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Detailed Information about Papaya –Revised 2007 Edition

(Carica papaya L.)
Compiled by Mr. N. Raghu Ram

INTRODUCTION: Papaya, papaw or papita originated from tropical America, has

become a popular fruit due to its fast growth, high yield, long fruiting period and
high nutrient value as well. In addition, it has been used as vegetable, fruit
processing and papain production at immature stage. It can be a highly profitable
crop now.

Papaya, botanically known as Carica papaya (L.) belongs to the family Caricaceae..
Like coconut, papaya tree is also called as "Kalpa Viruksha" since the various parts of
the tree are used either for human consumption or for animals or as raw materials
for many agro-based industries. Papaya not only helps to improve the farm income
but also serves as a cottage industry. It is easy to grow and is rich in nutrient
content. It is highly valued for its digestive properties. The nutritive and medicinal
properties of papaya are well known. The nutritive value of the papaya fruit is as
follows ……….
Quantity (g/100g edible
Moisture 89.6
Carbohydrate 9.5
Proteins 0.5
Fat 0.1
Calorific value 4.0
Minerals 0.4
Calcium 0.01
Phosphorus 0.01
Iron (mg/100g) 0.4
Carotene (vit A) IU/100g 2020
Thiamine (vit B) 40
Riboflavin (vit B2) 250
Nicotinic acid 0.2
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The papaya plant has male, female, hermaphrodite (bisexual flower) and some other
complex forms. Male plants do not bear any fruit. Normally, the fruit shape from
female plant is shorter, but the fruit shape from hermaphroditic plant is longer. The
seeds of following varieties will grow in mixture of female plants and hermaphrodite

The importance of papaya to agriculture and the world's economy is demonstrated

by its wide distribution and substantial production in the tropical countries. It has
long been grown and cultivated in the home gardens by the people of tropics
because it is one of the few fruits which flowers and fruits throughout the year,
gives quick returns and adapts itself to diverse soil and climatic conditions.

It gives one of the highest production of fruits per hectare and an income next to

Thus, the cultivation of papaya holds of great economic potential for its fresh and
processed fruits as preserves, papain, pectin, alkaloids like carpaine and several
natural volatile compounds



Early, vigorous, productive and tolerant to papaya ring spot virus. Plants begin to
bear fruits at 80 cm height and normally have over 30 fruits per plant in each fruit
setting season. Fruits are short-oblong on female plants and rather long shaped on
bisexual plants, weighing about 1.5 - 2 kg. Flesh is thick, red, and 13% in sugar
content and aromatic. Good to transport and export. It’s a product of M/s. Known
You Seed Co., Ltd., TAIWAN.

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Papaya is a tropical plant, very sensitive to frost. Optimum temperature is 25-30° C

and minimum 16°C. The suitable ph value is between 6 and 6.5. The well-drained or
sandy loam soil with adequate organic matter is most important for the papaya
cultivation. In high rainfall area, if drainage is poor and roots are continuously
drenched for 24 to 48 hours, it may cause the death of the plants. Clayey, Sticky
and calcareous soils are not good as rain water may accumulate in the soil even only
for a few hours. In this case, higher raised bed and drainage paths are

The growing field should be irrigatable and kept at suitable soil moisture which is
necessary for the growth of papaya plants, although dry climate at the time of
ripening is good for the fruit quality. Continuous cropping in the same field may
result to poor growth and cause disease problem of papaya trees. Papaya does not
like strong, cool, hot, dry or salty wind. It is better to grow in sheltered but full
sunshine place. Staking and/or windbreak can decrease the damage to plants under
strong wind.

Papaya can grow on a variety of soils, yet the best soil is deep, rich, alluvial soils on
the banks and deltas of rivers in India. The most important requirement for
successful papaya cultivation is that the soil should have good drainage and be
properly prepared before planting. Either natural high fertility or rapidly available
nitrogen and an abundant supply of available nutrients supplied by commercial
fertilizers are essential to obtain maximum yields in papaya.

