How long does it take for a guava tree to produce fruit


Guava Growing in the Florida Home Landscape

Jonathan H. Crane and Carlos F. Balerdi 2

 

Figure 1.  Pink guava pulp.
Credit: J. H. Crane, UF/IFAS

 

Scientific name: Psidium guajava L.

Common names: guava, guajava, guayaba, jambu biji (Malay), bayabas (Philippino), trapaek sruk (Cambodian), farang, ma-kuai and ma-man (Thai), and oi (Vietnamese)

Family: Myrtaceae

Related species: Cattley (Strawberry) guava (P. cattleianum), Costa Rican Guava (P. freidlichiana), Brazilian guava (P. guineense), feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana), jambolan (Syzygium jambolanum), Malay apple (S. malaccense), Java apple (wax jambu; S. samarangense), water apple (S. aqueum), rose apple (S. jambos), Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora), Grumichama (E. brasiliensis), pitomba (E. luschnathiana), and jaboticaba (Myciaria cauliflora). Some of these species may be listed as invasive. For more information see https://assessment.ifas.ufl.edu/.

Origin: Guava is indigenous to the American tropics.

Distribution: Guava has become naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. In the US guava is grown commercially in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Florida.

Invasive status: Guava has been assessed by the UF/IFAS Invasive Plants Working Group as invasive and not recommended by UF/IFAS for planting in south Florida; guava may be planted in central Florida but should be managed to prevent escape. For more information see https://assessment.ifas.ufl.edu/.

Description

Tree

Small, single or multi-trunked trees to 20 ft (6.1 m) in height with a broad, spreading or upright canopy. Trees may be single or multi-trunked. The bark of the trunk is attractive with a mottled greenish-brown to light brown color.

 

Figure 2.   Pink guava fruit on tree.
Credit: J. H. Crane, UF/IFAS

 

Leaves

Leaves are opposite, oblong, 3 to 7 inches (7.6–18 cm) in length, with serrated margins and prominent veins on the lower side Leaves are finely pubescent on the lower side, especially when young.

Inflorescence (Flowers)

White, about 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter, borne singly or in small groups (cymes) in axils of leaves of recent growth. Self-pollination is possible but cross-pollination by insects results in higher yields.

Fruit

A berry with few to many small brown seeds. Fruit shape ranges from round, ovoid to pear-shaped. Fruit weight ranges from 1 ounce to 48 ounces (28 g–1.4 kg). The peel color ranges from green to yellow and flesh color may be white, yellow, pink, or red. Fruit peel thickness may be thin or thick and depends upon cultivar. There is a wide range in flavor and aroma, ranging from sweet to highly acid and strong and penetrating aroma to mild and pleasant.

 

Figure 3.  White guava fruit.
Credit: J. H. Crane, UF/IFAS

 

Varieties

There are numerous varieties of guava from Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and the US (Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico). There are two basic types grown in Florida, pink or red pulp types consumed when ripe and white pulp types consumed when non-ripe (green or crispy) (Table 1).

Pink type available include 'Homestead' (Ruby x Supreme), 'Barbi Pink', 'Blitch', 'Hong Kong Pink', and 'Patillo'. Green types include 'Crystal', 'Lotus', 'Supreme', and 'Webber'. Some less popular varieties may be hard to find in local nurseries.

Climate

Guava trees are well adapted to warm subtropical to tropical climatic conditions. Ideal temperatures for growth and production range from 73° to 82°F (23–28 g). Temperatures below 60°F or drought cause growth to slow or cease.

Cold stress: Young guava trees may be killed by temperatures of 27° to 28°F (-3° to -2°C). Mature trees may withstand short periods of 25° to 26°F (-4° to -3°C) without much damage. However, temperatures below this may damage or kill stems, limb, and the trunk. Fortunately, cultivars propagated by air-layering may sprout from the ground and regrow; coming into fruit production 2 to 3 years later.

Flood stress: Guava is considered moderately tolerant of short durations (7 to 14 days) of continuously wet or flooded soil conditions. However, prolonged flooding may lead to fruit and leaf drop, leaf chlorosis, stem dieback, and tree death. Trees are generally more tolerant of flooding during cool weather.

Drought stress: Guava trees are tolerant of prolonged drought and stop active vegetative growth during this time. Immature (soft) wood and leaves may wilt and drought during fruit set and development may decrease fruit set and size, respectively. Drought stress is sometimes used alone or in conjunction with other cultural practices (e. g., pruning) to induce off-season flowering and fruit production.

Wind stress: In general, guava trees are tolerant of windy conditions. Dry, hot windy weather during leaf flushing may result in distorted and damaged leaves. Guava trees maintained at 6 to 10 ft (1.8–3.0 m) in height usually remain standing after hurricane force winds. Guava trees growing in constantly windy areas may take on a slanted appearance due to more growth on the leeward side of the tree.

Salt stress: Guava trees are moderately tolerant to saline soils and water however growth and fruit production decrease. Symptoms of salinity stress include marginal and tip browning of leaves, leaf drop, stem dieback, small fruit size and fruit drop.

