PawPaw/Asimina Triloba - Growth Rate Per Year?

KendraSchmidtSeptember 14, 2012

I would like to grow an Asimina Triloba from seed, but I'd like to first know how:

1) How much does it grow per year?

2) How long (from seed) does it take before it begins to bear fruit?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

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I do believe they grow about a foot a year on average, depending on conditions. Mine grew 6 leaves in a single growing season (from seed). They usually germinate later in the summer (end of july- august), and still got that big, with no sun at all.

I think its 5 years, or longer to get fruit. This might help:

A very great resource for NA native tree associations and general info!!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 2:00PM
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I would say that if you know what you're doing or you have a "green thumb", that is you just have an uncanny way with plants - not too uncommon a gift it seems in the general population, then five years until fruiting. Otherwise can be much longer. Once they get going under good conditions, they should put on 2 feet per year.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 3:48PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

I started about 30 from seed in 2010 (seed collected fall 2009). In 2011 I picked 12 of them, base partially on good growth, to plant in the ground.
When I planted them in the ground, they ranged from 6 to 19 inches in height, average of 10 inches.
At the end of 2011, they ranged from 17 to 37 inches in height, average of 27 inches
Right now, they range in height from 25 to 82 inches, average of about 55 inches.

The averages are skewed by one runt, which is at 25 inches, while all the others are at least close to 4 feet tall. A couple of them put on more than 40 inches of growth this year, which is more than I ever expected, and are well over 6 feet tall. I'm hopeful that at least the largest ones will set flower buds next year, which would hopefully mean fruit in 2014, their 5th season.

The Kentucky State web site says "Trees normally begin to bear fruit when the saplings reach 6 feet, which usually requires five to eight years." The rest of my seedlings, except for the runt, should pass 6 feet next year, so maybe fruit from them in 2015, their 6th season.

IMO, you can give them their best start, depending on where you live, by starting them indoors and growing in pots the first year. I took my seeds out of the fridge in January 2010, after 120 days of stratification. I kept them by a sunny window until November that year, so they had a very long first season. A seedling started outside will germinate later, and may not have leaves until July or August, and lose them 2 or 3 months later. Mine had leaves for 6 or 7 months.

I'd recommend using the 5-1-1 potting mix described at the containers growing forum. It's basically 5 parts pine bark fines, 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite, with 1 Tablespoon lime/gallon. This needs to be supplemented with some kind of fertilizer, either timed release granules, or you can use some kind of liquid fertilizer. I tried growing some in the "gritty mix", and they all did poorly (although I've used the gritty mix successfully for other trees and plants)


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Thank you very much everyone for this great information. Most helpful!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:08PM
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