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corymiamibeach

Yellowing of Papaya leaves

CoryMiamiBeach
9 years ago

Hi all,

My papaya plant has been losing it's lower leaves for the past few months. Every week I lose 1-2 leaves.

First they turn a different color of green, then yellow, and finally brown.

Any ideas what could be happening?

Thanks!!

Cory

Comments (57)

  • CoryMiamiBeach
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Thanks-

    I've been watering everyday - the dirt in the container goes dry each day, so I rewater. It sits in the sun all day.

    It's in a huge container - maybe 20 gallons? It's 24inches in width.

    I'm using Bonnie Plant - Herb and Vegetable Plant food. The directions say to use twice a week, but I only use once every other week. I think I'm nervous to over fertilize :)

    I purchased the plant in late June I think I've lost close to 15 leaf stems so far.

    Cory

  • bsbullie
    9 years ago

    I would switch to a granular or slow release fertilizer more suited to fruit trees and supplement as needed with micro nutrients/organics, just my opinion though.

    If you are going to keep it in a pot its life, I would get in into a larger pot, say a 45-100 gallon pot (yes, it will be costly and potentially hard to move but would benefit in the long run.

    See the link below from the University of Florida on growing Papaya in the home landscape.

    Here is a link that might be useful: UF IFAS - Papaya in the home landscape

  • Gltmanagement
    6 years ago

    My papayas are also loosing leaves. Mine are grouped together within 2 feet apart. Can they be that close?

  • newgen
    6 years ago

    Gltmanagement,
    Your papaya trees look underwatered to me.

  • greenman62
    6 years ago

    Gltmanagement
    those are wilting papaya
    the look like they need water
    before you do, i would look at the soil.
    pick a spot at least 3ft away and pickup some of those rocks to check the moisture level of the dirt.
    it should be moist, not wet.

    when it rains does the area hold water ?
    does it drain fast ?
    How often do they get water ?
    how many hours of sunlight ?

    the negative things about those rocks is you cant give it natural decaying plant matter.
    so you may have to substitute with stuff like...
    worm tea, compost tea, Fish emulsion etc...
    even coffee grounds.

    as far as the spacing.
    i would keep 2 plants.
    maybe 3 IF they are far enough apart.

    you should not grow 2 of them together like that either.
    i know people do it to try and get all female or hermaphrodite plants,
    but most papaya are %75 or more herm+Female.
    even if you do get a male, you can put a mail in the trunk, and it will change sex

  • GreenTwilight
    6 years ago

    @ Gltmanagment

    Have you tried mulching the soil around the papayas.Mulch help my papayas as it retains adequate moisture.

  • myamberdog
    6 years ago

    WATER NOW! then mulch....and when it starts to get cooler you'll be challenged to know just how much to water...but you do know, that mangoes don't like to have their trunks wet and cold, right? Not a faster way to make them rot.....

    Yes, the wintertime can be a challenge....

  • Marcvegan Smith
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If I remember correctly , when a plants leaves yellow along the veins it is a vitamin deficiency, when it has hard yellow spots its blight,

    my question is what is it when the yellow spots are vague/soft to see on the leaves,

    Also, have planted semi-dwarfs under shop lights, now 8 inches tall, I want to
    prune the tops to keep them shorter, has anyone tried this before?

  • stanofh 10a Hayward,Ca S.F. bay area
    4 years ago

    Love the photo with the dog. Like a surreal/realism painting.

  • Marcvegan Smith
    4 years ago

    I'm also having troubles with my Papayas, I have some planted inground and some in pots, and at first this year fought to make sure they drained well with all of this rain, but now the New leaves have started to look like this, what is happening now? I don't know how I did so well last year and now failing miserably, is there something I can do for them?


    :

  • Kauaiguy
    4 years ago

    Can't see too well to determine what's wrong. But I do know a couple of things that are critical to Papayas growth. First and foremost, they don't like (and will die quickly) sitting in soggy soil. What looks like skinny shriveled leaves in your picture tends to indicate that it's sitting in wet/damp soil. The leaves (from what I can see) don't look dry, but looks kinda mussy. Is that mulch or bark on the ground?

    When I first planted a papaya tree, I planted it ground level but here in the island of Kauai, where it rains frequently ..... IT HATED IT! My second try was up the hill (about two feet above ground level), and it went crazy and produced a lot of fruit.

    My third try was in a couple of 7-8 gallon containers. IT HATED IT! ... grew lanky, with little tiny leaves and the fruit kept dropping! Didn't help that it was in a plastic container where it couldn't breath and dry properly.

