The Pawpaw: America’s Forgotten Fruit


The pawpaw is a fruit that is often forgotten in North America. This small deciduous tree produces more fruit than any other indigenous tree in our continent!

The pawpaw is found in 26 states, but not in Florida or the northeast. These trees can grow to be 25 feet tall, and are distinguished by their purple flowers and shiny green leaves.

 Common Name  Pawpaw, paw paw
 Botanical Name  Asimina triloba
 Family  Annonaceae
 Plant Type  Tree
 Mature Size  15-25 ft. tall, 15 ft. wide
 Sun Exposure  Full, partial
 Soil Type  Moist but well-drained
 Soil pH  Acidic, neutral
 Bloom Time  Spring
 Flower Color  Purple
 Hardiness Zones  5-8, USA
 Native Area  North America
 Toxicity  Toxic to humans

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • Pawpaws are generally easy to grow and maintain. However, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
  • They prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade.-The soil should be moist but well-drained. Pawpaws are susceptible to root rot, so make sure the soil isn’t waterlogged.-Fertilize your pawpaw trees in the spring with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Prune away any dead or diseased branches in early spring before new growth begins.
  • Harvesting Your FruitPawpaws are ready to harvest when they’re soft to the touch and give off a faint aroma.

Lighting and Temperature

The pawpaw tree grows best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It prefers warm temperatures and is not frost-tolerant.


Pawpaws prefer moist, well-drained soil. They are susceptible to root rot, so make sure the soil isn’t waterlogged.


Fertilize your pawpaw trees in the spring with a balanced fertilizer.


Prune away any dead or diseased branches in early spring before new growth begins.


Water your pawpaw tree deeply and regularly during the first growing season to help establish a strong root system. After that, water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy.


Pawpaw trees can grow to be about 25 feet tall. However, they will only grow to be about 12 feet tall when grown in shaded and protected areas of mature forests.


Pawpaw trees produce purple flowers with six petals in the spring. The fruits are ready to harvest when they’re soft to the touch and give off a faint aroma.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

The pawpaw is a pest-free and relatively hardy tree. However, it can be affected by fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or black spot if it is exposed to high humidity or humid conditions.

The pawpaw borer (Talponia plummeriana) also frequently infests trees, causing blossoms to fall off prematurely and significantly reducing fruit yield.

Finally, the larvae of the Zebra Swallowtail butterflies sometimes feed on the leaves of the pawpaw tree; however, this rarely poses a threat to the plant’s overall health.

Propagating Pawpaw Trees

Pawpaws can be propagated in one of three ways: by cuttings, by grafting, or by seed.

Cuttings are the least reliable method, with a high failure rate. Grafting is more successful, but it is a more sophisticated technique that is best reserved for nurseries and experienced propagators.

Seed propagation is the most efficient way to establish a pawpaw tree. It has a lower success rate than grafting, but it is simpler and can be done by anyone with patience and a bit of know-how.

Where is the best place to plant a pawpaw tree?

When choosing a location to plant your pawpaw tree, be sure to choose a spot that gets full sun and is somewhat protected from high winds.

Pawpaws can grow to be 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide, so be sure to choose a location that can accommodate its size.

Also, because pawpaws have a tendency to twist and damage their branches in high winds, it’s important to choose a spot that is sheltered from strong winds.

Once you’ve found the perfect spot, you can enjoy the fruits (or should we say, vegetable?) of your labor for many years to come!

How long does it take for a Paw Paw to bear fruit?

After planting a Paw Paw tree, it will take approximately 3 to 5 years for it to bear fruit.

This is a relatively short amount of time compared to other fruit trees, making the Paw Paw a good choice for anyone looking for quick results.

The tree will need to be pollinated in order to produce fruit, so be sure to plant more than one Paw Paw if you want a bountiful harvest.

Once the tree begins bearing fruit, it will produce large, greenish-yellow fruits that are similar in appearance to mangoes or bananas.

The fruits are very fragrant and have a sweet, creamy taste that is often described as being like a cross between a banana and a pineapple.

Whether you enjoy them fresh off the tree or use them in pies and other culinary creations, Paw Paws are a delicious addition to any home garden.

What month do pawpaw trees bear fruit?

Pawpaws typically begin producing fruit around six or seven years. Pawpaws begin ripening between mid-August and September. They are harvested when they are soft to the feel.

If you apply a Pawpaws a gentle squeeze, the skin’s color will typically change from green to brown or yellow.

Pawpaws can be eaten fresh, made into delicious pies and puddings, or used in any recipe that calls for bananas. To store, Pawpaws can be frozen, dried, or canned.

