Papaya ‘Red Lady’ (Carica papaya) - 3 gal pot
n early and productive fruiter, ‘Red Lady’ is an excellent papaya for southern gardens or as a tropical container fruiting plant in the north. The dwarf tree starts to flower and set fruit during its second year when the plant reaches 4’ tall. It can fruit the first year, if grown in high light with an extended growing season. ‘Red Lady’ is a self-fertile hybrid whose fruits often weigh 3-5 pounds. Two-pound fruits are more common for container grown plants. The oblong papaya is orange-red, sweet and juicy when ripe. Rich in vitamins A, C and other nutrients, it also contains papain, an enzyme that aids in the digestion of protein. Harvest the fruit when the skin yields slightly to the touch and changes from green to yellow. You’ll notice a sweet, delicious aroma when it’s fully ripe. Green papayas are sometimes shredded and used in salads or stews. Grow in full sun and well-drained soil.