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The best performance has been observed on rich loams of uniform texture upto
about 15 cm deep with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.0. The depth of the soil is not of much
importance as it is a shallow rooted crop, but soil should be well drained. It is highly
susceptible to water logging, even an 2.5 cm of water standing around the tree for
few hours is likely to kill the plants. Do not select clayey soils having highly moisture
retentivity as they easily get waterlogged.

Papaya being a tropical plant, the producing regions roughly occupy a belt spreading
approximately 30oN and 40oS of the equator. The main commercial areas are in the
tropical regions at latitudes approximately 25oN and 25oS of the equator. It thrives
well from sea level to altitudes of 1000 to 1200 meters. Very hot summers or frost
are extremely detrimental for the growth of papaya. Do not grow papaya in the
areas where strong winds are prevalent. Papaya requires not only a uniformly high
temperature, but ample sunshine and adequate moisture in the soil. It is adapted to
a wide range of rainfall conditions from 35 cm to 250 cm annual precipitation.

Excessive moisture affects the crop as well as fruit quality adversely. Very often, a
strong wind coupled with low temperature destroys the whole crop. Lack of
sufficient warmth in the atmosphere always retards maturing and ripening of fruits.

A dry warm climate tends to add to the sweetness of the fruit. The type of flowers
and fruits formed on a papaya tree are influenced considerably by the temperature
prevailing in the locality. The optimum temperature for the germination of seeds is
about 35oC and temperatures below 23oC and above 44oC are detrimental to seed
germination. The optimum night temperature for the increase in dry weight is
between 17oC and 30oC whereas for maximum seedling elongation, the same is
around 30oC night temperature and about 26oC day temperature for 8 hours
photoperiod. Papaya is vulnerable to wind damage.

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Wind accompanied by rains can loosen and break roots sufficiently to cause the
papaya trees to fall, resulting in severe losses to the commercial growers. Very
strong wind coupled with low temperature also cause severe losses to the papaya
crop. Papaya trees can withstand winds up to 60 km per hour if the tree has a deep,
well developed root system. Wind breaks are necessary where strong winds prevail
which can easily damage the leaves, thus hampering growth and fruit production.
The strips of wind breaks should be spaced at distances of 20 to 30 times the height
of the wind break trees. For example, trees attaining a height of 3 metres can give
protection to a 60 to 90 metre strip of land. Where winds come in different
directions and angles, it may be necessary to have wind breaks half as close as that
of the normal spacing.

Grow wind breaks such as Silver oak (Grevellia robusta), Dadaps (Erythrina indica),
Casuarina (Casuarina cunninghamiana), Daincha (Sesbania aegyptica) and Subabul
(Leucaena leucocephala).

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A. Seed source:

The seed must be from a dependable source and sown as soon as possible. The
remaining seeds must be sealed tightly and kept at cool (5-10° C) and dry (under
relative humidity 40%) place.

B. Seed requirement:

One gram contains about 50-70 seeds, mostly 65-75 seeds. It needs 20 to 30 g
seeds per acre at average of 70% seed germination and 80% successful seedling.
Red Lady Papaya seeds are available in 10gms. (Around 600 seeds) pack.

C. Season of Planting:

The time of sowing depends upon the choice of fruiting season and danger of rain or
frost. Seeds are sown from March to May and transplanted from May to July. In
some areas seeds are sown almost all year round, but optimum season is from June
onwards. The time of planting papaya depends on several factors like climatic
conditions of the place, availability of irrigation facilities and consumer demands in
that area. Papaya can be planted, year round if irrigation facilities are available. The
best time to plant papaya in most parts of India is the beginning of the South-West
monsoon in the light rainfall tracts and the close of the monsoon in the heavy rainfall

D. Seed germination:

The optimum temperature of germination is 21-27° C, and of radical emergence is

19-29 °C. It takes 1-4 weeks from sowing to emerge depending on the temperature.
The seed may be treated with Thiram (TMTD) W.P. before sowing to control the
fungus diseases at young stage.
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E. Sowing method:

The most common method of propagation of papaya is from seed. Seeds are
produced abundantly and they germinate readily in 10 to 15 days and uniformly.
Raise papaya using only good quality seed of desired variety.

