Feijoa trees produce a unique fruit that is also called pineapple guava. The fruit is common in New Zealand and Australia, and prefers sunny, warm temperatures. Northern California and Florida are idea climates for the tree, where subtropical temperatures can give way to a cool season in winter. The tree fruits better when exposed to a three month period of cool temperatures as low as -11.1 to -9.44 degrees Celsius. Feijoa can get up to 20 feet in height and bears green pear shaped fruit. The flowers are very interesting, with long, brightly coloured stamens at the centre. Even if the fruit is not your favourite, the tree makes an excellent ornamental specimen.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Feijoa fruit
- Bowl of water
- Cling film
- Peat moss
- Potting mix
- 2-inch pots
- Soil test
Open the feijoa fruit and squeeze the pulp into the bowl of water. Cover it with cling film and allow it to sit on the counter for four days. Drain the water after this time has elapsed and let the seeds dry out.
Create a planting medium of 1 part peat moss, 1 part sand and 2 parts potting mix. Moisten the medium and fill the 2-inch pots. Press the seed in 1/4 inch deep. Put the pots in a warm 70 degree Fahrenheit area and keep them lightly and evenly moist. Germination will take place in three weeks.
Move the pots to a light filled area and grow the feijoa on until they have produced two sets of true leaves. Acclimate the pots to outdoor conditions in late spring by leaving them outdoors for gradually longer periods of time. It is a good idea to plant at least two feijoa trees the same time since they need each other to cross pollinate.
Perform a soil test. Feijoa trees prefer acidic soil. If the test reveals that the soil is alkaline, add sulphur in the amount the packaging recommends to acidify the soil. Prepare the garden bed by working in 3 inches of compost to enhance the nutrient level and drainage.
Dig a hole as deep as the pot in which the feijoa has been growing, in a sunny location. Remove the plant and gently spread its roots out into the hole. Backfill with the amended soil and press it in around the roots. Water to compact the soil.
Cut of the tips of the lateral branches to encourage new growth, and help the tree flower and produce fruit sooner, as well as to create a sturdy framework. Keep the interior of the tree thinned out so light and air can penetrate.
Fertilise in spring with a high phosphorus fertiliser. Apply it at the rate the manufacturer recommends. The phosphorus will encourage good root formation, and flower and fruit production.
Tips and warnings
- Feijoa grown from seed will not fruit for four or more years. For quicker fruiting, take a cutting from an adult fejoa and root it.
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