Pawpaw Trees in Arkansas | Tips for Growing
- Pawpaws are native to Arkansas
- Pawpaw is the largest North American native fruit
- They can be found from Canada to the Gulf Coast
- The fruit has a large black seed which you can germinate
Pawpaw is a native shrub that grows in the United States, particularly the eastern part. The most prevalent species (Asimina triloba) is what we call American Pawpaw.
Pawpaws are a member of the custard apple family, and are the only member of this family to be found in the temperate regions of North America.
Why haven't I heard of pawpaw before?
There have been named varieties of pawpaw since the early 1900s, but most people haven't heard of pawpaw because the fruit is only good when eaten fresh. Unlike some fruit, pawpaw has to ripen on the tree and must be eaten within a few days of harvesting.
How do I get my pawpaw tree to fruit?
Pawpaws need a couple of things before they can fruit:
- Plenty of sun. However, pawpaws cannot become established unless they have shade because
they cannot tolerate full sun. When they grow larger to fruit they will require more
sun than before.
- Another pawpaw tree that is not closely related. Two un-related varieties are required to ensure cross pollination.
- Flies for pollination. Pawpaw flowers are only pollinated by flies.
Tips for Planting
Pawpaws can be difficult to get established. They cannot tolerate full sun and require well-drained soil. They can't have their "feet" wet, but they can't dry out.
In the wild, they can be found on moist slopes and around streams and drains and rarely get over 20 feet.