    Then I tried the Oak Barrel since I had one just laying around. Potting soil and perlite (about 4-1 ratio). And here's the results. Bottom line is: It hates soggy areas, and needs plenty of space to grow ... and lots of full sun. Although it likes to be watered frequently, I needs a quick draining soil. Kinda like orchids.

    Last but not least? Aphids and Mealybugs love papaya leaves, and of course the birds just wait around until the fruit starts to yellow, then beat you to them. LOL


  • Marcvegan Smith
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    If you click on the photo of my plant's leaves it will enlarge, I wonder if it is some kind of disease, I'm loosing about half of my plants, some are in pots, containers, in ground, air-rooting pots, about half have this happening to their new leaves, does anyone know what this can be and how to treat it?


  • Marcvegan Smith
    4 years ago

    or this photo - what is happening to the new growth?


  • Kauaiguy
    4 years ago

    OK, Your papaya plants look very thin and spindly. The only time I've seen papaya plants look like these is: a) If they're not getting enough sun and b) If they're being grown in plastic pots. Poor drainage and air circulation. c) Inadequate size pots.

    Papaya's root system although shallow (and that's why you can easily take out a 2-3 year old papaya tree) doesn't like to be crowded. They like to spread out to at least 3 ft. They don't like being root bound! Requires good drainage and loose soil, and my guess is for air circulation.

    Even my papaya tree planted in an oak barrel barely had enough room, and when I finally took it out ... it was also getting root bound.

    I would consider anything less than 20" high and 24" in diameter pots inadequate for trying to grow papayas and getting decent size fruit out of it. And I try to avoid plastic pots because they retain moisture and lacks air flow.

    I really don't think that your problem is disease related. Just my opinion.

  • batman911
    4 years ago

    Invest in a soil moisture meter (under $20) so you know when your plants need water. Can be purchased at Home Depot or Amazon. The old lower leaves turn yellow and will drop eventually. I usually cut them off to avoid disease and pest getting started. Papaya are heavy feeders and will take some dryness but not a lot. Do not put landscape rocks on your papaya roots. Mulch is good but keep it away from the plant trunk by about six inches.

  • greenman62
    4 years ago

    Kauaiguy, the color of that grass make me think the soil is very mineral rich, i am Jealous !@

    Marcvegan Smith

    that looks like over-fertilization to me.

    papaya love a lot of organics, but, not chemicals. the roots burn rather easily.

    what type fertilizer do you use ? and do you know the PH of the soil ?

  • stanofh 10a Hayward,Ca S.F. bay area
    4 years ago

    I think the OP just had a too dry Papaya. Mr.Smith? I had something like that in spring. Then,when it warmed,the leaves grew normal. So,in a way Larry and I agree- unhappy roots.

    Where are you growing?

  • PRO
    nottingham painter and decorator
    4 years ago

    I'm currently looking at shades of green for a client who wants a vibrant shine in the breakfast bar area of her kitchen. If I was to use both of the green and yellow tones shown from these pics of the Papaya plant I think she'll love it. For updates of my work look on my website.

  • Aracelis Pimentel
    3 years ago

    Please I need help. I live in Jacksonville Florida and is been raining every day. I planted a little papaya tree in the grown and grew really fast and was beautiful but all sudden leaves start dying turning yellow and brown. Don't know what to do. I think is to much rain. Just cutted all the bad leaves


    Please send me an email with thing I can do. Ajpimentel24 @yahoo.com

  • tropicbreezent
    3 years ago

    Cutting off the "bad leaves" won't help it at all if the soil is too wet from all the rain. If the ground isn't draining enough you have to move the plant to where there is good drainage. If it's too big to move then get some seed and start more plants in a better position. They grow really fast if looked after.

  • Tony Thiel
    3 years ago

    I concur, most plants die from too much water and the roots suffer from the rotting matter and lack of oxygen. You can try and move the plant (IF) you're able to get enough of the root structure to keep it going. Unfortunately, papaya trees do not like their roots being disturb and there's a good chance that you will lose it.

    Your other option is to cover the surrounding soil with plastic but figure out a way of raising it off the ground so that it gets air. Some fencing or chicken wire on top of bricks can do the trick. BE SURE to slope the plastic so that the rains drains AWAY from the plant.

    Good Luck.

