Fruit & Nut TreesVentura Nursery & Plants

Growing Guavas & Guavasteen in Ventura, CA (Southern California)

Guavas & Guavasteen (Pineapple Guava)

Tikal Tropical Guava Fruit Sliced in Half Cross Section Close Up
Tikal Tropical Guava Fruit Sliced in Half Cross Section Close Up

Guavas are tropical fruit trees that are native to a large area from Mexico to South America. Guavas are so popular in the tropics & subtropics that dozens of varieties exist from all over the world. Guavas are easy to grow & are very adaptable. Guavas are comparable to Citrus in their cultural demands. Guavas & extremely nutritious & the juice is prized.  These tough plants are perfect candidates for growing in containers.

What Guavas Like
Exposure: Guavas enjoy full sun & thrive in heat. Guavas are very tough plants that adapt to a wide variety of climates & growing conditions. Guavas will grow on steep slopes, windy areas or areas near the coast, & in large containers. Tropical & Strawberry Guavas thrive wherever Citrus grow well. These Guavas grow well in Sunset zones 18 through 24 (these Guavas are hardy to 25 degrees). Pineapple Guavas are much hardier to cold tolerating temperatures down to 15 degrees. Pineapple Guavas grow well in Sunset zones 7, 11 through 24.

Soil: Guavas grow best in loamy rich well drained soil; however they are tolerant of rocky, clay, & sandy soils. Guavas have shallow surface roots that absorb nutrients & water quickly. These trees resent being planted in saline, heavy, or poorly drained soils. Adding a layer of organic compost, once or twice a year as mulch will also increase the soils fertility.

Irrigation: Guavas require infrequent deep irrigation about one to three times a month during warm weather & active growth. Guavas are drought resistant especially in winter, during winter irrigate sparingly.

Diet: Feeding Guavas once a season (or once every three months) provides evenly spaced feedings that will sustain growth year round. Fertilize with organic granular fertilizers. We recommend Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer.

Pruning: Guavas need little pruning, they are tame & stay somewhat small in Southern California. Remove all dead & crossing branches whenever noticed. Dwarf & container grown trees benefit from being staked. It is beneficial to keep the branches off the ground & away from fences or buildings. This helps prevent fruit rats from easily gaining access to the trees canopy. Care must be taken to quickly remove any foliage & branches that sprout below the graft union (the place where the fruiting upper portion of the plant is grafted onto the lower rootstock portion).

Harvesting: Spring & summer are the peak season for the Guava fruit harvest. The fruit are ready when they turn color, become fragrant, & are slightly soft to the touch. Cu

Pollination: Guavas are self fertile.

Frost Protection: When the temperature drops below 32 degrees but stays above 28 to 25 degrees we experience a “light” or “white” frost. This type of frost causes superficial damage to young growth. When the temperature drops below 28 to 25 degrees we then experience a “black” or “killing” frost. This type of frost causes greater damage to the plant tissues. The duration of any frost is also important to consider. The longer the temperatures are below freezing the greater the damage. There are several ways to protect tropical fruit trees from frost damage:

· Covering your plant with a sheet or tarp-like material will provide protection from temperatures down to 20 degrees. Note, any foliage that touches the frost barrier may be damaged.

· Circulating the air using fans is also helpful for frost protection down to 20 degrees.

· Believe it or not, spraying your plants with water can actually insulate the plants. Liquid water itself will provide heat, & as water freezes into ice it gives off heat.

· Provide some sort of external heat source. Active sources include heaters, while passive sources absorb heat during the day & radiate it out at night. Examples of passive heat include barrels of water, stacks of boulders, & the earth itself.” “Varieties

There are four common types of Guavas:

Tropical guava with almost ripe and ripening green fruit and leaves on branch close up
Tropical guava with almost ripe and ripening green fruit and leaves on branch close up

  Tropical Guavas – are known scientifically as Psidium guajava.  They are the best tasting with the largest fruit with the most juice.  These are the most frost tender Guavas.  Tropical Guavas grow up to 10 to 15 feet high & wide and can become somewhat drought tolerant once their tap root is deeply established.  In spite of its common name, the tree is  cold hardy for a tropical fruit.

Varieties we are growing:

Guava (Barbie Pink) Psidium guajava – Considered by many to be one of the best guavas for the home garden, producing some of the largest and sweetest fruit.  This highly productive cultivar produces pear-shaped, yellow skinned guavas with thick, pink flesh. Lower in pectin than other varieties, this variety is superior for eating out-of-hand or processing into juice.  Very reliable, heavy producer. Will fruit in container. Ruby Supreme and Barbie Pink guava are very similar, but Barbie pink is much larger and not as dark of a pink color. Fast growing. Generally pest resistant.

Guava (Tikal) – This excellent cultivar is a compact grower. It produces large fruit up to 3 inches in diameter that are yellow-skinned and have pink flesh. Fast growing. Generally pest and disease resistant.  Average mature height: 6-8 feet. Soil: Average watering needs. Light: Full to part sun. Zones: 9b – 11. Can be grown indoors.

