the reservoir.
  • You must stay on top of the mister and timers.
  • Requires electricity, timers, pumps and other materials which can be a pricey upfront cost.
  • You must watch for root disease.

5) Aquaponic Gardening


  • Similar to hydroponics and aeroponics in that it uses far less water than traditional soil gardening.
  • You don’t need to purchase nutrients as the fish provide the nutrients via their waste products.
  • High yield and faster-growing plants.
  • Environmentally friendly as the fish waste doesn’t run off into our water systems. It keeps recycling back into the plants.
  • It can be cost-effective once set up and you don’t need to buy fertilizers because you have fish doing the work for you.
  • It is fun to interact with the fish and there are so many beautiful species options. Koi, goldfish, tilapia.
  • Two food sources, plants, and fish (tilapia).


  • The initial setup and purchase of fish can be expensive.
  • Requires maintenance of the system and the fish.
  • Limited on the plants that can be grown this way.
  • Uses a lot of electricity because of larger pumps and filters.
  • The fish produce a lot of waste.
  • You’ll need larger more complicated filters to clean the water because of the fish. These are more expensive than the air stones, misters, and fountain pumps found in hydroponics and aeroponics.
  • You must monitor the health of the fish daily.
Grow a garden in a closed container and watch the magic happen.

6) Terrarium Gardening


  • They are a contained garden microhabitat. Can be completely contained or open.
  • Very low-maintenance indoor gardening.
  • Can be made in a huge array of shapes and sizes.
  • Don’t require a lot of time or effort after set up.
  • You can grow plants that might not grow well inside or in drier air.
  • A beautiful conversation piece.
  • Easy to keep clean.
  • Few pests.
  • Water recycles itself in the closed terrarium so you don’t need to water often. Some don’t need water at all after proper setup.
  • Endless options for internal decorations. Add some rocks or fairies.
  • Easy to create.
  • Can use recycled jars, fish tanks, wine glasses, and more to make your own.
  • Closed terrariums can recycle their air as well.
  • Makes a great educational project. Shows the interactions of plants, soil, water, and air.


  • You will need some basic materials to set it up such as a nice container, rocks, soil, small plants that won’t grow very large like dwarf ferns, moss, orchids, or carnivorous plants.
  • Can rot if you over water.
  • Can attract bugs if you over water.
  • Containers can break.
  • Plants can rot or become diseased.

7) Water Gardening


  • A great option for wet landscapes.
  • Beautiful and tranquil.
  • Incorporates plants, water, and fish if desired.
  • You can grow plants that like their feet wet. Make sure to purchase or grow water-loving plants.
  • Encourages and supports wildlife.
  • You don’t need to water the plants.
  • Moving water actually helps clean the air.
  • Reduces lawns, pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides.
  • Creates an ecosystem.
  • You can add beautiful fish and interact with them.
  • Can raise your property value if done well.
  • Can be made any size you desire including in a container.
  • Can lower your stress levels and create a peaceful spot in your yard.


  • Can be costly to set up.
  • You will need to maintain it so it doesn’t get swampy.

8) Rock Gardening


  • Simple to create.
  • Looks clean and neat.
  • Easy to spot weeds if there are weeds at all.
  • Can use found or recycled materials as centerpieces.
  • Very low maintenance.
  • Requires no water.
  • Easy for a beginner.
  • Color and design options are endless.
  • Very zen looking.
  • A great conversation piece.
  • Can be combined with plants to create interest.
  • No pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, or chemicals needed.


  • Materials can be expensive in the beginning.
  • Can look drab or static.
  • Can hold heat.

9) Greenhouse Gardening


  • You can grow year-round. Holds heat in the winter and you can cool in it the summer with fans.
  • Easier to control pests, disease, and weeds.
  • Can grow more in a smaller space.
  • Nice place to hang out in the colder months.
  • A great place to start seedlings.
  • Grow flowers year-round.
  • A nice place to nurse sick plants back to health.
  • Provides a lot of oxygen.


  • The initial investment can be pretty hefty.
  • Takes up a significant amount of time to maintain.
  • Maybe unsightly to some. I love them.
  • Not great for beginners as you need to control a lot of variables such as climate, water, pests, disease, and many other details.
  • Uses a lot of electricity for heat, additional lights, and fans.
  • Can be a breeding ground for disease because it is moist and contained. It does need additional airflow installed such as a fan.
  • You have to stay on top of it as you are responsible for the plants well being from top to bottom.
  • It can fall apart if the wrong materials are used for your area. Wood can rot, metal gets cold in the winter, covers can break with a heavy snow load. You must make sure you use the right materials for your area.
Build community with a garden.

10) Community Gardening


  • You get to know new people.
  • Gardening brings the community together.
  • You learn so many things around other gardeners.
  • Inexpensive place to grow a garden.
  • Easy setup. Raised beds are usually already done for you in an established community garden.
  • Networking. You meet people from all walks of life.
  • Creates a more educated, healthier community.
  • Provides fresh food.
  • Teaches leadership and responsibility.
  • Gets people out and about in nature which has physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits.
  • Can increase the property value of a neighborhood.
  • Beautifies an area.


  • Conflicts. People are people and sometimes they don’t agree.
  • Theft. Yes, sometimes people will steal your harvest before you get to enjoy it.
  • Long term maintenance issues. When people get burnt out they stop tending to the garden.
  • Resources. Most community gardens don’t have a fund to fix and maintain their garden so it falls apart. This is why using recycled items are so wonderful.

There are many more options and combinations. The sky is the limit when it comes to gardening. So which did you pick? Why not try a few of them and see what works best for you.

Can you think of any other ways to garden? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Plant Power On