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Babaco Papaya flower drop?

Babaco Papaya flower drop?

I got a babaco papaya last year and it started to grow flower buds last month. What I don't under stand is that before the flowers even open up, they either shrivel up or fall off.

Does anyone know what is going on? Am I suppose to water it more or give it some more fertilizer ??

The following thread was started by Franklin on March 16, 2006 at 1:07 pm PST


possible causes

Could be lack of water. In my experience they flower like crazy with virtually 100% fruit set, I guess root nematodes or mites could be a possibility, but they would probably cause foliage damage too. Also check the buds for aphids, mites and caterpliiers

The above followup was added by Virgil on March 16, 2006 at 2:08 pm PST.


My Babaco did the same thing

It did fruit a bit in Jan, but most flowers fell off. Its in a warmish part of my garden (for winter), and in a fast draining area under a huge Brugmansia. I did noticed the soil was a bit dryish in Jan-Feb. I know they love water, but I was afraid of root rot, so I didnt add anymore water with the hose, just decided to wait for mothernature to water it,..... or kill it!:>)

carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 16, 2006 at 3:10 pm PST.


Normal for me

I only get about 3 or 5 fruit off each babaco per year all the rest of the flowers fall off, they have allways been like that, usually the fruit sets early in Spring and all the rest of the flowers for that year fall off

The above followup was added by Jason on March 16, 2006 at 3:39 pm PST.


looks like a normal thing then..

So I guess this is a normal thing then.. I don't have mine in the ground yet since it is not all that big. Currently it is in a 5 gallon nursery pot. I guess I just need to make sure it gets enough water.

I really hope I can get a fruit this year. Otherwise I will be disappointed.

So far, I don't see any aphids or catapillers but I will check again when I get home. You never know there may be something I missed.

The above followup was added by Franklin on March 16, 2006 at 3:46 pm PST.


New Zealanders

They seem to get babacos loaded with fruit over there and in Sydney too, I guess the extra rainfall in Summer must be what helps

The above followup was added by Jason on March 16, 2006 at 5:44 pm PST.


babaco

That does not sound normal at all. My plants produce a lot of fruit, usually constantly throughout the year. I expect flowers and ripe fruit together... and it gets very dry here. And,... all my babacos just happen to be in very dry spots. Some of my driest spots would be similar to a very wet area in SoCal.

The above followup was added by Ben on March 16, 2006 at 6:29 pm PST.


wind?

Could be hot dry wind? Or maybe just heat? Doesn't get very hot where I am.

The above followup was added by Ben on March 16, 2006 at 6:34 pm PST.


Temperature and cold soil

Seems to be temperature related. Mine flowers and fruits when night time temperatures remain consistently above 45F. All it takes is a couple of <45F lows to shut down the blooming.

Also, cold soil temperatures makes them stop growing, and even defoliate. Mine defoliate every late Febuary to early March and re-foliate by late April.

Axel

The above followup was added by Axel on March 16, 2006 at 7:10 pm PST.


winter flowers

Ok - not to go against the flow of things - mine started to flower in late Dec/early Jan and it is now holding fruit.. hmmmm
Jeff

The above followup was added by JeffEastBay on March 16, 2006 at 8:05 pm PST.


hrm

Axel I can have sub 45f nights at any time of the year, infact there's been two nights of light frost over the Summer, poor babacos. Lucky they dont tak up much room :) I'll just plant more of them

The above followup was added by Jason on March 17, 2006 at 8:10 am PST.


little fruit for me

Mine drops virtually all of its flowers, and only sets fruit every several years, and even then sets only one or two. I don't know why, although I've unsuccessfully tried lots of strategies to get fruit set . These include more water, less water, low nitrogen fertilizer, calcium on bloom ("tomato blossom set") etc. I suspect it is climatic rather than cultural. I'm in cool coastal northern california, with very little heat units. I've never been enthralled with the fruit, so it hasn't been a big tragedy to me.

The above followup was added by Tom A. on March 17, 2006 at 8:16 am PST.


Mine flowered when it was warm in the Winter too

We had warm temperatures in December and January, warm eough to flower. However, the cold of the last month has taken it's toll on my babacos, and they look like crap. I am thinking of moving them next to the house and growing them there, I am sure they'll fruit all year round there.

Axel

The above followup was added by Axel on March 17, 2006 at 8:55 am PST.


ok look like it's just oo cold

Since me and Tom A are just about in the coolest climates of anyone on this board (from AU/NZ/USA anyway) I think it must just not be warm enough to make alot of fruit on babacos here, I also go some years on some plants without fruit, but most years I get 3-5 fruit

The above followup was added by Jason on March 17, 2006 at 9:06 am PST.


My guess is

Jason

Babacos will bloom if there is enough heat during the day, and if there is plenty of nitrogen available for them.