Propagation

Guava trees may be propagated by seed however they do not come true from seed and fruit production may not begin for 3 to 8 years. Commercially, cultivars are vegetatively propagated by air layering (marcottage), stem cuttings, grafting and budding. The best material for stem cutting propagation is recently matured terminal wood. Stem cuttings should be 6 to 8 inches long with 2 to 3 leaves. The cuttings should be placed in sterile media in a mist bed. Bottom heat (75° to 85°F/24° to 29°C) and/or dipping cuttings in rooting hormone are beneficial. Veneer and cleft grafting and chip budding are more successful on young vigorous seedling rootstocks. Scion material should be from terminal stem growth which is still green and quadrangular.

Production (Crop Yields)

Guava trees generally begin fruit production 3 to 4 years after planting and yields range from 50 to 80 lbs (23–36 kg) or more per tree per year. In Florida, guava may produce two crops per year; the main crop during summer followed by another smaller crop during early spring. However, through simple pruning techniques fruit may be produced nearly year-round.

Spacing

Guava trees in the home landscape should be planted in full sun. Depending upon ultimate tree size, trees should be planted 15 to 25 ft (4. 6–7.6 m) away from other trees and structures and power lines. Trees planted too close to other trees or structures may not grow normally or produce much fruit due to shading.

Soils

Guava trees are well adapted to a wide range of soil types including sands, loams, rock-based soils, and muck. A soil pH of 4.5 to 7 is ideal but plants do well in high pH soils (7–8.5) if supplied with chelated iron materials. Guava trees produced by air-layering or cuttings generally have a shallow root system with most roots within 12 to 18 inches (30–45 cm) of the soil surface.

Planting a Guava Tree

Properly planting a guava tree is one of the most important steps in successfully establishing and growing a strong, productive tree. The first step is to choose a healthy nursery tree. Commonly, nursery guava trees are grown in 3 gallon containers and trees stand 2 to 4 ft (0.6–1.2 m) from the soil media. Large trees in smaller containers should be avoided as the root system may be "root bound". This means all the available space in the container has been filled with roots to the point that the root system is compacted in the container. Root bound root systems may not grow properly once planted in the ground.

Inspect the tree for insect pests and diseases and inspect the trunk of the tree for wounds and constrictions. Select a healthy tree and water it regularly in preparation for planting in the ground.

Site Selection

In general, guava trees should be planted in full sun for best growth and fruit production. Select a part of the landscape away from other trees, buildings and structures, and power lines. Remember guava trees can grow to 20 ft (6.1 m) in height if not pruned to contain their size. Select the warmest area of the landscape that does not flood (or remain wet) after typical summer rainfall events.

Planting in Sandy Soil

Many areas in Florida have sandy soil. Remove a 3 to 10 ft (0.9–3.4 m) diameter ring of grass sod. Dig a hole 3 to 4 times the diameter and 3 times as deep as the container the guava tree has come in. Making a large hole loosens the soil adjacent to the new tree making it easy for the roots to expand into the adjacent soil. It is not necessary to apply fertilizer, topsoil, or compost to the hole. In fact, placing topsoil or compost in the hole first and then planting on top of it is not desirable. If you wish to add topsoil or compost to the native soil, mix it with the soil excavated from making the hole in no more than a 1:1 ratio.

Backfill the hole with some of the native soil removed to make the hole. Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole so that the top of the soil media in the container is level with or slightly above the surrounding soil level. Fill soil in around the tree roots and tamp slightly to remove air pockets. Immediately water the soil around the tree and tree roots. Staking the tree with a wooden or bamboo stake is optional. However, do not use wire or nylon rope to tie the tree to the stake as they may eventually damage the tree trunk as it grows. Use a cotton or natural fiber string that will degrade slowly.

Planting on a Mound

Many areas in Florida are within 7 ft (2.1) or so of the water table and experience occasional flooding after heavy rainfall events. To improve plant survival consider planting fruit trees on a 2 to 3 ft (0.6–0.9) high by 4 to 10 ft (1.2–3.4 m) diameter mound of native soil.

After the mound is made, dig a hole 3 to 4 times the diameter and 3 times a deep as the container the guava tree has come in. In areas with sandy soil follow the recommendations from the section on planting in sandy soil.

Care of Guava Trees in the Home Landscape

Fertilizer

In Florida, young guava trees should be fertilized every 1 to 2 months during the first year, beginning with 1/4 lb (114 g) of fertilizer and increasing to 1 lb (455 g) per tree (Table 2 and Table 3). Thereafter, 3 or 4 applications per year in amounts proportionate to the increasing size of the tree are sufficient but, not to exceed 20 lbs per tree per year.

Fertilizer mixtures containing 6 to 10% nitrogen, 6 to 10% available phosphoric acid, 6 to 10% potash, and 4 to 6% magnesium give satisfactory results with young trees. For bearing trees potash should be increased to 9 to 15% and available phosphoric acid reduced to 2 to 4%. Examples of commonly available fertilizer mixes include 6-6-6-2 [6 (N)-6 (P2O5)-6 (K2O)-2 (Mg)] and 8-3-9-2 [8 (N)-3 (P2O5)-6 (K2O)-3 (Mg)].