Days Operation
1 day Sowing in polythene bags and watering with rose can
Germination of seeds
Drench the seedlings with the fungicides solution
30 days containing 1 g of copper oxychloride dissolved in 1
liter of water
55 days Transplant the seedlings in the main field

Different methods of raising seedlings are practiced for planting viz., in the nursery
beds, in germination trays or seed flats. Use polythene bags of 150 gauge for
raising papaya seedlings which have been found quite satisfactory. Sow 250g of
seeds in the poly bags to plant one hectare at a spacing of 1.8 meters either way.
In case of pot or bag sowing method, sow only 2-3 seeds per pot to compensate for
poor germination, insect damage and removal of male plants at the time of
flowering. Prepare the nursery about two months prior to the scheduled date of
planting. This will allow enough time for the seedlings to be ready for transplanting
with a height of about 15-25 cm. Sow the seeds in raised beds whose surface is well
pulverized and heavily manured with decayed farmyard manure or compost, 1-2 cm
deep and 2-3 cm apart within rows spaced at 15 cm. Water the seed beds daily with
a rosecan except on the rainy days. Avoid water logging situations as this leads to a
fungal disease called "damping off" which kills the seedlings.

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A. Transplanting stage: When the seedling is 10-15 cm tall, it should be

transplanted, but 30-40 cm is also all right if it is grown in a larger container.

B. Spacing: A 40-60 cm high bed is required if the soil is not well drained.
Normally, the distance between rows is about 2-2.5m, and 2m between plants ( or
3m x 3m when grown at sloping land, or 2.7m of distance between beds for the
tractor practice). The total number of plants for each hectare is about 2,000 to
2,500. In case of eradication of undesirable sexual or virus-infected plants later,
the distance between plants at beginning of planting may be 1.2-1.5m.

C. Pollinator plants: Minimum 10-20% hermaphrodite plants are required for


D. Planting method:

(A) Black-and-white plastic mulching film on the beds can be used to:

(a) reduce the loss of water and fertilizer nutrients

(b) control weed

(c) repel the winged aphids

(d) decrease virus infection at young stage and

(e) decrease bed soil erosion.

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(B) Drill the planting hole about 45cm in diameter and 30cm in depth. The soil in the
hole is mixed with compost for planting. Then transplant the seedlings (seedlings
should be fully watered one day before transplanting) on a cloudy day or late
afternoon to minimize transplanting shock. Take care not to plant too deep,
otherwise collar-rot disease may affect the buried part of the stem. Then water
immediately after planting.

(C) Intercrop with the newly-planted long term fruit tree such as mango or
orange. Short term crop such as corns or vegetables may also be considered but not

(D) To retard growth, lower the fruit-setting site, resist the wind and facilitate
management and harvesting, slant planting is considered as follows:

Plant the seedlings at an angle of 45° between the stem and surface of the soil
and then later cut the leaves which touch the soil. Fix with rope at two thirds of
the stem from the base and adjust the site up when the plant grows higher to
prevent the stem from being upright. Above procedures may be modified to fix the
plant with plastic rope down to the side(s) of bed about 1-2 months after
transplanting (about 36-40cm height of the plant).

(E) Screen house cultivation: For reducing virus infection during growing period,
the following cultivation is recommended:

Use 3.0-3.6m long of bamboo stems or concrete stakes as supporters at distance

of 4.5-5m, and connect with No.12 iron wire. Then tightly surround with 32-mesh
white net which contains anti-ultra violet material. After the construction is
completed, the protected healthy seedlings are planted and the virus-infected
plants destroyed and buried immediately once found. Note that hand pollination for
female trees is required (the central flower of the cluster on the bisexual plants can
be taken as pollen supplier) and control the powdery mildew and mites well. The
net may be taken off before the fruit is mature.

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V. Fertilisation

The plant needs continuous fertilization as fruiting is continuous upon maturity.

Recommended rate of fertilizers for papaya is as follows: (It should be modified
depending upon the soil conditions.)

