How long before a pawpaw tree bears fruit

Pawpaw Fruit in the Garden and the Kitchen

Known primarily for its large, custard-like fruit, the pawpaw is also an attractive native plant for the landscape. The pawpaw is indigenous to eastern North America and, in its native habitat, grows in wooded areas as an understory tree. Pawpaws serve as host plants for zebra swallowtail butterflies.

Pawpaws (Asimina triloba) grow well in full sun or light shade and well-drained or moist soils. Trees can reach up to 30 feet in height when grown in full sun with ample moisture. Trees have a graceful pyramidal habit and are draped in light green, 8- to 12-inch-long pendulous leaves. In autumn, the leaves turn soft yellow. Provide the tree enough room to grow as young shoots sprout from the roots and colonize a large area. Remove the sprouts regularly to keep the thicket from getting too dense and blocking out sunlight. The tree is unpalatable to deer, although small wildlife will devour the ripe fruit.

Pawpaws are available from online specialty nurseries as either grafted or seedling trees. Grafted trees produce fruit in two to three years, while seedling trees may take up to 10 years to bear fruit. It is beneficial to purchase two trees as cross-pollination is necessary for fruit set.

Inconspicuous maroon-brown flowers appear in April or early May before the leaves emerge. The wide bell-shaped flowers are approximately 1-inch in diameter and are hang under the branches. While most flowers are bee-pollinated, by flies and beetles, which are attracted to the mild scent of rotting meat. Plants are not self-fertile, so they also benefit from hand-pollination for improved fruit set. When siting pawpaw, be careful not to choose a low-lying area or frost pocket, which will damage the early spring flowers.

Fruits resemble an elongated mango and hang in clusters on one-year-old stems, so older trees benefit from pruning to encourage new growth. The 3- to 6-inch-long fruit matures in September and may be tinged with black blotches when ripe. A ripe pawpaw will also yield slightly, like a peach, when it is gently pressed. Harvest the softened ripe fruit immediately as wildlife will quickly devour it. Ripe fruit is very perishable and lasts only a few days if not refrigerated. Fruit can also be picked before it ripens and laid in a single layer to ripen indoors. As the fruit ripens, it emits an intense fruit aroma—the flavor of the pawpaw. Unripe fruit can also be held in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and then ripened at room temperature.

The fruit has a creamy texture, and the flavor is described as a combination of banana with a hint of mango and pineapple. Pawpaws are very nutritious, rich in Vitamins C, B-6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and thiamine, and contain minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. To eat a pawpaw, gently rinse fruit under running water, slice it and scoop out the pulp, which has a custard-like texture. The seeds and skin should not be consumed.

Pawpaw processing. Photo credit: Susan Marquesen

The pulp can be used immediately or frozen for later use. To freeze, measure pulp and place in a freezer quality bag, labeled with the amount of pulp and the date. Remove as much air as possible from the bag. Use frozen pawpaws within one year. When ready to use, remove the bag with the amount needed for the recipe and thaw in the refrigerator.

Pawpaws can be treated in the kitchen as you would bananas, pumpkins, or applesauce. Eat a pawpaw fresh and on its own. Bake it into quick breads and oatmeal bars by substituting pawpaws for bananas in your favorite recipe. Make ice cream, sorbet, or even a cocktail.

There are no research-based recipes for canning pawpaws. You can, however, make freezer jam by following the instructions on the box of powdered pectin, substituting pawpaw for a mashed fruit, such as berries or mangos. Once the jam is set, store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to twelve months. Once the jar is opened, store in the refrigerator and use this uncooked jam within a few days.

Pawpaws can also be dried by making fruit leather and are especially delicious when combined with strawberries. See directions for making fruit leather from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Due to its reduced shelf-life, pawpaws are rarely available at grocery stores, but you may find them at farmers' markets. Make a point to try the fruit or purchase plants for your landscape. This native tree provides interest in the landscape, and its fruit provides delight in the kitchen.

Pawpaw Cocktail

  • 5 frozen pawpaws (pulp only, skinned and deseeded)
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 6 cups ice
  • 1 1/2 cup light rum
  • Drizzle of grenadine

Start with clean counters and utensils. Wash hands for 20 seconds and dry with a single-use paper towel. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and frothy. Enjoy!