From spring though summer, trees should receive 3 to 4 annual nutritional sprays of copper, zinc, manganese, and boron. Guava trees are susceptible to iron deficiency under alkaline and high pH soil conditions (e.g., rockland soils, calcareous sands). Iron deficiency can be prevented or corrected by periodic soil applications of iron chelates formulated for alkaline and high soil pH conditions. Guava trees growing in neutral to low pH soils (pH 4.5–7) may be fertilized 1 to 2 times per year with 1 to 3 lbs of iron sulfate spread under the tree canopy or soil drenched with chelated iron formulated for low pH soils.

Irrigation (Watering)

Newly planted guava trees should be watered at planting and every other day for the first week or so and then 1 to 2 times a week for the first couple of months. During prolonged dry periods (e.g., 5 or more days of little to no rainfall) newly planted and young guava trees (first year) should be well watered twice a week. Once the rainy season arrives, irrigation frequency may be reduced or stopped.

Once guava trees are 2 or more years old irrigation will be beneficial to plant growth and crop yields during prolonged dry periods (Table 2). The specific water requirements for mature trees have not been determined. However, as with other tree crops, the period from bloom and through fruit development is important and drought stress should be avoided at this time with periodic watering.

Guava Trees and Lawn Care

Guava trees in the home landscape are susceptible to trunk injury caused by lawn mowers and weed eaters. Maintain a grass-free area 2 to 5 or more feet away from the trunk of the tree. Never hit the tree trunk with lawn mowing equipment and never use a weed eater near the tree trunk. Mechanical damage to the trunk of the tree will result in weakening the tree and if severe enough can cause the tree to dieback or die.

Roots of mature guava trees spread beyond the drip-line of the tree canopy and heavy fertilization of the lawn adjacent to guava trees is not recommended and may reduce fruiting and or fruit quality. The use of lawn sprinkler systems on a timer may result in over watering and cause guava trees to decline. This is because too much water, too often is being applied which results in root rot.

Mulch

Mulching guava trees in the home landscape helps retain soil moisture, reduces weed problems adjacent to the tree trunk, and improves the soil near the surface. Mulch with a 2 to 6 inch (5–15 cm) layer of bark, wood chips, or similar mulch material. Keep mulch 8 to 12 inches (20–30 cm) from the trunk.

Insect Pests

Guava trees are attacked by a number of insect pests including the Caribbean fruit fly, guava whitefly, red-banded thrips, guava fruit moth, and scales.

Caribbean fruit fly (Anastrepha suspensa): The Caribbean fruit fly is the most important pest of guava in Florida. Fruit infested with fly larvae are usually unsuitable for eating. Covering the developing fruit when it reaches about 1 inch in diameter with a paper bag will prevent fruit fly infestation. For more information and control measures, consult your local UF/IFAS Extension agricultural agent.

 

Figure 4.  White guava covered in a bag to protect it from fruit fly infestation.
Credit: J. H. Crane, UF/IFAS

 

Guava moth (Argyresthia eugeniella): The larvae of this moth tunnel into the fruit making it inedible and feed on the leaves. Larvae have a whitish color with a black colored head. Covering the fruit with a paper bag and spraying approved biological control agents may decrease the damage caused by this pest. For more information and control measures, consult your local UF/IFAS Extension agricultural agent.

Red-banded thrips (Selenothrips rubrocinctus): Red-banded thrips attack guava leaves causing defoliation and attack fruit causing a browning (russetting) of the peel. Guava plants should be inspected for this pest during the summer and fall. For more information and control measures, consult your local UF/IFAS Extension agricultural agent.

Guava whitefly (Metaleurodicus cardini): Guava whiefly is greenish yellow with a whitish covering of wax; the wings are dusky with a dark spot near the center of each wing. Whitefly feed on guava leaves. For more information and control measures, consult your local UF/IFAS Extension agricultural agent.

Various scales may also attack guava leaves, stems, and fruit. When detected at damaging numbers control measure may be warranted. For more information and control measures, consult your local UF/IFAS Extension agricultural agent.

Diseases

A number of diseases attack guava trees including anthracnose, red alga, and various leaf spots.

Red alga (alga spot) is caused by Cephaleuros virescens. Symptoms of leaf infestation are reddish to purplish-brown circular spots. Young fruit and stems are also attacked. Severe red alga infestation may result in leaf and fruit drop and loss of tree vigor. Pruning trees to open them to increased light and air movement will decrease the severity of this disease. Including copper in periodic nutritional sprays or applying foliar copper once or twice during the summer usually controls this disease. For more information and control measures, consult your local UF/IFAS Extension agricultural agent.

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides): This fungus attacks fruit, leaves, and young stems and may cause stem dieback and leaf drop. Symptoms on young leaves include large, irregular dead spots that may also show pinkish color (spore masses). Symptoms on fruit are circular brown to black spots that enlarge with time; a pinkish coloration may also be present. Pruning trees to open them to increased light and air movement will decrease the severity of this disease. Including copper in periodic nutritional sprays or applying foliar copper once or twice during the summer usually controls this disease. For more information and control measures, consult your local UF/IFAS Extension agricultural agent.

