Strawberry Guava tree
Strawberry Guava tree overview:
The strawberry guava is an attractive, carefree, drought-tolerant tree. It produces abundant amounts of fruit throughout the year. However, the fruit may be an acquired taste for some.
Strawberry Guava fruit Taste:
- I have read that the Strawberry Guava tastes like passion fruit mixed with strawberry. However, I have personally never tasted any passion fruit flavor in any Strawberry Guava. There is just not much tang/tart to Strawberry Guavas like you would expect from passion fruit.
- However, the Strawberry Guava taste is reminiscent of a strawberry (Although a good strawberry tastes better than the best Strawberry Guava).
- There are about 5 small hard yellow seeds in the fruit. Some seeds are harder than others and the seeds seem to soften up a bit when the fruit is extra ripe.
- Another approach to avoid the tannin flavor is to just avoid the skin all together. Take a tiny bite out of the side of the fruit and like a fruit eating vampire, suck the insides out.
- However, on the down side, there is an astringent odd-tannin like flavor to the fruit that is hard to explain. Most of that off-putting flavor is in the skin and that tannin flavor is less noticeable when the fruit is extra ripe. If you want that extra ripeness, you will have to wait for the fruit to fall off the tree. When you collect the fruit that has fallen on the ground, it will be a bit mushy to touch. At this fallen stage the fruit looks less appealing but tastes less astringent. For myself, I try to get the fruit just before it falls to the ground. For this, I look for the darkest fruit on a branch that easily detaches from a branch.
- On the plus side the fruit is mildly sweet with a subtle fruity flavor.
- Overall, the fruit is not my favorite fruit, but not the worst either. None the less, some people just love the fruit. Suum cuique (To each his own).
- The yellow strawberry guava, (AKA) the lemon guava is a very similar plant which produces fruit without that astringent taste. I recently wrote an article on that tree if you are interested. Here is the link to Lemon Guava Tree Care.
Strawberry Guava fruit appearance:
- When ripe, the Strawberry Guava fruit is maroon to dark red.
- The fruit size ranges from the size of a dime to about half the size of a golf ball.
- The flesh is yellowish-white with splashes of red-pink dotted with several hard yellow seeds.
- The skin is thin and easily bruised when the fruit is ripe.
Strawberry Guava Fruit Season:
I use to think the fruit season was April to May. Although this may still be the main season in Southern California, I am now observing that the tree fruits whenever it wants to. I usually get multiple crops throughout the warmer months of the year.
Strawberry Guava tree in Landscaping:
- Overall the Strawberry Guava is a medium sized tree or large bush with an average growth rate.
- The Strawberry Guava has multiple small-to-medium sized almond shaped leaves.
- The dense evergreen foliage makes this tree a great screen. However, it is also an attractive tree on its own right.
- The flowers are small white and relatively inconspicuous.
The Strawberry Guava is tolerant of many soil types. However, like many fruit trees, it prefers at least some organic material. Well draining soil is a must. Click here to go to my post on the 7 important steps for tree planting success.
Water deeply about once a week for established trees. Overall, I have noticed that an established Strawberry Guava tree is rather drought tolerant; the two trees I have here were surviving well without any irrigation when I arrived to the property.
However, regular deep irrigation during fruiting will improve the crop size and fruit flavor. That being said, the main fruiting season is also the rainy season here in California so in my experience you can get away with ignoring an established tree if you want and it will probably be fine. That being said, I do water my Strawberry Guava trees regularly.
Full to partial sun. Fruits better in full sun.
Once a year (spring) with balanced fertilizer.
- The Strawberry Guava is tolerant to a range of temperatures. It has been said that it will survive temps down to 22F.
- On the other side of the temperature spectrum, leaves will get scorched in desert heat.
- For more information about the lowest temperatures that you can expect in your area, check out my article “Climate Zones: What can I grow in my yard?”
Strawberry Guava tree Pests:
- The Strawberry Guava tree is relatively pest free. I have had no bug problems so far and I haven’t really done anything to the trees other than some fertilizer and drip irrigation.
- Birds do like the fruit.
- I suspect that gophers will eat the roots of this tree. Therefore, I wold strongly suggest planting your tree in the safety of a gopher cage. Click here for my easy DIY instructions on how to make a gopher cage.
Strawberry Guava fruit food uses:
- Many people, including myself will just eat them right off the tree.
- The fruit is also made into jams.
- It is also used to flavor beverages, ice creams, and desserts. (but watch out for those hard seeds).
- The Strawberry Guava is native to Brazil.
- In tropical areas the tree is known to be a highly invasive plant (especially in Hawaii). However, I don’t know of any problems in California and I suspect the ground is too dry here to allow a seedling get started.
- Psidium cattleianum named after English horticulturist Sir William Cattley.
- The Strawberry Guava is AKA: Cattley guava, Peruvian guava, Red Strawberry Guava, Purple Guava.