Pawpaw Quick Bread

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, unbeaten
  • 1 cup mashed pawpaw pulp

Start with clean counters and utensils. Wash hands for 20 seconds and dry with a single-use paper towel.

Sift together first 4 ingredients, add nuts, and set aside.

Cream sugar, butter and eggs in a mixing bowl. Wash hands after handling eggs.

Stir in mashed pawpaws, then flour-nut mixture, beating until just combined and smooth.

Pour into 1 large greased loaf pan or 3 small ones.

Bake at 350°F for about an hour for large pans, 35 minutes for small ones. Or until done when tested.

Turn out on a rack to cool.

More Pawpaw Recipes

Pawpaw Ice Cream, Purdue Extension FoodlinkSM

Pawpaw No-Bake Cheesecake, Purdue Extension FoodlinkSM

Pawpaw Oatmeal Bars, Purdue Extension FoodlinkSM

How Long Until Pawpaw Trees Fruit? | Home Guides

By Rebekah Pierce Updated October 21, 2021

Pawpaw trees (Asimina triloba, hardy in USDA zones 5-8) grow best in areas with cold winters and hot summers. The fruit has a taste reminiscent of the tropics, yet grows well in cold climates, making it an excellent species for northern growers who are unable to grow tropical types of fruit trees. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait long for pawpaw fruit, either. Most trees produce fruit about four years after germination. They set fruit by midsummer, ripening in the early to late fall.


You can reduce the amount of time it takes for your pawpaw tree to mature and set fruit by planting a sapling or large seedling rather than germinating your own tree.

What Is Pawpaw?

Pawpaw trees are native to the humid eastern portions of the United States, from New York all the way to Florida. They thrive in moist, well-drained soils with a pH of around 5.5 to 7.0. These types of fruit trees can be grown in full sun to partial shade. When mulched and watered well during dry spells, pawpaw trees mature quickly, with most trees producing fruit within four to eight years after germination.

Most growers choose these types of fruit trees because pawpaw fruit tastes similar to bananas but doesn’t need to be grown in tropical conditions, according to the University of Kentucky. It has mild, sweet flesh with no aftertaste. Multiple cultivars of pawpaw trees are available, but all share similar characteristics.

When grown in ideal conditions, these trees will easily grow up to 25 feet tall. They have a relatively wide canopy so they should be spaced at least 8 feet apart. Mulching around your pawpaw tree is important to reduce weed competition and improve soil moisture, both of which can impact your overall yields and fruiting time.

When Will Pawpaw Fruit?

A hardy, mostly pest-free species, pawpaw trees tolerate shade with ease, though some sun is preferred for better yields. Ideally, they should get around six to eight hours of sunlight per day for maximum growth and production. Pawpaws are also great choices for intercropping with other trees, according to Cornell University.

Pawpaw trees flower in the spring, blooming after the peaches, apples and pears. Because of this, they are less likely than other types of trees to lose an entire crop to a late-season frost.

With a moderate growth rate, these trees produce fruit immediately after blooming in the spring. The fruits are 3- to 5-inch berries that are green when young, then darker and wrinkled when ripe. Most pawpaw trees produce fruit that ripens in October or November. This can vary somewhat depending on the cultivar, your area’s growing conditions and the weather patterns of the given year.

Harvesting Pawpaw Fruit

Pawpaw fruits overripen quickly and have a tendency to bruise easily when they become overripe. This can limit their shipping time as well as the ideal harvest window.

Keep an eye out for signs of ripeness. Some cultivars’ fruits will turn from green to yellow when they are ready to harvest, but since this is not true of all varieties, skin color is not a reliable indicator of ripeness.

Instead, you should squeeze the fruit gently. If it feels firm when squeezed, it needs more time to ripen. For growers with large orchards to harvest, the best way to tell that the fruits are ready to be harvested is to wait for them to fall naturally from the tree. Of course, this can lead to bruising and damage, so many growers place a thick, 2- to 3- inch layer of hay or straw beneath the tree canopy to cushion the fall and limit rot.