Strawberry Guava Fruit on Branch Close Up
Strawberry Guava Fruit on Branch Close Up

Strawberry & Lemon Guavas – Psidium cattleyanum,[2][3] commonly known as Cattley guavastrawberry guava or cherry guava, is a small tree (2–6 m tall) in the Myrtaceae (myrtle) family. The red-fruited variety, P. cattleyanum var. cattleyanum, is commonly known as purple guava, red cattley guava, red strawberry guava and red cherry guava.[2] The yellow-fruited variety, P. cattleyanum var. littorale is variously known as yellow cattley guava, yellow strawberry guava, yellow cherry guava,[2] lemon guava and in Hawaii as waiawī.  Although P. cattleyanum has select economic uses,[2][5][6] it is considered the most invasive plant in Hawaii.[7][8] 

They are slow-growing, multi-stemmed shrubs that can be trained to a small tree with a single trunk, if desired, bearing tart but very flavorful fruit that is smaller than a Tropical Guava.  Strawberry & Lemon Guavas are very productive & grown up to 15 feet high & wide but is much more easily pruned to maintain smaller shrubs than tropical guavas if desired and is moderately drought tolerant sooner than tropical guavas, depending on the variety.

Psidium cattleianum, also called P. littorale, probably came from eastern coastal Brazil, but now grows in many subtropical and tropical areas. Round fruits are bright red, with a strawberry-like taste.

Be careful if you have sensitive teeth of the seeds, they are easy to crunch with molars (providing more nutrients) or just swallow whole. 6-15 ft. 3-5 ft. This guava withstands more cold than common guava, and survives temperatures down to 22 degrees Fahrenheit. The red-fruited variety is more cold-hardy than the yellow-fruited strawberry guava. “Propagated by cuttings. Cuttings should be one-fifth inch in diameter, contain at least three nodes and have two leaves at the tip. The ideal time to take the cutting is in or around November and from lower potions of the plant and/or suckers which naturally have the most root hormones present.

Considered to be one of the hardiest guavas while still providing up to 1-2″” large soft, smooth edible-skinned fruit that is green turning to dark red (or yellow) in color as it ripens. It grows all over Hawaii like an invasive weed and can withstand months without watering once established, but for best fruiting likes moderate watering (once a week once established, more often when young or freshly transplanted.  The strawberry guava tastes almost like strawberry with tropical guava notes, and same for the lemon guavas tasting like lemons.

Pineapple Guava Fruit on Bush
Pineapple Guava Fruit on Bush
Pineapple Guava Flower on Bush
Pineapple Guava Flower on Bush

Pineapple Guavas – Feijoa sellowiana is a South American plant related to Guavas.  Their fruit is tangy with a citrus note.  This is the most frost tolerant variety.  Pineapple guavas grow to 15 feet high & wide & have wonderful gnarled trunks, somewhat resembling and making good replacements for olive trees in appearance, but they need moderate watering until their tap root is established moreso than strawberry guavas.

Guavasteen (Pineapple Guava) “Acca sellowiana; In the Myrtle family Myrtaceae.
Synonym: Feijoa sellowiana

” Pineapple Guava. “Acca sellowiana, a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family, is widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree. Common names include feijoa, pineapple guava and guavasteen, although it is not a true guava. It is an evergreen, perennial shrub or small tree, 1–7 metres (3.3–23.0 ft) in height, widely cultivated as an ornamental tree and for its fruit.
Green oblong fruits have a grainy pulp and a spicy pineapple taste, and can be eaten peeled or skin and all. Plants vary in whether they need cross-pollination, so two varieties should be planted for best fruit set. “”Coolidge,”” “”Improved Coolidge”” and “”Nazemetz”” are self-fruitful cultivars. Partially self-fertile varieties are “”Mammoth,”” “”Pineapple Gem”” and “”Triumph.””

Planting the Pineapple Guava
The pineapple guava tree does best in areas of full sun in coastal regions. In hotter inland areas, plant the tree in a spot that receives sun in the morning and light shade in the afternoon. The tree is adaptable to many types of soil, as long as it is well drained. In areas with heavy, clay soil, amending it with coarse sand or chunky organic material will aid drainage.

