How to Plant a Paw Paw Tree


Paw paw (Asimina triloba), or Indian banana, is a member of a mostly tropical family of fruit trees which bears potato-sized fruit with creamy flesh and a taste often compared to banana and mango. Native to the eastern woodlands of North America, it was popular before exotic fruits like banana and pineapple became readily available. Hardy in USDA zones 6 to 10, paw paw is easy to grow and makes a great addition to the garden.

Step 1

Choose a paw paw that has a sturdy trunk and a healthy root system. It's always better to get a small plant with a great root system than a large plant with a skimpy root system.

Step 2

Dig a hole in a sunny location as deep as the root system and 1 1/2 times as wide.

Step 3

Improve the excavated soil by mixing in 1/3 compost. Scratch about 1 inch of compost into the bottom of the hole.

Step 4

Remove the root ball from its container and gently set it in the hole. If the tree is balled and burlapped, cut the twine from the base of the trunk so it doesn't girdle the tree as it grows.

Step 5

Fill in the hole with the improved soil, tamping it gently to avoid air pockets.

Step 6

Water so that the root ball and surrounding soil is damp, but not waterlogged. Add a vitamin-rich plant starter to the water to help the tree acclimate to its new location and start root growth.

Step 7

Mulch a circle about 6 inches wider than the root ball to a depth of 2 inches. Keep the mulch 2 inches from the trunk to avoid excessive moisture that can rot bark.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Plant starter


  • Kentucky State University: Paw Paw Planting Guide

Who Can Help

  • Kentuck State University: Paw Paw
Keywords: paw paw, planting paw paw, planting fruit trees

About this Author

Robert Lewis has been writing do-it-yourself and garden-related articles since 2000. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland and has training experience in finance, garden center retailing and teaching English as a second language. Lewis is an antiques dealer specializing in Chinese and Japanese export porcelain.