The Papaya Tree needs a tropical climate that is dry when cold and wet when warm; consequently, its greatest success appears in the equatorial zone with its warm wet season and cool dry season. It is extremely sensitive to frost, and water-logging will kill the taproot within forty-eight hours. The Papaya tree is especially susceptible to parasites, pests and diseases.
This fussy plant needs a lot of water but must have good drainage, and it bears most fruit in light, porous, slightly acidic soils that are rich in organic matter. Said to be a native of the Caribbean and Central America, the Papaya is the true papaw that now grows abundantly throughout tropical America, Hawaii and many other tropical climates throughout the world.Although grown to some extent in south Florida, the true papaw is not related to the North American papaw. The fruits, leaves and latex are all used medicinally. The fruit is usually pear-sized and has a central cavity filled with edible, pea-sized seeds.