Enter your zip code above to find your hardiness zone, plants available for your area, and your estimated ship date.
To the left, you'll find all the topics covered in this Plant Manual. Select a topic to read its information.
Extra sweet fruit. This tree yields abundant crops of 25-50 pounds when mature, perfect for baking, canning or cooking. Cold-tolerant. Best to plant in neutral soil, partial to full sun. Ripens in late September. Grafted. For proper pollination, plant another grafted pawpaw variety.
Plants grown in a greenhouse must be acclimated carefully before planting or placing them outdoors. This is especially true in hot or sunny locations. Many species should never be grown in full sun. Before purchasing a plant, learn about its sun requirements. Knowing the plants requirements can avoid any damage to the plant by incorrectly giving it the wrong conditions.
If your plant has been grown in a greenhouse, here are a few steps we recommend you follow:
These are general guide recommendations. Some plants take longer than others to acclimate.
Successfully establishing a young fruit tree in your yard starts with your planting site and method. Once a fruit tree is established, it needs little assistance to grow and bear fruit; but you’ll want to make sure you give your trees the right foundation.
Stark trees that are grown and shipped in bottomless pots are part of our continuing quest for producing better and stronger trees for the home grower. By following these simple instructions, you will be assured of getting your young tree off to the best possible start.
Fruit trees require fertile soil for good growth, so before you plant, check your soil pH. Contact your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. Pawpaw trees enjoy a soil pH of 5.5-7.0. Steer clear of soils that are extremely heavy or poorly drained.
A pawpaw’s flowers have both male and female reproduction parts, but they are not self-pollinating. Also, the female stigma may mature and no longer be receptive when the male pollen is shed. They do require cross-pollination from another pawpaw tree. Bees have little interest in pawpaws; flies and beetles can do some pollination. The best solution is to pollinate by hand. Male pollen is ripe when the ball of anthers is brownish in color and loose. When collected, pollen grains will appear as small, beige-colored particles on the hairs of an artist’s brush. The female part of the flower is receptive when the tips of the pistils are green, glossy and sticky.
Pawpaws are sensitive to fertilizer their first couple of years, so apply Stark® Tre-Pep® sparingly. After your tree is more mature, follow the guidelines below.
Every fruit tree has the future potential for disease and insect damage. Factors such as location and weather will play a part in which issues your tree encounters. If available, disease-resistant trees are the best option for easy care; and for all trees, proper maintenance (such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, spraying, weeding, and fall cleanup) can help keep most insects and diseases at bay.
Adequate nutrition is as much a tool in disease control as the use of sprays. Plants deficient in potassium, phosphorous and magnesium are more susceptible to attack by black spot and powdery mildew. Simply increasing the potassium (sulphate of potash and/or lucerne mulch), phosphorous (rock phosphate or chicken manure) and magnesium levels (Epsom salts) helps to make plants more resistant to disease. Pawpaws are most susceptible to black spot disease during the cooler months. Spraying with sulphur or copper based compounds prior to the onset of the cool weather and watering with liquid seaweed can help reduce the severity of infestations.
Disease causing defoliation and black spots on leaves and thrives in moist conditions. Twigs may also be infected. Black spots are circular with fringed margins, if severe, spots can combine to cause a large black mass, can weaken and kill plants.
Whitish-gray powdery mold or felt like patches on buds, young leaves and twigs. Leaves may crinkle and curl upward. New shoots are stunted.
Caterpillar feeds on leaves, buds and twigs.
Caterpillar appears initially all black before developing black and yellow stripes and feeds on the underside of leaves.
Most potted fruit trees need very little initial pruning, but as the trees get older, corrective pruning may be necessary. The top two reasons you should prune your pawpaw tree is for stimulation and shaping.
Keep these pointers in mind:
Spraying is important to the survival of your trees. To handle potential diseases and pests, reference the guidelines below to know what you should spray, and when you should use it.
Before you begin, read and follow all instructions on labels.
The following guidelines can be used to ensure your pawpaw tree receives the proper amount of water during it’s life cycle.
Are you ready to enjoy delicious homegrown fruit? Harvest is the time to enjoy the results of your hard work. Keep a few things in consideration as you reap the fruits of your labor: the best time to pick the fruit from your tree, and how to store the fruit.
This native North American fruit has delicious custard like flavor. Pawpaws normally start bearing fruit in the sixth or seventh year, so have patience and reap the rewards in a few years.
Pawpaws begin to ripen mid-August thru September. Harvest them when they are soft to the touch. If you give the pawpaw a gentle squeeze the skin will usually lighten from green to yellow or brown. Occasionally they will develop blackish splotches. These splotches do not affect the quality of the fruit.
Annual average yield per tree: 1-3 bushels, 9 pounds at 5 years old.
Pawpaws will keep for 2 to 3 days if picked ripe. If not fully ripe, they will keep up to 3 weeks refrigerated.
Our experts will help you find the answer!
Trees that are shipped without soil to ensure good contact with soil in your yard. When shipped, they are about 3-4' tall with 3/8" or larger trunk diameter. When they mature, they will be one of three sizes*:
Matures to be about 8-10' tall and wide. Provides an abundance of full-size fruit.
Matures to be about 12-15' tall and wide. Gives maximum fruit yield per square foot.
Matures to be about 15-25' tall and 20' wide. A multi-purpose fruit and shade tree.
Top-grade, bare-root trees that give you a head start on growing. When shipped, they are about 4-5' tall with 5/8" or larger trunk diameter.
Trees in bottomless pots that allow some roots to be air pruned, so that a dense mass of productive, feeder roots can grow within the pot to make transplanting easier. Mature sizes vary. When shipped, they are about 1-2' tall.
Top-grade, potted trees chosen to give you a head start on growing. When shipped to you, they are about 3-4' tall.
*Tree sizes may vary by variety. See our Growing Guide for details.