Various leaf spots may be caused by Cercospora and Pseudocercospora spp.). Symptoms are generally dark smokey patches on the lower leaf surface and leaf drop. Pruning trees to open them to increased light and air movement will decrease the severity of this disease. Including copper in periodic nutritional sprays or applying foliar copper once or twice during the summer usually controls this disease. For more information and control recommendations please contact your local local UF/IFAS Extension agent.

Nematodes

Guava tree roots may be attacked by several types of nematodes (Rotylenchulus reniformis, Radopholus similis, Hemicriconemoides mangiferae, and Meloidogyne incognita, M. arenaria, M. javanica, and M. hapla). Nematodes are microscopic roundworms. Symptoms of nematode attack include loss of tree vigor (stunting), leaf wilting, leaf yellowing, leaf nutrient deficiency symptoms, stem dieback and tree death. Planting of guava trees in known areas with severe nematode problems should be avoided. Mulching and attention to fertilizer and watering may decrease the effects of nematode infestation.

Pruning

Young tree training. Newly planted guava trees without lateral branches should be pruned at about 1 to 2 ft to induce lateral branching. During the first year 3 to 4 well distributed lateral branches should be selected and allowed to grow 24 to 36 inches and then tipped to induce further branching. New shoot formed from tipping should also be tipped after 24 to 36 inches length. Subsequently, vigorous water sprouts or ill-placed shoots should be removed.

Bearing trees. Trees that are bearing fruit may be kept small (3 to 6 ft high) through continuous selective pruning and tipping or allowed to grow into slightly larger trees (6 to 12 ft). However, guava trees should not be allowed to grow higher than 10 ft because toppling over due to strong winds is increased. Regardless of the tree size desired, selective pruning may maintain trees at the desired height and spread and open the canopy to wind movement and sunlight penetration.

Off-season fruit production. Pruning may be used to induce off-season flowering and fruit production. Guava trees flower on new succulent, vigorous new growth arising from either lateral buds on older wood or at the ends of shoots. A period of 2–3 weeks without watering and then pruning will force new vegetative growth and flowering. Many times withholding water is not necessary.

Harvest, Ripening, and Storage

Guava are picked based on their intended use. Pink or red guava for fresh fruit consumption are generally picked when the peel turns light green to yellow. Fruit are then placed a room temperature and allowed to ripen (soften) before consumption. White guava intended to be eaten fresh is usually picked when full-sized and green to light green and eaten before becoming ripe (yellow peel and soft). Both ripe and green guava may be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days before consumption.

Uses

Guava may be eaten fresh, added to desserts such as ice cream, pastes, popsicles, pastries, and pies, pureed and juiced. Guava is an excellent source of Vitamin C (Table 4).

Tables

Table 1. 

Guava varieties in Florida.

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Table 2. 

Cultural practices for producing guava in the home landscape.

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Table 3. 

Fertilizer program for guava trees in the home landscape.

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Table 4. 

Nutrient value of raw guava fruit (3.5 oz or 100 g of fruit).z

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Plant Care & Growing Guide

The exotically sweet guava fruits sold in larger grocery stores and fruit vendors comes from a tropical evergreen shrub or small tree that can be grown as an unusual potted plant. And it many regions, that's the only way to grow it, as this plant is very sensitive to cold and will succumb to the smallest hint of frost, especially when the plants are young.

Guava is a shrub or small tree with a single or multi-stemmed trunk. It has mottled green bark and long, 3- to 7-inch serrated leaves that sit atop a wide, short canopy. The white flowers produce oval or pear-shaped fruits 2 to 5 inches in size. The taste and color of the fruit differ based on the variety.

In the landscape, these plants can grow to 20 feet or more in height, but as an indoor container plant, it is kept much smaller. Getting indoor guava plants to flower and produce fruit is a hit-or-miss proposition, at best, so the plants are generally grown as novelty specimens, much the way an indoor orange or fig tree is grown.

As is done with other tropical fruits, it can be great fun to collect guava seeds from a grocery store fruit and grow a little tropical tree. But be aware Guava grows very, very slowly when young before hitting a growth spurt. It can take four to eight years before a plant sprouted from seed will reach fruiting maturity—if it sets fruit at all.

 Botanical Name  Psidium guajava
 Common Name  Guava
 Plant Type  Broadleaf evergreen shrub or tree
 Mature Size  4–20 feet (indoor plants will be smaller)
 Sun Exposure  Full sun
 Soil Type  Rich, well-draining soil
 Soil pH  4.5 to 7.0 (acidic to neutral)
 Bloom Time  Usually spring
 Flower Color  White
 Hardiness Zones  9–11 (USDA)
 Native Area  Caribbean, Central and South America

Guava Care

Guava plants are native to the tropical and subtropical Americas and will do best in conditions that mimic those regions. They like moderately warm, humid conditions and react badly to any hint of cold or to desert-like heat. Potted plants can grow well on a warm patio or deck during the warmer months, then moved indoors for the winter.

When grown indoors, guavas like a bit more heat and humidity than the typical indoor home environment, so you may find that it's best to grow them in a sunroom or greenhouse, where temperatures and humidity can be controlled. A room dedicated to heat-loving plants can also be a good option, provided it has enough sunlight.

