Author Topic: Paw paw trees not growing...  (Read 2576 times)

Offline goofyshooter

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Paw paw trees not growing...
« on: April 24, 2016, 09:06:42 AM »
So I planted 2 paw paws about 3 years ago. I have been nursing them along and they have not grown. They are still about 2-3 feet tall and look like a stick sticking out of the ground. They get a handful of leaves so I they're not dead. I am in 7b in North Carolina. Any ideas?

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Paw paw trees not growing...
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 11:11:00 AM »
Paw Paw is the most temperamental plant I've ever grown. If you're in an area where they grow abundantly in the wild, they are pretty easy going. Everywhere else, they require a lot of preparation and maintenance for their first few years.

They need a lot of water, but cannot be swamped. 6' deep of forest soil in the planting hole, extending out for about 8' diameter and heavily mulched with their own dedicated drip line is the only way I've been able to grow them successfully. The soil needs to be very light, and constantly moist.

They do not like any root disturbance, transplanting will stop them for 2 years pretty easily, so don't try to move them. They're likely just getting past the initial planting shock. Treat them like blueberries, nothing goes near the root zone for 8' in all directions. It gets mulched deeply, but never mowed around, walked upon etc. That region must be absolutely off limits, away from walking paths, free of pets and livestock. Once they hit 12-15' tall, then they can handle more abuse, but young they need to be treated delicately. They may survive under harsher conditions, but they will grow extremely slow.

Perhaps others have had success with a more casual planting method, but I've lost a ton of paw paw trees and it wasn't until I made sure the conditions were absolutely perfect that they really took hold. I'm planting more this year, I may take some photos when they come in and do a planting guide. In the meantime, for the ones you already have, just weed around them, remove all grass in an 8' diameter, lightly fertilize and add 6" of wood mulch around it.

Offline Chris Gilliam

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Re: Paw paw trees not growing...
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 04:20:57 PM »
Yep. Funny lil trees. One I put in two years ago isn't any taller, but it's covered with leaves this year. I presume this means it may decide to grow a little next year. One I planted this past winter is still a stick with tiny leaves. Hopefully it'll do next year what the other one is doing this year. Once I get some that produce I just grow them in place from seed.

Offline scottwold

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Re: Paw paw trees not growing...
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 04:53:30 PM »
Planted 2 about 3 years ago, too.  Slow growth, little leaf development.  Watered more frequently and used the green water bags this year, and got much better growth and leaf out.  Still no fruit, but heading in the right direction.  I'm in SW MO and they do grow natively here, but mostly along river beds.  Keeping my fingers crossed for some fruit in the next year or 2!

Offline CF.Tree

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Re: Paw paw trees not growing...
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 04:28:37 PM »
As with every one else our Pawpaw started slow and under the shade of an other plant. Moved the other plant and now the Pawpaw is picking up the pace .
We are on sandy soil with 2+ft of wood chips on top and a golf course sprinkler to keep it moist in partial sun of upstate NY.