Pawpaw or papaya (Carica papaya), whichever name you choose to call it, will still smell as sweet and taste just as good! Eat fresh or grated into a salad (Thai paw paw salad!), you will find many ways to enjoy this glorious fruit. In the garden, paw paw trees thrive in tropical and subtropical zones, however, will also grow in warm-temperate frost-free areas. Make sure you give them plenty of room to grow, as trees can reach heights between 2-5m.

You can buy them as male, female or bisexual (both male and female) flowering trees. Look for trees with both male and female and that way, you’ll only need one in your yard. 


How to grow Paw Paws in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. If the soil is clay based, improve soil structure by adding gypsum and forking in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes. 
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like woodchip or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. During the growing and flowering/fruiting season, feed with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Granular Plant Food. TIP: for an added boost during the flowering/fruiting season, apply Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
  7. To harvest, pick fruit when it is fully coloured or two-thirds golden and allow to ripen indoors.

     
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How to grow Paw Paws in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 500mm wide - the larger the better. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
  2. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  4. Water deeply, 2-3 times during the week, depending on weather conditions. 
  5. During the growing and flowering/fruiting season, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food. Throughout the year apply Yates Thrive Fish Blood & Bone Plant Food Concentrate.
  6. To harvest, pick fruit when it is fully coloured or two-thirds golden and allow to ripen indoors.

How to grow Paw paw from seed

You can grow a Paw Paw tree from seed, however, hey generally don’t like to be transplanted, so it’s best to plant them where you intend to leave them. 

  1. Choose a spot in full sun and enrich the soil with organic matter, such as Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food.
  2. Sprinkle the seeds over the top and lightly cover with soil. Water in well and lightly mulch. You cannot tell whether the seeds are male or female, so it’s ideal to plant at least 5 seeds – odds are you will have at least 1 male tree for pollination. 
  3. Water regularly as the seedlings grow. Remove any weak plants and discard.
  4. Feed with a complete fertiliser, such as Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
  5. Once they start flowering, take note of the flower shapes - keep one male plant (flowers are borne on long, thin stalks) and discard the rest. Keep all female plants (flowers are single blooms and held closer to the trunk). If you have any bisexual plants, lucky you!

Growing tips

  • Most pawpaws have male and female flowers on separate trees, but there are bisexual trees available. Male flowers are borne on long, thin stalks and there are usually multiple blooms. Female flowers are usually single blooms that are held closely to the tree. In the tropics, fruit can grow almost all year round. 
  • Most pawpaws have bright-yellow or orange flesh, but you can find varieties with red flesh. Look for ‘Southern Red’ or ‘Dwarf Papaya Torpedo’.
  • Trees will fruit well for at least 5 years, so it is best to stagger planting of trees to ensure you have a fruitful harvest for many years to come.

  • Flowering takes place over several weeks so fruit at different stages of development will appear on the tree at the one time.

More Plants

Oranges

Oranges are delicious when eaten fresh, juiced or cooked. Trees can grow up to 6 metres so for small gardens or pots, choose a dwarf variety.

Apples

Apples can grow into large trees, but you can also find dwarf forms. Be sure to find a self-fertile variety or two which can cross-pollinate.

Strawberry

Strawberries happily grow in raised garden beds, in the garden, in pots or even hanging baskets. Eat them fresh, cooked or make into jams.

Passionfruit

Passionfruits grows on vigorous vines and need at least a 2.5m high support, so they’re ideal for growing up and across a pergola or along a sunny fence.


Recommended products

Yates Premium Potting Mix

A premium potting mix, ideal for all potted plants and shrubs, including ornamentals, fruit trees, vegies and herbs.