Care of the Pineapple Guava
The pineapple guava is a drought-tolerant tree and requires no irrigation if it’s being grown as an ornamental. If you hope to harvest fruit, however, water the tree regularly, so that the soil remains slightly moist while it is flowering and fruiting. California Rare Fruit Growers suggest fertilizing the pineapple guava tree every two months during the growing season with 8-8-8 fertilizer according to label instructions.” Myrtaceae, is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and Colombia. Beautiful, neat looking white, pink, rose to purple colored flowers. Blue green, almost teal foliage. Pineapple guavas are one of the easiest, most problem free fruits you can grow – a little care will go a long way with this tree. Pineapple guavas need cross-pollination – be sure to get at least 2 plants. Be careful if you have sensitive teeth of the seeds, they are easy to crunch with molars (providing more nutrients) or just swallow whole. “Pineapple guava Acca sellowiana Pineapple Guava Select Seedlings 2is a fruit that originated from Brazil. Although not a true guava, it’s fruit so closely resembles guava it is a wonderful substitute. Some varieties of this cold-hardy fruit can be grown as far north as zone 7b. The trees are evergreen, with striking blue- green leaves that are silvery white underneath. Plants bloom in May and are covered with small orchid-like pink and crimson blooms. The fleshy pink petals are a delicious treat and have a sweet flavor and texture that melts in your mouth like cotton candy. By September the plum-shaped fruit are ready to eat and are harvested when they fall to the ground. Simply slice open and scoop out the delectable creamy white flesh. The flavor is considered to be the best in the world by many true guava lovers! Use fresh in fruit salad or make guava jelly and jam.
” 6-15 ft. 3-5 ft. Pineapple guava is native to South American tropical and subtropical highlands, and shows the greatest cold tolerance of all the guavas, growing in USDA zones 8 through 11. Survives temperatures down to 12 degrees Fahrenheit once established. “This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Pineapple Guava varieties are either self fertile or require cross-pollination to set fruit. Cross pollination is required for seedlings, so be sure to plant at least two. Plants need to be within 10 foot for good cross pollination and no further than 15 foot apart.” ”

Water Requirements:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater.  Requires consistently moist soil when young; do not let dry out between watering, but drought tolerant after established for a couple years.

Hardiness once established:
From USDA Zone 8a to 10b -12.2 °C  (can survive down to 10 °F after 1 year old)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color:
Red / Pink / White almost orchid-like; Near-White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Evergreen

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) – 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Chilean Guavas – Small leaved, short and bushy shrubs producing pea-sized berries that taste like guavas.  It is in the same botanical family as the guava. The fruit is sometimes marketed as “Ugniberry”, as “New Zealand cranberry” in New Zealand,[2] and the name “Tazziberry” has been trademarked in Australia,[3] but it is not a native plant to these countries. Description The Ugni is a shrub from 30 cm to 170 cm tall with evergreen foliage. In some exceptional cases the shrub can grow up to 3 m in height. The leaves are opposite, oval, 1–2 cm long and 1-1.5 cm broad, entire, glossy dark green, with a spicy scent if crushed. The flowers are drooping, 1 cm diameter with four or five white or pale pink petals and numerous short stamens; the fruit is a small red, white or purple berry 1 cm diameter. In its natural habitat; the Valdivian temperate rain forests the fruit matures in autumn from March to May. It was first described by Juan Ignacio Molina (hence its name) in 1782. It was introduced to England in 1844 by the botanist and plant collector William Lobb, where it became a favorite fruit of Queen Victoria. It is also grown as an ornamental plant. The fruit is cultivated to a small extent. The usage of the fruit in cuisine is limited to southern Chile where it grows. It is used to make the traditional liqueur Murtado that is made of aguardiente and sugar flavoured by conserving murtas inside the bottle. It is also used to make jam and the murta con membrillo dessert and in Kuchen.

 

A list of all existing cultivars of guava (that we have data for):

Pineapple Guavas- Feijoa sellowiana is a South American plants are related to other Guavas. Their fruit is tangy with a citrus flavor. This is the most frost tolerant variety. Pineapple guavas grow to 15 feet high & wide & have wonderful gnarled trunks & make good substitutes for olive trees.
– Strawberry Guava (Psidium lucidum) – These Guavas are hardy & adaptable evergreen shrubs or small trees. Small fruits are very juicy & flavorful. The fruit are produced over a long season August through December.
– Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana) – The most cold hardy guava. Pineapple Guavas make excellent large shrubs or small trees with attractive flowers, foliage, & bark. The fruit is plentiful & tangy making excellent jellies, the flowers are also edible.
– Beaumont- Developed on Oahu, Hawaii this Guava produces fruit prefect for juicing. Beaumont is a vigorous plant producing medium sized (8 oz) fruits with pink sweet juicy flesh. The trees are productive bearing fruit fall through winter.
– China White- Producing large (up to a pound) white fleshed & green skinned fruit are very sweet & choice. The fruit can be eaten unripe & has very aromatic flesh. These Guavas are tough & vigorous producing fruit September through December.
– Mexican Cream- One of the best Guavas around. This Mexican variety boasts fruit with a fine sweet spicy flavor. The 8 oz fruit have cream colored flesh & fragrant yellow skin. The trees produce clusters of fruit during the fall & winter.
– Red Malaysian- This is a unique variety of Tropical Guava that boats beautiful red tinged foliage with red fruit & pretty bright pink flowers. This Guava is attractive enough to be grown as an ornamental. Tasty fruits ripen September through December.
– South African- Underappreciated this variety has an interesting flavor & texture. Bearing delicious cream skinned pink fleshed fruit that boast a mild flavor. This variety has flesh that can be eaten when still crisp. Fruit ripen in autumn.
– White Indian- From Florida, this popular large white Guava has fruit grow up to a pound. The flavor is excellent & the fruit can be eaten slightly unripe. White Indian Guavas produces fruit sporadically September through December.” “Guavas conjure up images of exotic-tasting fruits and beverages, white sand beaches, and Pacific islands. Several kinds of guava trees are grown for their delicious fruits, all of them native to tropical and subtropical South America. Fruits are eaten fresh or juiced, and used in desserts, dairy products and preserves. Guavas belong to different genera in the eucalyptus family (Myrtaceae). They are slow-growing evergreen plants that form large shrubs to small trees with age.

