Soils And Climate


  • Papaya can grow on a variety of soils, yet the best soil is deep, rich, alluvial soils on the banks and deltas of rivers in India.
  • The most important requirement for successful papaya cultivation is that the soil should have good drainage and be properly prepared before planting.
  • Either natural high fertility or rapidly available nitrogen and an abundant supply of available nutrients supplied by commercial fertilizers are essential to obtain maximum yields in papaya.
  • The best performance has been observed on rich loams of uniform texture upto about 15 cm deep with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.0.
  • The depth of the soil is not of much importance as it is a shallow rooted crop, but soil should be well drained.
  • It is highly susceptible to waterlogging, even an 2.5 cm of water standing around the tree for few hours is likely to kill the plants.
  • Do not select clayey soils having highly moisture retentivity as they easily get waterlogged.
  • Depending on the pH, apply 2 to 4 tonnes of lime per hectare in acid soils to bring the desired pH (6.5 to 7.0) for papaya cultivation.



  • Papaya being a tropical plant, the producing regions roughly occupy a belt spreading approximately 30oN and 40oS of the equator.
  • The main commercial areas are in the tropical regions at latitudes approximately 25oN and 25oS of the equator.
  • It thrives well from sea level to altitudes of 1000 to 1200 metres.
  • Very hot summers or frost are extremely detrimental for the growth of papaya.
  • Do not grow papaya in the areas where strong winds are prevalent.
  • Papaya requires not only a uniformly high temperature, but ample sunshine and adequate moisture in the soil.
  • It is adapted to a wide range of rainfall conditions from 35 cm to 250 cm annual precipitation.
  • Excessive moisture affects the crop as well as fruit quality adversely.
  • Very often, a strong wind coupled with low temperature destroys the whole crop.
  • Lack of sufficient warmth in the atmosphere always retards maturing and ripening of fruits.
  • A dry warm climate tends to add to the sweetness of the fruit.
  • The type of flowers and fruits formed on a papaya tree are influenced considerably by the temperature prevailing in the locality.
  • The optimum temperature for the germination of seeds is about 35oC and temperatures below 23oC and above 44oC are detrimental to seed germination.
  • The optimum night temperature for the increase in dry weight is between 17oC and 30oC whereas for maximum seedling elongation, the same is around 30oC night temperature and about 26oC day temperature for 8 hours photoperiod.
  • Papaya is vulnerable to wind damage.
  • Wind accompanied by rains can loosen and break roots sufficiently to cause the papaya trees to fall, resulting in severe losses to the commercial growers.
  • Very strong wind coupled with low temperature also cause severe losses to the papaya crop.
  • Papaya trees can withstand winds up to 60 km per hour if the tree has a deep, well developed root system. Wind breaks are necessary where strong winds prevail which can easily damage the leaves, thus hampering growth and fruit production.
  • The strips of wind breaks should be spaced at distances of 20 to 30 times the height of the wind break trees.
  • For example, trees attaining a height of 3 metres can give protection to a 60 to 90 metre strip of land.
  • Where winds come in different directions and angles, it may be necessary to have wind breaks half as close as that of the normal spacing.
  • Grow wind breaks such as silver oak (Grevellia robusta), dadaps (Erythrina indica), casuarina (Casuarina cunninghamiana), daincha (Sesbania aegyptica) and sububul (Leucaena leucocephala).