Rebecca’s Gold Pawpaw in the South

Anyone successfully growing Rebecca’s Gold in the South (TN and below)?

I planted 2 last spring. One died suddenly about 3 months later (the only pawpaw I’ve lost) and the other one is having issues.
It is much later leafing-out compared to my 39 or so other pawpaws, and worst of all it seems super-susceptible to phyllosticta fungus.
It’s already dropping a few leaves that are so infected they’ve turned yellow.

I wonder if the issue is its native climate - supposedly a Michigan selection.

I’m afraid I’m gonna amputate this guy and topwork it with another variety next year.

1 Like

Pawpaw are pretty slow to take off and sometimes they die before they do. I put in several more this year and they all look pitiful. I would not expect much the first couple years. Most of mine took 2-3 years before they really started to do much.

I understand, but I have several other grafted ones and seedlings that are doing much better than these 2.

Did your Maria’s Joy ever recover? I’ve not grown Rebecca’s Gold but I have some seedlings that are from the finger lakes region of NY. I still have to get them in the ground. Hoping the difference in climate won’t be a challenge.
David from Mt Juliet


No, the MJ I think is a definite goner.
I would cut it back to a stump and let it resprout and graft it next year, but the bark cracking goes all the way to the ground.
Worth a shot anyway, I guess.
Truth is I have planted so many trees and probably too close - it would be helpful to free-up the space.

The Rebecca’s Gold seems to be perking up, though the fungus is a bummer.
I talked to Hidden Springs Nursery (cookeville TN) and they said they used to grow it with no issues. So, must just be bad luck for me.
The question then is whether it’s WORTH growing - some folks say it’s one of the best “old school” pawpaws and others say it’s inferior.
I know one grower who says it’s his favorite!
Ah, personal tastes …

I would like to ask what is the best way to propagate pawpaws? Any good source to get seeds or plants from? I would like to have a few varieties of pawpaws. Also what varieties do you suggest for the east coast in Virginia. Thanks

Propagation is really only via grafting and seeds. Rooting or air layering doesn’t work AFAIK. digging up suckers is considered a lost cause too though some report success.
Seeds are not true to type - it’s a gamble on what you’ll get.
There are many nurseries selling pawpaws such as One Green World and Hidden Springs Nursery. England’s nursery (nut sells seeds but I would not recommend trees from them based on my experience.
I can’t really recommend specific varieties for your area - most if not all would probably be fine.
There is a very long discussion here called Pawpaw Varieties that you could check out.
Good luck!

1 Like

Thanks @TrilobaTracker for the info! I would check the Pawpaw Varieties topic

I wouldn’t grow paw paws grown and bought from nurseries. For me, seeds, than grafted a year later. 100% better tree’s. They grow much quicker. No taproot? Forget it.

1 Like

I don’t go that far, but definitely if the nursery is selling bare-root pawpaws, you’re wasting your money.
I only buy trees shipped in their containers.
But yes, if you can start seeds yourself in a 14-inch tree pot, they will turn out very well. I have 3 year old seedlings started that way that are now bushy, 7-foot tall trees.