More information:

Guavas grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 12. Mature trees survive light frost, and some cultivars produce more fruit when seasons are defined rather than the even conditions of the true tropics. Fruit-bearing guavas are grown year-round with winter cover in Georgia.

In plants, the major mechanism of freezing resistance is tolerance rather than avoidance because plants are essentially unable to avoid environmental freezing temperatures (Levitt, 1980). Exposure of plants to gradually increasing stress might initiate physiological and biochemical adjustment that protect them from injury when environmental stresses abruptly occur. Cold acclimation (CA) is a phenomenon that occurs when the freezing tolerance of plants increases after exposure to low, nonfreezing temperatures (Thomashow, 1999). Almost all temperate perennials and many annual and biennial plants can alter their freezing tolerance when exposed to low, nonfreezing temperatures (Wisniewski et al., 2003). CA is a complex process associated with physiological and biochemical changes in the plants, including modifications in membrane lipid composition; increases in soluble sugars, amino acids, and organic acids; synthesis and accumulation of antioxidants and protective proteins; changes in hormone levels; and alterations in gene expression (Thomashow, 1999; Xin and Browse, 2000).

Numerous electrophoretic studies have reported both quantitative and qualitative differences in protein content between nonacclimated and cold-acclimated tissues (Arora et al., 1992; Guy and Haskell, 1988; Wisniewski et al., 1996); most notable among these are dehydrin proteins (Lea D II family) (Arora and Wisniewski, 1994; Bassett et al., 2006; Muthalif and Rowland, 1994; Peng et al., 2008; Wisniewski et al., 1999). Dehydrins are encoded by a multigene family and accumulate in response to environmental stresses that lead to dehydration such as low temperature, drought, and high salinity (Close, 1997). Previous studies imply that the dehydrins may stabilize cellular structure during dehydration stress (Close, 1997; Danyluk et al., 1998; Peng et al., 2008; Rinne et al., 1999).

Guava (Psidium guajava L.), which belongs to the Myrtaceae family, is a small evergreen tree (Morton, 1987a; Yadava, 1996). Guava can tolerate a wide range of frost-free environments and flourishes in both humid and dry climates at elevations between sea level and 2100 m (Yadava, 1996). It exceeds most of the tropical and subtropical fruit trees in adaptability as a result of its chilling, drought, and salinity tolerance and can produce fruits continuously throughout the year in climates suitable for production (Yadava, 1996).

In recent years, the American market demand for exotic fruits, like guava, has been increasing, mainly because of increased immigration from Asia, Latin America, and other warm-climate countries (Yadava, 1996). With a long harvest period, guava can be a potential alternative, high-value cash crop in the United States (Yadava, 1996). Guava plants are cultivated in many countries, including India, Brazil, South Africa, Venezuela, Cuba, the Philippines, and New Zealand (Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Service, 1999); however, the majority of guava cultivation in the United States is limited only to a few favorable locations in California, Florida, and Hawaii (Yadava, 1996). The major limitation with expanding guava cultivation to further north in the United States is its low cold tolerance (Yadava, 1996). Yet, research on the freezing tolerance and CA ability of guava has received little attention. An understanding of the biology of freezing tolerance and CA in guava may provide the basis for potential frost-protection strategies and developing freezing-tolerant cultivars and may also trigger interest in the responses of other tropical and subtropical plants to cold stress.

We used two highly productive guava cultivars, Lucknow-49 and Ruby × Supreme (Morton, 1987a), in this study to examine the physiology of freezing tolerance in guava. The major objectives were 1) to determine whether guava, which is native to the tropics, possesses any freezing tolerance; 2) to determine whether freezing tolerance of guava can be enhanced by an environmentally controlled CA regime; and 3) to investigate the physiological changes such as growth, leaf water content, proteins, and so on, associated with CA. http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/44/5/1258.full ”

 

 

Insights from other experienced growers:

“I have two bushes about three years old now. I planted them on the edge of some woods in my yard and they quickly shot up to about 3 ft in one year. Last winter 2015-2016 we had some of the coldest weather I have ever seen (down to 6 degrees) for a (7b) garden I was frantic when mine lost almost all their leaves. By mid May they have sent out new leaves all along the stems and from the base. I think I will move them into more full sun and hope for flowers this year!”

“Growing up in Redwood City, CA the neighbor had one that would grow over the fence and we all loved the fruit.”

“This is a a beautiful, bulletproof fruiting shrub/small tree here in the SC midlands. Yesterday, for the fist time since planting it 4 yrs ago, I noticed fruit had fallen on the ground. I couldn’t resist trying it on the spot, and I found the taste mildly tropical and pleasantly sweet. The texture is delicate and, texturally, similar to passion fruit. As previously noted, the flowers are edible and beautiful, and it looks great when allowed to grow into a small tree. My pineapple guava plants have been exposed to ice and temps @ 10-12f.

