How to germinate Pawpaw seeds at home
Source: https://homeguides.sfgate.com he inside of pawpaw fruits contain tiny black seeds that you can plant to grow your own papaya plant. A gelatinous sac, called a sarcotesta, protects the seeds, but must be broken as it contains germination inhibitors to slow or prevent seed germination.
• Cut the long slender fruit in half lengthwise to access the seeds in the center of the fruit
• Scoop out the seeds
• Break the sac
Press the seeds against the sides of a colander or wire mesh strainer to break the sarcotesta. The sides of the sac will split, and the seeds will burst out of the slit.
• Rinse the seeds thoroughly with warm water
• Dry and store the seeds by spreading them on a tray lined with serviette paper, turn them at least once to dry them on all side
• Store the seeds in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to three years or until you’re ready to plant
• Drying is not required if you plan to germinate the seeds immediately
• Prepare the saltpeter
Mix about 3 1/2 ounces of potassium nitrate (commonly known as saltpeter) in one quart of water. Potassium nitrate is available in most garden centres as a fertilizer.
this solution helps to decrease germination time, while increasing the total percentage of seeds that successfully germinate.
• Soak the papaya seeds in the potassium nitrate solution for about 30 minutes. If you have trouble finding potassium nitrate, soak the seeds in hot water at 158 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds; then soak them in distilled water at room temperature for 24 hours to increase the germination rate
• Fill one gallon containers with a sterile, soil-less potting mixture of equal parts sphagnum moss and perlite or vermiculite
Use at least three containers for best success because papaya plants might be female, bisexual or male, and only the females and bisexuals produce fruit.
Do not start seeds in seedling trays because papayas transplant poorly; one gallon containers ensure the plant requires transplanting only once from the container to the ground.
• Evenly space two to four seeds in each container and cover the seeds with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of potting mix