Basal fertilisation:

Apply 5 tons of fermented compost per acre (or 1kg per square meter) before
planting or when forming beds. The same dose should be repeated every year for
the adult plants.

Adequate and efficient manuring of young and mature papaya tree is essential to
maintain the health of the papaya and to obtain high yields. It is a heavy feeder.
Extent of the various nutrients removed from soil by whole papaya plant at different
phases of growth viz., seedling, vegetative, pre-flowering, flowering, fruit
development and harvest is given in Table. Significant uptake of the nutrients is
observed after flowering. The nutrients removed by whole plant at harvest are 305,
103, 524, 327 and 183 kg per hectare N, P, K Ca and Mg respectively. Thus, the
ratios of N, P, K removed are 1:0.34:1.71. The nutrients removed from the soil by
one tonnes of papaya fruits in Hawaii in descending order are K, N, Ca, Mg and P,
and the ratio of N, P and K removed is 1:0.14:1.48.

Papaya responds positively to application of nitrogen, phosphorus, potash and to

several micronutrients. Since papaya grows vigorously and continuously, it has a
continuous demand for nutrients. They must be supplied to keep it in good health
and high bearing

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Biofertilisers: Biofertilizers are carrier based preparations containing beneficial

micro organisms in a viable state intended for seed or soil application and designed
to improve soil fertility and help plant growth by increasing the number and
biological activity of desired microorganisms in the root environment.


• Azospyrillum sp.


• Bacillus megathelium var. phosphaticum Bacillus subtilis


Vesicular Arbuscular mycorrhizae (Glonus fasciculatum) Apply biofertilizers viz.,

Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizae (VAM), Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria each @
20 g per plant and again six months after planting.

Manuring in the Nursery

• Adequate manuring of young seedlings is of the greatest importance towards

the production of vigorous healthy seedlings.
• Do not apply chemical manures to papaya seed nursery at the time of
planting as high concentration of nutrient solutions in the soil coming in
contact with the tender roots of the seedlings may cause permanent damage.

Manuring at the time of Planting

• Both organic and inorganic manures are beneficial to the papaya plant. Apply
only dry and well rotten cattle manure @ 4-5 kg per pit.

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Others: Apply 0.25-0.5kg borax per 100 plants right before dry season in soil which
is boron- deficient. For the young trees, apply compound fertilizers in the trench (10
cm deep and 15 cm wide) around the outer of tree crown, then fill back the soil. As
for the adult trees, apply in the trench (10 cm x 15 cm) at both sides of the tree and
fill back the soil, or top dress at furrows after irrigation.

Method of application

Take a circular basin evenly around papaya trees at 30 cm away from the stem and
at 15 cm deep. Apply the fertilizer/manures around the basin and mix well with the
soil without disturbing the roots. Irrigate immediately to dissolve the fertilizers in the
soil. Take care such that no fertilizer comes in direct contact with any above ground
parts of the plant

VI. Weed control

Weeds should be removed at the young stage frequently and lightly, but never do
deep tillage to the soil since the plant has shallow roots. Growers may apply
herbicide once before emergence with 43% Lasso E.C. at 1:200 or 80% Kamex
W.P. at 1:400; or mulch the bed with plastic film before transplanting or with
rice/sugarcane straws before or within a few days after transplanting to control
the weeds, soil erosion and water loss.

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VII. Irrigation

Normally, irrigate every 10 days in winter or every week in summer, but practice
varies according to soil, climate conditions, and irrigation methods. Ring method,
furrow or drip irrigation can be done. However, be sure to prevent the water from
coming in contact with the stem. Irrigation may prevent the plants from the
damage of frost.

VIII. Other management

A. Remove the side shoots of the stem as soon as possible.

B. Cut the old, dry, or diseased leaves and petioles.

C. Thin the fruits which are poorly pollinated, malformed or pest-infected.

Nevertheless, avoid transmitting the virus mechanically from infected plant to others
through the above practices.

D. Support the plant with stakes which should be tied with a rope, especially when
bearing heavy fruits and during storm season.