  • greenman62
    3 years ago

    Aracelis,

    In Jacksonville Florida , you will get frost in winter correct ?

    that is a small plant, and will not produce ripe fruit before winter anyway.

    they grow very fast from seed anyway, so i suggest you start a plant from seed inside in Jan or Feb. - After fear of frost is over (late March?) you can put it in-ground.

    i suggest you raise the area a few inches so it can have good drainage. i would mix a couple of bags of topsoil with a couple of bags of good compost, and mix it in with local soil. (You can do this NOW to let the soil settle... ) you can add coffee grounds and grass clippings on top , then cover it with newspaper or cardboard.

    In spring plant the seedling in the mound you built. Be careful, dont disturb the roots. plant the whole root-ball.

    cover the area with compost first, then woody mulch on top. (a couple of inches away from the seedling)... this way, you have a head start and can get fruit in the fall.

  • Kauaiguy
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    The best way to start new papaya plants is to use those 3" biodegradable pots. Put three seeds in the middle. Keep the soil moist (but not soaking wet) and place in a plant tray with small pebbles. Grow in a well-lit area but not in full sun.

    Once they start growing, pull out the weaker ones leaving only ONE healthy plant. Then after the plant has reach 8"-10" high, plant the whole pot in the ground OR in a very large pot (approximately the size of an Oak barrel).

    Don't use anything smaller or the tree will grow spindly and if it does fruit, they will be very small and probably fall off before they get big enough to eat.

    Growing anything from seeds are best grown in a biodegradable pot in that you WON'T disturb the roots when you transplant. Lots of plants don't like to have their roots disturbed. You can cut off the bottom of the pot if needed but not necessary.

    Good Luck

  • Marcvegan Smith
    3 years ago

    Hello, the problem is in the leaves, can you see the mis-shaped leave????????, it has some sort of virus or infection, the photo is of the leaves from the top, it distorts the rest and for some reason you focused beyond the obviously infected leaves to the photo's distortion of the branched causing you to focus on 'spindliness', that wasn't my question.

    The trees that survived this infection grew to 12-14 feet tall over the summer before frost hit them in the fall. Yes, I realize this is the MIDWEST!!! Dah, simple minded responses was not what I needed. I grew the plants under lights from Nov to plant in the spring, the surviving plants made fruit, but of course they did not mature by frost, YES I KNOW THEY ARE TROPICAL PLANTS, but I like adventures.

    I thought I would get some sort of help on the disease my plants shown in the mal-shaped leaves from this group, but your focus was off the problems I asked you about, instead you all lost focus to transplanting and other 'non-issues'. I wish anyone here had actually known enough to help me as I did lose about 10 or my 20 plants. Please attempt to stay focused on what a person is asking instead of going off on your own person tangents.

  • Francesco Delvillani
    3 years ago

    For me it's a virus or another pathogen.....i think that if problem continues, you should treat it with a large spectrum product

  • Kauaiguy
    3 years ago

    If one is looking at some type of disease that would cause the problems above (other than overwatering), you might look into Verticillium Wilt which is a fungus infection that causes plant leaves to yellow and wilt.

    Hopefully, that's not the problem because Verticillium Wilt is a soil-born fungi which is hard and nearly impossible to get rid of. One might try a fungicide such as Daconil, but even that would be a long shot.

    Heat is the only sure way to get rid of such soil born fungi and some peeps have had success by covering the soil with black plastic which absorbs heat from the sun.

    Just a thought!


  • meet khodoyar
    3 years ago


    what is the problem behind the yellowing of the leaves and pls tell me how to control this problem

  • greenman62
    3 years ago

    khodoyar
    some leaf yellowing on older leaves is normal.
    but some iron and magnesium might help
    papay like organics like compost
    and keeping the soil a little moist, but, not wet.
    lots of mulch

    also, it looks like at least part of the plant is in shade.
    normally, i try to keep them short, but in this case
    growing taller may give more access to sunlight.

    Kauaiguy
    addiong a lot of chemicals to the soil might slow down some fungal disease, but it kills off the beneficial microbes too, and they are the ones you really need... instead of trying to kill one pathogen, try to build up the beneficials... this is done by adding good compost , molasses, kelp, fish emulsion etc... (Hydrolyzed fish is much better)

  • Jafari Vumbi
    3 years ago

    This is guava seedling,,please I need solution in this

  • stanofh 10a Hayward,Ca S.F. bay area
    3 years ago

    I think its gone too dry Jafari. I've seen that in summer where its hard for me to keep up with the demand for water. It could also be too much water and a soil or pot that doesn't drain well...roots are not getting enough air.

