- HEALTHY LIVING
- Nutritional Value of Guavas
- Benefits of Eating Guavas During Pregnancy
- Side Effects of Eating Guavas
- Drinking Guava Juice or Eating the Fruit Itself – What Should You Choose During Pregnancy?
- Seed Availability
- Growing Environment
- Germination Info
- Native Range
- Additional Pictures
- Related Species
- Strawberry Guava and Yellow Cherry Guava
- How to Choose a Ripe Guava
- 1. How to Eat Guava
- The easiest way to get rid of invasive strawberry guava, according to experts, is to pick it and eat it
- Quick Care
- Strawberry Guava Varieties
- Planting Strawberry Guava
- Strawberry Guava Plant Care
- Harvesting and Storing Strawberry Guava
- Strawberry Guava Plants: How To Grow A Strawberry Guava Tree
- What is Strawberry Guava?
- How to Grow a Strawberry Guava Tree
- Pacific Southwest Research Station
- Research Topics: Biological Control
Guava, though small, is one powerful fruit! This little fruit is rich in manganese, which helps your body absorb key nutrients from other foods that we eat. Plus, a banana and a guava contain almost the same amount of potassium!
Guava can be eaten in a variety of ways, including:
- In fruit salad
- Parfaits (try this recipe!)
Want to learn how to pick the perfect guava? Check out these tips.
Touch & Feel: Look for the softest guava you can find! The softer the guava, the sweeter and more delicious it will be. Once you purchase or pick your guavas, you have about two days before they go bad. In order to tell if a guava is ripe, squeeze it gently. If it gives under your fingers, it’s ripe.
Look & Color: Blemishes or bruises on guavas can mean the fruit is bad or will not taste good. Ripe guavas are those that have gone from bright green to a softer yellowish-green color. A little bit of pink on the fruit indicates the fruit is ready to eat now
Smell: Take a whiff! If you can smell the guava without putting it to your nose, take it home with you. You want guavas to smell sweet and slightly musky.
Clean up: Wash the entire guava because like you would an apple because all parts are edible. Rinse with cold water in an effort to control any bacterial growth and pat dry with paper towels.
Cut & Prepare: A serrated knife works best when cutting open a guava. You can either cut guavas in half or cut them into slices. On the inside you may see pink or white flesh.
Season & Eat it: You can season guava with a range of things from soy sauce, salt, sugar, to even vinegar. Eat the guava whole or scoop out the inside if you don’t want to eat the skin.
Save & Store: Want to eat the guava in the next few days? Wrap the whole, uncut fruit it in plastic wrap and throw it in your fridge. Need more time? Freeze your guava and store it up to eight months.
Looks for more colorful Fresh Finds on our blog from May 13 – June 3!
Somebody claimed that his parent advised him not to eat guava fruit if he wishes to preserve his teeth. Though, he loves to eat guava fruits but he suddenly became curious and worried enough when he was told that the seeds of the guava fruit could get stuck into his kidney and this could result into a disorder known as ‘Appendix’. Is this really possible? Well, let’s find out.
The first statement was wrong. Eating a guava fruit particularly unripe guava fruit does not cause damages into your teeth but ultimate clean them up. The fruit actually provide some phosphorus and mineral nutrients that strengthen your bones and this includes your teeth. If your purpose for eating guava fruit is to maintain the cleanliness of your teeth then its best suggested to chew on the fresh leaves of the guava tree.
It has already been proven through a thousand years that guava leaves are very effective in cleaning and whitening your teeth. Thus, instead of paying for an expensive equipment then you might just want to considering chewing guava leaves. Take note that you have to choose the leaves to chew which are young and fresh. You can easily find them at the shoot of the tree.
Are Guava Seeds Dangerous when Consumed?
Seeds contained inside the guava fruit are completely harmless and edible. It actually adds additional fiber on top of the fiber that is already found on the flesh of the fruit. The seeds also contains a high dose of pectin which is a type of soluble fiber that can reduce your appetite. This is the reason why eating guava fruits for weight loss diet is highly effective.
The risk of heart diseases will also be reduced because the contents of the guava seeds helps in lowering LDL Cholesterol. For those who are suffering from diabetes, the seed contents helps in regulating your blood sugar. Other health benefits of the consumption of the guava seeds are colorectal cancer prevention, helps manage diarrhea, alleviates constipation, prevent diverticulitis and aids people suffering from hemorrhoids.
Moreover, it is not possible for guava seeds to get stuck in the kidneys because the kidney is not connected to stomach or any part of the digestive system. However, there is a possibility that the seeds can get stuck in the Appendix. To be more specific, it is known as “diverticulitis”. This is a condition where the guava seeds can cause inflammation of the diverticulum in the intestines.
If you know other dangers about consumption of the guava seeds then please suggest them on the Comment Form below.
Overall, if you enjoy eating plenty of guava fruits but you do not want to consume the seeds then, you can simply clean the seeds out from the fruit. You can do this by using a spoon to scrape the seeds out.
Last Updated on December 16, 2019
If you are pregnant, your diet must have changed for the good. Your doctor must have suggested that you increase your intake of fruits, veggies, dry fruits and nuts, and other healthy foods during pregnancy for the proper growth and development of your baby. You must have started making healthier choices, but not everything that is healthy otherwise is safe for consumption during pregnancy. In this article, we will tell you whether or not you can consume the very nutritious fruit guava during pregnancy. Many people believe that eating guavas increases chances of appendicitis in a pregnant woman. However, there is no medical proof of the same. So, let’s find out if you can eat it during pregnancy!
