Papaya trees are well-known for their tropical fruit and distinctive shape. If you are growing a papaya tree but notice signs of stress (leaves falling off, failure to flower and so on), it can be disheartening. However, there are things you can do to bring your papaya tree back from the brink to perfect health.
Fertilize the Soil
Something that may cause your papaya to fall into poor health is ill nutrition. To ensure your papaya tree is getting all the nutrients it needs, use fertilizer every other week in the spring and summer months. A tropical mix will work best for papaya trees, but any fertilizer will give your tree adequate nutrients.
Check Water Daily
Though you may have a regular watering schedule, papaya trees can burn through moisture fairly quickly, especially in the tropical heat. Check the moisture by placing your finger directly in the soil. If the soil feels dry, water immediately. The only time you should not water immediately is in the winter months, when the tree prefers to be as dry as possible.
Mulching your papaya tree will serve two purposes: It will keep moisture in during the summer and keep the roots warm in the winter. Using a natural mulch around your tree is preferable, and papaya trees need only 3 or 4 inches of mulch to get the full benefit. You can mulch in any season, but doing so in the spring is most effective.
Papayas are sensitive to rapidly changing temperatures, especially in the winter. To help keep temperatures stable, consider wrapping your papaya tree with a warm blanket at night, or wrapping it with electric lights to keep it warm. Because papaya trees are native to tropical climates, they do well with extreme heat; but if temperatures approach or dip below freezing, you'll want to shield your papaya tree from the temperature changes.
Amanda Kondolojy has been writing professionally since 2007 and currently writes full-time as a staff contributor at "Cheat Code Central." She also contributes regularly to her Disney-themed blog, Adventures in Pin Trading. Kondolojy holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from George Mason University.