Papaya, papaw, or pawpaw is a delicious and healthy tropical fruit. Especially it is very popular among women because papaya packs with antioxidants. This compound helps to keep them looking young while reducing inflammation and fighting against the diseases.
So, many growers like to grow papaya due to its demand. But this is native to Mexico and northern South America. So, when many papaya growers face a common problem, leaves turn yellow in their papaya plants.
However, papaya leaves turn yellow due to many reasons. Sometimes, you have to deal with one reason, but sometimes two or more reasons can occur simultaneously.
Usually, papaya leaves turn yellow when papaya tree has too much water or less water, nitrogen deficiency, root grubs, sucking pests, deficiency of nutrition, and diseases like yellow leaf virus or papaya lethal yellowing virus (PLYV).
So, the first thing you need to do is understand what has happened to your papaya tree.
TOO MUCH WATERING OR TOO LITTLE WATERING
Leaves of papaya plants can yellow due to overwatering or less watering. If your papaya tree has overly wet soil, its roots cannot breathe properly.
Consequently, roots suffocate and shut down. So, they stop delivering the nutrients and water to the plant. Also, when less watering or drought has a similar impact on the papaya plant.
Therefore, you should consider your climate and soil condition well because it will help you to understand the watering pattern.
Generally, the papaya plant needs plenty of water to be healthy. However, the papaya plant does not thrive on wet feet. So, add water to the plant deeply only when the topsoil is dried. You can check the inch of soil.
Thus, we can conclude that when you are in a hot climate, you should consider the watering than the wet climate. But keep in mind, you should avoid overwatering and lower watering.
LACK OF NUTRIENTS
When the papaya plant does not have the required nutrients, the papaya leaves will turn yellow. If we go through this deeply, we can identify several deficiency issues.
Instance, due to lack of magnesium, one of the symptoms is yellow leaves. So, you can correct this issue by using Foliar spray of MgSO4@ 1-2%.
However, you should use a good fertilizer with proper instructions.
When your papaya plant is suffering from nitrogen deficiency, the leaves become yellow. Firstly, older and inner leaves start to yellow.
However, when it is progressing, yellowing tends to move outward., Eventually, it reaches young leaves. So, always make sure to provide enough nitrogen to your papaya plant.
Here you can see bright yellow edges of leaves in the papaya tree. However, inner leaves stay greeny. Similarly, symptoms will start with older leaves. Then gradually leaves’ edges turn brown soon.
Leaf veins are yellowing and not like others; this firstly hits young leaves on plant tops and branch tips.
If the newest leaves on the papaya plants turn yellow, it can be defined as a symptom of sulfur deficiency.
DAMAGED ROOTS OR COMPACTED ROOTS
The roots of papaya plants can be damaged in various ways. For instance, it can be happened due to root rot or other diseases and pests’ attacks.
However, damaged roots are struggling to provide the required foods and water to papaya plants. As a result of that, it can be caused to turn the leaves yellow.
Another reason is compacted roots. So, what are these compacted roots?
At present, many people tend to grow plants, including papaya plants, whether they have space or not. Here they use containers for their plantations.
Like this situation, when roots outgrow their pots, it can result from compacted roots. However, compacted roots face a problem when providing nutrients and water to the plant. So, you should highly consider this if your papaya plant is in a container.
In addition to that, healthy roots are whitish in color. I think this fact is important to you when you check the roots of your papaya plant.
PAPAYA LETHAL YELLOWING DISEASE
Papaya lethal yellowing is a disease caused by the papaya lethal yellowing virus or PLYV. Generally, the common symptoms of this disease are yellow leaves and greenish circular spots on papaya fruits.
However, some research has found that this virus infected only members belonging to the papaya family Caricaceae.
When it is discussed deeply about symptoms, PLYV starts to be visible when the leaves at the top of the papaya plants are starting to yellow, and finally, it falls off.
Most probably, this can occur in the upper third of the canopy. On the other hand, the death of the papaya plant occurs soon after the leaves wilt and die.
MANAGE THE PAPAYA LETHAL YELLOWING DISEASE
There are many different options to control the papaya’s lethal yellowing virus.
- Production of a virus-free papaya plantation
Here, if you have a nursery, you should isolate the papaya plantlets in areas free from the virus and should keep a distance from old papaya orchards that the PLYV may infect.
- Eradication of virus-infected plants
You should remove the papaya plants with papaya’s signs of lethal yellowing disease immediately. However, it is better to destroy the infected plants by burning them.
Through this, you can protect other papaya plants!
- Disinfestation of agricultural tools
Generally, this virus has a high stability level. Because of that, you should inactivate this virus on the surface of contaminated agricultural tools. Thus, it is important to avoid and control virus dissemination inside the orchards.
As a solution, you can immerse the agricultural tools that use for trimming and harvesting for five minutes in a 10% solution of commercial household bleach after using them because it contains sodium hypochlorite.
- Avoid virus transmission
It is better to prevent the virus rather than control it. As I told you before, the papaya lethal yellowing virus has a high stability level.
So, you can follow methods to avoid this virus spread in orchards by the movement of contaminated soil, seed coats from infected papaya fruits, irrigation water, and contaminated agricultural tools.