Positive
On May 19, 2011, jimthzz from San Carlos, CA wrote:

I planted two Coolidge variety Feijoa 4 years ago. Nary a bloom until this year.

But this Spring both plants have about 50 blooms each waiting to open. Four have already opened up.

I think I will have fruit this year!

Had a huge plant in the yard growing up in the San Gabriel Valley. It was pretty old, planted in late 1920s. always had a lot of fruit until the late 1990s when the idiots who bought the family home tore it.

Neutral
On Mar 26, 2011, Chookystar from Wellington,
New Zealand wrote:

Hi there, just wondering if anyone can help me with a fruitless and flowerless tree… We just bought a house and it has 3 fejoa trees in a row, like a hedge kind of thing… We are wanting to try and get them producing fruit?? Any tips for us?? We’ve been informed the only thing we can do is by pruning them right back… but after reading I’m not too sure if that is the right thing to do to get the trees fruiting… They are about 12ft tall and shaped… they just seem so unlike feijoa trees that I’ve seen?!

Any advice would be muchly appreciated please??

Thanks kindly 🙂

Positive
On Jan 4, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This tree has become somewhat ubiquitous in nurseries in the area, and for many good reasons. It has the look of an olive tree in my opinion, due to narrow dark green leaves, silver leaf undersides, nicely gnarled bark, and an overall contorted growth habit. The white petals look and taste like marshmallows! This is just indescribably cool. I planted one specimen in my yard and have another in a big pot. The one in the ground is doing far better, and survived recent 25º cold snaps. (on three to four nights) without blinking. Just put it in full sunlight in a sandy mix and forget about it; it will grow into a marvelous and very “”Mediterranean-looking”” tree for you with zero effort. As a native plant loyalist, I rarely recommend a non-native species with as much confidence as I do thi… read more
Positive
On Nov 26, 2010, phoenixtropical from Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Pineapple guavas grow well in Mesa Arizona.

Positive
On Oct 10, 2010, agordon223 from Capistrano Beach, CA wrote:

Planted just one, in the ground, two years ago in Southern California (San Clemente). Although we get some coastal marine layer, we get very little rain, so it seems to be very drought tolerant. No pests. It has doubled in height (about 5 feet now) and we have pruned it to keep it semi-tree like. Spectacular flowers and bearing delicious fruit this year. If you want to know more,

Positive
On Mar 13, 2010, purplesun from Krapets,
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is an all-round ornamental and an odd-looking fruiting shrub. It grows very easily for me. Light shade seems to do best for it. I grow mine in a container that I keep in a cool place for the winter. Its leaves get rigid in the cold, but they recover their softness when brought out. Sofia, Bulgaria, 2300 feet AMSL, Z 6b.

Update April 7th, 2010: In the autumn of 2009, I planted a Pineapple Guava in Krapets, Bulgaria, which is zone 8a. Well, it has survived a bitterly cold winter with temps dipping to -3 degrees F and with fierce arctic winds, though apparently under a heavy snow cover. It is about three feet tall, and half of its branches have been broken under the weight of the snow, with the rest left intact. The leaves look half-green, half-rusty, and cling to the stem… read more

Positive
On Jan 25, 2010, jujubetexas from San Marcos, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted three in clay during the horrible drought of 08-09. They doubled/tripled in size and produced fruit the second year. It tasted like pineapple and strawberry mixed together. Wait until the fruit starts to drop from the tree before eating. You can give the bush a little shake and eat the ones that come down. Good news. I had three at the farm and it got down to 11F without damage. They are cold hardy for sure.

Positive
On Dec 18, 2009, davecito from Carrboro, NC wrote:

What a great plant!

I would not exactly describe them as hardy – mine (3) are young, at various sizes between seedling, and 2 feet tall. At this stage in their youth, they are a bit more sensitive to cold and overwatering than perhaps when mature, so it would be best to be gentle, and GRADUALLY introduce them to the ‘limits’ of what they might be able to ultimately endure. With a very lanky, branchy tendency in growth, wind can really do some damage to young plants.

That said, they are also VERY resilient, and when they do experience damage, they tend to bounce back very quickly. Mine have grown steadily. I hope to get flowers and fruit, but it should be said that even the bark and foliage is very, very attractive – all parts of the plant are quite handsom… read more
Positive
On May 16, 2009, kpointer101 from Anniston, AL wrote:

What a beautiful specimen. Silvery green leaves, and it keeps gorgeous color year round in zone 7. By the way, I got fruit last year.

Positive
On Apr 7, 2009, texasflora_com from De Leon, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I used to live in Pearland, TX, just south of Houston. These were planted as a long hedge about 5 feet tall in front of a shopping center and made tons of tasty fruit and blossoms every year. And I mean tasty! Every day I drove by, from a distance, they looked like Russian Olive (eleagnus) until I saw the blooms and fruit. I just bought 3 of the plants in one gallon containers at Home Depot in Brownwood and they were very healthy and only $4.98. In north Texas, it’s a good idea to plant them close to the house on the south or west side since temps down in the teens could injure or possibly kill them. They can surive temps in the upper 20s with no problem, but in Texas, you never know how low it might go. Tropical one day and Siberia the next.

