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Psidium guajava, often called “tropical guava” or simply “guava,” has become naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world.
Though its place of origin is uncertain, scientists believe the fruit came from southern Mexico or Central America. Guava was first introduced to Hawaii in the early 1800s and brought to Florida in 1847.
Fruit grows on single or multitrunked trees that can reach up to 20 feet in height. Similar to apples and pears, guava fruit is round or oval-shaped with green, yellow, or slightly pink skin. Fruit contains small, hard seeds and has a fragrant, flowery aroma and bold flavor, ranging from sweet to slightly tart.
Depending on variety, guava flesh is either soft or slightly crunchy when ripe and may be creamy white to dark pink in color. When fully ripe, its thin skin is edible.
Most guava is consumed fresh or processed into juice, purees, dried fruit, ice cream, or nutrient powders.
Types & Varieties
Numerous varieties are grown throughout Mexico, India, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Each may vary in color, flavor, texture, size, and seediness.
Two of the earliest American-grown guava varieties were the Detwiler and the Redland; current varieties include Barbi Pink, Blitch, Hong Kong Pink, Mexican Cream, Patillo, Red Indian, Ruby X Supreme, and Webber.
Well adapted to subtropical or tropical climes, guava trees thrive in a wide variety of soils. Ideal temperatures range from 73 to 82°F. Although mature trees can withstand short cold snaps with little damage, young guava trees may be killed by temperatures below 28°F.
Guava trees can bloom year-round, but spring is the primary season. Fruit is generally ready 90 to 150 days after First bloom. While ripening, the fruit changes color from green to yellow and becomes considerably softer. Flowers are primarily pollinated by honeybees.
Harvest depends on the intended destination or use of the fruit: less ripe guava is picked when full-sized and dark to light green; the firm-yellow stage is better for long-distance transport; yellow and soft is for fresh local markets.
Pests & Diseases
Guava tree roots may be attacked by a variety of microscopic ringworms or nematodes. These pests can lead to tree stunting, leaf wilting and yellowing, stem dieback, and ultimately, death of the tree.
Covering young fruit with paper bags can prevent Caribbean fruit fly infestations. Guava moth larvae feed on leaves and tunnel into fruit. Red-banded thrips attack leaves and fruit causing a browning of the peel.
Algal spot is characterized by reddish or purplish-brown spots found on leaves. The disease also attacks young fruit and stems. Anthracnose thrives in moist conditions, attacking fruit, leaves, and young stems. Both diseases can be controlled with copper-infused sprays or applications. Pruning to increase light and air movement can also limit severity.
Storage & Packaging
Both ripe and green guava may be stored for 5 to 7 days at 46 to 50°F for mature green and partially ripe guavas, and 41 to 46°F for fully ripe with 90 to 95% relative humidity.
References: Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc., Purdue University, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center, University of Florida/IFAS Extension.
GRADES & GOOD ARRIVAL
Currently, there are no good arrival guidelines published for this commodity.