Starting pawpaw seeds

Really don’t think so other than contributing to heating.
Good luck!

Just confirming you put fresh seedlings in direct/full sun?
While this runs counter to conventional wisdom I have heard of folks doing so and having no issues.

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Thanks all. I’ll just leave one of the three bulbs on in case it helps at all. They’re on a heating mat keeping them around 85 degrees. When I see germination they’ll go outside to an air pruning bed.

Correct. Maybe it helps me being at 43.5N latitude and not getting stuck under subtropical high pressures in the summer, but I feel like as long as they have the rooting and moisture to support it, they can handle the sun fine.

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What ever became of the pawpaw with white leaves?

Pawpaw needs no light to germinate.
They do like it warm , ~ 80 F.
Usually they can send a root to the bottom of a 10 in. Pot before they emerge from the soil. Root can grow 10 inches in 3weeks at 80F., . ~2+ months to emerge a shoot .
I don’t think that those trays you are using are suitable ? If you are waiting for them to emerge from the soil, as by that time you will have very long intertwined fragile roots to deal with.
I have sprouted them in a zip lock bag full of potting soil .
When I see small roots in the bag , I plant into into individual pots.
However , I think it’s best to put one seed per pot to start with, let them sprout in their own tree pot.
Or a hand hand full in a 5 gal pot , separating the second year.
Good luck


Thanks for the details and the timing for emergence, etc. Don’t worry, the trays are just to get them germinated. I’ll keep them at 85 degrees and check them in two weeks to see if any roots are coming out of the seeds and then once a week after until I see that at least a good percentage are starting to send out a root. Then they’ll all go into a 8 foot by 3 foot air pruning bed that will have about 10 inches of soil. I thought this would get them going a bit faster than just putting them right out into the bed, plus, to be honest, it buys me a few weeks to actually build the bed…

I’m hoping to get the seedlings to 6-10 inches by fall, but we’ll see.

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@zendog You might try flipping the tray humidity dome over so that the seed
And dirt are in the clear part.
Would be easy to inspect for roots starting by looking at the now bottom clear part .:thinking::grinning:

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No, there’ll be losses if you put young seedlings in full sun… possibly near 100% loss.

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Well I’ve only had about 5-10% losses up here and most of those are due to chipmunks replacing my pawpaws with acorns.


After 2 weeks on the heating pad, it looks like germination is going well. I dug up a small batch from one of the flats to see what was going on and it looks like in this sample at least we have 1/3 with roots, 1/3 starting to crack open or showing a tiny point of a root about to come out and 1/3 that are still firm but showing no signs of germination.

Now I just need to get my root pruning bed built this weekend so I can plant all these in there soon.


Gorgeous little Junior Mints!


So I have a question about seeds size related to average fruit size in trees grown from seed. I read on Cliff’s site, “There is a direct correlation between the size of the seed and the size of its fruit. The bigger the fruit the larger the seed.”

So I’m wondering, if I select trees from the largest seeds will the resulting trees produce larger fruit? In other words, does a small fruit from a tree that usually produces large fruit will still have large seeds? If that is the case, then it might be worth segregating the largest seeds into their own growing area so I can keep track of them and plant those as a preference. But only if I knew seed size tracked with average fruit size of a tree, not to the size of an individual fruit.

Sorry, I hope that is clear. I’m just not sure if you can really tell anything about the potential of the seed if you don’t know what tree it comes from. My seeds are all KSU, so should be generally good genetics, although I’m sure there are some duds they haven’t culled yet as well.

Any thoughts?


This may be true in a general way, but exceptions to this ‘rule’ are fairly common.
Some large fruits have smaller than average seeds and some small fruits have bigger seeds…
true of many fruits…including apples and peaches.
And pawpaws.

Again, the overall principle of the matter seems correct, but expect exceptions.

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My thought from my observations (more limited than Cliff) is that the biggest determinant of seed size is genetics of the tree.
Secondarily, seed size is not directly correlated to the size of fruits it will produce if planted.

Some trees just have bigger seeds. Jerry’s Big Girl has big seeds and big fruit. Sunflower too. But Benson has large fruit with small seeds. Atwood has large fruit with average sized seeds.
Smaller individual fruits on the big-seeded trees will still have pretty big seeds (again, genetics).

My 2 cents at least.

The only advantage I’ve heard and seen somewhat myself is that seedlings of large seeds start out of the gate faster. Long term however, i don’t think the vigor necessarily remains.


I’m thinking maybe to feed them more heavily once they get to baby leaf, first leaf or two. may help them push faster at the start and get out of mouse chewing range. anyone tried this on a seedling?