Nutritional Value of Guavas
Guavas are very nutritious and experts believe that eating guavas during pregnancy can be very beneficial. Guavas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and folic acid. Read on to know about the nutritional information about guavas.
- Guavas are rich in essential vitamins.
Guavas are rich in vitamins like Vitamin C, A, B2, and E. It is believed that guavas contain more Vitamin A and Vitamin C than oranges and lemons.
- Guavas are a rich source of folic acid.
Ascorbic acid and folic acid are very important for the proper growth of the foetus. These two acids are found in guavas. The folic acid present in guavas also benefits the circulatory system and aids in the development of the nervous system in babies.
Benefits of Eating Guavas During Pregnancy
Eating guavas during pregnancy can be beneficial for your overall health. Eating guavas in the morning is an excellent remedy for morning sickness. Due to their high fibre and water content, guavas should be an integral part of a pregnancy diet. Eating guavas during pregnancy can also help in maintaining blood pressure and prevent gestational diabetes, a common condition affecting pregnant women.
Apart from these benefits, guavas offer several other health benefits. Read on to know why this delicious fruit is a wonder fruit!
Helps Control Blood Pressure Levels: One of the benefits of eating this tropical fruit during pregnancy is that it controls blood pressure and prevents clotting thus maintaining the fluidity of blood. As a result, eating guavas can help prevent the chances of a miscarriage or premature birth.
Helps Control Cholesterol Levels: Being a rich source of fibre, guavas also keep blood cholesterol levels under control. High cholesterol can lead to cardiovascular complications which can be quite dangerous especially during pregnancy. So eat guavas and keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Lowers the Risk of Anaemia: Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia during pregnancy. In iron-deficiency anaemia, the blood cannot carry enough oxygen to tissues throughout the body. This can affect the health of the mother and the baby. But the chances of anaemia can be lowered by consuming Vitamin C-rich foods like guavas that help in the absorption of iron.
Helps Relax Muscles and Nerves: The magnesium content in guava can help keep the muscles and nerves relaxed during pregnancy.
Prevents Infections: Guavas are known for their antioxidant properties and are rich in Vitamins A, C, and E. They also contain polyphenols and carotenoids. The presence of these vitamins and antioxidants help fight and prevent bacterial infections and lower the risk of illness.
Prevents Gestational Diabetes: Guavas not only help in lowering blood sugar levels but also help in regulating the same which eventually can help prevent gestational diabetes.
Regulates Digestion: Eating guavas can help keep digestion problems at bay and ensure the smooth functioning of the digestive system. The presence of potassium in guavas can also help tackle acidity and heartburn.
Helps in the Healthy Growth of the Baby: A rich source of folic acid, calcium and Vitamin B9, guavas can help in the healthy development of the baby’s brain and bones.
Prevents Constipation: Constipation and haemorrhoids are a common problem during pregnancy. Hormonal changes usually lead to this problem but eating guavas can solve this problem of constipation. Guavas being rich in fibre content and water can treat constipation. Eating guavas with the seeds can also prevent haemorrhoids.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, eating guavas can also strengthen the immune system, increase energy levels, and decrease the stress hormones in the body. The very fact that guavas are rich in vitamin C, lycopene, and antioxidants make the consumption of guavas highly favourable for skin and hair.
Side Effects of Eating Guavas
Although guavas taste delicious and offer numerous health benefits, there are a few complications that may arise if you eat guavas in excessive amounts during pregnancy:
Guavas are rich in fibre which can help keep digestion problems at bay but if consumed in large amounts, it may cause diarrhoea.
Guavas, like most other fruits, are stored using lots of chemicals. These chemicals can cause bacterial infections that can have an adverse impact on health during pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to wash guavas well before consumption.
Drinking Guava Juice or Eating the Fruit Itself – What Should You Choose During Pregnancy?
Most fruits, when consumed in their raw and natural form, offer more health benefits. Guava is one such fruit, but there are many other ways to consume this fruit. Guavas can also be consumed in the form of jellies and jams. It can be consumed in the form of juice or in a fruit salad. However, during pregnancy, you must avoid drinking guava juice. One should also avoid consuming guavas in preserved forms like jelly and jam during pregnancy.
You should opt for the fruit, and while consuming the whole guava, you must pick ripe guava without any blemishes on it, wash it well, cut it into slices, and eat. Ripe guavas have a unique flavour. You can also add guava to a bowl of fruits and eat it as part of a fruit salad.
1. Ripe or Unripe Guavas – Which Is a Healthier Choice During Pregnancy?
Many people like eating unripe guavas, and there is nothing wrong with eating unripe ones. Eating unripe guava can be equally nutritious and offers various health benefits if consumed in the right quantity. However, during pregnancy, eating unripe guavas is not recommended. It is suggested that you eat ripe guavas as they contain Vitamin C in higher amounts as compared to unripe ones. If you have dental problems, then again you should avoid consuming unripe guavas as you may suffer from a severe toothache while trying to bite into hard unripe guava. Choose ripe guavas over unripe ones and make healthier choices.
Guavas are very nutritious and are absolutely safe to consume during pregnancy. You can eat ripe guavas or drink guava juice. Just ensure that you take necessary precautions before eating guavas so that your body absorbs all the essential nutrition from this juicy fruit. However, before you include this fruit in your pregnancy diet, do consult your doctor about the same. Also, discuss how many guavas should you eat in a day or a week. Your doctor or nutritionist will be able to recommend the right quantity as per your body’s requirement. So make healthy choices and have a healthy pregnancy!
