TELL me about pawpaws...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Mutti, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2002
    neighbor has big tree and gave me four...said I could start them from the seeds....any hints? He says he just throws them out on the ground...sounds too easy! Thanks. DEE
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    I'm hoping we're speaking the same language. To me, a pawpaw is Carica papaya, often called Papaya in America. This plant should not be confused with Asimina triloba, a native of North America (about which I know nothing), also called Pawpaw.

    Pawpaw pix:

    Warning: Be careful not to get the milky sap from the unripe fruit into your eyes. It will cause intense pain and temporary, sometimes permanent, blindness. The pollen of pawpaw flowers has induced severe respiratory reactions in sensitive individuals. Thereafter, such people react to contact with any part of the plant and to eating ripe pawpaw or any food containing pawpaw, or meat tenderized with papain. Papain-treated meat should never be eaten rare but should be thoroughly cooked to inactivate the enzyme.

    To propagate, soak seeds for 40 hours before sowing in spring. Sow very shallow. Germination is irregular and may take from 30-120 days, at an ideal temperature of 24°C and with good light. Water well in dry periods, give fertiliser regularly and grow in fully sun. Good drainage is essential. Plants grow rapidly and need a rich, fertile compost and copious amounts of water. Fruiting is best if temperatures are above 18°C at all times and above 20°C in summer. Allow fruit to ripen on the tree. A green, unripe fruit has very little smell, while a ripening fruit will have a ‘fruity’ smell. To ripen a green pawpaw, put it into a brown paper bag with a ripe apple for a few days.

  3. Zebraman

    Zebraman Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2006
  4. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2005
    Southeast Ohio
    If you have a ready supply of seed (like from a neighbor) throwing them on the ground in the woods works amazingly well!

    We found one pawpaw patch on our land, and in just a few years now have young trees in a couple of dozen different places. Some are from our seed sowing and some are from the possums' seed sowing.

    Too bad you aren't in Ohio:

    This time of year it gets a lot easier to spot the trees. The leaf shape really stands out and when they start to go into their fall color they have a slightly different color than other trees. Pretty soon we're going to do our annual supplemental harvest up in the paper company forest up the road. There's 4 - 5 really good patches we harvested last year, and that will make for even more seed to add to our land.

    I expect we're going to end up with a lot of pawpaws here in a couple of years. That's one tree that the goats don't eat, so as they thin out the other stuff we get more pawpaw coming in. Suits us - hubby loves making homemade pawpaw icecream.