Growth Habit: There are many different varieties of guava but they are all evergreen, shallow-rooted shrubs/small trees that grow up to 4m with spreading branches.
Foliage/Flowers: Leaves are variable depending on the species but typically 5-15cm long, stiff and dull green. Flowers are white and fragrant. Guavas can bloom throughout the year in tropical climates, but the heaviest bloom occurs with the onset of warm weather in the spring.
Fruit: Depending on the variety, guava fruits may be round or pear-shaped and vary from 2-12cm long. The flesh may be white, pink, yellow, or red. The better varieties are soft when ripe and have a delicious, creamy flesh. Fruits can be highly aromatic, with a strong, fragrant scent when ripe.
Adaptation: Originating from the tropics, guavas need a frost-free location. They prefer full sun and fairly wind tolerant
Soils : The guava will tolerate a variety of soil conditions, but prefers well-draining soils rich in organic matter. Fertilise with compost in spring and autumn.
Irrigation : Guavas are hardy and quite drought tolerant, although they do best with regular deep watering. Lack of moisture will delay flowering and cause the fruit to drop.
Pruning : Pruning is best done at the end of winter, just before the new growth starts. Cut back branches to keep the tree compact, and the fruit easily accessible. In warm areas it is possible to postpone the main harvest time from autumn to winter (when there are fewer fruit-flies) by pruning off all current seasons growth in late spring
Propagation : Guavas can be grown easily from seed or cuttings. Seedlings normally come true-to-type.
Pests and diseases : Fruitfly love guavas and need to be controlled. Fruit can be bagged successfully in fruit fly resistant bags. See also advice on pruning.
Harvest: There is a clear change in the color and aroma of guavas when they are ripe. For the best flavour, allow fruit to ripen on the tree.
Recommended Varieties: Hawaiian, Mexican cream