E. Pollinate by hand to increase the fruit setting and the percentage of large and
normal fruits, especially when growing under net house.

F. Management after storm:

1. Drain the plantation well.

2. Apply the fungicide to control phytophthora blight.

3. Spray 0.5% urea or side dress the fertilizer.

4. Support the fallen trees to keep them from the surface of the soil.
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5. Cover the fruits with paper to avoid the sun scald.

IX. Harvest

In general, papaya takes six months to flower and another five for harvesting; but
it may vary according to the climate conditions and management. For shipping to
the distant markets, the fruits should be harvested when the apical end starts
turning yellow and the latex is no longer milky. During the cold months, the fruits
can be left on the tree to develop deeper colour and obtain better flavour. Step
ladder or plumber‘s helper with long bamboo pole is usually used by the small
growers to pick the fruits if the tree grows too tall. The bin attached to the tractor is
used for harvesting in large plantation. The fruits can mature well by treatment of
calcium carbide or ethylene gas.

Production of fruits is continuous during the life of the tree. Harvest the fruits when
they are still hard and green but slightly turn yellow. Pick the fruits by giving a
careful twist with the hand. Take care to avoid bruising or splitting of the skin white
picking. Yield ranges from 50-75 tonnes per acre. Papaya tree may live as long as 15
to 20 years and reach a height of more than 8 metres, but its economical life is only
2-3 years. In the first crop the fruits are borne on the trunk so low as to be easy
reach for picking.

As the tree grows taller and is more advanced in age, the crop becomes sparse in
fruiting, and the fruits are borne at greater height on the trunk. After 3 years, the
growth slows down and the fruits and leaves diminish in size. At this stage, remove
the plant as it will be uneconomical to maintain it any longer. Store the fruits in
single layers in straw until they get a beautiful orange colour and become uniformly
soft all over the surface of the skin. For distant transport pack the fruits in single-
layer fibre board containers with packing materials between the fruits. Store the
fruits to be consumed locally in a single layer of straw until they become yellow.
Storage below 10oC has been known to cause chilling injuries.

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Papaya ripens satisfactorily between 20o and 25oC while temperature above 32.2oC
caused delayed ripening, copious latex oozing and fruit surface bronzing. Controlled-
atmosphere storage (2% O2 and 98% N2) at 10oC has been found to extend the
storage-life by a few days. Use polymeric films, waxes and other surface coating
(TAL Prolong, Fresh Mark Wax 51 v) to extend the storage-life of papaya.

X. Pest control and micro-element deficiency management

(Please refer to your local recommendation for chemical control)

A. Papaya Ring Spot Virus (PRSV) and Papaya Leaf-Distortion Mosaic

Virus (PLDMV)

PRSV induces vein-banding, mottling and yellowing spots or distortion of leaves,

water- soaking streaks on stems and petioles, and ring spots appear on fruits or
even on leaves. It stunts the plants and drastically reduces the size of fruits, sugar
content, and taste. Some infected plants would not bear fruits or production would
decline. It spreads very fast and has become the limiting factor in papaya production
in many areas of the world. PLDMV induces characteristic rosettes of leaves with
slender stems on the crown top.

The fruit has the same markings as PRSV, but there are bumpy swellings around the
ring spots. Both viruses are transmitted by sap (via mechanical means) or aphids.
No evidence has been found that they are seed transmitted.

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1. Select to grow the tolerant varieties such Red Lady.

2. Grow the seedlings and trees under net house or screen house.

3. Transplant at a time when there are relatively few winged aphids around and
protect the seedling with transparent cylindrical plastic film and supports.

4. Inter-crop papaya with barrier crops such as corn, but never host crops such as
cucurbit. (May sow the corn seed one month after transplanting).

5. Mulch silver and black plastic film to deter winged aphids from visiting young

6. Immediately eradicate and bury the whole infected plant once found.

7. Do not touch the healthy plants if hand or foot is contaminated with infected

8. Control the aphids.

9. Practice cross protection with specific mild strain, but it often breaks down after a
few months, losing its effectiveness.

