Pineapple Guava Tree: Tangy Tropical Treats

Ed Wike
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Quick Care Guide

As a tropical, sun-loving plant, your pineapple guava tree could not ask for much better conditions than the one you have provided it. As a result, it is thriving. However, the plant needs a few things to thrive, and you need to be careful of a few things that can work against you if you're not attentive. Read the quick care guide below to get the full scoop, and then move on to the care sheet for the complete picture.

Light: Your pineapple guava tree loves the sun. A good rule of thumb is to place it where it will get between 8-10 hours of sunlight.

Soil: Although the tree is hardy, the soil should be well drained. Being in the ground is best, but having the tree on a pot is also acceptable. If placed in a pot, the tree needs good drainage to keep its cambium layer (the layer between the bark and the wood) moist.

Temperature: The tree doesn't like to be in cold temperatures, so make sure that it is never exposed to temperatures below 65 F (18 C). Even if the tree is able to survive the cold, it isn't good for it, so be safe.

(Tap and hover over an image for more information.)

All About Feijoa

All feijoa fruit trees are tangy and delicious, but they can range greatly in size. The prickly pear shrub, for example, is smaller and thus more suitable for a small yard.

If you have a large yard or garden, the dwarf variety is perfect for you. It grows only up to four to six feet tall.

The guava tree, conversely, is an evergreen and can reach up to 16-30 feet in height and width. It can create quite a "forever" tree for the right landscape.

The ripe fruit can be eaten whole, cooked or it can even be used in recipes that include other tropical fruits.

The tree belongs to the Myrtle family and originated in South America in the area between Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. A person can plant this fruit tree in subtropical and warm temperate climates.

Colorful petals and pungent aromas make it a wonderful addition to the garden.

The fruit has a large pit that makes it challenging to ship. Feijoa fruit trees are most commonly found at native nurseries.

Still, there is some info to digest about this tropical fruit.

Care

Guava trees are fairly easy to care for and can produce delicious fruit as a result. Guavas should only be grown in warm-temperate areas that don't experience extremely cold weather, though the fruit itself is not sensitive to this factor. Guava trees can be cultivated in parts of USDA zones 8-11, though guavas grow best within the 10-15 degree range.

As far as nutrients and water needs are concerned, guava trees are pretty hardy. They are considered to be slightly drought-tolerant once established, but annual fertilizer applications are highly recommended to increase fruit production. You'll find that when your guava tree dies back during the winter, it will send you a signal stress event by wilting. Don't kill your tree by watering it to try to fix this! What is happening is that the tree is getting ready to start its annual growth cycle and needs the time to establish its initial root base in order to do so. It will rebound and be extremely healthy after just a little bit of recovery time.

The biggest threat to guava trees is snails and slugs. Their sticky goo will be left all over the leaves, and they can also pierce the delicate roots. This is the number one reason why newly planted guava trees are generally subject to heavy losses in the first year or two.

Light & Temperature

Pineapple Guava trees are tropical trees that produce fruit year-round, and they can grow in full sun to partial shade. In either scenario, you should take steps to protect the trees from constant extreme heat. When temperatures climb above 80 degrees F, you can help keep your tree healthy by placing it in partial shade.

When the weather is warm and you’re not planning to eat the fruit right away, keep the fruit from getting overripe by immersing in water or keeping in a refrigerator. This will help keep the fruit fresh and prevent the fruit from falling off the tree too early.

Another way to keep your tree healthy and avoid overripe fruit is by fertilizing the tree. You do not need to use a great deal of fertilizer — a few drops on the ground at the base of the tree is enough. You should do this once a month while the fruit is in the baby stage; do it every other month once the fruit has grown to about one-inch diameter; and it is enough to fertilize the tree every six months once the fruit is about 4-inches in diameter.

Water & Humidity

Guava fruit trees are tropical trees. They require warm, moist soil to grow well. Give guava trees a period of warmth and cold to help set fruit.

Water guava trees regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. They enjoy plenty of water. They will tolerate drought conditions a little better than other tropical fruit trees but not for long periods of time. And although you might see guava trees growing in the wild without regular watering, they are not surviving in that arid or semi-arid environment.

In rainy season, you should water your guava tree heavily once a couple of times a week. The time to water guava trees is either in late afternoon or early morning. Don’t water them in the midday because it will encourage damping off and root rot. Use a watering can with a rose so that you can water to the base of the trunk and the branches and make sure that the soil does not stay soggy.

You should not use a sprinkler system to water your guava tree because they encourage the growth of widespread shallow roots, which are susceptible to drying out and disease. Your guava trees should be planted one per container. A 10 to 20-gallon container will be appropriate.

