Guavas are tropical shrubs and small trees from the Psidium genus that contains about 100 species. It is probably native to southern Mexico and Central America but is now cultivated throughout the tropics. About 10 species are grown commercially. The apple guava (Psidium guajava) is the most popular with its light-yellow color and sweet musky odor when ripe.
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Select an area with low wind when planting guavas for fruit production. An area with prevailing winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour will require a low windbreak without lateral growth on the edges of the field. Orchards longer than 500 feet may require tall upright trees within the field.
Ensure the guava will not be subjected to cold weather. Mature trees can survive only a light frost and even this will kill younger trees.
Provide 40 to 80 inches of water annually. Soil composition and pH are usually not important, and guavas have some tolerance for salt.
Plant guava seeds when growing guavas for ornamental purposes. The seeds are hardy because of their strong shell and may need to be boiled for five minutes to hasten germination. However, guava trees cannot be relied upon to breed true from the seed.
Use root cuttings when growing guava for fruit. A 5- to 10-inch length of root may be covered with 3 inches of moist soil in a prepared bed. The sprouts may be transplanted when they are between 2 and 30 inches high.
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