When to Harvest Guava

Overview

Common guavas are small trees native to tropical America, which bear copious yellow skinned fruit. Guavas are easily grown in frost-free areas and adapt readily to a wide range of conditions. Trees begin bearing fruit in two to three years and will produce ripe fruit three to five months after flowering. If the fruit is picked too soon, it will not ripen well. If allowed to fully mature on the tree, the crop may be ruined by fruit flies. With the right timing, you can easily harvest a good crop of common guava.

Step 1

Monitor fruit carefully for signs of ripening. Look for fruit that is noticeably enlarged and just beginning to turn yellow.

Step 2

Cut fruit from the tree with an extension pole picker or clip off by hand using pruning shears. Try to avoid dropping the fragile fruit.

Step 3

Place the fruit in the basket or bucket with care. Use several layers of crumpled newspaper between each layer of fruit to prevent bruising.

Step 4

Allow the guavas to ripen at room temperature for three to seven days until soft and fully yellow. Place the fruit in a screened fruit safe if fruit flies are a problem where you live.

Step 5

Cut the ripe fruit in half with the sharp knife, extract the juice and pulp, and process as desired. Whole ripe fruit will keep in the refrigerator up to a week. Store pulp and juice in the freezer or dehydrate to make fruit leather.

Tips and Warnings

  • Note that the common guava and its cousin, the strawberry guava, are extremely invasive pests in tropical areas where they are not native. If you live in one of these places, such as the State of Hawaii, do not plant this tree. Be aware that guavas drop large amounts of overripe fruit which can be messy and attract pests. Plant them well away from walkways and activity areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Extension pole picker
  • Pruning shears
  • Basket or five gallon bucket
  • Newspaper
  • Sharp kitchen knife

References

  • Guava Production in Georgia under Cold-Protection Structures; Yadava, U.L.; 1996
  • Permacopia: Book II; D. Hunter Beyer and Franklin Martin, Ph.D; 2002
  • A Tropical Garden Flora; George W. Staples and Derral R. Herbst; 2005
Keywords: Harvesting Guava, Common Guava, Yellow Guava

About this Author

Malia Marin is a landscape designer and freelance writer, specializing in sustainable design, native landscapes and environmental education. She holds a Masters in landscape architecture, and her professional experience includes designing parks, trails and residential landscapes. Marin has written numerous articles, over the past ten years, about landscape design for local newspapers.