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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include: Indiana banana, wild banana, prairie banana, poor man’s banana, banango.

Latin Name:  Asimina triloba

Plant Family: Annonaceae

Close Relatives: False pawpaw, cherimoya, custard apple, soursop

Uses and Markets: Culinary (used as a fresh fruit or processed in ice-cream and in recipes that use minimal heat).  Pawpaws are not widely grown in Ontario and most are collected from the wild in Carolinian forests around the province (wildcrafting).

Pawpaw tree
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Seed requires stratification at 0-5°C for 90-120 days (do not let seed dry out).   Plant in a sunny location for optimal yields. Pawpaw flowers are protogynous (stigma is no longer viable when pollen is shed) and the plants are also typically self-incompatible.

Propagation method

Seed, bare root, and grafting/budding.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

Late spring-early summer.

Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

2.5 m

Between row spacing

2.5 m

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. Valid fertility information unknown. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Sandy and loam soils preferred.  Well-drained soils.

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit

Provide shade protection for first two growing seasons or until approximately 1 m tall.

Optimal Temperature Range

Temperate climate.

Temperature sensitivity

Freeze tolerant, however, temperature sensitivity of flowers and fruits are unknown. 

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation beneficial under normal Ontario conditions.

Days to harvest

Typically ripen in September.

Specialized equipment:


Harvest Scheduling

Multiple harvests from the same planting.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

Fruit grow in clusters of 1-3 fruit or more and can weigh up to 900 g each.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Handle carefully to avoid bruising.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 90-95%

Temperature: 4.5-7°C

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 2 weeks

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

None identified in Ontario to date.

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Pawpaw peduncle borer (Talponia plummeriana)*, zebra swallowtail larvae (Eurytides Marcellus), leafrollers (Choristoneura parallela), Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica), Asian ambrosia beetle

Diseases: Fungal leaf and fruit spots (Mycocentrospora asiminae, Rhopaloconidium asiminae, Phyllostiticta asiminae), Fusarium (vectored by Asian ambrosia beetle)

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: n/a – limited production in Ontario to date. In the wild pawpaw is not known to have any major pests, however when grown in suboptimal growing conditions (e.g. improper soil types or climates) pawpaw may be more subject to attack by insects and diseases. This crop is not in a crop group. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  There are few to no pest control products registered on this crop in Ontario. Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile


  1. Bordelon, B.  2001.  Growing Pawpaws. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, West Lafayett.
  2. Jones, S. C., Peterson, R.N., Turner, T-A., Pomper, K.W., and D.R. Layne.  2009.  Pawpaw Planting Guide.  Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program, Frankfort.
  3. Callaway, M.B.  1993. Pawpaw (Asimina triloba): A "tropical" fruit for temperate climates. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), p. 505-515, New crops. Wiley, New York.
  4. Pomper, K.W., Crabtree, S.B. and J.D. Lowe.  2010 Organic Production of Pawpaw.  Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program Publication PBI-004.