  • Cornell University: Pawpaw - A “Tropical” Fruit for Temperate Climates
  • University of Kentucky: Pawpaw

Writer Bio

Rebekah Pierce is a freelance writer in upstate New York. She specializes in producing content and website copy in the home and gardening niches. In addition, she co-owns and manages a small farm, J&R Pierce Family Farm, where she raises chickens, pigs, and sheep.

Growing papaya at home, care and reproduction

Breadfruit or melon tree such as papaya (Carica papaya) is native to South America. However, this plant is not related to melons or other vegetable crops. It is considered a separate culture, bearing fruits with a unique melon-strawberry taste.

This plant is not a tree or a palm. And this is a herbaceous perennial plant, while its stem is similar to bamboo (it is hollow inside). Papaya is a fast growing plant (both in nature and in the apartment). Its stem is able to reach 3–5 meters or more in just 1 or 2 years. Fruiting begins in the second year. When grown indoors, papaya needs pruning to keep it from growing, while the bush has a large number of side shoots.

In order to restrain the growth of the plant, it is recommended to plant it in a container that is not very large. For example, in a five-liter container, its height will be about 200 centimeters. With this cultivation, papaya will also bear fruit. However, the harvest will not be as plentiful. But if such a plant is planted in open ground in the warm season or transplanted into a large container, then it will begin to grow actively again.

Many believe that this plant, when grown indoors, lives only 5 to 6 years. But it's not. If you properly care for it and create the necessary favorable conditions, then it can live up to 20 years and even more.


  • 1 Care for Papaya at home
    • 1.1 Temperature regime
    • 1.2 How to Water
    • 1.3 I ventilation
    • 1.4 Foreigning
    • 1.5 Methods Cooking Tricks


Papaya is native to the tropical regions of South Africa. However, with the help of man, it has spread to almost all continents. It is important to remember that such a herbaceous plant reacts extremely negatively to a temperature drop of less than 0 degrees. If the temperature throughout the year does not fall below this value, then the papaya develops magnificently and grows very quickly, while giving an incredibly abundant harvest. Large fruits in length reach 40 centimeters.

However, growing this plant indoors or in a greenhouse, it is impossible to achieve such abundant fruiting. And the taste of the fruit will be slightly different. So, indoor papaya is able to please its owner with 2 or 3 fruits, the length of which will vary from 20 to 25 centimeters.

Papaya reacts extremely negatively to low air temperatures. So, just at minus 1 degree, her roots and stem with leaves die. So, in winter, when grown indoors or in a greenhouse, experts recommend maintaining a temperature of at least 14-16 degrees. However, the plant feels best at 25-28 degrees. But it is worth considering that papaya can also die from extreme heat (more than 30 degrees).

How to water

This plant has roots close to the soil surface, so it needs plenty of water during the warm season. With the onset of October or November, watering should be significantly reduced, since the work of the root system deteriorates in cool weather, which can cause fluid stagnation in the substrate, which will lead to the development of root rot. There are experts who believe that papaya is a succulent plant. The fact is that with a decrease in air temperature, it can easily endure a not very long drying of an earthen coma. However, the bay at this time is fatal for her.

It happens that being in cool conditions, papaya sheds all its leaves. In this case, watering and fertilizing should be completely stopped and allowed to rest.


The plant needs regular ventilation, but in winter this must be done very carefully, as cold air can kill it. When the leaves come into contact with cold air currents, a burn forms on them. In this case, they very quickly fade or lose turgor. In this regard, this plant can be warm or cool, but in no case should cold air currents fall on it.

Top dressing

As this crop is very fast growing, it needs to be fed frequently and this should be done in spring and summer. At the same time, it is strictly forbidden to apply fertilizers to the soil in the autumn-winter period. So, they start feeding the plant in March and do it 2 times a month. For top dressing, you can take any complex fertilizer. In this case, both dry and liquid fertilizers are suitable. It is recommended to feed papaya by leaf (foliar method).