10.Papaya tree may be treated as an annual crop and requires replanting every year
in order to cut down on virus infection in the area where virus occurs seriously.

B. Damping-Off (Pythium aphanidermatum, P.ultimum, Phytophthora palmivora

and Rhizoctonia sp.)

The fungi live in the soil. The disease is favored by high temperature and wet
weather, wet soil, poor drainage, deep sowing, thick sowing (crowded), poor soil
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aeration, high nitrogen in the soil and sunshine shortage. Infected seedling will wilt,
fall and then die.


1. Use virgin soil or sterilize the soil with steam at 180 F (82.3 ) for 30 minutes or
fumigate with methyl bromide (see manufacturers‘ recommendations)

2. Improve above mentioned environmental conditions to be favorable to the


3. Protect with plastic film from rain water.

4. Drench the solution of 35% Etridiazole(Terrazole)

C. Phytophthora Fruit Rot (Phytophthora palmivora)

Occurs in the hot and humid season, especially after typhoon attacks. It induces root
rot on young and adult plants, and finally wilt or die. Also it may cause large lesions
and white mold appears on the fruit and then the fruit drops.


1. Rotate with other crops.

2. Select well drained soil.

3. Avoid harming the roots.

4. Control the snails and ants.

5. Rogue and deeply bury the diseased fruits.

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6. Spray 80% Mancozeb(Dithane M-45) 1:400 weekly.

A. Powdery Mildew (Oidium caricae)

White and gray powder-like mold appears on the leaves, petioles, stem and
young fruits in early spring season (around 18-22 ). It stunts the plant,
induces leaf dropping, or does not set fruit.

Control: Spray one of following fungicides with sticker at 10-14 days intervals.

1. 50% benomyl(benlate) W.P. 1:3000

2. 70% wettable sulfur at 1:400

3. 10.5% Penconzaole E.C. 1:2000 phytotoxic to seedling.

4. 50% Binapacryl W.P. 1:2000 “ “ “ “

5. 18.6% Triforine E.C. 1:1000 “ “ “ “

6. 19.5% Dinocap W.P. 1:1500 “ “ “ “

Caution should be taken that the above mentioned chemicals may injure papaya at
high temperature or/and at high concentration.

D. Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeasporides, Glomerella cingulata)

It attacks the petioles and fruits. Symptoms mainly appear on the mature fruit and
thus shorten its shelf life. The symptoms are usually round, water-soaked lesions
which if enlarged, will be slightly sunken. The fungus frequently produces light-
orange masses of spores in the central lesion.

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1. Weekly spray 80% Mancozeb(Dithane M-45)W.P. 1:400 with spreader/sticker.

2. Treat the harvested fruits with hot water at 49 for 20 minutes, then dip in the
cool water for 20 minutes and then dry it.

F. Black Spot (Asperisporium caricae, Cercospora papayae)

The leaf spots are grayish-white, roughly circular to irregular in shape. Heavily
infected leaves turn yellow and dry up. The spots on fruit are tiny water-soaked,
turning black and corky. Wet and cool place at hill side is more serious.

Control: Please refer to “Anthracnose” control.

G. Root Rot (Rhizoctonia solani, Fusarium sp.)

It causes root decay, leaf yellowing, and falling plant after raining. It may also kill
young seedlings in the nursery.


1. Rotation.

2. Good drainage.

3. Staking.

4. Sterilization of the nursery bed with formaldehyde two weeks before sowing or
treating the seeds with thiram(TMTD) or captan.
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H. Collar Rot, Foot Rot (Pythium aphanidermatum)

Symptoms include swelling, cracking and rotting of the stem, when it comes in
contact with water during the rainy season.


Please refer to “Damping-off” control.

I. Stem-end Rot (Ascochyta sp. and other fungi)

A dry, firm, dark rot usually occurs after picking. It starts at the stem-end and
extends into the fruit.


Pick the fruits with part of peduncle.

J. Rhizopus Fruit Rot (Rhizopus stolonifer)

The fungus invades injured mature fruit only. It causes soft rot and produces
masses of visible black sporangia; leakage of cell fluids from the rotting fruit will
also occur.