Positive
On Dec 17, 2008, armenia from LA, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

They are supposed to be quite drought tolerant once established, but apparently the fruit pretty much all drops off without some water. A few deep waterings might do the trick though.

Neutral
On May 3, 2008, Cecilia52 from Deland, FL wrote:

I am on the cusp of zones 9a and 9b in Florida and our water situation here is a little scary – in other words – drought. I am thinking of the Pineapple Guava for a hedge behind the native holly trees I planted after the 2004 hurricanes. I think it would be a nice accent, color and texture wise and from my research it is supposed to be drought tolerant. I’d like to know more about this plant before I invest. I don’t have irrigation to this area although I can water by hand until established The flowering and fruit features are certainly a plus! Thanks.

Positive
On May 3, 2008, labeille from Long Beach, CA wrote:

I live on the coast in Los Angeles County (Naples, California), and purchased my Pineapple Guava [a Monrovia Nursery cultivar] as a standard in a 5 gal. can from Rogers’ Gardens in Corona del Mar last year. It has doubled or perhaps tripled in size. Just a gorgeous specimen. I think I need to thin it out a bit though…some branches are looking to long and heavy. I have a tiny little garden in the back where it is growing and I do want to contain the size, although I would love for it to get about twenty feet tall and screen the neighbor’s house behind us.

Positive
On Mar 31, 2008, mac41 from Wellsford,
New Zealand wrote:

Feijoa fruit are an acquired taste, but make wonderful chutney, jelly, etc etc – and now a lovely sparkling wine here in NZ. What starts as a shrub can get away, and become a huge scraggly tree. We are using them as hedging as they cope well with clay soil and strong wind, both common in the Kaipara (NZ) district, and plan to prune to keep them at about 2m. They deal well with occasional frost as well.

Positive
On Dec 18, 2007, pb09 from Portland, OR wrote:

Easy to grow here in Portland, OR. My 25 year old plant is 16′ tall. Others in the neighborhood are larger. Flower petals are edible, though the fruit isn’t that great (stick with Kiwis). Blooms a LOT in summer.

Positive
On Aug 26, 2007, luc_y from wilmington,
United States wrote:

My tree had over one hundred flowers with fruit and they started to fall off and i now have 2 pieces of fruit and it’s late august and the tree is starting to bloom.

Positive
On Apr 24, 2007, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I’m deliriously happy to rediscover this very plant, which could be grown successfully where I live. Many fond memories of childhood having this plant in the backyard. I planted one small plant on a northwest side of the property, in the past few years, it survived but haven’t produced flowers. As I learned more about gardening, I realized; I haven’t given this plant the optimum condition to produce flowers/fruits. Though it recieved adequate moisture, the shrub didn’t get enough sun for photosynthesis.
(It’s under a thick canopy of larger trees). I’m moving this plant to a better location ASAP.
6/4/07: I’m proudly announcing the flowering of my tree. Though they are few but beautiful. Looking forward to having fruits.

Positive
On Apr 24, 2007, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Purchased 1-gallon plants and planted inground, full sun. Saw first blooms after 3 years but no fruit yet. I prune mine as shrubs.
May 2010. Plants continue to do great but still no fruit. Possibly b/c I keep trimming to maintain a semi-formal shape. It makes such a pretty ornamental shrub or tree. But I don’t recommend much trimming as you cheat yourself of the tasty fruit. I will plant another one and let it grow as a regular tree. Flowers are very tasty. Every time I walk buy I snatch one and put it right in my mouth.

Neutral
On Aug 8, 2006, pokemom588 from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

My 5 pineapple guavas have had fruit. my problem is that they are very thin, my friend has them and they are beautiful, full and green. mine on the other hand are thin, and have a scale like fungus on them.

Neutral
On Jul 22, 2006, CNCM_Blitz from Burleson, TX wrote:

Hi. I seem to be having trouble finding the Feijoa plant. I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but haven’t seen it anywhere. If anyone knows where to buy some of these plants, I would greatly appreciate it if they told me where I can find one in my area.

I used to live in New Zealand myself, and every fall, everybody would be giving feijoas to friends and neighbors for 3 months at least. There was never an end of them! The climate there is absolutely perfect, which is part of why there were so many and so good. Well, the addiction is stuck with me.

Positive
On May 30, 2006, a_night_owl from San Diego, CA wrote:

Tasty Fruit & Ambrosia Flowers !
Those of you with Pineapple Guavas that have never eaten the blossom petals — you are missing a wonderful treat. YUM! Trust me, or look it up, the fleshy part of the blossoms are indeed edible. My daughter almost wiped out all my flowers one year when she was a toddler, she couldn’t get enough!

I see many comments on trees not fruiting. It’s possible you don’t have a self-fruitful variety. Some do fine on their own, others need a friend. Do some research before you buy, the results will be spectacular — A good place to look is the “”California Rare Fruit Growers”” website — they have a good listing of cultivars (13 of them!). I grew some in inland San Diego County, but now that I live on the coast I need a different variety — … read more
Positive
On Oct 15, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

My brother grew a Pineapple guava hedge around a 20 foot Cordyline australis in the center of a large lawn and despite the trimming into a square shape it produced a large amount of fruit. The rich black California ex-orchard soil and heavy watering with lawn fertilizer(amonium sulfate) must have helped too.
They were soooo good…..

