Paw Paw Pawblems

AemonCannonDecember 25, 2013

(sorry for the title)

My wife and I are trying to grow a couple paw paws from seed in our NYC apartment. It seems their growth has been halted. We have them by a big window, in tall (36'') pots. The growing tip is fuzzy and brown, and it seems all growth has stopped. The younger leaves are also starting to brown. Here are some pictures.

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What do you expect, mate - it's Christmas. Time to rest. Pawpaw is not an indoor plant.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 12:21PM
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Yeah,harbin is right.They need about 400 hours of temperature between 32-45F during the winter.They are deciduous,so they should lose their leaves. Brady

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 1:37PM
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There are two issues; 1) in order to produce fruit they will need the chill hours that paw paws require. It requires a minimum of 400 hours of winter chill and at least 160 frost-free days. Paw paw plants can withstand some freezing temperatures. 2) The first couple of years the plant will put its energy into putting down its tap root. If your pot is too small the plants growth will be stunted. I have two pertson variety paw paw trees that are a year old. They did not grow much the first year.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 7:01AM
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Generally, any deciduous tree started before late winter is not going to thrive--even indoors. And if you started it last summer, you can't keep them going through the winter. I believe it's mostly about light levels. If you are interested in learning more about pawpaws, there are plenty of research papers available through Kentucky State University's great website. They are the headquarters for pawpaw research.

There is research indicating that even if you get a large head start with the seeds indoors in late winter, the trees will take a "time-out" during mid-summer growth. Thus, you really can't gain much by starting early. I believe it's best to start them so they are emerging in April. Then really spoil them.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 11:48AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

That fuzzy tip you see at the top is a "terminal bud". This is set when the shoots are done growing for the season. It will not grow any more until it goes through a period of dormancy as suggested above. You need to find a cold place for them for a few months.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:39PM
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