Seeds are not available for the Lemon Guava. Please visit our seed store to view current selections. Seeds were last available in September 2018.
Small bush or tree to 20-25ft, although often much smaller. The frilly white flowers are often borne a couple of times a year, concentrated during warmer months.
Lemon guava’s are hardy to 22F when full grown.
The lemon guava is very adaptable and can be grown outdoors throughout much of Florida and California. It will fruit in a container almost anywhere if protected from hard freezes. Trees grow well in full sun and with ample water, although short periods of drought will not harm the plant. Lots of water is needed during fruit development and for proper ripening to occur. See also: strawberry guava (Psidium cattlenium)
Usually by seed, sometimes by cuttings.
Guava seeds are of moderate difficulty to germinate. The most common stumbling block is not allowing enough time to pass for germination as guava seeds routinely need a minimum of 4-6 weeks before any possible germination. Plant seeds 1/4-1/2″ deep in moist, sterile soil. Keep soil temperature consistent at 70-85F. Cool soils will significantly delay seed germination time and soil temperatures below 60-63F will inhibit germination altogether.
Estimated germination time under optimal conditions: 4-12 weeks, though occasionally longer. Seeds often show staggered germination.
Usually eaten fresh or used to flavor beverages, ice creams, and desserts.
Native to coastal areas of Eastern Brazil. The strawberry guava is now a weed in many parts of the tropics where it has quickly adapted to a variety of climates. There are major infestations on Hawaii and many Caribbean islands. In tropical climates, the strawberry guava is most often found growing at higher elevations, where the mean temperature is much cooler.
|Acmena smithii (Eugenia smithii)
Cherry of the Rio Grande
Giant Lau Lau
Cedar Bay Cherry
Coast Tea Tree
Gray Honey Myrtle
Purple Forest Guava
Red Malaysian Guava
|Psidium littorale (P. cattleianum lucidum)
Blue Lilly Pilly
Black Chilean Guava
(Psidium cattleianum var sabine and Psidium cattleianum var lucidum).
The Peruvian Guava also known as the Cattley Guava, was named in honour of notable English horticulturist William Cattley. The trees are attractive, with stiff, glossy dark green leaves.
The Strawberry Guava is a sub-variety of the Peruvian Guava. This cherry-sized fruit (sometimes labelled ‘Cherry Guava’) is a beautiful dark red when fully ripe and has a tart flavour reminiscent of plum and strawberry, with a spicy hint of cinnamon or nutmeg.
There is also a yellow sub-variety, the Yellow Cherry Guava, sometimes called the Lemon Guava or (confusingly) the Yellow Strawberry Guava. It is similar in size. Its skin is golden all over, and the flavour can be compared to a mix of passionfruit and lemon; sweet and a bit acidic. It is generally somewhat sweeter than the Strawberry Guava.
Both these Vitamin C-rich fruits can be eaten freshly picked off the bush. They are at their best when fully dark red or deep golden-yellow. They can be made into pies, jam, jellies, drinks, sauces, fruit leather, etc. Their seeds are edible but hard. They can be removed by passing the guavas through a hand-operated Mouli Food Mill (see picture).
Homemade Strawberry Guava or Yellow Cherry Guava Liqueur
- 1 part washed and crushed fresh guavas
- 1 part sugar syrup or honey. (Make sugar syrup by boiling an equal amount of sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved.)
- 1 part 80+ proof neutral tasting vodka.
- A clean large glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Mix all ingredients in a clean glass container, tightly sealed.
- Keep in the dark at room temperature, swirling and tasting once a day.
- When the flavour develops as you like (1 – 6 weeks), strain out the fruit through cheesecloth.
- Adjust alcohol content or sweetness by adding vodka (to strengthen), water (to weaken), or sugar syrup.
- Store in a closed bottle in a cool dark location for best results.
Strawberry Guava Bavarois
Makes six servings.
- 250 g strawberry guava pulp (You can separate it from the seeds with a hand-operated mouli-mill)
- 150 g sugar
- 100 ml water
- 3 egg whites
- 1 sachet gelatin
- 50 ml strawberry guava liqueur
- 100 ml heavy whipping cream
- Make a syrup by mixing together I00 g sugar and I00 ml water.
- Beat the egg whites with the rest of the sugar. When the egg whites are stiff, slowly add the syrup and stir for about 10 minutes more.
- Mix the meringue with the strawberry guava pulp. Set aside.
- Heat the liqueur and then add the gelatin dissolved a quarter cup of cold water.
- Add the gelatin liquor to the meringue and pulp, mix well.
- Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mixture.
- Pour into serving dish and leave in refrigerator at least 4 hours.
- Serve with a strawberry guava coulis or jam.
- 14 ounces guava puree
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons strained fresh lime juice
- Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture comes to a simmer.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a non-reactive container.
- Chill thoroughly.
- Serve over cheesecake or any fruity dessert.
Do you know how to eat guava? If you’ve seen the exotic green-skinned fruit in your local grocery store but have been too intimidated to pick one up, you might be over-thinking things. The truth is, you don’t really need to know anything when it comes to how to eat guava—you can simply dive in and take a bite. The whole fruit is edible and tastes fruity and slightly floral, like a cross between a strawberry and a pear.
The fruit, native to the American tropics and commonly grown in Florida and California, is becoming more common as a healthy snack. It’s high in antioxidants, potassium, and fiber. Since you’re likely to encounter it more often, we want you to know how to choose a ripe one, and some delicious ideas to enjoy the fruit.