Positive
On Jul 16, 2004, Kachinagirl from Modesto, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have a client who tells me her friends look forward to her pineapple guava fruiting because they have a party…they put crushed ice, the fruit, and tequila into the blender… haven’t tried it myself, but she says it’s great (not quite as healthy as the notes above I suppose but sounds interesting!)

Positive
On Jul 15, 2004, GCushing from San Jose, CA wrote:

The plant can be trained as a bush, hedge of tree. The flowers and fruit smell nice. I have received my plants from 5 different nurseries and the flowers and fruit are all some what different. The flowers run a showy white to deep red. The leaves are fairly similar and the hedge looks congruent. The fruit runs from mostly clear jelly to mostly pulp. One plants fruit has 3 pods another 4 and another 5. The flavors run from more tropical guava flavor with a hint of pineapple to lemonade(this has a thicker skin). My fruit size runs from small chicken egg to what a tennis ball looks squished (nearly so). The roots are small and tend to crowd out weeds. Most of my coworkers, friends, and my son will eat the fruit skin and all, leaving the ends. If you are sour weakling, do not eat the skin. My … read more
Positive
On Jul 10, 2004, Reberta from Riverside, CA wrote:

I have 40 plants which are 2 1/2 years old. they are planted along a north west ridge bordering 2 1/2 acres. They are now 7′ tall (I purchased them at 2′ tall). The first year didn’t get too many, but last year harvested an enormous amount, too many to eat fresh. The first year, their size was that of a thumbnail, last year they were the size of an egg.

Positive
On May 21, 2004, scottawanga from hastings,
wrote:

If ever there was a fruit tree that almost all New Zealand backyards have (along with lemons and grapefruit) then feijoas are it. I grow them in the Hawke’s Bay where they thrive in the warm dry climate, tolerating frost and long dry summers. Mine is the cultivar “”mammoth”” with big juicy fruit, it needs a pollinator, “”triumph”” is recommended, thou I have so many in my neighbourhood i didn’t need to put one in.

Positive
On Apr 18, 2004, Foreverkramm from Fairfield, CA wrote:

We had one at the home of my childhood in Fairfield California. Half way between San Francisco and Sacramento. I loved it! The fruit was so sweet and smelled sweet too. It was next to our treehouse. I would like to have one in my yard in my present home.

Positive
On Apr 17, 2004, lindab223 from Deltona, FL wrote:

I planted the Pineapple Guava on two sides of my butterfly garden here in Deltona Florida. The shrubs have been in the ground about 1 1/2 years. I just found my first flower and is it ever gorgeous. I have had one problem and that is the leaves have curled up and turned brown a few times.

Positive
On Apr 16, 2004, angelam from melbourne,
Australia wrote:

I find this a really handsome tree,even without the flowers and fruit. With the dark green upper leaves and silvery backs it can look like it is glittering on a windy day.

My kids all adore the fruit, and as the rule is let them drop from the tree and collect them, they are the easiest harvest going and impossible to misjudge. I can’t keep up with demand for the fruit and have just put in a second tree. As there isn’t another in the neighbourhood this might improve the yield from my existing tree too by cross pollination but it is definitely reasonably self-fertile and is not a named variety. While the flowers attract birds to date the fruit hasn’t.

I also find it very drought tolerant. It is in a part of the garden I don’t water, and it has fruited even in dr… read more
Positive
On Apr 6, 2004, nancyanne from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This forms a beautiful small tree or large shrub. My plant originally came in a 4″” pot from the Mellinger’s catalog – it has grown to an 8′ shrub in about 4 years – I planted another last year, as I understand they must cross-pollinate in order to fruit.
Even without fruiting, this plant, covered in flowers, is quite a sight. The flowers, said to be edible, are not particularly flavorful, though they have a nice texture.
A very decorative, and cold hardy, tree.
Both of my plants came from the same source, and will not fruit unless I introduce pollen from another source. I swapped branches of flowers with a friend, and we both have lots of fruits this year.
Positive
On Feb 3, 2004, WAJOA wrote:

We live in an outer suburb of Perth Western Australia and have just purchased a property with over 150 Feijoa trees! They are about 9 feet tall and 9 feet wide and are planted approx 12 feet apart.
It is February now, and after seeing the trees in beautiful blossom through December and January, we are thrilled to see the fruits forming. They are only small at present, but my goodness – what a lot!

Positive
On Oct 24, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

Some friends and neighbors have been growing Pineapple Guavas here in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, for years now, so I am planning to grow them too, as soon as I can clear a sunny area for my main vegetable garden and some fruit trees. They are listed in my Southern Living Garden Book as both “”Feijoa sellowiana”” and “”Acca sellowiana,”” and are also listed as hardy up into the Lower South, which includes the Atlanta area.

