In A Vase on Monday – Fruitless Efforts


I decided to use foliage from my ornamental fruit plants in anticipation of my Papaya actually setting some fruit. I planted some seeds from a Hawaiian Papaya I had particularly enjoyed, knowing they have a reputation for being an extremely easy fruit tree to grow here. I ended up with three seedlings and planted them in my vegetable garden. They are reputed to produce fruit as early as 9 months after planting. Anticipation set it.

Hurricane Irma came along and blew 2 of the trees away, I thought ‘OK, I still have one, how many Papayas can I eat anyway’. Summer rolled around and the tree started to flower, anticipation set in again. Nothing happened. So, I did a little research – Hawaiian Papayas can be male, female or hermaphrodite. The remaining Papaya, female. I planted a hermaphrodite tree to pollinate the existing female. The female tree started flowering again a couple of weeks ago. Not one bud on the pollinator tree – then, on Friday after several days of rain, the hermaphrodite tree started flowering…

Anticipation has really set in now.


The crystal vase is a gift from my long gone brother. I think of him every time I use it. The foliage in the backdrop is from my Ornamental Pineapple (Ananas ‘no idea’) and an Ornamental Banana leaf (Musa ensete ‘Something’). Ferns are Asian Sword Ferns.

I grow pineapples in my garden and bananas are possible, but we don’t really like bananas enough to water them.


The flowers in the arrangement are: in white, Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata ‘Alba’), in purple, Tampa Verbena (Glandularia tampensis), in peach, Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea), the fruit in the middle is from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri)

Here is the, thus far, fruitless effort Hawaiian Papaya:


Still waiting.



26 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Fruitless Efforts

  1. I hope you have better luck next year with your fruit. Is that tree long- lived?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christina says:

    Fruit in 9 months – is that from when it flowers or when you planted the tree (although that seems impossible).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathy says:

    Oh, I do hope your patience is eventually rewarded! Thank you for sharing your intriguing collection of foliage, flowers and fruit – always fascinating to see what you have growing in your garden

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kris P says:

    Nine months! That’s so impressive. My husband would love it if we had a papaya tree so perhaps I need to find a nice hermaphrodite tree to try. I love that Tampa Verbena, a species I’ve never heard of, although I suspect that the failure of my Sunset Western Garden Book to even list the genus isn’t a good sign that I could grow it here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My experience thus far does not back the nine month theory! Tampa verbena is a Florida native, we used to call that Beach Verbena in Atlanta and use it as an annual. It is a short lived perennial here.


  5. Eliza Waters says:

    When I think that we must wait 10 years for most of our fruit trees, papayas seem quite speedy! Lovely arrangement – the verbena and begonias are my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love getting papayas and throwing all the seeds in my planters. I ended up with 20+ trees then lost them to a frost…thanks for the reminder to do that again!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AlisonC says:

    Your climate is so different to ours it makes me laugh. The anticipation must be killing… It’s a beautiful tree, fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pbmgarden says:

    Lovely presentation Amelia. The special vase really sets everything off. Hope your papaya persistence pays off this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Chloris says:

    Even without fruit your papaya is a lovely tree. A gorgeous arrangement, I love your Geiger fruits.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cathy says:

    Good luck with the papaya! I love papaya fruit but it is so hard to get a decent one here. The tree has very attractive leaves too. The arrangement is lovely – I especially love the banana leaf and the white begonia. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. tonytomeo says:

    That is too much work for a papaya. (I do not like papaya anyway.) White Geiger tree look suspicious. I do not know that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ll see about the Papaya, I like the trees anyway. There are native Geiger trees here with orange flowers (Cordia sebestena) the White Geiger is native to the Rio Grande area and is very drought tolerant. Both are probably too tropical for where you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        I think that if they grew here, I would have heard about them. Brent is always bragging about what he can grow in the Los Angeles region that will not survive here. However, they might be in San Diego. The African tulip tree became available there back in the 2000s or so, but never became popular. I suspect that there are a few things that ‘can’ be grown that are not popular.


  12. Sending you lots of good wishes for papaya! I have a tree peony that never bloomed, but it never looked as good as your papa tree.

    Liked by 1 person

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