How to Choose a Ripe Guava
When guavas ripen, they go from dark green to a lighter yellow-green color. You’ll want to choose one of the yellowish ones and make sure that it’s free of blemishes or bruises. Sometimes ripe guavas will also have a touch of pink color to them. A ripe guava will be soft and give under your fingers when you lightly squeeze it. You can also tell a guava is ripe by the aroma. You should be able to smell the fruit’s musky, sweet scent without even having to put it up to your nose.
You can buy hard, green guavas and allow them to ripen at room temperature. Placing them in a paper bag with a banana or apple will allow them to ripen faster. Guavas may be treated with edible wax to delay the ripening process, so you may want to rinse them off to speed ripening. Once they are ripe, guavas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. You can also freeze slices of guava in resealable bags for up to 8 months. They’re delicious blended straight from frozen in smoothies.
Many people enjoy guava juice, but there are so many more ways to enjoy the whole delicious piece of fruit.
1. How to Eat Guava
Feel free to simply rinse the guava off and dive in, eating the rind and the seeds. In fact, the rind of a guava has more vitamin C than an entire orange.
If you’d like to cut the guava, place it on a cutting board and halve it. Then slice it into wedges as you would an apple.
The easiest way to get rid of invasive strawberry guava, according to experts, is to pick it and eat it
Local researchers agreed the largest threat to native Hawaiian forests is the invasive strawberry guava tree. Of the various tactics they suggest in fighting it, the most common one is to eat it.
“The worst invasive species in the state as far as plants go is strawberry guava,” said Dr. David Bybee, the Associate Academic vice president for Instruction at BYU–Hawaii. “It comes in and chokes out the native forest.”
Kapua Kawelo, Natural Resource manager for the U.S. Army Garrison in Hawaii, said, “Strawberry guava is well established in our islands, unfortunately. It takes over areas and forms monotypic stands. It can give off chemicals and change the environment so nothing else can grow.”
As a result, Kawelo continued, native forests are slowly being overrun by strawberry guava. She added, “Feral pigs and guava go hand in hand. Volunteer and private hunters are vital in keeping guava from spreading.”
Bybee, who is a marine biologist and also an environmental consultant, explained how the pigs help spread strawberry guava. “Pigs will eat the guava and then run up into the hills and spread the seeds up into higher elevations, so the guava will climb up the mountains.”
All major conservation groups on the island, including the Oahu Army Natural Resource Program (OANRP), are constantly working in a massive effort to contain the spreading of strawberry guava.
Invested students can volunteer, they said, or at the most basic level of activism, eat local pork and harvest the strawberry guava to prevent further spreading.
Strawberry guava is recognizable by its reddish bark, short rounded stiff dark green waxy leaves, and distinct small red fruit growing in clumps on the end of branches.
Invasive species: The biggest threat to native Hawaiian ecosystems
“We are the endangered species capital of the country and the highest in the world possibly,” said Bybee. “We’re so isolated that this place is a treasure trove of endemic species, species that are only found here, that didn’t develop defenses.”
According to Kawelo, “Hawaii has a unique natural history and organisms didn’t get established here but every 10,000 years via birds, wind, and water. Humans started bringing species and the native species weren’t used to that rate of introduction and got out-competed.”
Bybee continued, “The landscape has become so changed by invasive species that ancient Hawaiians wouldn’t recognize the jungle today. You walk up the Laie Falls Trail, and you won’t see a native plant. You’d have to go about a mile past the falls to see that.
“Strawberry guava is originally from Brazil, and over there it has its niche, but out here there’s nothing to contain it.”
When asked why fighting invasive species is important, Kawelo replied, “The plants and animals of Hawaii are what makes Hawaii unique and defining for native Hawaiians. They were here when Hawaiians arrived and we’ve used them for native purposes. They’re what makes Hawaiian unique. That’s reason enough.
“If we lose the plants and animals, we lose their stories and won’t be able to relate the value of them to their kids. People come here to see the species that are found nowhere else in the world. We’ve been part of the change in bringing these species here, and now we need to be part of the solution in preserving native species.”
Bybee explained invasive species often affect all aspects of a native environment.
“Invasive species don’t allow natural ecosystems to function very well. For example, native plants act as a sponge and keep the water in the ecosystem longer instead of rushing into the ocean so it has time to percolate down. In this way, native species prevents runoffs that keep soil from choking out coral reefs, which in turn help fisherman get better fish.”
Jane Contrell, a freshman majoring in psychology from Utah, said, “We need to preserve native species. Most of the people who live here , it isn’t there home, they don’t appreciate the place they live in. I feel they’re taking advantage of it because ‘it’s paradise’ or ‘it’s not my responsibility’ so why does it matter?
“But I want to respect Hawaii, and even though I haven’t done a lot , I want to become more involved,” through volunteering with local conservation groups Contrell explained.
Efforts in controlling strawberry guava
“There are other weeds that aren’t established and the goal there is elimination,” Kawelo explained. However, with strawberry guava, “we pick and choose areas where to control it since it’s everywhere.
“We’re trying to restore the habitat within the Waianae and Koa’loa areas. We’ll go in and cut them down or treat them with herbicide. We can pretty much kill all the guava in the Koa’loa, but in the Waianae, we have to do the removal and it’s much harder.
“We use the Ecosystem Restoration Team, and its goal is to connect patches of native vegetation by removing guava within a specific area. They’ll clear cut guava patches and chip them up occasionally to keep down other weeds and help with seeding. They’ll then sow native species including mamaki, which is one of the first successional plants.” Mamaki is a small medicinal tree often used to make teas with distinct slender green leaves growing to almost a foot long with red veins.