So even in the coolest climates, you should see fruiting from April through about November. It's all a question of food availability and plenty of water during the months where the dail temperature average is high enough. It doesn't take much, so 40-50F at night with 55-65F during the day is all it takes.

On the other hand, when we had mid 30's at night and mid 40's to low 50's for highs during the last cold spell, mine just shut down.

Axel

The above followup was added by Axel on March 17, 2006 at 10:41 am PST.


not cold Jason

Jason,


Youget much hotter days than me in summer, and your average temps are not that much different. But even if it is temperature, this does not explain why my plants still fruit through the winter. My winters are WAY colder than your summers... there must be some other reason.

I should say also that my plants are not seasonal. They flower/fruit sporadically, there is a more or less constant supply from the plants, but I've got about 40 of them, and they are not all at the same fruiting stage at the same time.

The above followup was added by Ben on March 17, 2006 at 12:08 am PST.


male and female?

I am new to this, but I thought that at least the real Papayas needs several plants to ensure fruit (male/female), is that same for some Babacos? Carica pubescens, pentagona?

carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 17, 2006 at 12:56 am PST.


babaco

Geez, this topic seems to have generated a lot of discussion. Thanks for all the great information.

After checking up on my babaco yesterday, I have not noticed any insects on the plant so that seems to be good. On the other hand, I noticed something new. One of the leaves seem to be drying out from the middle. I don't know how to explain it. It seems to be drying out between the veins. I'll see if I can get a picture of it.

The above followup was added by Franklin on March 17, 2006 at 4:49 pm PST.


Ben

Mine don't even grow in winter and lose 90% of their leaves, I don't know how the flowers self pollinate on babacos do they need any kind of insect or does each and every flower turn to fruit no matter what? (am I going to have to run around pollinating babacos?)

To tell the truth I tried pollinating them with pollen from my male quercifolia and mountain papaya earlier in the year and almost every fruit I have on them at the moment was from that time

The above followup was added by Jason on March 17, 2006 at 8:55 pm PST.


Wind?

Maybe it's the wind. I do get an afternoon wind every day except during winter. Maybe all I need to do is shelter the plant more.

The above followup was added by Franklin on March 17, 2006 at 9:10 pm PST.


Conditions

Franklin, I have some in full sun in the wind, some in the shade with no wind, none of that makes any difference to me. I have some in poor soil, some growing in almost pure chicken manual and inbetween, apart from them growing faster in rich soil, not much difference as far as fruit set goes

The above followup was added by Jason on March 17, 2006 at 10:10 pm PST.


Babaco pic

My Babaco papaya: I will post a pic tommorrow when sun is out of my Papaya. Its seems happy but I do feel that hearing all this posts that something is up, I am convinced its ALL about male and female plants (and bisexuals) and pollination.........I am crazy?

carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 17, 2006 at 10:34 pm PST.


Babaco pollination

Carlo, babaco do not not require pollination to set fruit. This is why the fruit are almost seedless. I have never heard of babaco ever producing male flowers and as far as I know, all babaco in cultivation are clones of the some parent plant.
Im not quite convinced that they are sterile though, and this is something Id like to pursue one day as Babaco do present some interesting possibilities in regards to hybridisation with other Papaya species.

The above followup was added by Virgil on March 18, 2006 at 3:01 pm PST.


not sterile

Virgil,


They are not sterile, there are babaco seedlings here in NZ. Laurie Meadows told me that he had seedlings. My plants all produce seeds at times too, although I've never actually germinated any. I am currently in the process of hand pollinating them though, following a short discussion with Dave Austin oin Kaitaia on this subject. I think cross with C. monoica should be good. I've come to the conslusion that any good Vasconcella hybrid in NZ will have to have some monoica in it, absolutley the best prospect for commercial fruit in my opinion. All I need now is a true monoica male as the pollen donor. My current babaco hybridising attempts are with FL-2 tropical papaya pollen. Not likely to work I know, but would be nice if it does!

The above followup was added by Ben on March 18, 2006 at 5:43 pm PST.


babaco-papaya crosses!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is great, as my neighbor is convinced that the straight up Babaco (pubescens, pentagona, etc) purchased around the Bay Area ( I got mine in Oakland at the Dry Gardens, Richard there said he wasnt 100% sure that it wasnt a weird hybrid) are probably not true species. I do believe that the true species are so crossed that we may never know what it actually is. I know the Carica crosses with Babaco. There you have it.


Carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 18, 2006 at 6:01 pm PST.


OK here is the PICS, I finally went out today......

Jason, Franklin, and Tom I am not sure about all the answers but.....here I add more to the discussion....

We were discussing the paucity of fruit on some Babaco and the conclusion was that Babaco are not sterile and they may be crossed with other species or different genuses (Papaya). Anyone have any comments? I took pics today in the lovely sun.

carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 18, 2006 at 6:50 pm PST.


here is 2 more pics

some other pics of the problem child...........

