It’s said that papaya plants don’t take kindly to being transplanted. I intended to adhere to that rule, I really did. So I planted four pairs of Red Lady papaya seeds directly where I wanted my trees to grow, intending to cull the weaker seedlings.
Weak-hearted creature that I am, I couldn’t bear to kill a perfectly well, if slower, growing plant. Especially when the pair in question were growing much faster than all the other seedlings.
Firmly in Doubting Thomas mode, I removed the smaller of the two young plants, grateful that I’d prepared the ground so well, because the soil was still very loose, and the plant came out easily and with minor damage to the roots. It was planted in a new location that was generously filled with compost, and then I sat back to wait.
A number of leaves dried up and dropped off. In fact, the entire little plant drooped right to the ground, all 5cm of it. I thought it would leave it’s little head on the ground and simply expire quietly.
At the same time, we were enjoying a short stretch of cool, rainy weather. This probably helped to minimize the transplant shock. To my pleasant surprise, the plant raised it’s head and straightened up. Shedding the excess leaves seemed to help, too. In just over a week, it seemed settled into the new home, and barring rampaging dogs and hungry snails, I think it will be able to grow happily to adulthood.