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problem with carica papaya seedling survival

Posted by marcyoung none (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 2, 13 at 2:33

I live in a temperate zone, have a large conservatory, its mid summer now. My papaya seedlings (ex shop fruit)get to 1cm 1/4" high then die. I have tried various soil and sterile soil-less mixes, lately a very sandy/gritty/bio char well draining mix. Tried the range of full sun to full shade, they are warm 20 - 40 C, its humid. Tried bleaching the seeds, natural fungicides to prevent damping-off, keeping some of them dryish and keeping others moist and in-between, Tried adding onion mold to compete with other negative pathogens.
Its been 2 years of experimenting now, just can't get it, which is a shame , cause I love papaya. Kiwi fruit seedlings seem to be going the same way, and they are a good 6" high.
Any ideas welcomed?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: problem with carica papaya seedling survival

Well, I've never grown papaya but I found a very good web page about how to grow it (link below). According to that web page, the papaya can be a finicky plant; easy to grow, but not necessarily so easy to keep alive.

Seems the most common problem is root rot, due of course to the soil being too wet. Also, they apparently require lots of fertilizer.

Is it possible that you're just keeping the soil a little too wet? Or, maybe just not giving them enough fertilizer?


Here is a link that might be useful: Papaya Growing

RE: problem with carica papaya seedling survival

I was reading through carica papaya seed propagation yesterday just after I posted.
They recommended planting the seed under 1" manure, not sure if they mean old or fresh.
I'll give it a try.
I have tried keeping them dryish, no success.

RE: problem with carica papaya seedling survival

Any signs of damp-off, soil fungus, or fungus gnats?


RE: problem with carica papaya seedling survival

can't see soil fungus, or fungus gnats..........I have always suspected it was damp-off, looks like it, but can't get any of the remedies to fix it.

RE: problem with carica papaya seedling survival

If it is damp-off then you are over-watering even if you don't think so. It is the most common problem in seedling germination. Damp-off is caused by excess moisture and inadequate air circulation. Cut back on the water and set-up a fan.


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