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Guava fruit trees (Psidium guajava) are not widespread in North America and need a tropical climate to thrive. Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, Florida, and a few protected parts of California and Texas are the only places in the United States where you may see them. When young, the trees are very vulnerable to freezing, and they will die if they are exposed to prolonged cold.
In spite of this, the plants are beautiful and yield beautifully rich, sweet fruits that can be served fresh or in sweets, making them a perfect addition to any diet. If adequate information is available, it is feasible to plant guava trees in a greenhouse or sunroom and gain the advantages of their vitamin C-rich fruits.
Information about Guava Fruit Trees
The guava fruit grows on small trees with a broad, short canopy and a strong single or multiple-stemmed trunk.Long serrated leaves on the 3-to-7-inch (7.5-to-18-cm) guava tree make it an intriguing shrub with mottled greenish bark. Guava trees have tiny, round, oval, or pear-shaped fruits with white, 1-inch-long (2.5 cm) blooms. Instead of berries, we should think of them as soft-fleshed berries that come in a variety of colors—from white to pink to yellow and even red—and whose flavors range from acidic to sour to sweet and rich.
To blossom and provide fruit, guava plants need well-drained soil and ample light.
Guava fruit trees may grow up to 20 feet (6 m.) in height and are native to tropical and subtropical regions. Growing guavas outdoors is not an option in much of the United States since it needs a lot of cold protection. Even in warm, sunny areas with sporadic cold snaps, they need protection from chilling winds.
Planting and Maintaining a Guava Tree
Wherever guavas grow naturally, they should be planted in a well-drained area with space for their roots to expand.
When the guava tree is young, fertilize it every one to two months, and then every three to four years as it grows. For optimal fruit production, guava trees need a high level of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, as well as a small quantity of magnesium. There are several formulas that may be applied to soil before the start of the growing season and then three times throughout the growing season.
During the flowering and fruiting seasons, keep older trees fairly wet by watering often after planting. Once a guava fruit tree is established, its maintenance is comparable to that of any other fruiting tree.
The Art of Seed-Starting a Guava
Guava seeds may take up to eight years to grow into fruiting trees, and the plants are not genetically identical to the parents. Since cuttings and layering are more often employed for guava fruit plants as propagation strategies,
Growing guava seeds, on the other hand, may be a lot of fun and result in a unique plant. Fresh guava fruit must be used to collect the seeds, which must then be removed by soaking. However, germination may take up to eight weeks, and the seeds might last for months before being used. Prior to planting, boil the seeds for five minutes to soften the hard outer shell and facilitate germination.
How to Grow Guava Trees in Small Pots
Container-grown guava comes in three flavors: sweet, sour, and tangy.
- Tropical guavas (Psidium guajava) are the tastiest and biggest of the three. Ten to fifteen feet (three to four meters) in height, they are more frost-resistant than the other two.
- A shrub-like tree, the strawberry guavas (Psidium lucidum) have smaller, tarter fruit. Compared to tropical guavas, they tend to produce higher yields and reach a little lower height and width of 12 feet (3.7 meters) high and wide. A hardiness zone of 25 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient for these plants (-4 C.).
- Frost-tolerant pineapple guavas (Feijoa Sellowiana) provide a zesty fruit. In sunset zones 7, 11, and 24, they thrive. They can withstand temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius). The 15-foot (4.6-meter) trees’ trunks twist and turn beautifully.
In the ground or in a container, all of these plants may be cultivated. When growing guavas in containers, you may transfer them to a more protected location as needed. The most frost-tolerant pineapple guava, however, is a semi-tropical plant that must be protected from very cold temperatures.
Container Guava Planting
Guava thrives in a wide range of soil types, but prefers a pH range of 5–7 that drains well. Use a mix of potting soil and compost to plant the tree.
Keep the container at least 18–24 inches (46–60 cm) wide and the same depth in mind when selecting a new container. Drainage holes must be provided in the pot.
Because of their toughness and adaptability, guava trees in containers are an excellent choice. Choose a location where your container-grown guava will get direct sunlight.
Care for a Guava Tree in a Pot
Regular, thorough watering is not necessary for guavas. Guavas should be watered twice or three times a month throughout the growth season. Because guavas are drought-resistant, you may water them minimally throughout the winter.
A guava’s thin roots quickly suck up water and nutrients, allowing it to grow quickly. Once every three months, apply an organic granular fertilizer to the plants.
Even though they may be shaped, guavas don’t need much trimming. Dead or crossed branches must be removed, as well as sprouting foliage or graft union branches that protrude downwards (where the fruiting plant is grafted onto the lower rootstock). Pruning guavas will not harm the fruit set since the fruit is produced on fresh growth.
If temperatures are expected to dip, take precautions to keep the tree safe. Protect the tree from frost by covering it with a sheet or tarp. To assist in protecting the tree from the cold, you may use a circulating air fan or even water sprayed on the trunk. Another approach to keeping the guava tree from freezing is to decorate it with Christmas lights.
You’ll just have to wait for the sweet, aromatic guava fruit to ripen before you can enjoy these self-fruiting plants.