How Vigorous is your Pawpaw?


My Shenandoah and Overleese are flowering this year. Both for the first time. The same yellow-to-brown-leaves thing happened to my Shenandoah last year. I thought I lost it too, but it came back fine this year. Maybe it was because of the drought. Here’s a picture of Overleese flowers in the early stages.


How old are your pawpaws? Did you buy them potted? Mine were bought in 2015 from Logee’s.

The Mango variety grows a bit taller but no sign of flowers.


The Shenandoah was bare root from Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery in spring of 2015. It was pretty big when I got it, about 4 feet, but I think it struggled being transplanted at that size. Overleese was also spring of 2015. I think it came potted from One Green World. It was maybe a foot tall. I’ve also got a few other potted ones from Edible Landscaping and a few bare root from England’s. I don’t think I lost any due to transplant problems.


Great. You have much more opportunities of cross pollination, even this year. Good luck. My Shenadoah is too small to carry a fruit, anyway :grin:


PA golden planted in 2013 as been the fastest grower for me. Twelve feet tall and has flowered the past 3 years.
Susquehanna planted in 2013 stalled for a couple of years then shot up to about 7 or 8 feet tall.
NC-1 planted in 2015 I would say medium growth speed. It grew faster than Susquehanna for the first couple of years before Susquehanna hit a growth spurt. It is probably four and a half feet tall now. It was planted two years after PA golden and Susquehanna.
Mango first tree died. Second tree planted in 2017 has barely grown.
KSU Atwood medium growth speed. It has put on about two feet of growth since 2016.
KSU Benson planted in 2017 medium growth speed, slightly faster than Atwood as they were planted a year apart but are the same height now.
Maria’s Joy planted in 2016 rabbits have topped this tree twice so it is still the same size after several years.
Taytoo planted in 2016 rabbits have topped this one once but it seems to be a medium speed grower.
Wells planted in 2016? medium to fast speed grower. Slightly faster than the KSU trees.


Hi guys, I have looked the group for comments about pawpaw. I have planted 2 varieties acouple of years ago, small 2 years trees. It seems to me that they are doing well but i have a dilemma, they aren’t very vigorous and quite small diameter, about half an inch. While one of them is quite straight, the second one is curved, in such a way that tutoring I don’t believe it would help. Can I just cut the curved one to 3-4 feets, and wait for the tree to get thicker?




This is my KSU Atwood, bought in 2015. It’s on the north side of an east to west fence in San Diego, not exactly Asimina triloba country. As you can see, not very vigorous here.


Is that planted within the stump of another tree that used to be there?


Looks like the crown is overly exposed. I would mound some dirt around the trunk so the dark part of the “stem” is covered.


I have 3 which have struggled for years, were spindly, and had grown very little - until this spring. I fertilized the ‘heck’ out of them. Lots of nitrogen. And - bingo. They really took off.
They are in full sun. I’d heard all kinds of advice - but that they would fruit better in full sun. (Didn’t make sense to me, as I always thought they were an understory plant.) But I took the advice given.
They are Allegheny and Shenandoah. There is a third - smaller . . . and it is one of the two varieties, but I can’t recall which.

The smaller one has new growth from the base. Should I let it grow - or snip it off?


Nice! Yeah, as long as there is growth on the upper/grafted area, I would remove all growth from below the graft.


Thanks! I didn’t have a clue as to what to do with these guys! My husband likes them and I got them for him, as a birthday gift, one year.


Nice looking trees. Mine are the same way. Very slow growth unless i fertilize a lot. I’ll throw down 1/4 cup of 33-0-0 every 2-3 weeks once they start growing. I have very sandy soil and it rains a lot here so that may be too much in clay soil and less rain. Speaking of water, they will shut down growing if it gets hot and the soil dries out. They’ll keep going if i keep the soil wet. Have they produced yet? If not, it looks like they will soon.


Good observation about shutting down growth if soil gets hot and dry. I mulch really, really deep and wide but even that’s not enough unless I also water during drought. This includes trees ten years old. They love water and N.


This is also my experience. Though I don’t know if I have ever managed to water enough to jumpstart them during a drought. I just have a garden hose and 40 trees so I don’t have time to do intensive watering though.


I’ve never been able to induce them to start growing again once they set a terminal bud. Before I was on the water/fert program, they would shut down in mid may after leafing out in mid april. So they were only getting one month of growth for the entire year. I can keep them growing well into july with heavy water and ferts.


This thread has inspired me to get much more aggressive on fertilizing my pawpaws. They’ve been extremely slow growing for me. Last year I finally insured they got more water in the summer.

I finally got my feijoa going with some urea. Hopefully I can do similar for the pawpaws.


Urea is a good choice.
KSU and most folks I know recommend applying N just before bud break. They don’t say much about additional N after that, but that’s up to you.


Just about the same here. I’ve rigged up a contraption with a double nozzle shut off valve at the faucet . . . and a 100’ hose attached to each. Then each 100’ hose has a 4-nozzle output . . . (!) . . . to which I attached the cheapest hoses I could buy. :crazy_face:
When it’s all said and done . . . I can water 8 trees at once - (and 10 if the hose leaks where it joins the 4-nozzle thing!!!)
I’m so sick of moving hoses. The weather keeps predicting thunder showers - but they never materialize. We really need some rain.


No fruit yet. They are still very ‘short’. Maybe 36" tall, tops.
I had never seen a Paw Paw flower until I got my first blossom this spring, but it was so odd looking that I didn’t realize that is what it was! Now - the little one has a ton of blossoms forming. Probably too late to develop, wouldn’t you say?

It would ‘make sense’ that they would need a lot of water and a lot of nitrogen. That is what they would get from decaying matter, in the damp woods where they can be found.
I’m still surprised that they can take full sun. Just doesn’t seem ‘natural’! I am still putting out mulch . . . and that will also mimic the cool floor of their natural habitat. I’ll bet they’d like compost as mulch, too.