I planted 100 pawpaw seedlings and only 30 are female. What could I have done wrong?


Papaya is a complex polygamous plant species.

The plants come in three primary sex types: male, hermaphroditic (bisexual), and female.

Some plants can produce at the same time more than one kind of flower while others produce flowers which are not of these basic forms, but exhibit different degrees of maleness and femaleness.

This tendency to change in sexual expression seems to be triggered by climatic factors like drought and variable temperatures.

The tendency to produce male flowers increases at high temperatures.

Since male trees donโ€™t produce, fruits from bisexual plants are preferred.

It is very important to select a maximum number of fruitful trees of the desired type.

This cannot be done by simply picking seedlings in a nursery.

What we advise is that you establish your own nursery bed with a variety of seed source fruits.

When they grow to 20 to 30cm height, you transplant in a prepared field where you install five to seven seedlings in a hole.

At flowering, you will select the mostly bisexual seedlings and rogue out the rest.

I recommend you leave two bisexual plants in a hole. If you notice a high number of females, perform the rouging such that you have a ratio of 1 male to 10 to 12 female plants in your orchard.

That way you will get good production.

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