1. Be careful when picking, transporting, and packing to avoid bruising or injuring

the fruit.

2. Heat treatment to kill the pathogen.

3. Remove and destroy the rotting fruit in the packing sheds.

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K. Black Rot (Erwinia cypripedii)

The symptom mainly appears on the top of the stem. It primarily causes water-
soak, then turns to black and the leaves fall. New shoots may be infected and
finally the plant dies. Occasionally the symptom of water-soaked lesions are found
on the leaves and petioles and will turn to brown angular and necrotic spots.
Bacteria also invade the flesh, induce brown spots and decay, producing poor


1. Eradicate the severely infected plant.

2. Cut the infected portion of the stem under sunny day, then paste with sulfur to
develop the new


3. The seriously infected plantation should be destroyed.

L. Boron Deficiency.

This physiological problem is common in the sandy or gravel soil during dry cool
season. The latex could be found on the surface of immature fruits. Gall-like
malformation of the fruit is also found in the severe plantation. The fruits are hard
and not easy to get ripe, tasteless and having no commercial value.

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1. Use more organic manure.

2. Dissolve the Borax in hot water, then spray 0.25% Borax or Boric acid solution on
the leaves at the beginning of dry season at 2-3 weeks intervals.

3. Apply 2.5-5g Borax per plant (5-10kg/ha) along with other fertilizers by side
dressing at the beginning of dry season.

M. Nematode Diseases

1. Reniform Nematode (Rotylenchulus reniformis)

The young female nematode penetrates the root, causing stunting of the trees
which are stressed and wilt more readily than the healthy ones. Fruits are
smaller and may become tasteless as well.

2. Root-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne sp.)

It causes swelling or retardation of the root and stunting of the plants.


1.Rotate after rice crop.

2.Control with nematocide.

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N. Mites

(1). Spider Mites

Carmine Mite (Tetranychus cinnabarinus): It infests widely on many kinds of plants

and more seriously on papaya. The leaves become matted with webbing.

Citrus Red Mite (Panonychus citri) & Texas Citrus Mite (Eutetranychus banksi): The
outbreaks of both mites occur only periodically, usually during the fall, causing
matted but not prominent webbing, and inducing bleached punctures on leaves. The
premature leaves drop and the plants become weak. The damage may widely
spread rapidly.

(2). False Spider Mites

Red and black flat mite (Brevipalpus phoenicis): It causes corky scarring of papaya
fruit and reduces its market value. The mite is found on the stem and advances onto
the petioles and fruits

(3). Tuckerellid Mites:

Twelve-tailed Tuckerellid (Tuckerella pavoniformis): It is minor pest. Injurious

symptom is similar to that caused by the red and black flat mite.


1. Fungicide such as Binapacryl, Triforine, Dinocap used for powdery mildew control
is also effective on spider or false spider mites.

Spray 25% Morestan W.P. at 1:1000~1500 or 50% plictran W.P. at 1:2500~3000 at

10-15 days intervals. Notice that too high concentration or/and high temperature
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may cause plant injury. Also, do not use the same chemical continuously because in
this way, the mites may become tolerant to pesticide.

(4). Tarsonemid Mite

Broad mite (Hemitarsonemus latus):

It damages the seedlings and young plant greatly, causing stunted and distorted
leaves. In a serious situation, the rosette leaves will appear, and the growing tips
may be aborted.


Spray 75% wettable sulfur at 1:300 on the top of stem at 10-15 days intervals until
normal new leaves occur.

O. Aphids (Myzus persicae, Aphis spp….etc.)

Aphids suck young leaves which become curled and crinkled, and even defoliated,
especially at seedling stage. Some aphids also transmit the virus diseases.

P. Red Scale (Aonideilla inornata)

It mainly infests stem after flowering and then spreads to the fruits.


Spray one of the following pesticides at 7-10 days intervals.