Features of flowering

This plant is dioecious. However, thanks to breeders, bisexual varieties were born. So, on these plants both male and female flowers grow at the same time, and they are called self-fertile. In the case when the indoor papaya blooms but does not bear fruit, this may mean that you have either a female or a male specimen. At the moment, self-fertile varieties are very popular, which can be freely bought in a specialized store. From a dioecious specimen growing indoors or in a greenhouse, it is rather difficult to achieve fruiting. To do this, you need 2 plants: female and male. It will also be necessary that they begin flowering at the same time, only then it will be possible to produce pollination.

Papaya bears fruit in summer and autumn. It should be remembered that unripe fruits can be severely poisoned, because they contain milky juice. As the fruit ripens, the milky juice loses its poisonous properties and becomes watery.

Propagation methods

Propagation can be done with seeds collected from ripe fruits. Their size is similar to the size of tomato seeds. In order for your seeds to germinate successfully, you should remember that they need a fairly high temperature of 25 to 28 degrees, which must be maintained constantly. Sowing is carried out in loose soil, which allows water and air to pass through well, while they need to be buried only half a centimeter. For sowing, you can also take sphagnum.

It is worth remembering that the cooler it is in the room, the longer the seedlings will appear. If they are placed in a warm place (25–28 degrees), then the first shoots should appear after 8 days. It is also worth remembering that good seed germination can persist for a very long time (for several years). To store them, use any glass container and place it in a cool place.

This plant can also be propagated by cuttings . With this method, all the properties characteristic of the mother plant are preserved. The length of the handle should be from 10 to 12 centimeters. And their diameter should be no more than one and a half centimeters. In this case, the cut should be made at an angle of 45 degrees. Using a pruner or a very sharp knife, you need to remove all the lower leaf plates, and only 2 should remain at the very top. Then the cutting is left for 2–3 days (preferably a week) to dry, while a tissue plug should appear at the cut site, which can prevent a variety of pathogenic microbes from penetrating into the stem. Before planting in the soil, the cut should be treated with crushed charcoal. Also, if desired, you can use a root growth stimulant, and only then carry out rooting.

The cutting is planted at a depth of 2–3 cm, then the soil is lightly compacted and watered. For this, clean water is used. The stalk should be placed in a well-lit (diffused light), warm (25–28 degrees) place, and high humidity should be maintained in it. It is recommended to cover the stalk from above with a glass jar, a plastic bag or a glass made from a plastic bottle. It is worth remembering that in adverse conditions, the roots of the cutting will not appear. At the same time, the cutting can be planted in vermiculite, perlite, sand or peat, and a mixture consisting of equal parts of sand and peat is also suitable.

A young plant is planted in a not very large pot. It should be remembered that a small plant has a small root system, which will not be able to cover the entire substrate in bulk dishes, as a result of which rotting will begin due to overflow. Papaya planted in a large pot may also begin to grow vegetative mass, with very little flowering. When transplanting a plant, the diameter of the new container should be only 2 or 3 centimeters larger than the previous one.

Pests and diseases

This plant is very resistant to diseases and pests. When grown in a room with too dry air, spider mites can settle on papaya. In this regard, for the purposes of prevention and control of such pests, it is required to arrange showers for the plant. Wash all foliage with cool or cold water. In case of severe infection, it is necessary to carry out treatment with biological complex preparations of the appropriate action.

Various fungal diseases may also appear. So, when watering a plant during a cool wintering (less than 15 degrees), root rot begins to develop with too cold water, which leads to the death of the entire specimen.

Culinary tricks

The fruits obtained from self-grown papaya, after their ripening, can be eaten without fear. Such fruits are universal and suitable for eating not only fresh. So, not fully ripened fruits are often used as vegetables. They are used for stewing and baking. It is worth remembering that only ripe fruits can be eaten raw. Fragrant cocktails are prepared from them, fruit salads are made or used as a filling for a pie. An interesting fact is that the juice of this fruit softens meat very well, in connection with this it is used as a marinade. They soften even the toughest meat, for example, in America it is actively used in the preparation of steaks.

