Friday, January 14, 2011

Bush Pineapple Guava

Now from the tropics......

The Guava Flower
A fruit tree/bush from the tropics that does well here is the Guava.  I'm only aware of two general varieties sold in Tucson....the Strawberry Guava and the Pineapple Guava.  This is a pretty common plant that can be spotted here and there in people's yards around town.  If you see it at the gardening centers, don't hesitate to buy this plant or it will be gone before you know it.  I'm sure there are other varieties out there, but the Pineapple Variety is the most commonly seen in gardens.  If you've never had a guava, they are large delicious fruits that are sweet and juicy.  This plant can be found all over Mexico and it is made into a delicious "agua" or type of fruit juice.  Add a little lime with some fresh ginger and you have perfection.



This is a very hardy plant here and I honestly don't know why, but it likes Tucson.  After our hard freeze for a week, this plant came out in top notch form.  How?  I don't know.  Those of us who work with tropical plants know how devastating a freeze can be so for this plant to show barely any damage was pretty incredible.  It is self fertile.  You should prune it to increase fruit size.....AND get this!!  The flowers are pink and edible! I have never tasted the flower so I look forward to the experience.  It needs full sun and will grow to a height of 15 feet. I purchased this plant for around 23 dollars and it was the last one. This is another great plant to add tropical interest for your garden. Keep the ground moist and you'll have a happy plant.  Once it's more established you won't have to water as much.  I give this plant a 7 out of 10 for beginning gardeners as they will need to monitor this plant for the first several weeks. Most people prune this plant into a shrub form.  It, like the figs, can grow and get quite large.  It can also be messy and not everyone likes the taste of guava.  Here's why you'd plant this bush/tree.....

1.  You like guavas.  If you're not sure, go to a fancy fruit market and try one out first. For a 1.50,you'll know right away if you're going to plant this tree.  It has a very distinct taste.  If you are planting  "an edible garden", this is one for sure to have in Tucson. The fruit can be eaten fresh, as a juice, made into a jelly, or syrup.  I personally love it and you can find this product in a lot of Asian and Hispanic markets to try it for yourself.
2. You want to add to your tropical garden theme.
3.  You like flowering things and/or the smells that go with them.
4. You want something that won't die after it's established.
5. You want some color contrast to the green green green in your garden.  The silver green leaves really make it stand out.
Stay tuned for more fruit tree information in Zone 9a/b.
Guava pics from PhoenixTropical out of Mesa, AZ(9b) which is hotter than Tucson.  Evidence that these plants succeed in a harsh climate. http://www.phoenixtropicals.com/index.html If you live in the Phoenix area, this link has useful information regarding a nursery that sells plants and info on growing plants in your region.
This pic taken at El Presidio Gardens on 5/3/11

2 comments:

  1. I have this plant in my garden in Louisiana. I planted it last year and it hasn't bloomed yet, but I'm hoping it will bloom this year. The flowers are unusual and smell great!

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  2. I've seen the pineapple guava here in austin and have always been curious about it...the flowers are so pretty and unusual...I may have to give it a go after a little more research!

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