Kawelo continued, “We’ll then add patches of koa seedlings. Those are the first tier trying to re-establish canopy. Once that’s in the ground, we will plant understory species that are appropriate to the site we’re working, i.e ferns, uki-uki, shrubs – whatever we can collect successfully from the area.
“It’s been really successful. We’re actually seeing germination of endangered species that allow for the habitat of native species. We’ve transformed it from 100 percent strawberry guava to native habitats where endangered species can grow,” in both the Waianae and Koa’loa areas.
Anyone interested in more information on fighting strawberry guava can contact the OANRP by clicking here.
Writer: J. Eston Dunn
Strawberry guava tree is a beautiful, fruit-bearing shrub that is native to South America, specifically Brazil. Closely related to common guava, the plant is an excellent candidate if you want to grow fruits in your backyard. As a landscape plant, strawberry guava has a bit of everything:
- Deeply-colored foliage
- Beautiful form
- Dark, patterned bark
- Sweet-tasting fruits
It goes by the scientific name of strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum). The plant is simple to care for and grow. Also known as cattley guava, the tree has a shallow root system, which makes it perfect for growing near your house as an attractive border. Since it’s native to Brazil, it grows best in a tropical climate.
Its dainty white flowers and fresh fruits also qualify strawberry guava trees as an architectural accent. If you’re looking to attract colorful wildlife to your backyard, consider growing cattley guava. The fruits can be enjoyed as a sweet feast by not only children and guests but also squirrels and birds. Nurturing a red strawberry guava tree is a rewarding experience. Here’s a quick guide on how to grow it in your backyard.
The cattley guava in a botanical garden in Hawaii. Source: Starr Environmental
|Common Name(s)||Strawberry guava, Cattley guava, Cherry guava|
|Scientific Name||Psidium cattleianum|
|Germination Time||4-6 weeks|
|Days to Harvest||The fruit ripens in 90-150 days|
|Soil||Rich, sandy loam with pH 5-7|
|Fertilizer||3x per year in spring, summer, fall|
|Pests||Black scale, ants, fruit flies, root-knot nematode|
|Diseases||Algal leaf spot|
Strawberry guava tree has a shallow root system that bears white flowers in spring. Clusters of berries that ripen in the summer follow the beautiful blooms. Once these berries attain a cherry-red color, they’re ready to devour. The fruit tastes like a sweet and tart strawberry.
The tree or bush is very adaptable and can be grown outdoors. Even when it typically prefers warmer climates, the strawberry guava tree is quite hardy in temperatures as low as 22°F (-5°C).
As an evergreen shrub, red strawberry guava tree can reach a height of 15-20 feet, but should ideally be pruned to 12 feet in height, because the root system is relatively shallow and weak. If the cattley guava tree gets too tall, it could easily topple over from strong winds.
Strawberry Guava Varieties
The strawberry guava tree belongs to the Myrtaceae family. Although it doesn’t have known cultivars, the plant has closely-related shrubs from the same family. One such bush is Psidium guajava, also known as common guava or lemon guava. This shrub bears juicy fruit and grows up to 10-15 feet in height.
The plant is frost tender and native to the Caribbean, South America, and Central America. Although the bush grows to the same height as strawberry guava, it’s not as wide. It’s also not as hardy as the plants of strawberry guava, either.
Apart from Strawberry guava, the other closely related species is Pineapple guava or Feijoa sellowiana. This one has smaller and more succulent tart fruits. They grow wider than tropical guavas and slightly shorter than 12 feet in height. However, the shrub quickly produces a high yield in a short time. Pineapple guavas are known for being the most frost tolerant and are quite hardy to low temperatures.
All of the varieties need ample water, sunshine, and rich, well-drained soil to grow well.
Planting Strawberry Guava
Here’s a quick brief on how to plant strawberry guava and what to expect in the weeks post-planting.
Strawberry guava tree spreads by shoots and seeds – the latter often a work of birds. You can find the yellow seeds at specialty nurseries or online seed companies. Rest assured, strawberry guava seeds are readily available.
To ensure the seeds germinate on time, plant them in moist, sterile soil with a warm temperature of 70-85°F (21-29°C). The estimated germination time is 4-6 weeks and could also take up to 12 weeks, depending on the quality of the soil and temperature consistency.
When to Plant
Spring is the perfect time to plant a strawberry guava tree. The soil is more workable, there are high chances of rain, and the sun is out most of the time.
Where to Plant
Strawberry guava typically needs a tropical habitat, resembling that of Brazil. They can be planted in your garden, outside your house, or can be grown as a small tree in your backyard. However, the plants are an invasive species, so it’s best to avoid planting in areas that you don’t want to be taken over!
How to Plant
Since guava seeds can be slightly tricky to germinate, you should keep the soil and temperature consistent. Plant the seeds ¼-½ inches deep into fertile, loamy soil. The soil temperature should stay between 70-85°F to ensure successful germination.
Strawberry Guava Tree in Landscaping
Strawberry guava is excellent for edible landscaping. Both the fruit and plants can be used as an architectural accent, single yard specimens, or even as shelter plants. The foliage is so versatile and attractive that it can be used as a backdrop for smaller, more delicate plants and looks gorgeous planted along a driveway. If you have a patio or front porch, embellish the empty spaces with strawberry guava plants.
