Author Topic: Growing pawpaw in Southern California  (Read 1409 times)

BonsaiBeast

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Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« on: October 17, 2018, 04:16:56 PM »
Hi everyone!

I've read that pawpaw requires more chilling hours than what is conventional offered in the San Diego climate.

Does anyone know of low-chill varieties/cultivars of pawpaw? I really really want to grow it here!

Triphal

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2018, 05:26:12 PM »
Excuse me. Pawpaw / Acimina triloba is a Temperate Zone plant. Probably zone 9 (San Jose) may be the lower limit in the State of California. Needs about 400 chill hours and about 5 frost free months.
I have a suggestion. I will send you 100 fresh seeds from our 3 varieties of grafted trees I cleaned and kept 2 weeks since. I will priority-mail it to you free of cost. I have some thoughts of what to do to train the plant to think that it is an ideal time of it's winter. Defoliate them just like they do for apples in lowland tropics!
Let me know soon. The seeds are yours if you want them free of cost. Triphal.

BonsaiBeast

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2018, 06:40:05 PM »
Excuse me. Pawpaw / Acimina triloba is a Temperate Zone plant. Probably zone 9 (San Jose) may be the lower limit in the State of California. Needs about 400 chill hours and about 5 frost free months.
I have a suggestion. I will send you 100 fresh seeds from our 3 varieties of grafted trees I cleaned and kept 2 weeks since. I will priority-mail it to you free of cost. I have some thoughts of what to do to train the plant to think that it is an ideal time of it's winter. Defoliate them just like they do for apples in lowland tropics!
Let me know soon. The seeds are yours if you want them free of cost. Triphal.

Wow that is quite a nice gesture! I would gladly accept your seeds and take your suggestions on how to grow them! I will send you a private message.

SHV

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2022, 02:53:53 PM »
Following up on this thread, any luck growing or fruiting Paw Paws in SoCA?  I live in the inland area and have a low point on my property that gets good chill hours during the winter. Stone fruit requiring 400 chill hours fruit just fine there.  I was thinking about cutting down an old diseased apple tree and trying out a Paw Paw for the hell of it.  Love to hear from those who have been successful growing/fruiting here.

K-Rimes

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2022, 05:31:40 PM »
I am trying in my 9b, 2200' elevation location with more or less inland heat during the winter. We get plenty of chill hours.

I DO NOT recommend planting them in full CA sun. Mine would produce nice leaves when the temps were cool then they'd get absolutely fried when the heat went up and humidity went down. These are understory trees in their native habitat and I think our sun and high temps are just far too much for them without the humidity to match. Mine are of good size, probably 3/8" - 1/2" trunk and they still are not able to handle it. They completely defoliated twice in heat waves and are leafing out again at absolutely the wrong time of year.

In many ways I regret planting them in one of the best sun zones on my property - but that said, it's only full sun from 8am to around 1pm. I would've preferred to plant them in an area that gets sun from 8am to 10am with dappled the rest but they seem well established and hopefully other fruit trees around them will shade them in some years. Some avos planted about 10' from them so I suspect the avo will outgrow them substantially.

NateTheGreat

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2022, 10:55:52 PM »
Mine took years to get established, but are in full sun all day without issues this year. I'm somewhat inland, hotter than on the bay. They're about 5 ft tall, from bare root planted in-ground in 2018 I believe. I planted 6 but 2 died. Not growing fast yet, probably have doubled in height in 4 growing seasons. If I had to do it over again I'd direct-sow seeds. I bet I'd have bigger trees by now. I used shade cloth for a year or more, don't remember how long.  I actually had my drip irrigation get shut off for a month this summer before I noticed. I'd been giving the pawpaws a little supplemental water, but not much. They didn't even look bad.

I think 3 of the 4 have flowered, the biggest ones. One has set fruit two years in a row, but dropped them after a few weeks. They set fine without hand pollination.

I don't understand the flowering cycle for them. Mine are covered in flower buds now, which probably won't push/open until spring, but they're still fully leafed-out, and haven't seen chill hours in months AFAIK. I think I had one open a flower in August once.

They look like they might push new leaves now, leaf buds are swollen, but I think they'll wait for spring. I only get a few pushes/flushes a year, in the spring. Mexican katydids eat holes in the young leaves as they emerge, but aside from that they're doing well.