Soil

Pineapple guava is a tropical fruit tree that is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 11. This sweet, tangy fruit requires warm temperatures to do well, so it is best suited for USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. In cooler winter areas, growing pineapple guava as a houseplant may be more suitable to your climate. This tree can grow to about 20 feet, but it is also available in a dwarf variety in some locations. The fruit is attractive, and you can eat it fresh or preserved in sweetened syrup. The flowers and leaves can also be eaten, but they may be somewhat sour.

Fertilizer

Careful attention is required for water, nutrition and temperature for your guava tree. In the summer, the guava tree loves to get drink and should be watered everyday to keep the roots from drying. This fruit tree can tolerate some overwatering, but the roots become susceptible to fungal root rot if they remain wet for prolonged periods.

If the many leaves on the ground are collected and tested for moisture, you won’t have to water as much. If the leaves feel dry to the touch, it may be time to water again.

Fall is a time when the leaf litter is at its heaviest and the tree should be watered a few times a week. Low maintenance fertilization is key once every three months during the summer and once every six to eight weeks in spring and fall. Just as with citrus trees, the guava should be fed with a two-part granular fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer at the beginning of the dry season.

Young guava trees may miss out on the strong calcium and phosphorus they need, which can stunt tree growth. Make sure to add about two tablespoons of ground limestone to each 10-gallon bucket when watering your guava tree.

Propagation

Fertilized seed. Place the seed in a crack made in the soil. When it sprouts, keep it moist during the first few weeks, after which you can water as usual. Fertilize with a multi-enriched fertilizer every few weeks. As the tree begins bulking up with growth, reduce the fertilizer. This tree will need full sun in order to grow produce.

Repotting

Pineapple guava is a tropical fruit that bears a surprising resemblance to a pineapple, hence the name. It is a docile houseplant that will reward you generously if given a little TLC.

This tree is native to tropical areas like India, Sri Lanka, Africa, and the Philippines.

Its fruit is not as juicy as the pineapple, but it has a unique, sour taste that is desired in many tropical dishes.

It is ready to harvest once the fruit has attained a golden color. Pineapple guava is not a heavy fruit and often falls from the tree when its skin is still green.

Before you harvest the fruit, be certain to wash it with water. A fruit that you choose to eat raw should be rinsed several times, though some have been washed as many as ten times, to ensure the bacteria count is low.

The leaves of this plant contain toxic calcium oxalate crystals.

This plant needs an abundance of sunlight. In fact, it prefers full sun to partial shade.

It grows well in most environments, but prefers the tropical climate.

Due to its liking for sun, it makes sense to plant this tree in a spot where it will get the most exposure to the sun throughout the course of the day.

Pineapple guava can be cultivated in areas where other types of fruit trees have little to no chance of survival.

Pruning

Pineapple Guavas are a delicious fruit bush. Very sweet and tangy when ripe, the Pineapple Guava is the result of the guava and pineapple trees hybridizing.

The fruit tastes and looks like a combination between its parent trees. It has a green to yellow color that becomes a creamy, yellow white when ripe. The flesh is soft and the fruit itself is 1-2 inches around. The rind of the fruit is edible and the flesh is soft and creamy.

Pineapple Guavas taste best if eaten fresh from the tree. Exposure to air will cause dark spots to form on the rind, but this will not change the taste at all. They can be stored in the fridge in a sealed bag up to 5 days. To get the most juice out your fruit, have a large bowl sitting next to the juicer and catch the juice that is dripped through the sieve.

When you first plant the pineapple guava tree, the rind will be bitter and the flesh of the fruit will not be juicy enough to get much of the good juice out of it. Over time, however, the rind sweetens and the flesh of the fruit becomes more fleshy, making the juice very juicy. As you grow the tree, you'll have to prune it to remove the older portions of the fruit which will become too large.

Harvesting & Storing

Pineapple guava fruit trees grow 5 to 7 meters in height. They are small trees that can be planted anyplace where there's space to grow tropical plants. Since they are frost-sensitive, it is recommended that you locate the plant in a warmer climate.

The fruit has a wide variety of uses. Some people eat the fruit on its own, while others use the fruit to make a variety of delicious desserts. Pineapple guava can be blended into milkshakes, or you can use the pure flavor to make jam or sauce.

The leaves of the tree can be used to make tea or mixed with other herbs to make a health tonic. Some people like to create a vinegar or a liqueur from the fruit. Put all of these ingredients together, and you get a healthy, tangy tropical treat.

You can pick the fruit when it reaches maturity and is ready for harvesting. You can an easy way to tell if the fruit is ripe, is by looking at the stem. If the stem is brown and dry, then it means that the fruit has reached its peak.