Papaya. Figs. Citrus. Guava. Gingo Biloba. Tropical fruit plants. From Frolov Yu.A. How to germinate papaya

  • 3.1 Planting dates
  • 3.2 Selecting and preparing seeds
  • 3.3 Preparing the planting container and soil
  • 3.4 How to plant a papaya from a bone
  • 3.5 Care for shootings
  • 4 Care for Papaya at home
    • 4.1 The optimal conditions for growing papaya at home
    • 4.2 Watering and top dressing
    • 4.3 Protection from diseases and Offers and Offer protection
    • 4.4 Transplantation
  • 5 Fruiting papaya at home
  • 6 Conclusion
  • Many gardeners in our country would like exotic fruits to grow in their summer cottage instead of the usual carrots and potatoes: passion fruit, papaya, fei. However, the peculiarities of the climate will not allow this to be done in the open field. However, there is a way out. For example, growing papaya at home from seeds is quite possible, although it will take quite a lot of work to do this.

    Is it possible to plant papaya seeds

    Papaya, or melon tree, is a tropical plant, and it can be grown in Russian latitudes only in artificially created climate conditions, for example, in greenhouses or winter gardens. It reproduces well by seeds that have good germination. Therefore, subject to the temperature regime and maintaining normal soil moisture, it will not be difficult to obtain seedlings.

    How to grow papaya at home

    In many countries of Central and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, papaya grows everywhere. It is a rather tall tree-like plant, vaguely resembling a palm tree. The fruits ripen in the upper part of the trunk, densely sticking around it.

    There are more than 1000 varieties of papaya, but there are only 2 varieties: Mexican and Hawaiian. The berries of this plant are used for food both fresh and after heat treatment. Roasted on a fire, the fruits emit the smell of fresh bread, which is why papaya is sometimes also called breadfruit.

    At home, growing papaya or melon tree to a large size, most likely, will not work. Even with good care, its height will not exceed 1-1.5 m. To grow papaya at home, you need to create a good microclimate, provide the necessary level of illumination and regularly care for plantings. The photo below is a papaya tree grown at home.

    How to germinate papaya

    Germinating papaya is no more difficult than any other plant. This does not require any special knowledge and skills. Anyone who has grown seedlings at home at least once, for example, cucumbers, will easily cope with this task.

    Planting dates

    To grow papaya at home, seeds are best planted in early spring. In this case, the increasing daylight hours will have a beneficial effect on the seedlings. Papaya loves sunlight very much. If you plant seeds at other times, for example, in autumn or winter, then because of the short daylight hours, the seedlings will have to be additionally illuminated with fitolamps. This compensates for the lack of illumination.

    Selection and preparation of seeds

    The seeds of this plant can be taken from fully ripe fruits. There are quite a lot of them, each berry (papaya fruits are berries) inside contains up to 700 small black seeds. After being removed from the fruit, they are washed with clean water and dried. Immediately before planting, the seeds are soaked for 12 hours in a growth stimulator or kept in wet moss.

    Papaya seeds are covered with a hard shell, therefore, for better germination, they are often subjected to scarification, i.e., their outer layer is destroyed. At home, this procedure can be done using a metal strainer. Put the seeds in it and grind them with your fingers.

    Preparing the planting container and soil

    Papaya seeds can be planted in ordinary flower pots or special containers for group planting. You can also use individual peat pots. This will avoid picking seedlings in the future. As soil, it is best to use earth for ficuses, bought in a specialized store for gardeners. You just need to add some sand to it. You can prepare the soil yourself by mixing equal parts of highland, peat and river sand.

    Important! At the bottom of the landing tank, it is imperative to pour a layer of drainage. You can use fine expanded clay, pebbles and even coarse sand.

    How to plant papaya from the stone

    Prepared seeds are planted in moistened soil to a depth of about 2 cm. Then the container is covered with glass or film, simulating greenhouse conditions. In the room where the seedlings are located, the temperature of + 22-25 ° C should be maintained around the clock. Every day, containers must be ventilated and the soil moistened. If everything is done correctly, then the first shoots should appear in 12-15 days.

