Seeding pawpaws - multiple trees per pot?

I am planning to grow a bunch of pawpaw seedlings out this year from seeds I saved. I had the thought to put 3-4 seeds per pot, thinning to 2 as needed. This should help with pollination issues having 2 trees on top of each other. Plus, if I choose to sell people won’t have the issue of buying 2 or more trees. Having worked in garden centers people often dislike having to buy 2 for pollination when they only planned on one tree.

Any downsides I am neglecting aside from having two trees fighting for space in a pot?

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If I was you, I would put them in a nice tall 5 or 6 gallon bucket and drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

When I did peaches I put more than that in the pot. You can separate later if you desire, but it sucks if you do one or two seeds and get none. Who doesn’t want to buy a potted plant with two trees in it?

That is a good point - @ampersand are you planning to sell the trees or plant them yourself later?

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You’re NOT going to get 100% germination…so unless you are ok getting some pots that have no seeds germinate (you might divide one that had more than one and put into these empty pots) you ought to put at least 2 seeds in a pot.

I have some pots that have 3 plants…probably 30 or more pots…
and I still got a couple blanks. I also got a couple that had one or 2 seedlings and the third germinated the next year!

Most remain in one gallon size pots after three seasons…and will get a bigger pot in March or April if I have the time. And a few may get planted in the ground. {I refrain from moving and / or repotting any that have rooted through the bottom of the pot until spring…they can be finicky.}


Probably both. I have a lot of seeds from last year!


I don’t believe it does serious harm to have 2 trees in one pot/one hole–
and for those needing cross pollination but only having room for one tree…it solves the problem.
(There is some chance seeds from off the same tree might not still yet adequately do cross pollination…somebody else might know more definitively.)

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Yeah, if I were to sell I would be recommend more than 1, but people will do what they want!

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My thought is any 2 seedlings would do the job of cross pollination, even if from the same fruit.

Also I agree with @BlueBerry that you should not mess with the roots (for example, separating, repotting, etc) until/unless the tree is actively growing, not dormant.
Pawpaws seem to be vulnerable when roots are damaged while dormant.


When I posted about growing Paw Paw in a pot people mentioned how they have a massive taproot. In other words the taproot could be a problem. Also I used to plant lots of peppers in one pot. It invoked stress in the peppers and they always got aphids by the end of the season. Some would just get out competed and just not grow.

They do have that initial taproot…but if you’ve ever seen dozens of root sprouts come up several feet from a ‘mama’ tree…it’s obvious they develop other roots besides the taproot. I’ve left them set in one gallon pots for 6 or 8 years and then transplant and they did ok. But, obviously, be better to get them into a deeper pot or into the ground a lot sooner than that.

(Like a saucer magnolia, they don’t have many ‘hair’ roots.)

I just ordered two Paw Paw. If they are that slow of growers and we don’t have to worry about taproot like mentioned in my post I may as well try growing them

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No, they actually get ‘stunted’ in small pots and it delays them.
But, if you’ve got some and don’t have a plan for selling or planting them…being able to keep alive for 5 years in a puny pot is a ‘plus’.

I won’t be keeping them in pots for 5 years. Likely a year or less.

I probably have 100 seedlings. 3/4 from the forest. 1/4 from seeds of improved cultivars. (I’ve got more potted plants than I can use…but I keep acquiring more! lol)