Papaya plants sprout readily from seeds, even the seeds harvested from grocery store papaya fruit. To prepare the seeds, scoop them from papaya, spread them out on a single sheet of paper towel, and leave them out to dry for a week. At the end of the week, roll the seeds around to remove the dried seed-covering husks, then store them in a cool, dry place.
Give this plant full sun for 6 to 8 hours for the best growth, or conditions as bright as you can provide. Rotate the plant from time to time to help ensure the plant grows straight and true in the pot with no leaning. Papayas are a great sunny patio plant for summer climates.
There are no particular considerations to keep in mind for the plant itself; however, remember that the papaya pot will be quite heavy, especially as the plant grows more mature. Take care when moving the container.
Papaya plants grown from seeds should be repotted only once: from the seed-starting container into a larger permanent container. Unless you live in USDA Zone 9 or higher, your papaya is a single-season novelty plant. At the end of the season, cut the papaya off at the soil level and let the other shoots fill in.
To sprout papaya seeds, place them in seed-starting soil and keep moist and warm (75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Seeds sprout quickly, and the plants will begin rapid growth. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, transplant into larger containers to grow onward as houseplants.
When grown indoors, use a loose, well-drained, very rich potting mix. Rot problems may occur if the potting soil is too dense and lacking in drainage.
Feed your papaya plant abundantly. Papayas are very rapidly growing plants that need nutrients to support that growth. Feed it every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
How to Grow Papaya Indoors
There are few pests and diseases to worry about, though some of the standard indoor houseplant pests—aphids, mealybugs, and mites—may also affect papaya plants.
Papaya can become very large, so start with a 15-20 gallon container with a diameter of at least 18 inches. A very large pot fashioned of an old barrel or large bucket is a great option.