Strawberry Guava Plant Care
A Psidium cattleianum producing green fruits. Source: homeredwardprice
The plants and fruit are ideal for beautifying your garden. Here’s a breakdown of the plant’s sunlight, watering, and soil needs.
Sun and Temperature
Strawberry guava can spread fast and grows well in full sun. It grows well in warmer temperatures, typically between 70-85°F (21-29°C).
The tree needs regular, ample watering. Although the plants can tolerate short periods of drought, guava red trees need proper hydration. They need even more water during fruit development so the berries can ripen properly. Regular irrigation at least once a week, once the plant matures, is good enough to maintain healthy growth.
Strawberry guava needs well-drained, loamy to sandy loam with an acidic pH between the ranges of 5 and 7. The soil should also be quite rich in organic matter and slightly warm. Cooler soil temperatures can inhibit the germination of the seeds.
The plants need fertilizer thrice a year – in summer, spring, and fall. Use a high-quality granular citrus fertilizer with a ratio of 6-6-6 for the best results.
Strawberry guava plant naturally stays in shape; however, if you’re planting it for landscaping purposes, a little pruning can go a long way. They have a naturally pretty form. Nonetheless, you can cut off any branches that are invasive or growing outside the borders. Tipping the branches will also mean bushier growth if that’s what you want. The ideal time to prune is in fall, once the fruit season is over.
Propagating Strawberry Guava
You can propagate by seeds or cuttings
Start by removing the seeds from the ripe berries. Wash them nicely to get rid of all the pulp around the seeds. In case you’re not planting them right now, you can store them in the fridge or an airtight box.
Using a sharp knife, break the seed’s outer shell, and place them in lukewarm water. Allow soaking for up to 1-2 days until they appear to double in size.
Now take a seed-starting medium and mix it in water. Take a seed-starting tray that will be used for the propagation and pour the medium into it.
Place a few seeds (2-3) in each cell of the tray and pour over the seed-starting medium. Hydrate with a spritz of water and cover it.
Next, take a heating pad and warm it up. Cover it with a thin muslin cloth or plastic wrap to prevent contact with water. Place the seed-starting tray on the heating pad and set it to low. The temperature and moisture levels of the tray will warm up slowly.
Make sure the temperature remains between the ranges of 75 and 80 degrees F, with regular misting. Wait for 2-8 weeks until the seeds germinate.
Once the seedling grows at least two sets of leaves, transplant them to smaller containers and keep under full but indirect sunlight.
Harvesting and Storing Strawberry Guava
Strawberry guavas fresh and ready to eat. Source: Carol Green
Strawberry guava trees typically bloom throughout the year in mild climates. However, the best time is spring. The fruit properly ripens between 90 and 150 days, once the flowers have finished blooming. If left to ripen on the tree, fruits develop a better flavor.
The trees continue to grow after transplanting and bear fruit after 2-4 years. Although the trees can survive as long as 40 years, their fruit production declines after 15 years.
If you want to store the fruit, it’s best to store the berries when they are still green. You can keep them in the fridge for up to 3-5 weeks without rotting. Overripe berries tend to bruise within a few days. The best way to store strawberry guava fruit is to wrap it up in plastic and keep it in cold storage or a fridge.
Strawberry guava Psidium cattleianum has many medical benefits. The plant has potent anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-microbial properties. It is extremely rich in vitamin C, Dietary fiber, Magnesium, and Potassium. Its high vitamin C content makes it a powerful disease-fighting plant for a stronger immune system.
Since it has high fiber content, consuming yellow strawberry guava also regulates bowel movements and helps flush out toxins. Above all, the strawberry guava tree is so nutrient-dense that it is also used for wound-healing and to improve the skin’s elasticity. All these benefits are enjoyed by consuming the fruits and seeds of the plant.
Many cultures roast the seeds of the guava strawberry plant and enjoy them as a substitute for coffee.
As aforementioned, the strawberry guava tree has a sweet but slightly tangy flavor, resembling that of strawberries. The guava fruit has a thin skin on top that tastes like rose petals. The fruit has a creamy white interior with small edible seeds. All in all, the fruit is quite aromatic and tastes like a strawberry, lime zest, and sometimes, passionfruit.
The fruit appearance of the Strawberry guava tree is quite striking. Once ripe, the fruit turns a rich maroon to dark red. The size of the fruit can be as small as a dime or slightly bigger, like a golf ball. The flesh of guava strawberry is white and yellow with splashes of pinkish-red hues. The seeds are yellow and hard.
Strawberry guava tree is an attractive shrub that requires low maintenance. However, it’s crucial to monitor the growth of the plants and protect them from certain pests and diseases.
Although the shrub is easy to care for, it is invasive, meaning it will spread quickly if not pruned in time. It’s important to cut any invasive branches as well as dead stems. It’s also essential to keep it under full sun and grow in warm soil. Not doing so can prolong the germination period.
The berries are vulnerable to fruit flies, black scale, ants, and root-knot nematode. If growing in a container, the best way to prevent fruit flies is by covering the potting soil with a layer of aquarium gravel or coarse sand.
By covering, you’ll keep the flies from laying their eggs on the topsoil as well as newly hatched larvae from coming up. Black scale infestation can be controlled by regularly pruning a few branches to increase airflow and encourage more sunlight for the lower limbs.
Pruning will dry up the leaves and control black scale. Manage ants by setting natural traps made with boric acid and sugar water. The solution will keep them from climbing up the tree.