Freezing is the easiest way to preserve pawpaws for later use. Simply wash the fruits, remove the seeds, and place them in freezer bags. Dried pawpaws can be stored in airtight containers and eaten like raisins or used in baking.

Canned pawpaws can be stored on pantry shelves and used in recipes throughout the year.

What is the best fertilizer for pawpaws?

Pawpaws are a unique and delicious fruit, similar in taste to a cross between a banana and a mango. Native to North America, pawpaws are now grown commercially in many parts of the world.

While they can be tricky to grow, the effort is definitely worth it when you bite into a ripe, juicy pawpaw.

If you want to get the best results from your pawpaw tree, it’s important to use the right fertilizer. A balanced fertilizer like 20-10-10 is ideal for pawpaws.

Apply it twice each year, in early spring and mid-summer. With proper care, your pawpaw tree will produce an abundance of delicious fruit for many years to come.

What do you spray paw paw trees with?

There are two main types of spray that can be used on paw paw trees – copper hydroxide and wettable sulfur.

Both of these products can help to protect the trees from diseases and pests, and they can be used all year round or in cold weather respectively.

Copper hydroxide is a year-round solution that can be used to strengthen the plant’s defenses, while wettable sulfur is only used in cold temperatures but can also help to reduce red spider mite.

Either of these products can be an effective way to protect your paw paw trees from harm.

How often do you water pawpaw trees?

Pawpaw trees require about 1 inch of rainfall per week. If rainfall is insufficient, water from a garden hose is necessary. The most effective way to water a pawpaw tree is to let the garden hose drip slowly.

Do this until the ground around the pawpaw tree is wet. It’s also necessary to check the soil moisture before watering to make sure that the soil isn’t too wet or too dry.

Excessively wet or dry soil can lead to problems for the pawpaw tree. Too much water can cause root rot, and too little water can cause the leaves to drop and the fruit to fall off the tree.

The best way to check soil moisture is to use a moisture meter.Insert link. Moisture meters are available at most gardening stores, or you can purchase one online.

Once you’ve determined how much water your pawpaw tree needs, be sure to water it on a regular basis so that it stays healthy and productive.

How do I get my paw paw tree to fruit?

There are a few different ways that you can get your paw paw tree to fruit. One way is to be the pollinator yourself and transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers with a small paintbrush.

Another way is to plant multiple pawpaw trees in close proximity to each other so that they can cross-pollinate; pawpaw trees are self-incompatible, meaning that they cannot pollinate themselves.

Finally, make sure that your trees are receiving sufficient sunlight and water; pawpaw trees need at least six hours of sunlight per day and prefer well-drained, loamy soil.

With a little patience and care, you should be able to enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious pawpaws in no time!

How do you pollinate pawpaw trees?

Pawpaw trees are native to North America and are members of the Annonaceae, or custard apple, family. The trees are dioecious, meaning that they have separate male and female trees.

Male Pawpaw trees produce flowers with long, thin filaments that release pollen into the air. Female Pawpaw trees produce flowers with short, thick filaments.

To pollinate a female Pawpaw tree, the pollen from a male tree must attach to the short filaments. This can be done either by wind or by hand. When pollinating by hand, a small brush is used to transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers.

Once the flowers are pollinated, they will develop into fruits that are ready to be harvested in late summer or early fall.

Do you need 2 paw paw trees to get fruit?

Paw paw trees are native to North America and can be found in 26 states. The tree is medium sized and can grow up to 30 feet tall.

The leaves are ovate shaped and the flowers are white and greenish-yellow. Each flower is about 3 inches wide and has 6 petals.

The fruit of the paw paw tree is oblong, dark brown or black, and ranges from 3-6 inches long. The flesh of the fruit is yellow, orange, or pink and contains small black seeds.

Paw paw trees usually produce fruit in groups of 2-5. In order to get fruit from a paw paw tree, you need to have two trees for pollination purposes.

Three would be even better because it provides a backup in case one of the trees doesn’t bear fruit. Paw paw trees are able to pollinate themselves using pollen that is transferred from an individual flower on the same tree.

However, it’s not a guarantee this kind of thing will happen. If you want to ensure that your paw paw tree bears fruit, plant two trees or more for pollination purposes.

How do you get paw paw to fruit?

In order to get paw paw fruit, you need to pollinate the flowers. This can be done by using a small paintbrush to transfer pollen from male flowers to female flowers.

Another method is to plant multiple trees, as pawpaws are not self-pollinating. By planting different varieties of pawpaw, you can ensure that pollination will occur and that the trees will set fruit.

Finally, it is important to maintain the health of the trees by fertilizing them and providing them with adequate water. By taking these steps, you can encourage your pawpaw trees to produce fruit.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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