K-Rimes

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2022, 02:00:41 PM »
I hope mine strengthen up and can put up with the sun / heat. I did lose one of five this year, I should've mentioned.

I have a schwack of seeds from selected varieties and will be going ham with direct seeding this year. Hopefully we get some takes. The issue I will then have is defending them from gophers and deer.

SHV

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2022, 06:55:05 PM »
Sounds like a tale of two cities here.   Good to know that with maturity, they could take full sun.  I know parts of East Bay that can get as hot or hotter than where I live, depending on how far inland you reside.  Based on this information, I would start them off under shade cloth until they get some size.  I do have some concerns about the wind and dry weather in my area, along with the varmints.  Looks like I should just consider a low cost experiment and just start with some seeds or find a seller with some strong young seedlings. 
Thanks for sharing your experiences!

K-Rimes

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2022, 07:36:16 PM »
My lows are around 25f-30f and my highs can be 110-115f. I don't think the Bay is nearly as brutal. That heat wave had us over 100f for a week straight with evening lows of 75f so you can see how a temperate tree just couldn't handle the heat. Most temperate trees I have suffered, but paw paws by far the worst.

Depending on where you are in SD County, you may be milder than I am and could do a full sun planting.

SHV

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2022, 07:59:42 PM »
Wow, you are in a hot pocket.  The high this year was 103F according to my weather station and I donít recall a heat wave that lasted more than 3 days with temps nearing 100. Of course, itís becoming more usual to have the random heat wave that give 110-115F for a day or two at least once a year, so this year was relatively mild by comparison. 

Bush2Beach

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2022, 11:11:19 AM »
The successful commercial grove in not cal is full sun and regularly seeís temps in the 100ís. Soil is deep loam though. You may be having an issue with your soil holding water for the asimina or they are not getting enough irrigation? They produce best in full sun too.
My lows are around 25f-30f and my highs can be 110-115f. I don't think the Bay is nearly as brutal. That heat wave had us over 100f for a week straight with evening lows of 75f so you can see how a temperate tree just couldn't handle the heat. Most temperate trees I have suffered, but paw paws by far the worst.

Depending on where you are in SD County, you may be milder than I am and could do a full sun planting.

K-Rimes

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2022, 02:04:15 PM »
The successful commercial grove in not cal is full sun and regularly seeís temps in the 100ís. Soil is deep loam though. You may be having an issue with your soil holding water for the asimina or they are not getting enough irrigation? They produce best in full sun too.
My lows are around 25f-30f and my highs can be 110-115f. I don't think the Bay is nearly as brutal. That heat wave had us over 100f for a week straight with evening lows of 75f so you can see how a temperate tree just couldn't handle the heat. Most temperate trees I have suffered, but paw paws by far the worst.

Depending on where you are in SD County, you may be milder than I am and could do a full sun planting.

They maybe were passing through the nicely irrigated and loamy area I've been able to build up and into sand which stressed them out at just the wrong time or maybe they hit the sandstone? We had some weird well issues where it puked up manganese chunks too so who knows. It did coincide perfectly with the high temps so... Just not sure. Hoping they'll pop off in the next few years!

NateTheGreat

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2022, 06:28:38 PM »
My lows are around 25f-30f and my highs can be 110-115f. I don't think the Bay is nearly as brutal. That heat wave had us over 100f for a week straight with evening lows of 75f so you can see how a temperate tree just couldn't handle the heat. Most temperate trees I have suffered, but paw paws by far the worst.

Depending on where you are in SD County, you may be milder than I am and could do a full sun planting.

We were over 100 for at least 5 days I think, peaked at 111, with a couple others 108 or 109. Evening lows of 75 sounds cooler than here, it was I think 90 degrees at 9 pm on the hottest nights. I had to move almost every single potted plant into shade for that week, and water them twice a day. I was hosing down the pawpaws and other in-ground stuff too. Probably running extra drip irrigation cycles. Normally it runs every 3-4 days in the summer. Lows in the winter are usually 26 F a couple of nights. Last few days have had highs of 87-89, lows of 55. Soil I believe is sandy clay loam.

Edit: pic
« Last Edit: October 09, 2022, 08:02:52 PM by NateTheGreat »

Seanny

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2022, 07:02:07 PM »
Leaf burns like Chaffey cherimoya.