Although root-knot nematodes aren’t that common, trees grown in sandy soil are vulnerable to these pests. They can damage the fruit and are hard to control. The best way to prevent them is to ensure optimal growth conditions and regular irrigation and fertilizer to keep the trees vigorous and keep the pests at bay.
Strawberry guava plants can catch algal leaf spot. The best prevention method is proper soil drainage, regular hydration, and of course, a high-quality fertilizer. Pruning the plants will also improve air circulation, while ample sunlight will control humidity levels.
Q. How long does it take for a guava tree to bear fruit?
It takes 2-4 years for the tree to bear fruit.
Q. How big do strawberry guava trees get?
Strawberry guava trees can reach a height of up to 15-20 feet.
Strawberry guava tree is a beautiful and luscious shrub for your backyard. Use the plant guide above to grow and care for it. In no time, you will be able to enjoy the sweetest-tasting fruits!
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Strawberry Guava Plants: How To Grow A Strawberry Guava Tree
Strawberry guava is a large shrub or small tree that is native to South America and loves a warm climate. There are some good reasons to choose strawberry guava plants over the common guava, including more attractive fruit and foliage, and a better tasting tropical fruit. Read on to learn more about strawberry guava care.
What is Strawberry Guava?
Strawberry guava (Psidium littoralei) is also known as cattley guava, purple guava, or Chinese guava, although it is native to the Americas. Strawberry guava generally grows to heights between six and 14 feet (2 to 4 meters), although they can grow taller. As the name suggests, this tree usually produces a red fruit, but yellow fruits are also possible.
The fruit on the strawberry guava is similar to that of the common guava: a fragrant, juicy pulp with seeds. However, the flavor of this type of guava is said to have a strawberry essence and is considered to be less musky. It can be eaten fresh or used to make puree, juice, jam, or jelly.
How to Grow a Strawberry Guava Tree
Another advantage over the common guava is that strawberry guava care is generally easier. This tree is hardier and will tolerate more difficult conditions than common guava. Although it prefers a warmer climate, the strawberry guava will remain hardy down to temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 Celsius). It does best in full sun.
When growing a strawberry guava tree, soil considerations are not too important. It will tolerate poor soils that other fruit trees will not, including limestone soils. If you do have poor soil, your tree may need more watering to produce fruit.
The strawberry guava tree that produces red fruit is also very drought tolerant, while the yellow fruit-producing tree can take occasional flooding. These trees are generally considered pest and disease free.
The fruit from strawberry guava plants is tasty but delicate. If you are growing this tree to enjoy the fruits, be sure to use right away when ripe. Alternatively, you can process the fruit to store it as a puree or in another form. The fresh fruit will not last more than two or three days.
NOTE: Strawberry guava is known to be problematic in some areas, such as Hawaii. Before planting anything in your garden, it is always important to check if a plant is invasive in your particular area. Your local extension office can help with this.
Pacific Southwest Research Station
Research Topics: Biological Control
About this Research: Biological Control of Strawberry Guava in Hawaii
- Native Forests
- Strawberry Guava
- Multimedia Gallery
- Contacts, partners, publications and resources
- Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
Strawberry Guava: Not All Green Is Good
Though it yields fruit and wood, strawberry guava is one of the most serious threats facing Hawaii’s native forests.
- Characteristics of strawberry guava
- Effects of strawberry guava on native forests
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Multimedia gallery
Characteristics of Strawberry Guava
Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum) is native to southeastern Brazil. It commonly grows there in coastal plains and Atlantic forests up to about 4,000 feet (1200 m) in elevation and is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental fruit tree. In Brazil, strawberry guava typically ranges from 3 to 16 feet (1 to 5 m) in height, and its fruit is variable, yellow varieties being more common than red.
In 1825, strawberry guava was brought to Hawaii for its fruit and ornamental attributes. It is now common on all of the major Hawaiian Islands between sea level and 4,000 feet in elevation, especially in landscapes that receive moderate to high amounts of rainfall. The tree spreads by both shoots and seeds and grows fast in Hawaii, owing in part to the absence of the predators and diseases found in its native Brazil. Nonnative birds and pigs, which consume the fruit, also play a significant role in spreading strawberry guava to new areas within Hawaii.
Strawberry guava’s fruit are edible and can be made into juice and other food products. Its smooth bark and glossy leaves also make it an appealing ornamental species. In Hawaii, it is also used as firewood and to smoke meat.
Effects of Strawberry Guava on Native Forests
Aerial view of a strawberry guava invasion. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Airborne Observatory.
Since its introduction in 1825, strawberry guava has become widespread, invading hundreds of thousands of acres of native forest across the Hawaiian Islands. Research shows that strawberry guava can ultimately invade almost half of the land area of Hawaii Island, degrading nearly 300,000 acres (120,000 ha) of conservation lands on that island alone. Remaining rainforests on other islands are similarly threatened.
Once established in native landscapes, strawberry guava forms impenetrable thickets that:
- Crowd out native plant species
- Break up natural areas
- Disrupt native animal communities
- Alter native ecosystem processes, like water production
- Provide refuge for alien fruit flies that are a major pest of Hawaiian agriculture.
Strawberry guava is particularly damaging in Hawaii because the tree grows aggressively without the natural “checking” power of the predators and diseases found in its native Brazil.
Because of its destructiveness to native Hawaiian forests, strawberry guava is recognized by scientists and land managers as one of Hawaii’s worst invasive species. (Visit The Hawaii Conservation Alliance for more information on preserving native Hawaiian forests.) Although many people in Hawaii consider strawberry guava a familiar and useful plant, many also recognize the importance of curbing the growth and spread of strawberry guava for the long-term health and existence of native Hawaiian ecosystems, which provide a fuller suite of benefits to both people and the natural environment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Why is strawberry guava a problem for Hawaiian forests?
