I will be planting Papaya fruit seeds and I understand that there is a female and a male plant, so how can one distinguish which are the ones that will bear fruit and which I should just rip up by its roots as I have limited planting space?
Male flowers have no ovary and do not produce a fruit but females need to be pollinated or the fruits will be aborted falling off when they are about golf ball size (1). Therefore, you will need at least one male or hermaphrodite plant with your female plants so you can manually pollinate the female plants. Also, note that hermaphrodites can pollinate themselves so you will not need another one or a male for fruit.
The article goes on to say that hermaphrodites are the preferred type but under certain circumstances a hermaphrodite can shift to a female.
Cool winter weather or high soil moisture can lead to a shift toward femaleness, where the stamens fuse to the carpels or ovary wall. The re sulting fruits become severely ridged (carpelloid, or “cat faced”) and hence are deformed and unmarketable (1).
Home gardeners should take steps to avoid having only a single papaya plant, in case it turns out to be a female. One way to accomplish this is have several plants in the garden, to ensure the possibility that at least one will be a hermaphrodite with pollen. If space is limited, allow several seedlings to grow to flowering stage in the same planting spot, and then remove all but the healthiest hermaphrodite plant (1).