Rich in vitamin C, the guava fruit is appreciated for its delicious taste. These tropical wonders produce almost four times the vitamin C of oranges, in fact! The leaves are used medicinally and are aromatic when crushed. And the bark of the tree is also fascinating.
Common guava, sometimes called yellow guava, may require a search to find on the market. But why go looking if you can grow it yourself? This evergreen tree is surprisingly easy to grow and produces large amounts of sweet and juicy fruit.
Let’s discuss all things guava today to give you the best insight into caring for your own beautiful trees!
Quick Maintenance Guide
Whether single-stemmed or multi-stemmed, guava is an easy-care tree. It can be treated as a large shrub or as a small tree, with a lifespan of 30 to 40 years. In its original range from southern Mexico to Central America, it can reach 9 meters in height.
Like many tropical plants, it has fleshy leaves that are evergreen in the right climate. They are aromatic when crushed and form in pairs opposite each other on the stem. These beautiful leaves can be the inspiration for any child to draw a leaf, with a very clear grain pattern. Typically, the leaves are between 2.75 ” -6 ” in length.
The bark of the tree is also distinctive. Fine and smooth, it flakes off to expose a light green under the copper brown exterior. The young branches feel a little fluffy until their bark dries completely, almost giving the impression that they have a light down on their surface.
Five-petal flowers can appear up to twice a year, depending on the climate. For cooler climates, they appear in after spring, but in tropical areas they can reappear in the fall. These flowers with white petals have up to 250 stamens grouped in the center. Although they quickly lose their slightly fragrant petals, the fruit often has remnants of the stamens at the base as it forms.
But where does guava grow? Widely cultivated in temperate areas, psidium guajava is found in Asia, the southern United States (especially Florida) and Australia, as well as in its native range in Mexico and Central America.
It is known as common guava, but can also be called lemon guava or yellow guava. Since the size of the fruit is similar to that of an Apple, it can also be called a guava apple tree. But the scientific name of guava is Psidium guajava. Different languages around the world also have their own name, Spanish referring to guayavo, Portuguese goiaba, etc.
The fruit can be yellow to light green in color. It can be round, pear-shaped or oval. The pulp can be white, pink or red, depending on the cultivar. Most seeds are difficult to chew, although a few rare cultivars may have softer seeds. On the taste side, it is described as a combination of mango, strawberry and pear.
Planting of guavas
How to get a guava at the right start? Let’s talk about the best ways to prepare your guava plant for greatness.
When To Plant
Guavas can be planted in tropical areas at almost any time of the year, but they do best in the warmer months. The beginning of spring, when it is just beginning to warm up, is a good time, as it gives the tree time to stretch its roots underground before the onset of warm weather.
If you grow your guava in a container and bring it indoors for the winter, you can start at any time, as long as the conditions are relatively warm. Aim for temperatures above 45 degrees, and preferably above 50 degrees.
Where To Plant
Although you should make sure that your tree has full sun and another tree for pollination purposes, you also need to separate them. Guavas should be at least 10 meters apart if possible, but can be as close as possible to 5 meters.
Place your trees in sunny and well-lit places because they need full sun. Plan a place at least slightly protected from the wind if possible, either by a fence or another windbreak. Your little guava needs this protection to grow, and older trees can also be sensitive to cold winds.
How To Plant
When planting a sapling, you want to dig a hole at least twice the width of the root ball, wider if possible. This allows you to break any hard soil that could slow down the early development of roots. Also use the blade of your spade or shovel to loosen the sides of the planting hole. You can change the soil with compost if you wish, but try to avoid large amounts of manure, as this can burn young and tender root systems.
Make sure your soil drains well by filling the hole with water and waiting to see how long it takes to drain. If it takes more than a few minutes, dig a few more feet and add perlite or another fabric softener to speed up drainage.
Flower Guava Care
Light and temperature
Your guava is tropical. It needs lots of full sun and warm conditions to really thrive and produce. If you are planting it in your garden, you should be in growing zones 9b-11 to ensure safety during the winter months. People who grow them in containers will have to bring them in as soon as the weather drops in the 40s, but will still have to provide plenty of light.
Guavas need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, but prefer 8 to 10 hours of sunlight. They can tolerate heat, but perform best at temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 30 degrees, there is a risk of serious damage to the plant.
Watering and humidity
Although your guava is a bit drought tolerant once established, this is not true when it is young. Young trees should be sprayed every other day during their first year of growth, with the exception of the winter months when temperatures are cooler and the tree is dormant.
Little rooted, most of the moisture in your guava comes from the upper layers of the soil. Since the upper part dries faster than the deeper soil, mulch can help prevent moisture from evaporating so quickly. By placing a weeklong hose under the mulch, you can provide slow watering that does not harm the root system.
During fruit production, even older trees may need a slight boost to the water regime. Check the soil under the mulch to see if it is wet before watering. Usually one to two times a week is suitable for established mature trees.
Rich soils with large amounts of organic matter are preferred by your guava, but it can grow in a wide variety of soil types. Avoid heavy clay soils if possible, as they are not conducive to good root development. Good drainage is essential, as this tree does not tolerate stagnant water well.
For the first year of growth, fertilize monthly with a balanced full fertilizer during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing from November to January because the tree will be dormant. These trees love extra magnesium and iron in their food, so check your fertilizer label to be sure. A 5-5-5 or 6-6-6 slow release fertilizer is optimal.
To promote the proper development of the fruits after pollination is complete, you can slightly increase the potassium level if you wish, but this is simply not necessary if you are consistent with the application.
Guava seeds can remain viable for a long time. Soak your seeds in warm water for at least 24 hours before planting, although you may want to leave them in water for a week. Seeds should be planted in moist, warm soil and kept moist during germination. This is the most reliable method of reproduction if you have only one guava variety. If you are growing multiple cultivars, cuttings are best.
Root cuttings are the next option for reproduction. At least 2-3 feet from the tree, cut a root section at least 5″ long. Place it in warm, moist soil and keep it moist. New shoots should begin to appear in 3-4 weeks.
Harvesting and storing guavas
When is guava ripe? The guava fruit ripens between the 2nd and 4th year. You should pick your guava fruits when they are normal in size and have become slightly soft and aromatic. But it can be harvested before it is fully ripe, because it will continue to ripen even after it is harvested.