Is it possible to grow papaya in Spain?

Papaya is a tropical plant

Papaya is an exotic fruit that in Spain is usually imported from other countries, since the climate that we have here in most of the territory is not the most favorable for the growth of the plant as we would all like. . But does that mean it is NOT possible to grow it in our country? Absolutely.

In fact, it is a fantastic greenhouse plant, which does not suffer from cold (it suffers from frost), and it is even possible to have it on a very bright terrace, in a nice pot. So Next I will show you how to take care of papaya in Spain.


What climate does papaya need?

Papaya is a plant that grows wild in Mesoamerica, where temperatures remain between a minimum of 10°C and a maximum of 30°C, with an annual average of 20 to 25°C. Another important detail is the annual rainfall: between 1,500 and 2,500 mm, so the humidity of the environment is high, because in addition to raining a lot, it does so quite often.

Likewise, it is very important that the sun hits it directly, so that it can have a good development and a higher yield. Therefore, it is advisable to have it outside as much as possible, so that it grows well.

Can you spend the whole year abroad in Spain?

Papaya is a plant that is sown in the spring

Image – Wikimedia/Andra Waagmeester

As it is a plant that cannot withstand frost, the answer to this question is: no, at least not in the whole country. Yes, it can be in much of the Canary Islands, on the tropical coast of Granada or in some points in southern Andalusia, but in the rest we will have to try to protect it as soon as the temperatures drop below 10ºC .

And it is that when the cold starts, its growth rate becomes slower and slower, until a time comes when it stops completely. So we have to do everything in our power to keep our papaya healthy, and you don’t have to worry about low temperatures.

When is papaya planted in Spain?

Since you need warmth, the most suitable period is between mid-spring (April/May) and early summer (June). But it will depend on the climate of each area, since although, as we well know, depending on the place, the temperatures begin to rise later than in the others. For example, it is common that in some places summer starts – unofficially – at the beginning of June, and in others it takes longer.

This is important to know. We must take into account the climate of our region to know exactly when to sow papaya seeds. But in any case, if we want to do it in early spring and it is still cold, that is, if the temperatures are still below 15 ° C, we can do it in a heated nursery. But remember: they need a lot of light. If you don’t have a room with plenty of light, it’s a good idea to get a plant grow light.

How should it be done?

If you want to sow papaya seeds, just fill a pot with potting soil, like this one, water, and place the seeds on the surface. You have to separate them from each other and bury them a little, because they cannot germinate if the sun hits them so directly. And finally, you need to bring the seedbed to a sunny spot.

Then you should only water when the soil dries out, so the seeds don’t have time to dehydrate. But also, It is strongly recommended – I would even say that it is essential – to put molluscicide (on sale here) or a snail repellentbecause these animals devour the young papayas.

Related article:

Potted papaya: care

Once they are big enough that their roots are sticking out of their holes, it’s time to separate them and plant them in individual pots. Later, when they have taken root, you can decide to plant them in the ground or in a larger pot.

How long does papaya take to fruit?

Papaya flower is white and small

Image – Flickr/Dinesh Valke

Although it is a very beautiful plant, the truth is that it is grown mainly for its fruit, since it is edible. So, of course, if you have papayas, you probably want to know how long it takes to fruit. Well, it will also depend a lot on the climate of the area and the care it receives, but Assuming warm temperatures all year round and it receives frequent watering, plus it is in the ground, it will not take more than 2 years to fruit.

But of course in many parts of Spain we have to count on cold weather, that is, with temperatures that remain cool for several weeks in autumn, winter and, in some areas, also at the beginning of the spring. This greatly retards their growth. Therefore, we don’t have to worry if it bears fruit only after 3 years.

How much is papaya worth in Spain?

Again, I have to say: it depends. It depends on whether it is imported – which usually happens most of the time – or produced in the country itself, and whether it is papaya season or not. It will also depend on whether it is organically grown or not. Thus, if it is organic and/or imported, or if it is not in season, the price is generally higher. But OK, in general, it is around 5-7 euros per kilo.

In my opinion, it is beneficial to grow your own papaya, even if you have to protect it at home or in a greenhouse during the winter, because once it bears fruit, we will see that it produces many, many fruits. and you know what? The seeds are sold in bags of 10-20 units for 1 or 2 euros… and the vast majority germinate!

So if you dare to grow papaya in Spain, keep in mind what we have discussed here to succeed.

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