How does it feel to always buy pawpaws when you have your own plants at home that you can use to make more plants from through propagation? wouldn’t it be great to have the best skills to make your own plants from your very own plant in your home that you know very well it is nice and sweet? I know that it is expensive to buy plants because sometimes a plant may die and you may not be able to go back to claim for refund, Just imagine if you were growing and propagating them by your self. How many plants would you be having with just the appropriate skills and a little equipment, How much would you be saving?. It is in my best interest to walk you through the process of growing pawpaw trees so you will have the best quality fruits in your own home.
Grow the parent plant
The first thing you need to know is that you need to have the parent plant to propagate pawpaws successfully. The first task would be to grow the pawpaw from seed then making sure to care for it up until it grows to maturity and developed in the stem. This is one thing for sure you need to do in the first 2 years of growth from seed making sure you are giving the pawpaw plant everything it needs to grow fast and well.
As the plant grows please do make sure that they are well spaced and please do note that the only plants you can propagate are the female plants, so you need to work hard towards growing the female plant and there should be one or no male plant because some pawpaw plants are haemathetic, meaning they are self pollinating. That you have to find out when buying the seedlings from the nursery.
Spacing The plants
When growing the pawpaws you need to make sure that you have enough potash because for paw paws to grow well they need more potash, Potash. Potash will really accelerate the growth. So when the plants are as tall as 1.5 miters trim the shoot to promote suckering. As the plants produce more suckers you are having an advantage to have more shoots and more chances to propagate. This is that simple to do and you need to make sure that there are no plants that give shade to your pawpaw plants because pawpaw plants need full sun to grow well and produce.
Spacing the plants will also give sun an exposure to all the shoots and making them stronger in the process.
Propagating the suckers
The sucker need to be grown and matured to be able to perform a successful graft so you need to make sure that the suckers are strong enough. This is how you can see a week sucker ,
- Their stem will look shiny
- The stem will shrink when pressed
- Matured suckers have a stem similar to that of the parent plant.
- When pressed they remain rigid and they won’t brake or shrink
After having done well all the above, you are half-way through with the job of preparing and growing your pawpaws for suckering and I am now taking you to the process of pruning pawpaw trees provided you are having pawpaw trees that you are not even able to pick because the plant has grown too tall to reach for the pawpaws. Maybe your plants are eaten only by birds at this point and you no longer see the need of having the plant in your home. I am here for you here to show you that even that plant that has grown even taller can be used to produce young healthy plants by pruning it and encouraging suckering. This you need to do in the beginning of the growing season when all plants are growing and there are enough rains to give water to the plant.
Pruning the plant
To prune the plant you need to have a saw. Just make sure you are safe and make sure there are no buildings or plants which the pawpaw plant may fall upon when cut. If there are any buildings, start by tying a rope right above where you are to cut and pull the pawpaw plant to a safe direction where it will cause no destruction and stretching pulling it to that direction, then you tie to another end and then you can go for your pruning
Cut it at about four meters from the ground. After having cut the pawpaw plant get good and clean plastic bags to cover the top end where you have just cut preventing water entering which may result to a home of insects exposing the plant to fungus and diseases. You simply have to cover an inch from the top of the cutting ensuring not to close a way for the upcoming suckers.
Fertilizing the plants
It really is the best thing to accelerate the growth of the shoots by adding fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen since nitrogen helps to stimulate the growth of the shoots. You need to apply the fertilizer once in two weeks and make sure you water the plants to dissolve the fertilizer so it can be in action as soon as possible stimulating the growth of the shoots getting them ready for grafting.
Air Layering Your pawpaw Plant
Now that you have suckers in your plants you need to do the job and all you need to have is an ice bag, peat moss and a knife. Fill the ice bag with compost and tie at the top of the bag. Get a step larder to reach well in higher places where you are unable to reach well. Use your sharp knife to cut and split a space of about two centimeters from where the sucker starts. Make sure not cut the shoot but you split.Splitting this is as easy as cutting at an angle of 45 degrees from below and making sure not to reach the center of the sucker as reaching the center will weaken its stability.
After having split a small potion you need to get maybe a tooth pick and force it horizontally upwards to the end of the split. The tooth pick is to maintain the split and avoid reuniting of the split.
After having done that please get your ice bag filled with peat moss and slightly cut at the center along a space of about 2 cm then you hold the plastic bag on your palm gentle squizing to cover where you have split. Then use strings to tie around making sure that there is no air entering inside the plastic bag.
It is very important to make sure that the area you have split does not re uniting. Reuniting will result to no results because the only purpose for splitting is to open a way for the roots to form. The roots will form on one of the split parts in a space of about 6 weeks and in a space of about two months there you will notice white roots forming along the plastic bag. You will have to cut as you see both the small and large roots, and that can be done only after you are sure the best network of roots have formed to give the young plant all the nutrients it needs as it will be on its own and away from its parent plant and this system is called air layering propagation.
Cutting For Planting
Use your saw again to cut beneath the rooted part and gently remove the plastic bag ensuring not to disturb the root ball. After having cut the young plant dig a small hole or you have to prepair it prior the cutting time and making sure you have added potassium and nitrogen in the hole. Then you are ready to plant. Position it in the hole and ensuring not to sink it too deep to the soil then you gentle press around slightly compacting the soil around it to give it a good position and grow it upright. The only thing important now is to water your plant.
In the first day after having cut and planted your plant you will notice that the leaves are wilting and please do not be surprised. The plant is responding and adapting to a new environment. After one day it will be fine again and healthy growing.
Pawpaws can be as simple as that to propagate and it is even easier to do that when you have the big old plants in your home that are no longer giving a good produce and are too tall to reach for the ripe fruits. All you need to do is follow everything that has been well elaborated in details above. Fruits in such plants can be easily be picked by even young kids and that is fantastic. The power of plant propagation is the power to agri business