Red Lady papaya plants – 12 weeks old

My little teenager - 36cm high and growing...

It’s pretty interesting watching how the Red Lady papaya plants are faring as time goes on. After all, they were all planted at the same time, germinated a few days apart, and right now their growth rates make them look like they’re from different batches altogether.

The first sprout is not the tallest plant. It now stands at 32cm high. The other two pairs of plants are still in pairs because they’re all growing at the same rate and I can’t determine which to cull. By rights, I ought to get rid of all four of them because they’re not doing as well as the others. :(

On the bright side, the fastest growing plant is still the one that is slightly shaded. At my last update, it was 18cm high; now, it stands at double that height: 36cm. That’s 18cm of growth in 5 weeks!

And, according to the info on the seed supplier’s website, the plants will start bearing fruits when they’re 60 to 80cm high. That means I’m about halfway there! Assuming, of course, that this is a female or hermaphroditic plant.

Actually, we’re halfway there in terms of time, because the plants are now 3 months old, and it generally takes plants 6 months to reach flowering age. Time for a mini-celebration!

More on the Red Lady papaya saga…

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Red Lady papaya plants – 12 weeks old — 19 Comments

  1. How does a red lady papaya plant like? What’s the difference betw it and our local papaya? Whr can I go to check it out?

    bz body cina

    • Honestly, I haven’t tasted one yet. I was simply living up to my name and got the seeds out of curiosity. I just know that it’s supposed to be sweet (very important!), bears good fruit and doesn’t grow too tall (also important!). Flesh is red, compared to the local ones that are orange. You may be able to find them in supermarkets… oh wait, I don’t know if M’sia imports/grows them… :(

  2. Hmm… MS Curious.. make sure I emphasis the MS..

    I have bought papayas from wet markets or supermarkets that have red (not red red more like very deep orange?), orange or yellow flesh so not sure if they could be cultivated and available here?
    I remember reading about a farm that cultivates papaya that is very sweet and usually of almost round shape or a fat oval and the fruits grow all along the trunk of the papaya tree.

    • BBC, now that I think about it, if I am growing the plant then why not commercial growers in the region? Duh! :D It’s very possible that the farm you mentioned is growing the red lady papayas. Have you tried them? Are they very sweet? Now I want my plants to hurry and mature…!

  3. yes its the sweetest thing… really really sweet since then I hv always been on the lookout for that papaya. come to think of it i thought i sown the seeds somewhere in my garden but..
    the last time I seriously grew a papaya tree it was so tall and big and it turned out to be a male..
    no wonder u turned out to be female..
    story of my life….

    • LOL, you are a nut! :) But seriously, this is why I planted several RL papaya plants. After all the TLC, I hope at least one will bear fruits. If ALL of them do then I’m in trouble… :P

  4. I read a really useful blog by your Singaporean peer, Wilson, about identifying male, female and the in-betw papaya buds and what to do about them. The in-betw would be those that have both male and female whatchamacallit cuz I forgot how to spell that word which starts with ‘H’. You read the book “Middlesex”? really good book

    forever disappointed cina

    • No have not read that book. Will look it up since you mentioned it. And yes, Wilson’s blog is really good. It will take me a long time to reach his level of gardening enlightenment. If ever.

  5. Wey, still waiting for you to show me your hands. I showed u mine now u show me yours :P
    Wonder what readers think of our banter, we have to stop meeting like this u know :)

    • Aiyo, if people start visiting just to follow our side conversations then I’m in trouble! :P
      And yes, I do grow flowering plants and herbs. I try to, anyway. They usually have short lives because of my “brilliant care” or because they’re tasty to the garden pests. :( You’ve got quite a good collection of herbs yourself. What’s your secret to keeping them happy?

  6. Oh.. you haven’t heard of my failings yet like my thyme, my oregano, my cilantro… those are very challenging and I haven’t given up on them yet.

    I do my gardening very early morning like before 7am or late at nite sometimes mid nite if I can’t sleep… cuz I err.. do like the sun and get tan… :P
    care to join me for a midnite pottering? ahahha..

  7. Ok serious matter to discuss with u.

    Your blog about the wild ginger with the cone shape flower? Did you grow from ginger rhizome? I have been trying to find the ginger don’t recall seeing it even in wet markets.
    I want to grow that particular ginger

    • Auntie, you really should ask a question at the right thread… but I’ll answer anyway. :P
      It’s the regular ginger we cook with. See the growing ginger thread, one of my very first posts.