How to Plant, Grow and Care Guava Tree


Guava (Botanical name : Psidium guajava) is a tropical tree, producing sweet fruits which are eaten as a fruit or used as an ingredient in drinks, smoothies and desserts.

Read information on types of guava fruit tree and how to grow guava tree faster from seeds, cuttings and layering in containers and ground, and how to look after your guava plant and fertilizer for it.
The common names are guava, amrood, jamphal, goiaba, guayaba, djamboe, djambu, goavier, etc.

The guava tree is a highly attractive tree. The leaves and flowers are both mildly fragrant and attractive. The guava tree, if grown in ground will grow to a height up to 12 feet in  tropical regions. The tree will grow to a smaller size in a container. The tree produces white 1 inch size flowers.

The guava fruits are about 5 inches in diameter; either oval, round or pear shaped and the ripe fruit has a rich pungent smell which spreads quickly in the house.

Guava Fruit
Guava Fruit
The guava fruit has white, pink yellow flesh having seeds at its center. The taste of the fruit varies from sour to sweet, depending on its variety.

First I planted a Hawaiian type guava which produced several guava fruits with pink flesh, but the taste was slightly sour. So I removed that tree and planted an Indian type which is producing very sweet fruits.

Types of Guava : The Guava Varieties

  1. The common or Apple guava (Psidium guajava) has fruit that typically ripen as a yellow color. It is the most frequently eaten species.
  2. The Strawberry guava (Psidium littoral) has a red colored outer skin, and has strawberry-like flavor fruit, generally smaller than the common guava.
  3. The Pineapple Guava or Feijoa (F. sellowiana) has attractive flowers and larger sized fruits.

How to Grow and Care Guava Tree


Position : Where To Plant Guava

  1. Guava plant needs full sun to part shade to grow, however, it cannot withstand too much heat.
  2. The guava plants have very little tolerance for cold. The plant is very frost tender and the matured tree will drop all the leaves in winter, while the young may die. The new leaves start to grow from the beginning of spring.
  3. In the USA, guava trees can grow in US Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 11; in Hawaii, Florida, sheltered areas in California and Texas and the Virgin Islands.

Growing Guava Tree in Pot or Ground

  1. Guavas can be planted in pots and ground as well. If you are planning in a container, then select a big pot, at least 30 cm (12 inch) pot, bigger is better. The potted guava plant can be pruned in early summer to keep the size compact. Transfer the young guava plant every spring into a larger pot.
  2. The pot should have good drainage holes at the bottom, which is important to protect the roots.
  3. The guavas planted in ground grows faster into big tree, up to 30 feet in height. The fruits in these trees become difficult to pluck as they grow to very high branches. So I am growing guava in the container, it is quite easy.

Soil For Guava Tree

Plant your guava in a rich free-draining soil having a pH 4.5-7.0. Add lots of compost and manure to the soil and some river sand to make it free draining.

Planting

Guava can be propagated by seed, grafting and air layering. For commercial cultivation, it is best grafted onto a established root-stock. The seedlings grow very fast if proper care is taken.

Growing Guava From Seed


Guava Plant One Year Old producing Fruit
Guava Plant One Year Old producing Fruit
  1. The guava tree started from seed will produce fruit in 1 to 3 years. Buy good quality seeds from a garden shop.
  2. To speed up the germination, soak the seeds in water for 10-15 days, or boil them for 5 minutes before sowing. This will soften the hard coating of the seeds, encouraging the inner embryo to germinate
  3. Take a small pot and fill it with seed raising soil. Sow the seeds about quarter inch (0.5 cm) below the soil and water. Keep the soil moist. I cover the pot with a plastic wrap to maintain a high humidity inside.
  4. Guava seeds germinate at temperatures between 20 to 25°C. The guava seeds germination takes about 3-10 weeks when the tiny sprouts will emerge out from the soil. Remove the top plastic cover.
  5. Transplant the seedlings when they are 4 to 18 inch high.
  6. I have grown a guava tree from seeds prepared from the fruit. My seed propagated guava plant reached quite high, about 24 inch in just one year and produced its first flower, to my surprise. On the other hand, my guava tree propagated by a cutting at the same time has not flowered so far.
I also bought a small plant propagated probably from layering method and planted it in a 30 cm size pot. After 2 years it has grown quite big so I transferred it into a 75 cm pot.

Watering

  1. Guavas prefer regular deep root watering, allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings. Provide regular water during the growing season, and reduce watering during the winter. Apply water at the base of the tree, avoiding its foliage getting wet to prevent fungal disease.
  2. The older branches of the guava tree produce larger size guava fruit. So to promote branch growth, the tree must receive regular water.

Mulch

Mulch with 2-6 inch (5-15 cm) of wood chips, bark to retain soil moisture. Keep the mulch-10 inch away from trunk. Mulch can also reduce the growth of weeds and can help reduce the risk of certain pests.

Guava Tree Fertilization

Fruits Growing on a Guava Tree
Fruits Growing on a Guava Tree
Guava Flower showing details
Guava Flower
  1. Guava tree is heavy feeder, so it should be fertilized every 1-2 months when it is young; thereafter 3-4 times a year.
  2. Guava trees need a fertilizer high in nitrogen, phosphorus, potash and some magnesium for maximum fruit production. Mix 6-6-6-2 fertilizer into soils beginning of the growing season and then 3-4 times during the growth period.
  3. Apply a fertilizer high in potassium to increase fruit production. I feed my guava plant with a liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season.
  4. Guava trees become iron deficient in alkaline and high pH soil. Fertilize 1-2 times with iron sulphate each year.
  5. Always water your guava plant after fertilizing to minimize the risk of burns.

