Guava trees (Psidium guajava) are small trees or evergreen shrubs that originate in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean region. They are also commonly known as the common guava, apple guava, djamboe, abas, tokal, petokal, kuawa, enandi and bayawas. The guava tree is a member of the Myrtaceae (Myrtle) family.
Guava trees are small and can grow to be 33 feet tall. They have bony trunks and spreading branches. The trees are notable for their slender, smooth bark that features a copper color. The bark flakes off and reveals a green lower layer. The evergreen leaves of guava trees, when crushed, emit a fragrance. The white flowers, which come singularly or in tiny clusters, also release a soft fragrance. The flowers feature four or five white petals that rapidly shed.
The ripe fruit of guava trees exudes a powerful, sweet and musky scent. It can have a pear, ovoid or round shape. The fruit grows between 2 and 4 inches in length, and features four or five sepals. The skin of the fruit is a pale yellow color that often has pink blushes. The flesh is thick and light or deep pink, yellow, white or nearly red.
There are many cultivars of guavas. Some well-known varieties include the Red Indian, Redland, Supreme, Hart, Miami White, Miami Red, Blitch, Ruby, Hybrid Red Supreme, Smooth Green, Kothrud, Karela, Anakapalle, Hapi, Safeda, Chittidar and Allahabad.
Guava trees can thrive in many different types of soil. However, they will produce more efficiently in rich soils that have abundant organic matter. Soil that is well-drained is also preferable (the pH range should be between five and seven). Guava trees cannot handle soil that is high in salinity.
Diseases and Pests
Foliage diseases can become a problem for guava trees that are grown in humid areas. One example of this is anthracnose. These types of foliage diseases can be managed by applying fungicides regularly. In regions such as southern Florida, problem pests include the guava moth, the guava whitefly and Caribbean fruit fly. In California, possible pests include thrips, white flies, scales and mealy bugs.