The Spruce / Gyscha Rendy

The Spruce / Gyscha Rendy

The Spruce / Gyscha Rendy

Light

Guava plants want as much full sun as you can give them. Move your sprouted guava to a very sunny place as soon as possible. During summer, move them outside to a sunny patio. In the winter, move inside to the brightest location possible.

Soil

A rich typical potting mix will do fine for guava plants. Good drainage is important to prevent the roots from rotting.

Water

Provide guava plants with regular water during the growing season, and reduce watering somewhat during the winter.

Temperature and Humidity

Guavas are warm-weather plants that don't react well to cold. Young plants may succumb to even the hint of frost, so make sure to move patio plants indoors before well before the weather turns chilly. Mature plants may survive a touch of frost now and then, but only in the warmest climates can these plants remain on a patio year-round.

Guava plants like relatively humid conditions and don't grow well in desert-like environments, such as that found in outdoor Arizona. At the same time, extremely humid, jungle-like conditions can foster rust fungus on the leaves.

Fertilizer

Feed guava with a weak liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season, but withhold feeding during the winter months.

Guava Varieties

The typical guava is the Psidium guajava. This plant has been in cultivation so long, it's not exactly known where it originated, and in the intervening centuries, dozens of named cultivars have been introduced. Named cultivars include 'Redland', named for a growing region in South Florida, 'Supreme', with white flesh, and 'Ruby', with light pink flesh.

True Guava vs. Pineapple Guava

The plant that goes by the common name pineapple guava is not a true guava at all, but is instead Feijoa sellowiana or Acca sellowiana, a member of the myrtle family. The fruit has a similar taste to true guava, but this plant is rarely, if ever, grown as an indoor potted plant.

Growing Guava From Seed

Guava can be propagated in a number of ways, including by seed, grafting, and air layering. In commercial cultivation, most guava is grafted onto an established rootstock, which helps the plant thrive and flower. If you are growing guava from seed, the plant might not produce fruit true to the parent, but the plant can still make a lovely potted specimen.

To increase the chances of germination (and reduce the time), let the seeds sit in a little water for two weeks, or boil them for five minutes, then plant in a pot filled with soilless seed-starting mix. Cover the seed with just a small amount of seed-starter mix. Place the pot in a warm place (above 65 degrees Fahrenheit), and keep it moist by misting it whenever the top of the soil surface feels dry. Germination will take two to eight weeks.

When the young plant becomes vigorous (it can take a couple of months), it can be transplanted into its adult pot, where it will be best grown in a location with temperatures of 75 degrees or above. Young guava plants are very slow-growing at first, so don't be surprised if it takes a couple of years for it to achieve an attractive stature. If your plant is destined to flower and set fruit, it can take as much as eight years.

Potting and Repotting

Repot your young guava every spring into a larger pot. You can keep the plant smaller with careful pruning in the early summer, thus increasing the chances of getting fruit.

Propagating Guava Plants

In addition to growing from seed, guavas can be propagated through softwood cuttings. Cut a 4- to 6-inch length of young, flexible stem, then remove all but the top two leaves. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone, then plant it in moistened potting mix.

Cover the pot with clear plastic, propping it up, if necessary, to keep the plastic above the leaves. Place the pot in a sunny location where temperatures remain between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When new growth begins to appear on the cutting (it can take two to three weeks), it means that roots have begun to form. Remove the plastic at this time, and water regularly as the cutting begins to grow.

As the young plant outgrows its pot, transplant it into a large container, as needed. Guava plants will do best if you grow them in a warm location, but not in blistering heat. It can be moved outdoors to a patio when the heat of summer arrives and temperatures remain steadily above 75 degrees.

Common Pests/ Diseases

Young guava is vulnerable to pests including aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and whitefly. If possible, identify the infestation as early as possible and treat with the least toxic option.

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Guava, how long does it keep? Tips and tricks

Since guava is a fruit that rarely appears on the shelves of your local store, little is known about it. What is guava, how long can it be stored in the refrigerator? And what is the proper way to store guava?

Guava fruits have a different shape and color, depending on the type and region of cultivation. The main guava seasons are from August to October and from February to March.

Many people love the deliciously sweet taste of guava and its many nutritional benefits.

Contents:

  • 1 How long does guava last?
    • 1.1 The storage temperature of the Guava
    • 1.2 Storage in the refrigerator
  • 2 Freezing is the best way to keep guava for several months
    • 2. 1, freeze the guava as it is
    • 2.2 Hauava using simple syrup
  • perfect fruit!
    • 3.1 Skin color and surface
    • 3.2 Texture
    • 3.3 Smell
    • 3.4 Beware of spoiled guava

How long does guava last?

Fruit is short-lived when it comes to expiration date. Guava is no exception, as it spoils shortly after ripening. This is due to the high concentration of sugar in ripe guava. So, below is a table showing the shelf life of guava.

Ripe fruit can be stored for a couple of days at room temperature. Unripe guava can be stored for up to a week out of the refrigerator.

Ripe guava can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. And unripe guava can stay fresh for weeks.