1. 33% Formothion E.C. at 1:660

2. 50% Malathion E.C. at 1:500-1000

3. 44% Methidation E.C. at 1:1000

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4. 40% Methidation E.C. at 1:800

The above pesticides are also effective to control aphids and some other insects of

Q. Other Insects:

Scales, thrips, beetles, stink bug, leaf hopper, moths., mealy bug, and white fly are
minor insects, but may occasionally cause certain damage to papaya.


1. Keeping the plantation relatively free of weeds can control aphids, leaf hopper
and thrips outbreaks to a large extent.
2. Harvest all fruits at the mature- green stage, and then pick and dispose of all
soft ripen and infested fruits promptly to prevent fruit fly infestation and
reproduction within the plantation.
3. Select the proper insecticide to control the outbreak of certain insects.

Biological Control:

Apply the eggs of Mallada basalis walker (20-60 eggs/plant or 100,000

eggs/hectare) to control mites, aphids, white flies if the papaya is grown in the
screen house.

R. Snail and Slug:

It feeds on young plants, shoots, or flower buds in humid place. Also, it can transmit
the pathogen of phytophthora fruit rot.

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1. Grow the seedlings at a safe place.

2. Collect the snails in the evening and at dawn and properly dispose them of.

3. Protect with big plastic cylinder film after transplanting. (This may also protect
from virus infection)

4. Apply “Aritox” 10-15 granules each square meter.

Nematode Management


• Reniform nematode - Rotylenchulus reniformis

• Root-knot nematode - Meloidogyne incognita
• The symptoms include yellowing of leaves and gall formation in leaves.


• To control nematodes in the nursery, apply carbofuran 3 G @ 1g/polybag

after germination.
• Root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne sp.) and Reniform nematode
(Rotylenchulus reniformis) are the two nematodes affecting papaya.

Main field

Root knot nematode

• Root knot nematodes occur in large numbers in all kinds of soil.

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Symptoms of injury

• The larvae of root knot nematodes, when entering roots cause very slight
mechanical injury except where large numbers enter in a limited area. Most of
the effects on the surrounding plant tissues are caused by the secretion
ejected through the stylet while the larvae are feeding. Sometimes root tips
are devitalized and their growth is stopped.
• Such damage will impair root spread and thus the ability of the plants to take
up water and nutrients, greatly affect the seedlings. The infected roots of
papaya tend to form very small galls which look like beads on a string. The
symptoms may be characterised as a combination of galls and coarse roots
resulting in stunting, yellowing and drying of leaves.

Lesion nematode

• The reniform nematodes (Rotylenchulus reniformis) is also a serious pest in

papaya growing areas. The loss of fruit yield and stunting of growth have not
been noticed in the field.

Symptoms of injury

• The root injury caused by reniform nematode is different from the injury of
root knot nematodes. Reniform nematodes do not cause swelling or
retardation of the root. Their presence in the roots may be detected by
observing the small grains of sand like bodies which are found attached to the
root surface after washing the root system carefully. In case of heavy
infestations, the above ground symptoms are similar to those of root knot
nematodes. Generally, nematode infected trees of papaya are more sensitive
to the stresses and wilt than the non-infested trees. The size of the fruits may
become smaller and of poor quality.

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Management practice

• Employ both the combination of cultural and chemical methods for effective
control of nematodes in papaya


• Test the soil for nematode population before using for raising the seedlings.
As far as possible remove all the undecomposed roots, debris etc. of the soil.
Heap all the clearings from the site separately away from the sowing/planting
site as greatly enhanced nematode population develops under these heaps.
Follow crop rotation as a preventive measure.


• Apply carbofuran 3 G @ 20 g per pit before transplanting the seedlings to the

main field.

Physiological disorders

Stamen carpellody or cat-faced fruit

• This melady occurs only in gynodioecious form of papaya. When temperature

goes below 20oC during flower initiation in bisexual flowers, the stamens
adhere to the ovarian wall and thus the developing fruit possess a mis-
shapened appearance.


Do not grow gynodioecious papayas in areas having extremes of temperature.

Thank you!
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Phone: 040 27721868, Mobile: 0 98482 03647
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