How to Grow Paw Paw Trees in Your Backyard


Have you ever eaten a paw paw?  This unique fruit isn’t commonly seen in stores, because they don’t ship well.  However, they are a great fruit tree for urban yards!  These handsome trees have a pyramid shape and large tropical-looking leaves in addition to their tasty fruit.

Paw paws are similar to a banana in both nutrition and use, but they grow in a much wider variety of climates.  If it’s too cold where you live for bananas, it’s likely that you can grow paw paws instead.

The paw paw tree has few pests and diseases and other problems.  Plus it’s versatile.  Not only does it produce fruit, but it is also a host plant for swallowtail butterflies.  Another advantage is that they are deer resistant and they can grow in partial shade.

paw paw tree and fruit
Photo by Jadom on Pixabay

One interesting fact about paw paw trees is that they are pollinated by flies.  Paw paws do need a second tree to pollinate each other.  Plant the two trees within 10-15 feet of each other.  If you don’t have flies or if you plant them too far apart, it is possible to hand pollinate your paw paw flowers using a paint brush.  (Although, just because something is possible doesn’t mean we necessarily have the time to DO it!)

When deciding where to plant the trees there are a few things to take into consideration.  First, the trees can reach about 20 feet tall when fully grown.  Look up and make sure to site your trees away from any overhead power lines.

4/19/2019 8:19:55 PM

The picture you have is a papaya, not a paw paw.

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