Papaya is a delicious tropical fruit that packs with valuable nutrients. Generally, consuming a piece of delicious papaya fruit in your own home garden is not hard if you are in a tropical region.
Similarly, the papaya plant is an indispensable and common member of a fruit collection of home gardens, especially in tropical countries like India and Sri Lanka. But it is not a problem to the demand for papaya in the market. Thus there are so many fans for papaya worldwide.
But some papaya growers, including gardeners and farmers, complain about the size of their papaya fruits. These growers’ main problem is, “why are the papaya fruits small?”
So, several reasons can directly affect your papaya yield, including their size. The main reasons for small papaya fruit are irregular watering, lack of space, lack of nutrients, damaged roots, and pests’ attacks.
Let’s see each reason separately in detail.
IRREGULAR WATERING OR IRRIGATION
When compared with other plants, initially water requirement of papaya plants is limited. Thus it is a tropical plant. But you have to protect them from drought. So, if your plant does not have proper irrigation, its fruits may be small in size.
Mainly, you should water your papaya plants properly in the bearing stage. Papaya plants need 25 to 35 liters of water per day in this stage.
But this may depend on the climate and weather the condition of your area. For instance, if you are in where to receive regular rainfall, you have to water the papaya plants only short of rain.
LACK OF SPACE
If your papaya plant does not have enough space, it has to compete with other plants for water and nutrients. Because of that, these plants are unable to provide adequately sized fruits for you.
Therefore, you should ensure that your papaya plant has enough space, especially if you are a farmer; pay attention to that.
So, when you plant papaya trees, you should plant in the spacing of 7 ft between individual trees as well 8 to 9 ft between rows.
Not only that, proper space may expose the tree to sunlight well. Sunlight directly affects food-producing by photosynthesis. Also, it influences the bearing of healthy papaya fruits with the correct size.
LACK OF NUTRIENTS OR LACK OR FERTILIZERS
Generally, trees are like humans. If we have to get more and proper harvest, you should have healthy trees. But nutrients are the main pillar to creating healthy plants.
For the Papaya trees in my garden, I use Miracle-Gro fertilizer to that improve nutrient deficiencies.
So, if your papaya plant does not fulfill its nutrient requirements, it cannot create better fruits. If you want to maintain a continuous supply of papaya fruits, it is most important to provide adequate fertilizers at frequent intervals.
On the other hand, it is important to have a balanced carbon: nitrogen (C/N) ratio to get proper papaya fruits. Also, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium play a major role in papaya plant crop production. Thus, it is vital to maintain its balance to get a good crop.
You can add below fertilizers with their recommended amounts per plant as bellows.
- Manure: add enriched organic manures fortified with Biofertilizers, Neem cake, vermicompost, and other organic components 1-2 kg per plant per year.
- Nitrogen: 200-250g per year
- Phosphorus: 200-250g per year
- Potassium: 450-500g per year
- Micronutrient mixtures: 120g
- Ecohume granules: 200g
- Magnesium sulfate: 200g
- NPK can be given in spilt doses every 60 days
- Other nutrients can be added 3 times per year in equal doses
- It is better to add Borax soil 15 to 20g per plant once a month
Damaged roots are struggling to provide water and nutrients for the papaya plant. Because it can be caused to small papaya fruits, you should make sure that the plant’s roots are healthy.
Moreover, when you are fertilizing and weeding, pay attention to the root system of the papaya plant. Do not let them damage your equipment and tools.
You should protect your papaya plants from pests. Always you have to keep an eye on your plants and provide solutions to prevent and control the pests immediately.
Here is a spray that I have used for my fruit trees previously. If you are interested you also can try this. It act as insecticide, fungicide, aphicide, miticide, scalicide.
Because pests can damage both papaya trees and fruits. Consequently the pests can directly affect the yield of the papaya tree. You can cover the papaya fruit to protect it from pests like fruit fly.
Does your papaya plantation contain huge weeds? Then do not blame to plant. Because your papaya tree has to compete with weeds for water, nutrients, and space.
Weed can make trouble for your papaya growth and crop production. Further, it can directly affect crop size too.
Therefore, it is essential to keep the papaya plant’s surrounding clean and free from weeds.
Rather than the above reasons, there are some facts to get papaya fruit small. These are associated with the papaya plant species and gene inheritance. Genes are the primary factor that decides every plant’s character, including fruit size.
Moreover, some mutations can cause to small your papaya fruits. So, if you notice that kind of situation, do not use these seeds to propagate new plants. Because this gene inheritance may transfer from generation to generation.