    Seedling Care

    Papaya seedlings need water, warmth and light to grow healthy and strong. Watering should be small, but regular. Drying out of the soil should not be allowed, however, waterlogging is highly undesirable, since it can provoke the appearance of root rot in the plant. Seedlings must be protected from drafts. In conditions of insufficient daylight hours, seedlings must be illuminated with ordinary lamps or special lighting fixtures. They should not be located too close to the plants, so as not to cause overheating and drying of the soil or leaf burns.

    Important! Combined phytolamps of the blue and red emission spectrum are optimal for additional illumination of seedlings.

    The temperature in the room where the papaya seedlings are located should not fluctuate much during the day. The optimal temperature regime is + 18-22 °С in winter and + 20-25 °С in summer. The room must be periodically ventilated, but fresh air should not be too cold.

    Home care for papaya

    Papaya is a tropical plant. Getting seedlings at home is quite simple, but providing an adult plant with the necessary conditions is much more difficult. The average life of a papaya is about 5 years, and during this time it will be necessary to provide him with constant care and the necessary microclimate.

    Optimal conditions for growing papaya indoors

    It is possible to grow papaya indoors from seeds, but it is not easy to simulate conditions for a tropical climate for it. The soil should be moist, but not waterlogged. The plant needs a lot of sun and heat, it does not tolerate cold drafts at all. A decrease in temperature, even a short-term one, is painful for the plant, negative temperatures are unacceptable for it at all.

    Watering and fertilizing

    Watering is very important for papaya. However, it must be done as carefully as possible. Large leaves evaporate quite a lot of moisture, so you need to water the plant constantly, but little by little, avoiding stagnant water. With a decrease in ambient temperature, watering should be reduced or stopped altogether, with an increase, on the contrary, increased.

    Important! After watering, the soil must be mulched with dry grass. This will prevent the soil from drying out and serve as an imitation of the natural grass bedding of the rainforest.

    Intensive growth of papaya requires regular application of nitrogen-containing fertilizers to the soil. It is best to apply top dressing in the form of aqueous solutions of organic fertilizers. You can use infusions of mullein or bird droppings, diluted to an acceptable concentration. And also vitamin-mineral complexes of fertilizers are used, they are applied in accordance with the instructions for use.

    Protection against diseases and pests

    Diseases can appear on papaya due to irregular care or unfavorable conditions, for example, due to too low ambient temperatures. Over watering can cause root rot. In combination with a low temperature, it often provokes the appearance of a white coating on the leaves - powdery mildew. For the prevention of diseases, plants are treated with solutions of fungicides or colloidal sulfur. Folk remedies that spray the plant have also proven themselves well:

    • laundry soap solution;
    • infusion of garlic;
    • onion decoction;
    • infusion of ashes.

    In order to avoid diseases, it is necessary to strictly observe the temperature regime and not exceed the watering norms.

    Home grown papaya is very unlikely to get pests. However, upon contact with the environment, insects such as aphids or spider mites may appear on the leaves. If the pest population reaches a significant size, they can even cause the death of the plant. If insect pests are found on papaya leaves, the plants should be immediately treated with insecticides, acaricides or biological preparations. You can also use folk remedies, such as an infusion of garlic or yarrow.


    Papaya grows quite quickly, so in small containers the plant will quickly begin to feel the lack of space for the roots and will be oppressed. The transplant is extremely painful for the plant, so seedlings are usually planted only once. The papaya root system is very fragile and very easy to damage. In this case, the plant is guaranteed to die. The transplant is carried out as carefully as possible and only with an earthy clod on the roots. It is necessary to foresee this immediately and choose a container of considerable size for growing or allocate enough space for the plant in the winter garden.

    Important! Since planting material is usually in excess, culling can be done several times, starting with seeds and before picking seedlings.

    Fruiting papaya at home

    Under natural conditions in the tropics, 10-12 months after planting, the plant begins to bloom and bear fruit.

    However, when growing a papaya tree at home, such results are rare. In most cases, plants do not bloom at all or the fruits fall off before they have time to ripen. Therefore, a definite answer to the question of whether papaya bears fruit at home cannot be given. There are too many subtleties and nuances in this matter related to the characteristics of a particular place of cultivation.

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