How Vigorous is your Pawpaw?

I have five named pawpaws (PA Golden #3, Maria’s Joy, Mango, Overleese, and Shenandoah) plus some seedlings. Out of those, Mango is far and away the most vigorous grower, the rest are cruising in the slow lane.

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Since all pawpaw rootstocks are seedling trees wouldn’t that have some affect on the grafted variety?

I’d think so. But I imagine the cultivar affects this as well.

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I think the scion and rootstock do effect vigor. I have a dwarf seedling apple that stayed 5 feet tall until I grafted Arkansas black to it and now it’s growing bigger.

The Kentucky Champion trees that were planted from seed are the fastest growing of mine.
I’ve read that Mango has the most vigor,but mine is only okay.It could be about location and maybe the plant should be watered more.
I recently dug up an NC-1,that is about 3 feet tall and growing well,because the place may have been too close to the neighbor’s yard.The roots though,were not very developed for the size of the top and the ground was fairly dry about a foot down. Brady

How well did your KC survive transplanting? Did you see a tap root?

I put the plant in a large pot and watered really well.There wasn’t even any leaf wilt.
There was no real tap root or those fine roots that I’ve seen these things have.
LuckyP has posted a number of times that the tap root is not that important.I hope he is right.
I will probably replant the tree this Fall. Brady


@Bradybb- you have the magic touch with pawpaws. Something tells me pawpaws love the good drainage of a pot/container.

They are fine in a container to a certain age or size,then they should be planted in the ground.
I just want to get one to the fruiting stage. Brady

Hi i am from Serbia :slight_smile:.
I have tree 6 years old pawpaws seedlings and they are growing fast and i have two grafted variety’s (sunflower and prima1216) and they are bought as 2.5 years old plants and in my garden they are two years and this is third year for that two named variety pawpaws and they grown maybe about 10-cm max in 2.5 years and look like baby plants.
All five of my asimina triloba trees are flowering but on this two named variety’s i removed all flowers so trees can grow better but seems no affect to grow on this two trees.

This is video of one of my seedling tree with fruits :grin:


It sounds like your seedlings are very well established. I would graft some material from your named cultivars onto your established seedlings.

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I tried to graft pawpaw this year, about 20 grafts and only 2 takes :pensive:
I have used grafting methods like bud grafting, side grafting, single cut grafting and about 20 days after grafting buds starts to swell and even some new growth starts on scion wood and looks like graft takes and after some time graft simple dries and dies.
That two successful grafts are side grafted on on older branch and now are about 5 cm long.
I have grafted pawpaws third year in row and first year from two grafts both takes but later in winter this root stock dies from some reason.
Second year grafting pawpaw from two grafts 0 takes, same situation like grafts in this year.
Here in my country i can buy only seedlings and there are no named cultivars of pawpaws, this is here exotic tree that grown only by few people and i bought my two named varieties from another country, but my named cultivars are growing very bad and i can’t get scion wood from that trees.

There are very good pawpaw seedlings. Once your seedlings start producing I would focus on propagating the most successful plants. Once your named variety grafts grow out you can make some air layers on their own roots and then you will have true to type trees. I say this because pawpaw become trees that send out many shoots from the roots later. Sometimes with wild seedlings (pears) I work with I might need to try 20 types of scions until I find one that’s compatible. Some wild seedlings refuse to take scions and others take scions easily. Those pawpaw that are easy to graft scion wood on you should propagate as rootstocks for new trees because you know they work for that purpose.


Is it possible to air layer pawpaw?, i heard that is impossible to do that, if you done that with success can you explain a little bit more?, do you have maybe some pictures of success on air layering pawpaws.
In my six years that i grow pawpaw i didn’t saw one root sucker around my trees, how old must be tree to start sending root suckers from roots?.

Two years ago i planted 4 stratified pawpaw seed directly in my garden and that seedlings grow very very slow, same seed planted in 2 liters plastic bottles grows almost 2 times faster, i also got some pawpaw bare root seedlings and now two years later that seedlings are barely alive.

Have not air layered pawpaw but I know they can be air layered. I use a propagation method chart produced by the California rare fruit growers It is said digging up the wild shoots is not very successful You might further reference this article and this one You might also read this thread @thecityman has dug up root suckers and made it work. I would paint the roots with clonex if I dug up root suckers because the ones I’ve seen don’t have a lot of roots Thecityman is proof if your careful and dig up plenty of roots it can be done. I dug up one earlier this year and transplanted it but it was grown from seed. Wild pawpaw sucker profusely typically. They love water and when they have everything the way they want it they will grow like crazy! Its very hard for me to grow them in Kansas because we are very dry here so I planted mine by my pond Pawpaw in Kansas - it's a lot of work but can be done!. My family has always grown them but they are from a wet area with a nice climate and little wind. When CRFG said they air layer I wonder if they are layering older wood because as you may know it’s easier to propagate older wood using the air layering method. This gentleman knows what he’s talking about when it comes to air layering


I heard from few people that pawpaw can be grown from root cuttings, one gardener said that he transplanted seedling to larger pot and part of tap root was broken and after some time from that root started to grow new sprout.
Last winter i accidentally cut off part of my old paw paw tree it was about 20 cm long root, i try same thing but no success.

I had one 3 yrs old pawpaw seedling about 2 meter high and suddenly leafs start o go yellow and tree dies, but after some time on same spot young sprout grown from root.

I know that pawpaw can be successful transplanted because i done that on this tree that i posted in my video, at that time it was 2 yrs old seedling.

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I usually have good luck with pawpaw cleft or bark graft. I chose a branch in the area with good sun light. I don’t graft them on the high tip part of the branch. I cut the whole branch off and leave about 6 inches from the main trunk and then cleft or bark graft them. I have stated many times in the past that I rubbed off all the new growths every 3-4 days below the graft union so all the saps only go to feed your scion. Many grafts will fail if you don’t take out those growths. I hope this will help you to be more successful with your pawpaw grafts.



Following the Tony’s advice I fed the pawpaws with high nitrogen. The second year plants are growing so good now. They are in full sun and this year they do not show any sun damage, although the weather was dry and hot.
Here is the biggest Allegheny pawpaw.

One of the this spring whip and tongue grafts.

The other one is struggling and does not grow well. Staff happens…


Here is a picture from this morning of my hand in comparison to the leaves to give you an idea of how well these are doing. My hands are pretty big. I am growing these in partial shade.

I’m growing them a little way off this path in the wet bottom ground.

Have a feeling these are going to be some big pawpaw’s! You never know with a seedling but the fruit of the parent was 6 inches.


Those are nice dark green pawpaw leaves and they are tall for only two years old! Very nice!