|Author: ||P. Allan|
|Keywords: ||Carica papaya, papaw|
To overcome variety in sex type; productivity; fruit size, shape and quality; disease tolerance; etc., the female clone Honey Gold papaya has been propagated by leafy cuttings for the past 30 years.
Induction of lateral bud burst on the strongly apically dominant stems of 1–2 year old plants has been promoted by the application, through injection or direct application on the stems, below the leaves, of various synthetic cytokinin / gibberellic acid mixtures.
Removal of the terminal growing points and fruits, but with retention of leaves, promotes development of the lateral buds.
Repeated removal of strongly developing, thick growing points in the leaf axils promotes even development of many thinner, vigorous lateral shoots, lower on the stems, that are ideal for cuttings.
Repeated topping of stems also results in side shoot development but fewer cuttings are produced.
By leaving stubs of the side stems, when cuttings with pen sized stems are taken, further growth of new shoots is obtained and cuttings can be harvested monthly, provided adequate leaf canopy is left on the parent plant.
Cuttings are trimmed to leave 3–4 small leaves, immersed in a fungicidal bath of suitable concentration to prevent phytotoxicity and ensure leaf retention during rooting of the cuttings in sterile media, under intermittent mist with bottom heat of 30°C, after basal IBA treatment.
The use of compartmentalised trays to produce cuttings with root “plugs” tapering from 90 x 90 to 70 x 70 and 150 mm deep, will reduce production costs.
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