    But,I dont think its a disease..mostly a plant culture problem.

  • Jafari Vumbi
    3 years ago
    okey so thanks,,, let me work on that cases
  • Jafari Vumbi
    3 years ago

  • Jafari Vumbi
    3 years ago

    Help please

  • Jafari Vumbi
    3 years ago

    It seems abnormally

  • suraj patidar
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    The most important thing for papaya is biofertilizer. They are also environment-friendly and do not cause the pollution of any sort. Use of biofertilizers for papaya biofertilizer for papaya makes the papaya plants healthy as well as protect them from getting any diseases.

  • kingtor
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago



    These are dwarf papaya that were recently repotted to larger pots. I don’t think I am overwatering. I am using slow release fertilizer that says it is good for 3 months. Any suggestions for the yellowing leaves?

  • stanofh 10a Hayward,Ca S.F. bay area
    2 years ago

    Its just shedding old leaves. Normal. Looks fine- great.

  • Elvie Watkins
    2 years ago


    My papaya leaves looks terrible, why they turning like this? I need help to save my papaya.

  • Marcvegan Smith
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    It looks like fungus, I never really got an good answer about mine, they died, all 12 trees, I think it was some type of virus, which passed to the next years trees too, that ended that, and now it is a couple years later. But on yours, the green veins and yellow rim with brown reminds me of Anthracnose, its a fungus that usually comes around when there is too much rain or when watering too much, Liquid Copper should take care of it, copper is an organic alternative that kills most fungus types, so incase it is a different type of fungus the copper should take care of it anyway. Also, first spray on a leaf then wait a day to make sure it is ok on that type of plant, most are ok, but I am a cautious fool, haha. After that, I would go ahead and take off the affected leaves (throw them in the trash) then spray the rest with copper spray, you can buy it easy at home depot or garden center, spray it under the leaves as well as ontop, and the trunk and around the base about 6 inches out. Do that again in 2 weeks, also, only spray during the later part of the day so it does burn the leaves with hot sun on them until it dries, should be dry in half and hour but if the sun is beating down it might hurt the leaves. Good Luck, BTW, I would go ahead and copper spray plants around it too

  • stanofh 10a Hayward,Ca S.F. bay area
    2 years ago

    Might be trouble at the roots. Is it too dry or too wet? It might be a nutrient deficiency. But those burnt edges usually are what you get when you OVER dose them with fertilizer. Have you or hubbie added manure or the like to the plant?

  • Russell Kalashnikov
    last year

    Research mosaic .Dow , 15ml pean60ml 500 it's I east Indian treatment

  • Russell Kalashnikov
    last year

    I had 30 papayas planted in my garden 10 were also with wilted strange leaves
    after the second year
    Some in pots some in the ground.
    Symptoms appeared in 2nd year of growth


    I cut down all 10 only to find another 3 showing signs of the same virus mosaic virus from information I found online education matching the same type of leaves.


    No treatment in the West or here in australia


    I found a old east Indian treatment
    15ml of peanut oil
    60ml of wetting agent (dish soap)
    500 ml of water


    2 to 3% peanut oil strength


    Plants look better after 1 week


    Maybe it's a treatment that works.


    If they get worse I'll cut all the plants with symptoms down.


    Any comments related to this would be appreciated.


    Don't no what else to try


    russellkalash@hotmail.com



  • HU-484845831
    last year
    last modified: last year

    It may not be only a virus though i think there is a chance that it is shock or the plant is recovering a part of its system And becaus of that the leaves do not have lots of energy to stay stable

  • HU-929242910
    8 months ago

    my papaya plants top leaves are turning yellow and eventually falling. they did the same last season but later improved. what could be the problem?you may also respond to my email lmabengoo@gmail.com



  • tropicbreezent
    8 months ago

    What are the conditions it's growing in?

  • reggietc
    6 months ago

    Check out papaya lethal yellowing virus. My fruiting papaya plant has the same problem. I guess have to cut it down. I have not seen any other management options.

  • Aboli Katkar
    2 months ago

    Please take a look at my papaya plant , the leaves have a different shade , towards the lighter green and maybe a little yellow , they don’t seem dark green and healthy . What must have happend ?




  • stanofh 10a Hayward,Ca S.F. bay area
    2 months ago

    Either lack of water..or too cold now in December or if you are in a warm winter climate it needs some fertilizer for chlorosis..iron and organic ferts.