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Growing PawPaw

Growing PawPaw

Shenandoah PawPaw


 A hardy North American native small tree with delicious fruit. Not widely grown, but gaining in popularity. Trees are slow-growing, reaching 12 to 15 feet tall. Leaves emerge late and have a tropical appearance. Hardy in zones 5 to 9. Plant two varieties to ensure good fruit production. Pawpaw fruit is delicious and high in protein and vitamins A and C. It ripens in early fall when it softens and color changes from green. Flavor is sweet and similar to banana, with a creamy texture. Both grafted and seedling types are available. Plant outside after the last spring frost, slightly deeper than in pots. Transplant carefully, as Pawpaw can be somewhat difficult to establish.


Fruit production is best in full sun, but plants tolerate part shade, especially in hot, dry climates and when trees are young. Plant in moist, well-drained soil. Prefers soils rich in organic matter and benefits from mulching. Suitable for acidic to neutral soil conditions. Ensure good weed control when trees are being established. Can be grown with little to no pruning.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use Gromax Fertilizer Tablets 20-10-5 (51165) or full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085) or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Other uncommon fruit trees include Persimmons, Quince, and Mountain Ash.

Complimentary Products

Trees benefit from annual fertilization. New Deer Fence Kit (52113) or 7 X 100 Foot Deer-X Fencing (52107) will protect trees from deer damage.

PawPaw Facts

Easy-to-grow and resistant to pest and disease problems. Zebra Swallowtail butterfly larvae sometimes feed on leaves, but do not cause significant damage. Pawpaw fruit can weigh up to a pound each and is the largest North American native fruit. 


Growing Tips