Guava Flowers and Pollination

The guava tree blooms in early spring, but may bloom all year in mild climates.
  1. Guava tree has perfect flowers with male and female parts in each flower.
  2. Honeybees pollinate the guava flowers.
  3. If there are no bees in your area, then you may hand pollinate the flowers. Use a very small  paint brush and tickle the inside of flowers.
  4. Spray your guava tree a 5 % solution of urea mixed with a wetting agent just before flowering. When the urea spray dries, then water the plant. This will increase the duration of fruit production.

The Guava Fruit Harvest

The guava fruit matures in 2-4 months after the flowers bloom. The fruit remain hard and green but changes color and becomes softer when it is ripe. Fruits picked green will ripen when stored at room temperature. (Fruit Ripening with Ethylene)

How to Make a Guava Tree Bear Fruit


Flower on one year old guava plant
Flower on one year old guava plant grown from seed
If your guava tree has matured and not flowering then you can encourage the tree to flower as following:
  1. Allow the tree to dry out for 2-3 weeks and prune the tips of the branches to stimulate new growth. Guava will flower on the new growth.
  2. Water restriction causes the tree to begin reproduction defense mechanisms that result in flowering.

Pests and Diseases on Guava Tree

  1. Young guava are attacked by a number of pests including aphids, guava white fly, mealy bugs, moth, scale and thrips. Treat early. I cover the fruits with a paper bag to prevent fruit fly.
  2. The guava tree is attacked by a number of diseases like anthrcnose, red alga, and leaf spots. Pruning the tree to increase air circulation will be beneficial. Regular copper spray, pest oil spray or insecticidal soap can control the disease.
  3. Sometimes, ants crawling on the guavas may be problem. Use Boric Acid Ant Baits to control ants.

Pruning

Prune the new plant at 1-2 feet length to produce new lateral branches. Allow such 3-4 branches to grow to 2-3 feet. Then cut the tips of these branches to grow more branches. Remove the weak branches. The tree in this way will become dense with a good canopy.

How To Protect Guava Tree From Low Temperatures

To protect guavas from freezing temperatures, cover with a blanket at night or put Christmas lights on it when there is a threat of frost.

References

  1. Guava Fruit Farming Info - Beginners Guide
  2. Jonathan Crane and Carlos Belerdi, Guava growing in Florida Home Landscape
  3. Boning, Charles R. (2006). Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 99.
  4. California Rare Fruit Growers. Tropical Guava




19 comments

Good blog with useful information. Nice photographs. The increase fruit production spray urea about 70 ppm solution a fortnight before Spring and feed well with Citrus fertilizer
Reply

I have a 3 year old guava tree and thanks to the environment condition it started flowering very soon. The problem now is I feel it has some problem. I discovered tiny bug type (probably I don't know what it is). It has a very net type texture. Its fully white on color with red spots in pattern over the sides. Its is fully oval yet tiny. And if pressed it has this kind of powder coming out of it. It lives on leaves or a stem. Sometimes on the fruit. But my tree still seems healthy. Please let me know if its an extra fertiliser excretion or an organism.
Reply

Make a dilute solution of neem oil (about 1 ml oil in 1 liter water) and stray on the leaves, stems and trunk on both sides. Repeat after one week. if you don't get neem oil, then take a few cloves of garlic, crush them and add water. Filter and take 2-3 ml of this garlic solution and add to 1 liter water and spray. The problem of tiny bugs on the plant will go away. next time, please do not post as anonymous.
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My 2 yrs old guava tree has now produced fruits, it is around 2 inch long, but remains in that size for a long time now, more than 2 months. It is not becoming bigger, not falling from the treas. It remains dark green, sturdy, and of the same size. Is it because of any deficiency, please advise.
Reply

It is normal. Apply some fertilizer, top up the soil with cow manure and water regularly. Eventually they will grow larger. Cover the fruits with paper bags to protect from fruit flies.
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I have 20 year old guava tree in my backyard, it gives ample fruits in Delhi weather but with insects inside. What should I do to have edible fruit.
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White insects like buga inside guava fruit are due to flies laying eggs inside the fruits. When the fruits are forming, Hang fruit fly trapes on the tree. Also cover the fruits with paper You can make the traps at home.
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Can somebody help please. Our Guava tree stands at least 10 feet tall planted in ground. But with out a stick to support it, is weak and bends. What can we do, is this even normal?
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Supporting the huava yrer with a stick is OK. You should cut the growing branches to encourage growyth of new branches to make the tree denser.
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What should be the quantity of manure in each plant ? Recently planted.Also inform how to protect from pest.And quantity to be used in each plant. Ravi Shanker 9873843969
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I have 9 year old guava tree. its not flowered up to that extend which was in earlier season. is there any solution for flowering soon
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Trim the end of all the branches of guava plant. Feed your guava tree with a fertilizer high in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus 3 times a year. After a year, your guava tree should flower.
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Must the seed be freshly taken from the fruit before boiling? because i had took it out few days ago
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Fresh seeds are not needed, however, they must be from fully a ripe fruit. Sow 4-5 seeds so that at lease one is germinated.
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our guava tree produces plenty of fruits but the problem is fruits may have white worms inside.
What could possibly be the reason and what should I do about it? thanks

Reply

White worm like bugs inside guava fruit are due to flies laying eggs inside the fruits. Hang fruit fly traps on the tree when the fruits are forming,. You may also cover the fruits with paper bags.
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My guava tree is three years old flowering with fruits.Now my tree is sheding its leaves.some red spots on leaves and dries and falls.
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May be insect problem. Spray a dilute solution of neem oil on leaves, stem and soil.
Reply

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