Guava

Psidium guajava, the common guava, yellow guava, lemon guava, or apple guava is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to the Caribbean, Central America and South America. It is easily pollinated by insects; when cultivated, it is pollinated mainly by the common honey bee, Apis mellifera.



Guava can grow under a wide range of environmental conditions. Guava fruits are amazingly rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Their fruits are oval in shape with light green or yellow skin and contain edible seeds.


Table of Contents


Height(Avg)

9-33 feet


Width-Circumference (Avg)

30 feet


Approximate pH

between 5.5 to 7.5


Growth Nutrition of Guava Trees


Fertilizers encourage vegetative growth, further leads to increased flowering and fruiting. The time of fertilizes application depends upon choice of Bahar to be harvested. Winter crop is more remunerative and fertilizers are generally aimed at getting beneficial effect to these crops.


The nutritional requirement of Guava after fruiting varies with region to region, soil type, and age. A dose 50 Kg. well decomposed organic manure, 978 g. Urea (450 g. N), 1875 g. Single Supper Phosphate (300 g. P) and 500 g. Murate of potash (300 g. K.) to be applied during monsoon season. Fertilizers are applied in basins by the ring or drip point at a depth 15 to 20 cm. Area around the active root zone is at 30 cm. from the trunk at a depth 30 cm. Split dose of Urea @ 978 g.


Urea (450 g. N) per plant to be applied in October to November.


Spraying of 50 g. Urea through 15 liters of water to the plants during March and October are recommended for adequate growth and development.


Spraying of zinc sulphate, magnesium sulphate, manganese sulphate and copper sulphate each @ 0.5 percent (5 g. per liter of water) at the time of new flush and blooming respectively, to correct zinc, magnesium, copper and manganese deficiency.


Different Types of Guava


There are ten different varieties of Red-Pink Guava. This variety includes the Beaumont and Ka Hua Kula, which are commercially planted in Hawaii. The Red Indian is native to Florida. The Ruby X is a hybrid of two Florida varieties.


There are more than 12 varieties of White Guava. These guavas have flesh that is white. The flesh of this type of guava can be soft, crunchy, or crisp. The Sweet White Indonesian is large white soft flesh. The Giant Bangkok or Donrom can weigh more than one pound.


There is only one known variety of Yellow Guava which means it has yellow flesh. The Detwiler is a green-yellow fruit that is three inches. The flesh is firm and medium yellow to salmon.


Red Malaysian Guava


This red guava brings color to your garden. The tree has red edible fruit and bright pink flowers. The guava leaf is tinted red. The flesh of this ripe guava is also red.



Mexican Cream Guava


This guava is also referred to as Tropical Yellow. It has white flesh. The ripe fruit of this guava is creamy and sweet, hence the name. It is ideal for desserts.



Strawberry Guava


Strawberry guava is a different species, as it is classified as Psidium cattleianum. It is also referred to as Cattley guava. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family. This particular guava is native to Brazil and was brought to Hawaii in the early 1820s.



This guava has the unique taste of strawberry, making it delicious to eat. The flesh of this guava is red or pink. The fruit itself is also red. Strawberry guava is mostly found during the summer but in tropical places can produce all year.


Lemon Guava


Lemon guava comes from the guava species like strawberry guava. However, this guava is a yellow fruit with yellow flesh and has a unique flavor. It smells like a combination of lemon and guava. This guava is native to Brazil and grows best in the subtropics.



The lemon guava is small, about three to five centimeters. The tree has white flowers. Lemon guava can be eaten raw or cooked. It is often found in frozen desserts, smoothies, and tropical fruit salads.


Tropical White Guava


Tropical white guava has yellow skin with a tender and sweet fruit. It has a nice smell, and the flesh is creamy and white. The tropic white guava is native to Southern Mexico but has found its way to the Pacific tropics, Southeast Asia, Asia, India, Hong Kong, Hawaii, India, and Africa. The flowers of this tree are white with a feathery stamen. The tree grows best in subtropic temperatures with moderate moisture in the soil.



Pineapple Guava


Pineapple guava is also referred to as Feijoa sellowiana. The pineapple guava tree is native to Southern Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, and eastern Paraguay. The pineapple guava is ideal for dessert, jams, pies, and salads. It can be eaten raw. The flowers on the tree are purple and white and also edible.



Sweet White Indonesian Guava


The sweet white Indonesian guava is classified as Psidium guajava. This guava is native to Indonesia. This guava is large and round and has a yellow-green rind and pink-cream flesh.



Red Indian Guava


The red Indian guava is a medium to large fruit that is native to Florida. It has a strong but sweet scent. The rind is yellow and pink, and it has a lot of guava seeds. It can be eaten raw and right after it has been picked, as long as it is ripe.


Giant Vietnamese Guava


The giant Vietnamese guava is a large fruit. It has white flesh, and it is ideal to be used for guava juice.


Ruby-X Guava


The ruby-x guava has thick skin and has a tendency to keep away the fruit flies.


Thai Maroon Guava


The Thai marrow guava is beautiful guava. The tree has red leaves, pink flesh, and fruit that is dense and full of nutrients.




Detwiler Guava


Detwiler guava is not easy to find. This guava is unique because it is the only guava with yellow flesh. It is a large fruit with a texture that is firm.


Planting Guava Trees


When To Plant


Guavas can be planted at virtually any time of year in tropical zones, but do best in the warmer months. Early spring when it’s just starting to warm up is a good time, as it gives the tree time to stretch out its roots underground before hot weather sets in.


If growing the guava tree in a container and bringing it indoors for the winter, and can start anytime provided that the conditions are relatively warm. Aim for temperatures that are above 45 degrees, and preferably above 50.


Where To Plant


While it need to make sure the tree has full sun and another tree for pollination purposes, and also need to keep them separate. Guavas should be placed at least 10 meters (33 feet) apart when possible but can be as close as 5 meters if necessary.


Place the trees in sunny, well-lit locations as they require full sun. Provide a place that is at least somewhat protected from wind if possible, whether by fencing or another windbreak. The small guava tree will need that protection to develop, and older trees can be sensitive to cold winds too.


Guavas can be planted as espalier trees on cordons. However, don’t place other plants beneath them, as exudates from their root system tend to kill off weeds or other plants at the tree’s base.


How To Plant


When planting a young tree, want to dig a hole that’s at least twice the width of the root ball, wider if possible. This allows to break up any hard soil that might slow early root development. Use the blade of the spade or shovel to loosen the sides of the planting hole as well. Can amend the soil with compost if wish, but try to avoid large amounts of fertilizer as it can cause burning to young and tender root systems.


Ensure that the soil is well-draining by filling the hole with water and waiting to see how long it takes to drain. If it takes longer than a few minutes, dig down a couple more feet and add perlite or other soil-loosener to speed drainage.


Place the tree in at the depth at which it was originally planted. Do not plant it any deeper, as that can be a potential hazard for the trunk. Fill with the original soil, amended with compost if desired. Mulch to a depth of 3”-4” around the tree, making sure to maintain at least a 4”-6” clear space around the trunk itself.


Guava Care


Light & Temperature


The guava tree is tropical. It needs lots of full sun and warm conditions to truly thrive and produce. If it is planting in the yard, should be ensure its safety during the winter months. People growing them in containers will need to bring them indoors once the weather dips into the 40’s but will still need to provide lots of light.


Guava trees require a bare minimum of 6 hours of sun per day but prefer 8-10 hours of sun. They can tolerate heat but perform at their best in temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 30 degrees the plant’s at risk of severe damage.


Watering & Humidity


While the guava is somewhat drought-tolerant once established, that’s not true when it’s young. Young trees should be watered every other day through their first year of growth, excepting the winter months when temperatures are cooler and the tree is dormant.

Somewhat shallow-rooted, the majority of the guava’s moisture will come from the upper layers of soil. As the upper portion dries out quicker than deeper soil would, providing mulch can help keep moisture from evaporating as quickly. Placing a soaker hose underneath the mulch allows to water at a slow trickle that won’t harm the root system.


During fruit production, even older trees may need a slight boost to the watering regimen. Check the soil beneath the mulch to see if it’s moist before watering. Usually once to twice a week is fine for established, mature trees.


Soil


Rich soils with high amounts of organic material are preferred by the guava, but it can grow in a wide range of soil types. Avoid heavy clay soils when possible as they aren’t conducive to good root development. Good drainage is key, as this tree doesn’t tolerate standing water well.


A pH range of 5.5 -7.5 is best for these plants.


Fertilizing


For the first year of growth, fertilize monthly with a balanced complete fertilizer during the growing season. Skip fertilizing from November through January as the tree will be dormant. These trees like extra magnesium and iron in their food, so check your fertilizer label to ensure there’s some in there. A 5-5-5 or 6-6-6 slow-release fertilizer is optimal.


To promote good fruit development once pollination has happened, can raise the level of potassium slightly if like, but it’s just not necessary if are consistent with application.


Once the guava tree is established and past its first year, provide more fertilizer per feeding but cut it back to every other month. A slow-release blend is still preferred, and granular types are ideal. Evenly scatter it across the soil over the root area. Can work it into the surface of the soil if wish.


Pruning


If growing the guava in a shrub-like form, then don’t have to prune away the lower sucker shoots. However, most prefer to keep them in tree-form so they don’t spread out of control.


When removing sucker shoots, take them off as close to the base of the tree as possible. Light pruning of the canopy will open it up to more sunlight and airflow. Guava fruit develops on new shoots from mature wood, so be careful not to remove all new growth.


If maintaining a tree to a certain height, do heavy pruning in the late winter every other year to keep it in the desired height range. Try to leave some older wood in place. Be sure to cut above any visible budding points when possible, as that’s where future growth will develop.


A single-trunked tree with at least three or four lateral branches will form a nice, appealing canopy shape.


Guava tree pruning should also be done to remove damaged or diseased branches as needed. Whenever pruning, use sterilized pruning shears or loppers to prevent disease spread.


Propagation


Guava seeds can remain viable for a long time. Soak the seeds in warm water for at least 24 hours before planting, although it can leave in the water for up to a week if need to.


Seeds should be planted in moist, warm soil and kept damp throughout germination. This is the most reliable method of propagation if only have one variety of guava. If growing multiple cultivars, cuttings are best.


Root cuttings are the next option for propagation. At least 2-3 feet from the tree, cut off a section of root that’s at least 5” in length. Place it in warm, damp soil and keep it moist. New shoots should start appearing within 3-4 weeks.


Half-hard cuttings from branches can also be rooted. Remove a ring of bark at the cutting’s base and apply rooting hormone before planting. These should also be kept moist and warm.


Harvesting and Storing Guavas


Guava fruit ripens in its 2nd-4th year. Should pick the guava fruit when it’s full-sized and has become slightly soft and aromatic. But it can be harvested prior to full ripeness, as it’ll continue to ripen even after it’s harvested.


If harvesting fruit early, be sure to select fruits that are of a good size, leaving small fruit to continue to develop. Most guava fruit lightens in color as it approaches ripeness, so early harvests should be a light green in hue with slightly firmer skin. Place the harvested guavas in a paper bag with an apple or banana, as the ethylene the banana or apple emits will ripen your fruit faster.


When picking, try not to yank on the tree so as to not damage branches. Use a sterilized pair of pruning shears to snip through the wood above the fruits instead. This protects both the produce and the tree.


Storing


Ripe guava fruit can be refrigerated for 5-7 days. Green fruit can be stored for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, but should be checked regularly to remove fully ripened fruit from the green fruit.


To store the fruit for longer periods, scoop out the soft inner flesh of the fruits and compost the rind. The flesh can then be frozen or canned as a jelly or jam. Making a guava syrup is also optional. It can be dehydrated as a pulp on a drying sheet and stored that way as well.


Pests and Diseases


Pests


Fruit flies are a common pest. In Florida and other parts of the southeast US, this will be the Caribbean fruit fly; in the southwest US it’s the Mexican fruit fly. To prevent these, harvest before the fruit is fully ripe. Pick up any fallen fruit, and make use of fruit fly traps as needed to reduce their numbers.


The guava moth (Argyresthia eugeniella) lays eggs on your tree’s leaves. The larvae tunnel into fruit and chew holes in the leaves. These can be treated with a bacillus thurigiensis (BT) spray. This moth is typical in the southeast US, particularly Florida.


Red-banded thrips will cause browning of fruit rinds and defoliation of your tree. Neem oil and sticky traps can keep these at bay.


The guava whitefly (Metaleurodicus cardini) also feeds on guava leaves. Spraying the tree three times a year with horticultural oil will reduce their numbers.


A number of types of scale insects, including some mealybugs, are fond of guava wood and leaves. Neem oil or horticultural oil can reduce their spread. Small infestations can be treated by hand with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the pests.


Finally, root knot nematodes can be particularly harmful to your guava. Reduce their numbers by applying beneficial nematodes to the soil around the trunk and across the root area.


Diseases


Red alga, also called algal spot or algal leaf spot, is caused by the fungi Cephaleuros virescens. This condition creates purplish-brown spotting on leaves and can, if severe, cause defoliation and lowered fruit production. Treat with a copper-based fungicide.


Another common fungal problem is anthracnose. This can also be controlled and treated with copper fungicidal sprays. Most other leaf spots which appear also are treated with copper.


Finally, fungal root rots can develop in overly-wet conditions. Ensure the soil drains readily to prevent this from occurring.


Benefits of Guava Tree


Benefits of Guava Fruits


Guava fruits are called the queen of all fruits because of their high level of medicinal value.


Guava helps boost your immunity


Guava is rich in vitamin C and is said to contain four times the content of vitamin C found in oranges. Vitamin C helps boost immunity levels that prepare your body to fight common infections and pathogens. Also, more vitamin C helps in good eyesight.


May reduce the risk of developing Cancer


Vitamin C, lycopene and other types of polyphenols act as antioxidants that help in neutralising infections in the body that prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Guava fruit has been shown to prevent prostate cancer and also prevents the growth of breast cancer cells.


Helps to manage blood sugar levels


Guava has a high content of fibre and glycaemic index that helps prevent the development of diabetes. Fibre content regulates blood sugar levels from spiking, while glycemic index also restricts your blood sugar to rise at a short.


Guavas help in keeping your heart healthy


Guava contains high amounts of sodium and potassium that helps the body to balance and regulate high blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension. Guavas help in reducing cholesterol that is one of the primary reasons for heart diseases. However, this

fruit increases the levels of good cholesterol and substitutes this with bad cholesterol.


Helps during constipation


Guavas contain high amounts of good dietary fibre when compared to other fruits. One guava a day contains 12 per cent of fibre intake that makes it highly beneficial for digestive health. It also helps in healthy bowel movements. This reduces your risk of constipation.


Helps in better eyesight


Guava fruit contains vitamin A that helps boost an individual’s eyesight. Eating guava not only prevents bad eyesight but also prevents you from developing cataracts and macular degeneration.


Guava is an anti-stress agent


Guava contains magnesium in the fruit that helps relax your muscles and nerves. So, this means that after a hard workout or a long day at the office, you need just one guava to get you relaxed. This fruit helps you combat stress and provides a good energy boost to your system.


Guava helps women during pregnancy


Guavas benefit pregnant women such that it contains folic acid and vitamin B-9 which is recommended to be given for women since it helps in developing the baby’s nervous system and protects the baby from neurological disorders.


One of the best solutions for toothaches


Guava leaves have anti-inflammatory action and antibacterial ability that fights infections and kills germs and people consuming guava leaves at home will help curb toothaches. The juice from the guava leaves is also said to provide relief from swollen gums and oral ulcers.

Aids in weight loss

If you are a fitness enthusiast, or if you feel that you are on the heavier side, then you need to eat guava that aids in weight loss. Guava regulates your body’s metabolism. Raw guava is said to have less sugar when compared to apples, grapes and oranges.

Helps in cold & cough

Guava has a very high content of vitamin C and iron when compared to other fruits. However, guava is proven to prevent you from getting a bad cold or any viral infection. The juice from raw guavas is very beneficial in curing cough and cold. It gets rid of the mucus and disinfects the respiratory tract, throat and lungs.

May help with menstruation pain

Many women experience bad and painful cramps as period symptoms. There is a study that suggests guava leaf extract can help reduce the pain during menstruation. This study involved 197 women consuming the guava leaf extract (6 mg) and found that it greatly helped in reducing the pain and that it works better than many painkillers as well!


Benefits of guava leaves


Guava leaves can either be boiled in hot water and consumed or made tea using them.

  • Helps in stopping diarrhoea

  • Hells reduce cholesterol levels

  • Helps in losing weight

  • helps to manage blood sugar levels

  • Helps to fights cancer

  • Helps in good vision

  • Used for healing acne

  • Helps in improving your skin texture

Uses

  • The guava leaves are edible in the form of herbal teas and supplements.

  • The fruit is used for the preparation of processed products like jams, jellies and nectar.

  • Guava may be eaten raw or cooked.

  • Guava wood is useful for tool manufacturing, fences or firewood.

  • Guava processing yields 25% by-products that can be used in animal feeding.

  • Guava leaves can be used as fodder.

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