The fruit are also easy to harvest. You can do it by hand, or you can use handheld pruners. To use pruners, simply cut the fruit away from the branch and remove the leaf that is attached to the fruit.

Troubleshooting

There’s a problem with growing pineapples: they can be a little hard to get started. The biggest thing you need to watch for is pineapple scab, or cracta tacca. Look for spots that are raised and hard.

If you see these, then you’ll have to remove the affected fruit and try to keep your pineapple plant at around 65-75F, which can be harder in a northern climate.

Another problem pineapple growers sometimes face is a lack of pollination. Look for a pineapple growing with fewer fruit arms. If you see this, it means the plant didn’t have enough pollination.

This can be caused by a variety of problems, including the temperatures being too low. This happens often in northern regions. Another common cause of little fruit on the pineapple is root loss. Let your pineapple grow for a year and then dig it up to see if it is developing a root system. If it isn’t, then you may need to take cuttings and plug the new plants into small pots. Hopefully, they’ll produce their own roots and you can transplant them year after year.

Growing Problems

Also known as the Feijoa, pineapple guava trees are loved for their delicious fruit. The tree's flowers are also fragrant and produce a nice show of pink, rose and red hues.

The fruit of the tree can vary in taste, color and flavor, but they always have a pleasant taste that is similar to passion fruit. The fruit is not only delicious, many people also enjoy using the leaves in teas as well.

The flowers are also very fragrant, so gardeners enjoy them for their beauty as well.

The pine guava is a vigorous grower and can be used as a hedge or screen in the home landscape. It is not a tree that will reach an impressive height, but one that keeps a good size. It is short and bushy in the ground, but will produce a nice round fruit. For landscape purposes, it is important to choose a location that provides sun and warm conditions. It will also produce fruit when placed in partly shady areas, but the fruit will be tougher.

To grow a pineapple guava tree, start by picking out the variety you want to grow. It is important that the variety is adapted to your area. If you have the time, it is worth finding a mix of varieties for the best fruit. Plants can be grown from seeds, but it is easier to purchase a small plant.

Pests

You can learn how to manage pest in orchards and groves, but chemical control almost always costs more in the long run because it affects the entire orchard.

Natural predators are a main component of any pest management program. Birds, beetles, ants, mites, and other animals can all play a role in controlling pests.

The strategic use of traps and other types of trap crops can lead to more effective pest elimination, while minimizing the use of pesticides. The use of trap crops is very labor-intensive, but the effect is a pure orchard free of pests.

Integrated pest management extends these methods to include biological controls such as compost or biointensive mulches, and plant species that repel pests. They are vital because they can prevent the need for pesticides and herbicides, which can harm beneficial insects and disrupt the natural environment of plants.

If you are using traps, staking, or other types of devices to catch pests, be sure to monitor them and move them from one part of the orchard to another. The valuable bees and other pollinators will appreciate it, as will the other fruit and vegetable crops.

Diseases

(Effects)

Pineapple guava leaves exhibit a yellowing of the leaf tissue with a distinctive lace-like pattern towards the tip. This disease is caused by a fungi called Phyllosticta, which literally translates to 'leaf lice'. Conventional control measures like the use of a fungicide are of little help in this case.

Bacterial blight, caused by xanthomonas campestris, affects all parts of the plant including the fruit. Its distinctive red-brown patches on the lower surface and dry yellow-brown patches on the upper surface appear as dark blotches in the transverse leaflet veins. The petioles, rachis, and peduncles are also affected. Cultural practices like removal of affected parts can help to reduce this disorder.

Wilt is caused by Alternaria alternata, a vascular disease. It is characterized by a yellowing of the foliage, starting from the younger leaves and leaves at the outer parts of the plant. This wilting disease spreads rapidly from the lower parts of the plant up to the top. The petioles and the rachis are affected and they turn lighter than the rest of the tissue. It is recommended that affected plants be removed as soon as possible to reduce the spread of this disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

The pineapple guava is a vine-type tree grown in tropical regions for its delicious white fruit. Also referred to as a golden pineapple or guavasteen, this fruit has a mild yellow color and a sweet flavor. It is usually baked or cooked, but can also be eaten fresh or raw.

There are many different varieties of guava fruit, but the pineapple guava was developed in South America and has been cultivated for over 500 years. These trees tend to be small and exceptionally productive, making them ideal for home growers.

Soil and climate are important when selecting a guava variety because it can be sensitive to changes in conditions during the flowering stage. It's best to plant your guava inside a screen enclosure to protect it from being eaten by birds or nibbled on by other animals. The best time to plant is during warm months, but make sure the plant is moved inside long before the cold weather sets in.