Q.Brown Patches On Papaya Fruit
For several years I have had a small number of papaya trees, all in one area. This year I have six trees. Five are first year fruit producers and one has been producing for several years. All, including the older one, were grown from seeds taken from my own fruit. This year all my papayas have brown patches in the skin. The patches appear early in the fruit development. The ripe flesh is largely unaffected, they just look bad. Right now the fruit higher up the tree looks better but I’ll have to wait and see. My web searches have turned up nothing like what I am seeing. It doesn’t look to me like anthracnose but perhaps some other fungus? Or something else all together? One other note: This is the first year I used a fertilizer, a 14-14-14 “smart release” product. Thanks for any ideas.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
That would be Phytophthora blight! Unfortunately, this oomycete will not be killed, easily. In fact, the only way to do so will be to remove the soil from around the trees, exposing roots and letting it all dry out, thoroughly.
Bush Doctor, thank you for your answer. From the link and a paper by the U of Hawaii I don't think it's Phytophthora blight. But from your 2nd link I think it might be herbicide injury. My landscape crew is supposed to stay away from the papayas but sometimes there is a new guy. I know they have sprayed herbicide around there.
I don't know if this site will accept outside links but if so here's one to the U of H paper (PDF) entitled Phytophthora Blight of Papaya: