Organic Kitchen Gardening and my personal musings

This blog is about my experiments with Organic Kitchen Gardening and sometimes about other personal experiences of my life… Please leave a comment about anything that touched you. Comments help to keep the blogger motivated to keep blogging :)

THE END of Papaya plant July 21, 2010

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 2:24 pm

I know that’s not good news. But that’s how life is… Mix of good and bad. isn’t it ??

The Papaya plant’s leaf turned pale and started drying up starting from top. Yah, that’s a departure from what i have seen in the past. Usually the leafs would get pale from the bottom, then dry out and fall. But this time it all started from top and in just a weeks time all the leaves have dried up.
Seeing the way it’s going i see very less chance of it’s revival.

papaya plant

papaya plant

I have no concrete idea on what could have caused this. Few reasons that I can fathom are:
1. I am seeing few white ant’s in my garden. Could they have eaten up the roots ? But can they bring down such a healthy plant in matter of just a week ?
2. The plant is now almost 14 month old.Could that be the lifespan of this variety ? But i still see lot of small papaya’s towards the top and it’s not normal for a fruiting plant to die so suddenly. I would imagine it would stop fruiting first before coming to end of life.

But when the logical thinking young generation can’t think of an answer you can always trust the older generation to come up with one. So, here are few reasonings floated by many of the old timers from my immediate family and friends. ‘Kisi ki najar lag gayi’, if you are an Indian you probably know the meaning. isn’t it ?? It simply means it burned because of someone’s evil eye 😦 Another theory is the plants and pets of a house take the evil eye on themselves and protect the home owner and family. I think we all have come across stories substantiating such theories in the past, right ?

For close to 6 month’s now it has been giving me very sweet and nutritious papaya’s. Although i haven’t kept any count of how many i have harvested till now my guesstimate would be close to 100. At an average weight of .5kg per papaya the total harvest has been some where close to 50 kg over a period of 6 months. Me, my family, many of my friends and many readers of this blog who had an opportunity to visit my garden during this period too have enjoyed it.

For a plant which has given such tremendous output and lived it’s life so fruitfully it definitely deserves a big thanks from me 🙂 So, instead of being sad about it’s end i want to celebrate it’s life and contribution to my family for all this time. It’s all good memories and it will be fondly remembered 🙂

In the meanwhile i have also got the ‘largest Brinjal’ harvest from my garden. it weighed a cool 400 gm and tasted delicious.

the largest brinjal

And here is one more harvest of peas, sweet pepper, lettuce and okra.



15 Responses to “THE END of Papaya plant”

  1. bangchik Says:

    we lost a tall and healthy looking papaya plant to termites a while ago. So sad to watch a plant going through a sudden death…. Huh, your brinjal looks massive!!

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi bangchik,

      Thanks for dropping in. Did your papaya plant too go down in such a short span ?? mine went from green to this state in roughly a weeks time.
      Did u did any treatment of the soil after that ?


  2. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raj:

    My heart sagged when I saw the picture of the papaya plant. I remember the sweetness of the fruit you had given me. Yes, we need to explore the technical reasons – could be termites, could be the hybrid variety, less sun light …As we bid adieu to this tree, just look at the generosity with which it offered its yield and how it could spready joy to so many around you. There is a lesson here for us humans too.

    Meena K

    • rajapanda Says:

      Very true Meena,

      It’s a very sad picture but at the same time the contribution and fruitful life it lived will always be cherished by all. And surely there is big learning for us humans in this.


  3. Liz Says:

    I appreciate your gracious attitude towards the papaya 🙂 I have about 8 1-year old plants that have yet to produce 1 ripe fruit!! obviously something is wrong. they don’t appear to have disease.. and there are fruits, they just never fully develop. i definitely have males and females… i am suspecting the birds?

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi liz,

      Thanks for stopping by. Hmm… birds are not the usual suspects in this case. In case of papaya there are male and female plants. In case of male plants, the flowers are little away from the body and they never quite develop into the good size fruits.

      I have sent you a picture in mail which will help you to identify if you have the same problem. In case you have the same problem, then there is local practice which we follow in my native for solving this problem. I have sent the detailed process to you in mail. Suggest you to follow the process for at least 1-2 of the 8 plants and see if it gives any result.
      I am currently experimenting the same with 2 plants in my neighborhood and awaiting the result.
      Once i confirm the results i plant to write a blog post on it.


  4. Revathi Says:

    Sad to see a tree full of fruits dying!! I am not an expert in Gardening – but from my little knowledge, I wonder 1. whether it was struck by lightning or 2. if it was a case of die back, which normally happens in rose plants, as far as I know. Wondering if trees also get affected by this fungus?

    Good to see your vegetable harvest.


  5. Sunita Says:

    That’s really sad to hear about a much-loved tree dying almost overnight. Yes, termites do cause a lot of trouble in the garden. I’ve seen a perfectly healthy-looking cashew tree dry up and die within a span of 2 weeks while I was on holiday. Howver, I don’t think the termites are to blame here because the papaya plant doesn’t have much woody material which the termites like.
    I think it is some disease which has caused the leaves to dry up and wilt like that while the fruits are still intact. To be on the safer side, chop up the tree, leaves and all and burn it to prevent any chance of the disease lingering in the soil or being spread to other plants in your garden.
    That’s the true gardening spirit! Remember the old fondly but celebrate the new with all your heart! : )
    Congratulations on your harvest!

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sunita,

      You are right. Termites are probably not the cause. i chopped off the tree y’day digging as much root as i could afford physically. Didn’t find any signs of termite at the roots. what i observed is the plant had rotten from the top. the link sent below is awsome, i’m stilling trying to ascertain the real cause. Will surely post if I come to know the cause.


  6. Sunita Says:

    I think this link may help you in future :

    It’ll help you to find out just what is going wrong with your papaya plant.

  7. Suhas Says:

    My papaya plant is at end of life too – the gardner says its some pest/worm, but this affects top down – if you wait for some more time, the papaya’s start becoming whitish – am not sure if it is the same problem but could be

    • rajapanda Says:

      Yah, your description sounds similar to what i experienced. May be some pest but i couldn’t find a solution so had to chop down the plant. Now a new one has come up 🙂


  8. Termites control is a must for every home!

  9. anonymous Says:

    wow.. awesomeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!keep it up dude:)

  10. sharathb863 Says:

    Wow! such a beautiful article. I read it in full. Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I appreciate your excellent article. Every parent wants to make their child an ideal person. Nowadays everyone prefers to take organic organic food and products

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