I took this pic this afternoon

The above followup was added by carlo on March 18, 2006 at 6:52 pm PST.


last pic

I took this pic today, the serious problem child......

carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 18, 2006 at 6:53 pm PST.


Carlo, that's not a babaco

Carlo,

You have a chamburro, not a babaco.

Axel

The above followup was added by Axel on March 19, 2006 at 8:13 am PST.


Oh dear

I thought it looked different. Thanks. Whats unique about Chamburro Axel?

carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 19, 2006 at 8:38 am PST.


another questiob

I thought that Chamburro had short thorns on trunk? No?


carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 19, 2006 at 8:41 am PST.


Chamburro versus babaco

Carlo,

Chamburro has way smaller fruits, but has the advantage of being more chill tolerant, as it keeps growing right down to 32F. Babco is seedless, and you only need one plant to get fruit, e.g. it fruits even if the flowers don't get pollinated.

Babaco is a single clone, e.g. all babaco plants are propagated via cuttings, not seeds, and it's a cross between chamburro and toronchi or something like that.

Chamburros are generally propagated via seed, but can also get propagated via cuttings.

You have a male chamburro, so you will need another chamburro to get fruit.

There are no thorns on any papayas I know of.

Axel

The above followup was added by Axel on March 19, 2006 at 8:46 am PST.


but i had fruit in dec

Axel, I had fruit in dec, about 4 the size of walnuts then they fell off during the heavy rains. I can take a pic of one, I think they are still on the ground.

thanks, carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 19, 2006 at 8:58 am PST.


here is a pic, I found several others but they beginning to rot

Mystery Babaco or Chamburro pic

The above followup was added by CARLO on March 19, 2006 at 9:24 am PST.


The males will grow a few fruits as well

The males often will make a few fruits, but nothing at the scale of a female.

Axel

The above followup was added by Axel on March 19, 2006 at 10:54 am PST.


male fruit

Carlo,

Gender is not as well defined in Carica/Vasconcella as it is in humans! Carica papaya for example has something like 7 different sex versions. My FL-2 grafted onto babaco roots had female flowers last year, male flowers this year.

The flowers on your plant are clearly male. Therefore, the flowers will wither and fall off wihtout setting fruit. It must have had female or bisexual flowers at some stage in the past. Many tropical papaya set female flowers with cool nights, which is why fruit set is actually often higher in subtropical climates than tropical ones. All of my Vasconcella males have also rarely at times set female flowers.

Immature babacos are a totally different shape to your fruit, bascially miniature versions of the mature ones I posted higher up the thread.

Ok, now we know why this plant does not set fruit. But what about Jasons one?

The above followup was added by Ben on March 19, 2006 at 10:55 am PST.


thanks everyoone!

That helps alot, I definitely particularly noticed the 5 ridges around the little fruit, I guess typical of Chamburro.

I need real Papayas!

carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 19, 2006 at 11:33 am PST.


nice mango...

It looks babaco to me.And you probably bought it at a nursery so i dont see how it could be a almost unheard of chamburro. That fruit is soo small.Could be a pumkin!

but if im wrong,im wrong-ha.

The above followup was added by Stan on March 21, 2006 at 3:23 pm PST.


Not a chance

Def not a Babaco. The trusses of male flowers are a dead give away. Male Babaco do not exist. It will be some sort of mountain papaya and more than likely a hybrid.

The above followup was added by Virgil on March 21, 2006 at 5:18 pm PST.


well..........confusion

I believe I bought it in Oakland at Dry Gardens, I will go today to try and find out what it is! Virgil, the trusses of male flowers are on mine, what does that mean?

Stan, thanks, that Mango flowered profusely (see the top of tree and the cut off flower tips) and produced even tinier fruit than the papaya. It has grown too slowly I am afraid. I am thinking about moving it. I bought it at Long's Nursery in Oakland 3 yrs ago, it has grown 1 foot. :>(
Well, now what do I say about my papaya, I am confused. Lets see what summer brings, maybe it'll hold fruit. Although I think Axel is right, the Chamburro has 4 distinct ridges....do others have those ridges?

carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 22, 2006 at 7:28 am PST.


i wonder...

I was there then and Carlo,i came thaaat close to buying the single Mango on sale.If you bought your's in the fall it might be the very same plant. I was with another friend who live close by-so, that 's why i could never find it again on my own later(Long's)..dont see her any more if you catch my drift....

Maybe this week give it another try. You gave me the right address?-ha...don't want to end up at the regular Longs like last time,where they only have mouthwash and bandaids. They make lousy fertilizer and plant ties...

The above followup was added by Stan on March 23, 2006 at 8:27 am PST.


mango @ LONGS

I was there 5 days ago, the fruit trees are all in and they have fabulous tropicals and subtropicals, but the tropical trees wont be in for 30d or so. If you ask a gardener there, they will special order whatever you want, then you know that I wont take it! :>)


carlo

The above followup was added by carlo on March 23, 2006 at 11:24 am PST.


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