My book says the fruit will ripen in four to five months after bloom in the Tropical South (Tampa Bay, Florida, and South along the Coasts), and five to seven months after bloom in the rest of the South. It also says it can take any amount of pruning, and there are several self-fertile, improved selections: ‘Beechwood,’ ‘Coolidge,’ and ‘Nazemetz,’ but … read more
Positive
On Oct 23, 2003, clantonnaomi from Iredell, TX wrote:

I live in central Texas and found my pineapple guava in a nursery in Dallas, Tx. I have had it two years and the blooms are very pretty; however, I have not seen any fruit on it. I hope it continues to thrive here. I think it is a great tree.

Positive
On Oct 22, 2003, Kacey wrote:

I just love our Pineapple Guava tree. It is only two years old and has doubled in size, but we noticed it is losing its leaves. My Pineapple Guava has never had a blossom on it, either.

Positive
On Sep 30, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have tried the blossoms and they are sweet and quite edible (the petals only)- good in salads, too.

This is a great plant for Southern California -incredibly drought tolerant, plants here often go without any watering for 6-8 months (that’s how long we often have without a drop of rain) and no problems.

We had a horse for a while and it loved this tree, too… ate the entire top of the tree- branches and all. Since, the tree has grown a lot more full and looks better… I guess horse pruning can be a good thing.

Positive
On Sep 30, 2003, m_harmon wrote:

My parents have been growing this tree for 40-plus years in Palo Alto, California (U.S.) Growing up, Mom made a wonderful jam from the fruit. Today I read that the blossoms are edible, but we haven’t tried that yet.

The fruit starts to drop after the middle of September, yielding as many as 50, but averaging 30 per day. Many over 3 ounces; the largest was 3.75 oz. We cut them in half and scoop out the fruit with a spoon. First-time tasters might not be knocked out with the flavor, but it will grow on you, as many of our family and neighbors are addicted.

Today I am researching cultivation because we haven’t done any fertilization. Our tree is 15 feet high and wide.

WARNING: I pruned what appeared to be barren if not dead branches. Now the bran… read more

Neutral
On Jul 8, 2003, Guava85 from Torrance, CA wrote:

I’ve never grown Pineapple Guava, but I grew up in Torrance, California, across the fence from someone with a fruiting plant. My brother and I would collect the delicious fruit after it dropped into our yard. The tree was growing out of the ground (not potted).

Neutral
On Jul 5, 2003, kakalina wrote:

Yesterday, I was given a Pineapple Guava bush as a birthday gift. I’m in southern California (U.S.) and my plant came without any instructions. I wonder if I could start it in a large pot on my patio.

Neutral
On Jul 1, 2003, tsue42 from La Marque, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

My next door neighbor has one of these, with beautiful blooms all over it. When I first saw it I was not sure what it was, but I was able to find out the name from one of my garden books.

I have not been able to locate one in my area. I have tried several nurseries in Galveston County, Texas (U.S.) to no avail. It is on my list of “”Most Wanted”” for my garden. The neighbor’s tree is about 9 feet tall and just beautiful. However, I don’t believe it brings him as much pleasure as it would if it was in my yard. Maybe I could steal it during the night! (ha ha)

Positive
On Jun 30, 2003, plantrat wrote:

This has to be my all-time favorite fruit. I love it. My husband thinks I am mad.

I have found when the trees are mature they appreciate a good pruning in the winter and a good dose of fertilizer; this increases their yield significantly.

When living in New Zealand we had a place with about 20 mature trees. (I was in Feijoa heaven) Now in California we managed to track down a small tree and are trying to grow them again.

Positive
On Jun 5, 2003, solecurrent wrote:

What can I say about our Feijoa? We have lived here for fifteen years and when we got here the tree was a bush, already twenty or thirty years old, on the top side of a railway sleeper wall. It spread over the wall like a feral sphere to the lawn four feet below. With three years of judicial pruning it became a tree, multi-trunked because of the pressure of circumstance. It is now fifteen feet high and close to thirty feet wide. The flowers are red and white, upside-down fuchsia-like bloooms, and bloom in the same season. (I take great pleasure in planting Fuchsias below it to impress my guests with those facts!)

  • The fruit is delicious and very healthful.  The pulp is eaten fresh or used in juices, sherbets ice-creams, candies, and liquors. I am growing several seedlings indoors as houseplant.
  • You can choose to train it as either a single trunk or multi-trunk tree.
  • Attracts & supports birds and bees.
  • Drought tolerant once established.
  • the fruit falls when ripe and isn’t damaged after falling.
  • the red flowers are beautiful
  • no pruning required except to shape,
  • 10-15 ft tall,
  • Easy to grow, low-maintenance, requires little care

 

Pineapple Guava is a small tree or shrub with ornamental red flowers. The edible fruit is green with white pulp. It can be found growing in Southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, and is cultivated in other subtropical areas and Andean highlands.

 

 

Acca (syn. Feijoa) is a genus of evergreen shrubs grown for their unusual flowers and edible fruits produced in warm climates. they are tender, but frost hardy.

Pineapple Guava is a shrub with grey-green leaves for a hot, sunny situation. Flowers with purple-red petals and crimson stamens are carried in midsummer. Fruits follow in the autumn.”

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