Guava has a maximum shelf life of up to 12 months when properly stored in the freezer. In more detail, frozen ripe guava can be stored for more or less than 8 months. After 8 months, its quality may not be as good. But it can still be used.

Since the storage time depends on different conditions, choose the best storage option for you. To make the most of guava.

For the fruit lover, keeping fruit fresh for as long as possible is the key to happiness. If this is something you're having trouble with, here are some helpful tips on how to extend the life of guava in your kitchen.

Guava storage temperature

The ideal environment for guava storage is 7-10°C and humidity 85-95%. This applies to short-term storage, which means that guava aged in such conditions can be stored for 3-4 days.

The optimum temperature for fruit to be of the highest quality is 6°C and humidity 90-95%.

Store fruit at room temperature for quick consumption. Since the guava spoils soon after it ripens. As for unripe guava, you can leave it on the kitchen counter for a few days and it will gradually ripen.

Remember that heat sources and sunlight will help guavas ripen ahead of time. Which means the guava will rot before you even notice it.

Refrigerated

Considering that ripe guava will spoil in a couple of days at room temperature, refrigeration methods can help solve this problem.

Make sure the guava is ripe before moving it to the refrigerator. You just need to keep warm for a couple of days. After that, do not be afraid to store it in the refrigerator, whether it be whole, peeled or sliced.

For the last two options, you can store them in a container or plastic bag. But a whole guava can only be stored in a plastic bag. Because it is too big for the container.

The best place to store guava is in the vegetable and fruit drawer. But you will need to change the humidity setting to medium. So that the fruits do not become too dry or wet.

Also, do not place apples or bananas near them. Since the ethylene from these fruits can cause the guava to spoil faster.

Remember to use guava for a maximum of 4 days. Regular maturity checks will help you make sure it's still edible. Find some bad signs pointing to a rotten guava, which you can find later in this post.

Freezing is the best way to keep guava for several months

The only way to keep guava for a long time is to put it in the freezer. Below are some freezing methods, the choice of which is entirely up to you.

Freeze guava as is

Be sure to clean fruit before freezing. All you need is a sealed bag. Wrap the bag tightly and you're done.

Freeze Guava with Simple Syrup

For this method, the process is a little more complicated with more steps. But once you get used to it, this option becomes a breeze and better preserves the quality of the guava.

After peeling the skin, cut it as you like. To make it more convenient for future use, we recommend cutting it into slices or cubes.

Place the sliced ​​guava in a freezer-friendly container, leaving enough room for the guava and some extra space on top. This free space helps speed up the freezing process, thereby increasing storage time.

The simple syrup acts as a protective barrier to keep fruit from losing flavor or getting freezer burnt. This syrup is prepared quickly: boil a mixture of water and sugar in a 1: 1 ratio.

Pour the syrup over the guava. Make sure it completely covers the fruit before putting the guava in the freezer.

Since the guava will cook when dipped in a hot liquid, its flavor will not be as intense. Therefore, be sure to let the syrup cool before pouring it over the fruit.

It's called "simple syrup" because it's so easy to make!

Freezing methods are only applicable to ripe fruits. Freezing unripe guava is not the best choice. Since its texture and taste will be completely opposite to what you want. When green guava is thawed, its flesh breaks down and becomes watery with a sour taste.

Freezing helps preserve guava for 8-12 months.

How to choose the perfect fruit!

Take your knowledge of guava to the next level by mastering it from the very beginning. Learn how to choose the perfect fruit!

Let's start by choosing the best samples on the counter. Pay special attention because you may not be able to tell the ripeness of a guava just by looking at it.

Skin color and surface

First, decide which one is ripe or unripe by the color of the fruit. A normal unripe guava has a green skin, while a ripe one is slightly more yellow. It can be quite difficult at first, but after a few tries, you will already be a pro!

In addition, the ideal guava should have an even, smooth skin. Avoid cuts or tears as these will speed up the guava ripening when exposed to air.

Texture

Once you have selected the perfect green, yellowish fruits, check their ripeness again using your finger. Like a mango or avocado, a ripe fruit is slightly softer when pressed lightly.

If it is hard as a rock, it is definitely immature. Too soft is not good either. If the skin bursts when squeezed, this guava is about to expire.

Smell

It is also recommended to smell the guava well before purchasing. Because smell is one of the important factors in deciding whether a guava is good or not. Ripe should have a strong aroma, sweet, fruity and slightly floral.

Don't worry if you bring home an unripe guava. Leave them on the kitchen counter for a few days. And it will be ready very soon! But remember that heat from sunlight or kitchen appliances can speed up the process.

Watch out for spoiled guava

Don't forget to look for spots on the guava skin. Brown dots and mold spots may indicate that the fruit is overripe or rotten.

Testing the guava with your finger is also an easy way to tell if it is rotten. If the skin is torn when pressed, it is likely to have gone bad.

If it emits a vinegary/rotten smell, it is likely that it is already spoiled and should simply be discarded.

If you already have it at home, another way to test it for rot is to cut it open. If you don't notice the brown/black flesh inside, it's ok to eat (but do it quickly!).

