What is the best soil mix for growing Papaya trees in containers?
That’s a great question, and all your questions are answered below!
Papaya is a tropical tree and loves a good free draining soil (potting) mix.
It hates to be in pots with soil from the ground, as it compacts and does not allow for good airflow or drainage.
If you only have access to garden soil from the ground then mix in one third compost and place some rocks in the bottom of the pot. This will help solve the issue of drainage and airflow.
I have found that mixing vermiculite with a premium organic soil mixture works well.
Just mix the vermiculite so you can see white speckles through the mixture. Don’t over do it, as vermiculite does not hold much nutrient.
However, Vermiculite is wonderful for storing water in the medium.
Then on top, place a couple of handfuls compost or dried manure, such as cow, horse or sheep.
As the tree mature you can then add chicken manure on top. Try not to use it too fresh, dried and old is better.
If you have access to worm castings or have your own worm farm, then this is perfect to mix into your container. One large handful for a big pot is perfect.
Worm castings are also great for small seedlings as they do not burn the roots of the young seedling tree. Just a sprinkle into the raising mix will do wonders.
Premium Soil or Potting Mixture Work Best
Unless, you come across a bargain and the premium mixture is on special.
If you are into organics be aware that many potting mixes will have the word organic on the label.
This does not always mean that the medium is certified organic. Look on the label and make sure it’s a certified organic container mix.
Even better, if the potting mix is designed for fruit trees or crops such as Tomatoes!
I also like to make sure the pre-mix I am buying contains microminerals. These minerals come in a form of rock dust and really help with the overall nutrition and health of the plants life. Check the label to see if these minerals have been added.
It also means that these trace minerals will be available in the fruit when you eat it. These trace minerals are also helpful in keeping our own bodies in tip top health.
Fruit Trees Growing in Containers Need Extra Care
All fruit trees that are growing in containers need a little bit of extra care. Below I have made a list to guide you better growth and fruit production.
- Large fruit trees in containers should have their pot placed on a wheel stand. This way you can move them when required, without busting your back.
- Keep you pots and containers moist, not wet or dry. You can test this buy sticking your finger into the medium up to the first knuckle. If it’s still moist your in good shape.
- Water from the bottom up. It’s always a good idea for the plant to have a reserve of water below. This can be done with water trays or reservoirs below built inside the container.
- Keep out of cool draughts and place in full sun to allow more growth and fruit production.
- Remove any suckers that appear from below the graft. These are a part of the seedling tree and will not bear fruit.
- Place mulch on top of the pot to keep the roots cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Re-pot your fruit tree when you see roots starting to appear at the base of the container.
Have you missed any of this Blueprint Super Series?
If you have just follow one of the links available below.
How to Grow Papaya Super Series:
Part 3: Adding Papaya to your Garden
I hope you enjoyed and benefited from our post Best Soil Mixes for Growing Papaya Trees in Containers. We sure have gone the extra mile in this series to answer as many questions as possible about growing this exotic fruit tree at home successfully.
Please share this post with your online friends and followers, as they just may want to grow Papaya too!
Author: Marty Ware (Australian Agricultural Horticulturist)