Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a deciduous tree that, in the wild, grows in the forest under the canopies of larger trees. In spring, the pawpaw blooms in flowers that have a foul odor that attracts its primary pollinator, the fly. The pawpaw tree thrives in areas with warm, humid summers and mild winters, or within USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8. Pawpaw trees are very easy to grow from seed.
Moisten enough sphagnum peat moss to completely envelope the pawpaw seeds. Squeeze the excess moisture from the moss and place it in a plastic zipper-type bag.
Push the pawpaw seeds into the moss until they are completely covered. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator. Allow it to remain there for 90 days.
Remove the bag from the refrigerator and remove the seeds from the moss. Pour the potting soil into the planting pots and water the soil until the water drains from the bottom of the pot. Allow the pots to drain completely and then water them again, allowing all of the water to drain from the pots.
Plant the pawpaw seeds 1 inch deep in the prepared pots. Place the pots on a heat mat set to 75 degrees F. They should also be left under lights or in a well-lit area, but out of direct sunlight. The pawpaw seeds should sprout within nine weeks.
Fertilize the seedlings when they have two leaves. Use a 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer at half the rate recommended on the package.
Transplant the seedlings when they have 12 leaves. Use 2-gallon pots filled to within 1/2 inch of the rim with moist potting soil. Create a hole in the soil large enough to accommodate the seedling's rootball. Gently remove the seedling from its current pot and place the roots in the prepared hole. Backfill the hole with soil.
Fertilize the seedlings with the 20-20-20 fertilizer at the full rate recommended on the fertilizer packaging.
Transplant the seedlings into the landscape in the fall, when they have reached 4 to 5 feet in height.