Store properly and be healthy!

fruit and plant. Growing guava at home

If you decide to pamper your indoor garden with tropical exotics, plant a magnificent guava - the genus Psidium from the Myrtle family. You can not only admire the green crown, but also enjoy delicious healthy fruits. About what conditions a plant needs and how to propagate them correctly, I will tell in this article about my personal experience.

Psidium is a genus of plants from the myrtle family, evergreen shrubs or medium-sized trees. Distributed in the tropics and partly in the subtropics. Many of them produce edible fruits. The genus includes up to 100 species. I will tell about some of the most interesting ones (coastal psidium, strawberry guava, Brazilian, Costa Rican, etc. ) in this article - how to grow and propagate at home.

Psidium cattley (Psidium coastal)

Psidium cattleianum (Psidium littorale, Psidium cattleanum). Psidium cattley and psidium littorale were previously separated into two separate species. According to modern systematics, they are combined into one species. Distributed in Brazil, Argentina and other countries of South America.

Psidium kettli belongs to the same genus as the common guava sold in our stores. It is sometimes referred to as strawberry guava, although they are actually different species.

BTW

Psidium kettli is the most common species on the window sills of amateurs.

This is the easiest variety to grow in a city apartment.

  • Grows as a medium-sized tree, shrub.
  • Leaves about 10 cm long, opposite (like all myrtaceae), obovate, not pubescent, dark green.
  • The bark is smooth, cracking and flaking in places.
  • Fruits are oblong berries up to 6 cm long, fragrant and sweet in full sun and watery in shade.

In nature, Psidium Kettli blooms almost constantly. In our conditions, mainly - in the spring, and a small second wave - in the fall.

There are many shapes and varieties. The main division is accepted by the color of the fruit, there are forms with yellow and red fruits.

Psidium Kettley yellow

The yellow-fruited varieties are more ornamental, with unripe dark green tuberous fruits they look more exotic, however, the fruits have a less pronounced taste when ripe than the red-fruited ones. Plants without fruits differ little in leaves and flowers.

Photo: Psidium Kettley Yellow

Growing

Psidium is easy to grow from both seeds and cuttings. Depending on freshness, seed germination varies from two to three weeks to several months. Cuttings root easily. When propagated by cuttings, it blooms in the 2-3rd year, by seeds - not earlier than the 3rd.

Formable and responds well to moderate pruning. Strong pruning, with a decrease in leaf mass by more than half, is difficult to tolerate, recovers for a long time and does not bloom in the next season. Without pruning, it grows in an untidy bush.

Easily flowers and sets fruit. The plant is capable of self-pollination, but it is better to additionally pollinate with a soft brush during flowering.

Psidium Kettli is suitable for any slightly acidic soil, composed with the addition of coarse sand and a small amount of peat. Strongly acidic soils (e.g. prepared soil for azaleas) are not suitable.

It winters well on a heated loggia or in a winter garden at a temperature of 10-15˚C. Withstands short-term temperature drop to 2˚С.
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I have already told you more about the conditions for growing fruit myrtle at home in this article

Photo: Psidium cattley red

Guava

Psidium guajava of the most famous species of the guajava family (Psidium guajava). It is grown as a fruit crop in vast areas in the tropical and subtropical zones. It has many varieties with fruits of different taste, flesh color, shape and size.

Depending on the strength of growth, I would conditionally distinguish three forms of guava:

  1. dwarf,
  2. intermediate,
  3. ordinary.

Dwarf varieties of guava

are more suitable for a home mini-greenhouse. During this time, subject to restraint of growth through regular pruning and braces, it manages to reach 0.5 m. In the future, these techniques can no longer contain the manifestations of the "character" of this naughty plant. It grows into a large but not beautiful tree.

IMPORTANT

Thus, I have come to the conclusion that common guava is not suitable for growing at home due to too vigorous growth and poor responsiveness to formation.

However, it may well be grown in the warm season in a container outside with wintering in a cool room.

Photo: Brazilian Gaujava in bloom

Dwarf Guava

Dwarf Guava (Psidium guajava nana (dwarf guajava)) rarely exceeds a height of 1 meter. Grows in Central America.

  • Leaves usually up to 4-5 cm long, opposite, oval, matt, pubescent, with distinct light green veins on the reverse side.
  • Blooms in spring. The flowers are white, about 2 cm in diameter, with fluffy stamens. Flowering is extended in time.
  • The fruits are smaller than those of the common guava and rarely exceed 4 cm in diameter, sweet, fragrant, round or pear-shaped.
  • Fruit ripening does not occur simultaneously. Fruit color varies from light yellow to light red.

Cultivation

Easily propagated by seed, dwarfing is maintained. It does not take cuttings very well, but quickly gives roots when propagated by air layering.

Seedlings usually bloom in the 4-5th year.

Easy to care for, but requires exceptionally sunny location. Watering should be regular, not excessive. When the soil dries out, it can partially shed its leaves. The soil is suitable for any neutral or slightly acidic.

Winters on a heated loggia or in a conservatory at a temperature of 10-15C˚, while it needs additional lighting. Raising the wintering temperature to 20 C˚ has a positive effect.

