jeremiah bailey wrote: I think paw paws are cross pollinators, like apples. You need two to set fruit.
According to wikipedia:
"Pawpaw flowers are insect-pollinated, but fruit production is limited since few if any pollinators are attracted to the flower's faint, or sometimes non-existent scent. Those insects that are attracted are often scavenging fruit flies, carrion flies and beetles.
Growers of pawpaws sometimes place rotting fruit or roadkill meat near the trees at bloom time to increase the number of pollinators. Asimina triloba is the only larval host of the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly."
"Pawpaw flowers are perfect, in that they have both male and female reproduction parts, but they are not self-pollinating. The flowers are also protogynaus, i.e., the female stigma matures and is no longer receptive when the male pollen is shed. In addition pawpaws are self-incompatible, requiring cross pollination from another unrelated pawpaw tree.
Bees show no interest in pawpaw flowers. The task of pollenization is left to unenthusiastic species of flies and beetles. A better solution for the home gardener is to hand pollinate, using a small, soft artist's brush to transfer pollen to the stigma. Pollen is ripe for gathering when the ball of anthers is brownish in color, loose and friable. Pollen grains should appear as small beige-colored particles on the brush hairs. The stigma is receptive when the tips of the pistils are green, glossy and sticky, and the anther ball is firm and greenish to light yellow in color."
So far our two Paw Paws have survived the hot summer of NY. Even the smaller one that had to be transplanted to a shadier spot. They both did well under nurse trees and the larger one did manage to double in size with new growth happening all spring and most of the summer. Leaves are now turning and it is hardening off for the cooler weather. Next spring will be the telltale of whether or not we chose the correct spot to plant them.
They do not like direct sun for long periods of the day, but need to have the ability to grow up through the understory as they mature. Definitely a woodlands edge tree in our area.
Ours were purchased from American Beauties Native Plants. 18" and 24" respectively.
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