A. Land managers, conservation groups, and state and federal agencies in Hawaii consider strawberry guava to be one of our most destructive invasive species. It is now common on all the major Hawaiian Islands between sea level and 4,000 feet (1200 m), infesting many thousands of acres of wet ohia and koa forest, where it forms dense thickets, replaces native plants, and destroys habitat for native birds and insects. Its prolific fruit production and sprouting ability allow it to spread rapidly, reach high densities, and overwhelm the ability of managers to bring it under control. Compared to healthy native forests, forests invaded by strawberry guava lose over one quarter more water to the atmosphere, robbing our streams and groundwater systems of this precious resource.
Q. Aren’t there methods to control strawberry guava by hand?
A. Yes; however, only small patches can be managed in this way. For many years, forest managers have attempted to control strawberry guava by cutting stems and using herbicides. Over hundreds of acres, these methods become extremely expensive and difficult, especially on rough terrain and in areas only accessible by helicopter. Also, strawberry guava resprouts easily, so repeated treatments are needed over many years. Introducing a natural enemy of strawberry guava is expected to improve the effectiveness of other control methods by reducing the ability of strawberry guava to regenerate following treatment.
Q. Why was this insect chosen to control strawberry guava here in Hawaii?
A. Currently, strawberry guava has no natural enemies to keep it in check in Hawaii. The scale insect Tectococcus was selected after many years of research showed that it was both safe and effective. Studies in Brazil show that this insect feeds very specifically on strawberry guava, causing reduced growth and seed production. Extensive testing of over 80 native, commercial, and ornamental species demonstrates that Tectococcus will not affect any other species in Hawaii.
Q. What effects will this insect have on the strawberry guava plant itself?
A. Young Tectococcus scale insects settle and feed on newly sprouted leaves of strawberry guava and cause the leaves to form growths called galls. Because the plant puts energy into forming galls, it doesn’t put as much energy into growth and fruit production. The presence of this natural enemy will reduce the vigor of strawberry guava, slowing its spread and making it less competitive against native plants. The scale will not kill strawberry guava. At the points of introduction of the scale, impacts on strawberry guava growth and reproduction should be noticeable within a few years. The insect is expected to spread gradually over a period of decades.
Q. How do you know this Brazilian scale will not hurt other species?
A. Observations in Brazil and rigorous testing demonstrate that this insect is adapted to feed only on strawberry guava and poses no threat to other plants in Hawaii. Strawberry guava’s nearest relative in Hawaii, the agriculturally grown common guava (Psidium guajava), is also native to Brazil and is never infested with the scale there, even though the two guava species can be found growing side by side. Tectococcus has been known in Brazil for a century and never has been recorded as a pest of any agricultural or ornamental plant. Detailed studies over the last 15 years have shown that native Hawaiian and introduced plants in the same family as strawberry guava–ohia, mountain apple, and jaboticaba, among others–will not be affected by the scale.
Q. Isn’t this insect likely to adapt to feed on other plants over time?
A. No. In its native range in Brazil, Tectococcus is exposed to a great diversity of plants including hundreds of species in the same family as strawberry guava, but the insect is found only on strawberry guava and one closely related plant found only in Brazil. The evidence from its native range indicates that this insect has not adapted to feed on other species in many thousands of years. Adaptation to feed on new plants is extremely unlikely for a gall-forming insect because it has such a close relationship with its host. Because Tectococcus is entirely dependent on its host, if strawberry guava populations gradually decline, the scale populations will decline as well.
Q. Won’t strawberry guava be replaced by something worse?
A. This is unlikely. This natural enemy reduces the vigor of strawberry guava, but does not kill trees. There will be no widespread die-off of strawberry guava that might expose watersheds or open the forest to the spread of other invasive plants. Reduced vigor of strawberry guava should enable native species to grow and spread. By slowing regeneration of strawberry guava where it is removed by cutting, Tectococcus can enhance our ability to restore forests with native species.
Q. Don’t native birds depend on the fruit?
A. No. nonnative birds, pigs, rats, and insects eat strawberry guava fruit, but native birds depend primarily on native Hawaiian plants and insects for their food. Strawberry guava destroys native forest habitats, reduces the abundance of native plants, and provides little in the way of insect food for birds. Because of its ability to degrade native forests, strawberry guava is considered one of the greatest threats to endangered forest birds on all the main Hawaiian Islands.
Q. How can I protect trees in my own yard from the Brazilian scale?
A. This scale insect has limited dispersal ability, so property owners are unlikely to see effects on their trees for many years. Homegrown strawberry guava trees could be protected by spraying organic horticultural oils commonly used on fruit trees to control scales and other pests.
Q. Many people use the wood and fruits of strawberry guava. How will those uses be affected?
A. The Brazilian scale cannot eliminate strawberry guava, only reduce its vigor and spread. Wood will continue to be abundant. Fruit should still be common when in season, although not superabundant in forest areas as it is now.
Click photos to enlarge.
Over time strawberry guava displaces native Hawaiian rainforest. These photos show a typical sequence from upper elevations that have not yet been overrun by strawberry guava to lower elevations where the native species have been severely impacted and, in the end, replaced completely. The sequence is along a trail in the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest, Laupahoehoe unit (Laupahoehoe Natural Area Reserve) on Hawaii Island. Photos by Christian Giardina, US Forest Service