The Best Way to Plant Paw Paw Seeds

Overview

Pawpaw trees grow naturally in many areas of the United States. These fruit trees prefer sunny to slightly shady areas with fertile soils. Pawpaw trees produce an edible fruit with a thick texture and a flavor resembling bananas. These heavily seeded fruits provide food for birds and wildlife, as well as ingredients for flavorful dishes. Propagate a few of these fruit trees to incorporate them into your own landscape. Pawpaw trees grow readily from correctly planted seeds.

Step 1

Gather healthy seeds from ripened fruit. These fruits contain large amounts of seeds for planting. Obtain your seeds from soft fruits. Cut open the fruit and place the fruit in a bowl of water. Separate the seed from the pulp by mashing the fruit between your fingers until the flesh floats to the top of the water, leaving the seeds near the bottom of the bowl. Place the seeds in a water solution containing about 10 percent chlorine bleach. Mix this by using nine tsp. of water and one tsp. of chlorine bleach. Allow the seeds to soak for a minute, and rinse them three to four times with distilled water to sterilize the seeds. Do not allow your seeds to dry out.

Step 2

Place a layer of damp sphagnum moss in a shallow, plastic container. Purchase sphagnum moss from your local gardening center or landscape supply store. Set your cleaned seeds on top of the moss and cover with a little more damp moss. Put the lid on the container and place the seeds in your refrigerator for 100 days to replicate the natural stratification these seeds experience in nature. Do not allow these seeds to freeze. Keep your refrigerator's temperature around 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Fill your biodegradable pots with potting soil after the seeds stratify for 100 days. Remove your seeds from the sphagnum moss. Place a seed in each pot and press it one inch into the soil. Firm the soil with your fingertips. Set your planted seeds in a warm location to germinate. Pawpaw seeds require temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum germination. Check the pots regularly for drying soil. Water every few days to keep the soil slightly moist at all times. Allow about two months for the new shoots to appear above the surface of the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Pawpaw fruit
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Distilled water
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Plastic container
  • Refrigerator
  • Biodegradable pots
  • Potting soil

References

  • Kentucky State University: PawPaw Planting Guide
  • Purdue University: PawPaw
  • University of Kentucky: Paw Paw
Keywords: pawpaw tree, pawpaw seeds, pawpaw propagation

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.