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Scientific: Psidium guajava
Common: common guava, apple guava (called guayaba in Spanish-speaking countries and goiaba in Brazil)
Family: Mytraceae
Origin: Southern Mexico through all of central America, though common guava has been so long cultivated that it's exact origin is unclear.

Invasive Alert: Common guava has naturalized in Hawaii, Malaysia, New Caledonia, Fiji, the Galapagos islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, southern Florida, and South Africa.

Pronounciation: SI-dee-um gu-a-JA-va

Hardiness zones
13 (with protection)-24
USDA 9 (with protection)-11

Landscape Use: Mesic landscapes, edible fruits, large protected entryways and sheltered gardens, inner courtyards and sheltered patios, informal background or screeining plant, container plant, bonsai.

Form & Character: Upright and gracefully spreading, informal, mesic, tropical, exotic, tender.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, woody, broadleaf perennial shrub, slow to moderate ranging from 6- to 12-feet tall with equal to greater spread. In more moist tropical climates common guava can be much larger to 30-feet tall.

Foliage/Texture: Opposite, slightly scaborus, ovate, medium green leaves to 4-inches long, nearly sessile. Stems and small branches can be brittle, large branches and trunks are mottled; medium texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Flowers are white, smallish, terminal, singular, multi staminate. Fruits rounded, ovoid to pear shaped, 2- to 4-inches long with 4 to 5 remnant sepals at the apex, epidermis typically green when immature to yellowish and occassionally red when mature, sometimes wrinkled. Fruits are only edible when mature. Immature fruits are hard or gummy within and very astringent.

Seasonal Color: White to rosy pink flowers in summer and early autumn (much of the year in warmer climates), pinkish-red sepals, and scarlet to yellow fall foliar color in colder climates.

Temperature: Common guava will be damaged by freezing temperatures and excessive periods of heat about 115oF.

Light: In Phoenix, partial sun and NO WESTERN EXPOSURES! Common guava is best grown on the east and southeast sides of buildings.

Soil: Tolerant of mild soil alkalinity and many soil textures (clay to sand); however, leaf interveinal chlorosis caused by high pH induced micronutrient deficiencies is common when cultivated in Southwest desert soils. Managing guava plant nutrition is an important part of successful cultivation in the southwest deserts.

Watering: Regular and frequent irrigations in desert areas during summer months.

Pruning: Prune very seldomly under normal conditions, especially during spring and summer, as the foliar canopy provides protection. Elevate canopy base conservatively. Do not shear!

Propagation: Mostly by cutting, air layering, some seed. Very slow to establish if grown by seed.

Disease and Pests: None in Arizona, but in other parts of the world common guava is damaged by many insect, bacterial and fungal hosts.

Additional comments: Common guava can be grown in the Phoenix area only if proper precautions against harsh abiotic factors are managed closely. When properly cultivated it is an outstanding mesic large shrub that will provide wonderful exotic guava fruits. Widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. There are MANY species and varietal selections of Psidium with fruits having white, pink, or red flesh. Some even have fruits with a red (instead of green) epidermis such as the strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum).

Healthy plant alert: Common guava fruits offer numerous health benefits. Common guava is rich in tannins, phenols, triterpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, saponins, carotenoids, lectins, vitamins, fiber and fatty acids. Guava fruits are higher in vitamin C than citrus and contain appreciable amounts of vitamin A as well. Guava fruits are also a good source of pectin (a dietary fiber). The leaves of guava are rich in flavonoids such as quercetin.