MarktLee

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2022, 09:28:40 PM »
I live in Chula Vista 3 miles inland just south of San Diego. We get about 70 chill hours. I have 3 grafted varieties in the ground and they are about 10 years old. I water them real good during the flowering time, and then hand pollinate as much as I can. I have one that does not need a pollinator which is the "Sunflower" variety. This year on all 3 of my trees I have about 30 fruit. Some are still on the tree. They need lower pH soil and a lot of water. The lack of chill hours has not been a big issue here. I think anyone can fruit them, just know when to pollinate and water good.

K-Rimes

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2022, 12:27:36 PM »
I live in Chula Vista 3 miles inland just south of San Diego. We get about 70 chill hours. I have 3 grafted varieties in the ground and they are about 10 years old. I water them real good during the flowering time, and then hand pollinate as much as I can. I have one that does not need a pollinator which is the "Sunflower" variety. This year on all 3 of my trees I have about 30 fruit. Some are still on the tree. They need lower pH soil and a lot of water. The lack of chill hours has not been a big issue here. I think anyone can fruit them, just know when to pollinate and water good.

The detail about PH is important. I had many issues with mine as my soil is high alkaline. They totally defoliated and I figured they would all die but I threw a ton of sulphur on them and they are leafing out again right now. Totally wrong time of year, but worth noting. I'll keep the sulphur treatments going from now on.

Nate, mine looked like that before they put it in reverse and totally defoliated. It's fall now so you've "Made it" but I will say they came back beautiful after addressing PH as noted above.

ScottR

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2022, 04:44:57 PM »
I've been growing paw paw's for about 20 yrs. I have Sunflower,Mango,Rebecca's Gold,Susquehanna,Allegheny and selected seedlings from Kentucky State U. I have not noticed any effects of lower chill on my Paw Paw's they grow and fruit with a little help (hand pollenate) maybe one day and get good set. My Peterson varieties one Allegheny will have fruit this year for first time.I've had those varieties only 3-5years. We get maybe 250hrs. of chill a year.Since it takes two different varieties to get fruit (except Sunflower) I have a tree with multi-trunks in same area which makes it easyer to hand pollenate, they sucker up new growth trunks all the time=paw paw patch.

Pouteria_fan

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2022, 01:07:05 PM »
I'm in 9B as well, Inland Empire area outside of Los Angeles. Can get HOT.

Curious how the pawpaws would do out here. There are some microclimates that I could take advantage of in my planting location. Never seen them or tried one before.

K-Rimes

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2022, 02:12:38 PM »
I'm in 9B as well, Inland Empire area outside of Los Angeles. Can get HOT.

Curious how the pawpaws would do out here. There are some microclimates that I could take advantage of in my planting location. Never seen them or tried one before.

I tried regular random seedlings and wasn't all that impressed but selected varieties are ABSOLUTELY worthy of space in the yard. Totally unique fruit and the leaf and tree structure us really a looker imo. If you're 9b you have the chill hours. I just don't know about heat / humidity. Hopefully Bush2Beach is correct and mine may outgrow their weakness. Only been in ground for 1.5 years so that's probably a consideration - just seems notable that they absolutely shrivelled in the heat and now are leafing back out since it has cooled down.

Triphal

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2022, 11:27:31 AM »
NateTheGreat. Looking at the picture of your young Pawpaw plants I feel that you should have continued with the shade net protection (with 60% to 80% shade) for at least the first 4 to 5 years in your area. Some good leaf compost, keeping the soil slightly acidic, good mulch and adequate watering should help. To help pollination you could put some cut open rotten fruits nearby the closely planted different variety of Pawpaw plants. With the above conditions one should start getting fruits in grafted plants in about 5 years and the seedlings in 8 to 12 years.

socalbalcony2

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2022, 01:50:34 PM »
I've seen them thriving and fruiting here in south OC, with more of an understory setup.

NateTheGreat

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Re: Growing pawpaw in Southern California
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2022, 12:42:28 PM »
NateTheGreat. Looking at the picture of your young Pawpaw plants I feel that you should have continued with the shade net protection (with 60% to 80% shade) for at least the first 4 to 5 years in your area. Some good leaf compost, keeping the soil slightly acidic, good mulch and adequate watering should help. To help pollination you could put some cut open rotten fruits nearby the closely planted different variety of Pawpaw plants. With the above conditions one should start getting fruits in grafted plants in about 5 years and the seedlings in 8 to 12 years.

Like I said, mine pollinate fine. What problem are you trying to solve? My trees are healthy.

 

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