A dwarf variety of guava that is easy to shape and has poor growth vigor. It can be formed both in the form of a bush and a small tree.

Photo: tree and fruits of dwarf guava

Psidium guinense (Brazilian guava)

Brazilian guava (Psidium guineense) is very similar to psidium guava. Outwardly, it differs, first of all, in young shoots: in the classical guava they are tetrahedral in cross section, and in the Brazilian they are rounded. The size of the plant is also different - the Brazilian guava is much smaller. Distributed in Brazil, Argentina and southern Mexico.

  • Leaves about 18 cm long, opposite (like all myrtaceae), oval, slightly pubescent, light green.
  • Grows more like a bush than a tree. The bark is gray-brown, cracking and flaking in places.
  • Flowers are collected in inflorescences like a complex panicle.
  • Psidium guinense blooms in our conditions, mainly in spring and sometimes in autumn.
  • Fruit set in autumn must be removed as in the conditions of an apartment in winter, they will not be able to ripen.

Photo: peeling bark on the trunk

Growing

Brazilian guava is easy to grow from seed. When propagated by seeds, the first flowering occurs in the 3rd year. It blooms profusely at once, in the first flowering it can give 100 or more flowers. It tolerates pruning well, but at the same time it “shows character” and grows all the same “in its own way”, difficult to form.

Ripe fruits have a yellow skin and juicy light cream flesh. Fruits ripened in bright light have a pleasant, memorable taste and aroma. Basically, the plant is self-pollinating, but it is better to additionally pollinate with a brush during flowering.

Tolerates short-term drops in temperature to 0°C, while the plant hardens, the leaves turn red. Suitable not only for home keeping, but from spring to autumn frosts it can be kept outside.

Prefers sunny exposure. The composition of the soil does not play a significant role, the exceptions are strongly acidic and alkaline soils.

Winters well on a warmed loggia or in a winter garden at a temperature of 7-12˚С. It leaves the state of wintering later than other myrtle ones.

Photo: home-ripened Brazilian guava

Costa Rican guava (Friedrichsthal psidium)

Psidium friedrichsthalianum belongs to the genus Psidium of the myrtle family. Medium-sized evergreen tree, up to 8 m tall. Grows in Central America.

Leaves about 10-12 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, opposite, elliptical or oval, pointed, not pubescent, dark green. The smooth bark cracks and flakes in places. Young shoots are red-brown, tetrahedral in section.

Friedrichsthal psidium blooms under our conditions in spring. The flowers are white, about 4 cm in diameter, with a large number of fused stamens. The flowers have a very strong spicy aroma, to the point of being unpleasant. The fruit is a rounded yellow berry up to 7 cm in diameter, with a pleasant aroma, without the unpleasant smell of flowers. The pulp of the fruit is white or yellowish with a large number of flat hard seeds with a diameter of about 4 cm. The fruits can be used instead of lemon in tea or simply raw with sugar. Costa Rican guava is very popular with children.

Propagation

Psidium is easy to grow from seed, difficult to propagate, root stimulants and underheating are desirable. During seed propagation, it needs warm soil with a temperature of about 25-28 ° C, while cold soil dramatically increases the germination time and reduces the resulting germination of the seed. It blooms both with seed and vegetative propagation in the 3rd year. Already in the first flowering it can give out more than a hundred flowers, but the berries are tied only on a small part of them.

Formable and responds well to moderate pruning. Strong pruning with a drastic reduction in leaf mass, like other psidiums, is difficult to tolerate, recovers for a long time.

Literature reports more difficult cultivation of Friedrichsthal psidim compared to common guava. However, in the conditions of a warmed loggia, this species proved to be very unpretentious. It blooms easily and sets large fruits. It is advisable to additionally pollinate with a brush during flowering. In the presence of two specimens and cross-pollination, the yield increases dramatically, only the plants should not be cuttings from one mother plant.

Needs very bright light for good growth and fruiting.

Any neutral or slightly acidic soil is suitable, soil with more coarse sand is desirable.

Winters well on a warmed loggia or in a winter garden at a temperature of 10-15˚С.

Can withstand short-term temperature drops down to 0°C.

Photo: Costa Rican hujava

Psidium angulatum (Guayaba, Araca-Pera)

Guayaba (Psidium angulatum) belongs to the genus Psidium of the myrtle family, but is not similar to other members of the genus.

More often it is a shrub, reaching 2 m in height, at home it rarely grows above one and a half meters. It grows in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

Leaves about 8 cm long, opposite, strongly corrugated, not hairy, green. Thanks to its corrugated leaves, the plant looks very impressive. The bark cracks and flakes off in places. Because the leaves are medium-sized and the growth force is small, it is an interesting option for bonsai.
Blossoms in spring in leaf axils. Fruits are round, yellow, with creamy pulp, 6-8 cm in diameter, sour, fragrant.

Guayaba is easy to grow from seeds, but scarification is necessary because the seeds have a very dense shell and may not always open it on their own. Some of the seedlings die without breaking the shell. It is difficult to cut, at home it is practically not cut. When propagated by seeds, it blooms in the 4-6th year.

Somewhat more demanding than other psidiums. Needs a moderately sunny position and high humidity.


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