Paw paw in NE Florida?

bstruss(9)December 13, 2008

Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows whether Asimina triloba will do well in NE Fl (as in bearing fruit)? I have searched the web and cannot find adequate information on this - though I do know they grow natively in a small area around the northern panhandle. I also can't seem to find out anything on their optimal chill requirements. Thanks--

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mrtexas(9a)

I grow them here 100 miles east of Houston,TX and 30 miles inland. I get as many fruit as I pollinate.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 10:23PM
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gonebananas_gw

Eric Duckworth (who would now be very old if still with us) in San Mateo, FL, across the river from Palatka, was (one hopes, "is") a paw paw enthusiast. Several paw paw selections are named "Duckworth." I spoke with him on the phone about a decade ago and could tell that he was a fine gentleman who was activily providing paw paw plants to people at the time, as I was offered some but never made the 350 mile trip. He was quite old even then (80s I think, though I could be misremembering) and sick.

So the answer is, yes some will grow fine there. A nursery in California was grafting his selections but seedlings from anyone growing his plants in the area would do. See if he is still in the phonebook or look up the Pawpaw Foundation about his selections.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 8:22AM
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bstruss(9)

Thanks for the helpful feedback! Haha, I was just in Palatka yesterday. Maybe I will write the U of Fl and see if they know what/where clones could be located that do the best here (I am just N of Jax). I am also wondering if they could be trained as container plants? I realize they have a very long taproot, but I was wondering if the taproot could trimmed and forced to branch somewhat (and then placed in a large, tall container).

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:13AM
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gonebananas_gw

I've eaten lots of pawpaws from trees growing in 10-25-45 gallon containers. I have wondered about the trimming of the taproot but have not yet experimented with it, though I have done it accidentally when the root grew out of the pot into the ground and got cut off. I just haven't kept track of which plants and haven't looked later at the cleaned rootball to see how they responded. Maybe next spring. One problem with growing it pots though is they can eventually seem to "run out of steam." There just seems to be something nutritional I can't figure out for quite a few of them, despite a lot of experimenting there. The leaves can get chlorotic, or generally yellowish, or thin (though full sized) and a bit limp, or shrunken in size and usually yellowed. Alternatively, sometimes grafts seem so happy on the new rootstock that they have huge leaves for a year.

BTW: Just Fruits and Exotics has seedling pawpaws from maybe 100 miles due west of you.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:44PM
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bstruss(9)

Thanks gonebananas. My main reason for doing the container thing is because I "may" be moving. However, I am sure they would be fine for a couple of years or so in containers. Also, I just found in a publication that they need at least 400 chill hours to produce adequately.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:53PM
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alabamatreehugger(8)

I have pawpaws growing about 50 miles north of Pensacola. My trees are too young to fruit, but they are growing just fine. They do need partial shade though, or else they scorch.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 10:00PM
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flatwoods_farm(9A Riverview, F)

I grow A.triloba as well as A. parviflora just southeast of Tampa. I had fruit only in one year though on A. triloba. They don't seem to need too much in the way of chilling hours. My advice is to plant pre-chilled seeds where you want them to grow. Transplanting is VERY difficult to have survivors, but is better to do so while in leaf. Paul.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 2:14PM
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gonebananas_gw

If you grow them at first in a pot, transplanting is easy and with little problem, as you lose no roots. Dormant transplanting works fine from pots, even if the soil falls off the roots and you are essentially using bare-root plants. As mentioned, "in leaf" should give better results when digging plants to transplant. In fact, though, you can do it a little before leafout. Unlike most deciduous plants, pawpaws are thought not to grow roots when dormant so you want any root loss to be at or right before the growing season..

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 6:48PM
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darkman270(8b/9a)

Can anyone give us an update their plantings?

I have five three to four year old trees planted in Pensacola, Florida

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:36AM
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gonebananas_gw

Most of my pawpaws in containers look much better this year, darker green and large leaves.

I added more vermiculite to the pine-bark-based potting mix (plus some "peat moss" and perlite), vermiculite said by some old-timers to be beneficial to pawpaw.

I also used some Milorganite for iron and alfalfa meal for general nutrition. I added mycorrhiza the year before out of half-desperation.

What factor(s) has helped I do not know, but my goal was growing, not research per se.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 4:37PM
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darkman270(8b/9a)

Thanks!

Your PawPaws should be getting a little size to them now and maybe starting to bloom. Have you had any blooms yet?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 8:12PM
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