A guava tree would always make you travel back in time when during the winters, you would come across a guava vendor slicing open the fruit into four pieces and spicing it up with ‘chaat masala’ for you to enjoy with your friends. Don’t you wish to preserve your childhood in a pot?

Guava, commonly known as ‘Amrood’ in India, is a tropical fruit, and its tree grows up to a height of about 12 to 30 feet. This fruit is famous among children for its juices, smoothies, salads, etc., and among adults for its great taste in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

A guava tree is low maintenance and a self-sufficient plant and can be easily potted at home. Let us see how!

How to prepare the soil?

Preparing soil for a guava tree is easy. Mix sand, compost, and soil. Although a guava tree thrives well in different varieties of soil ranging from sandy to thick clayey, well-drained fertile soil with a pH level between 4.5 to 7 would be optimum for a good quality tree.

How to choose a pot?

Select a well-drained, medium-sized, preferably clay pot that can hold 12 to 20 liters of water and is 14 inches deep and wide. You may also choose a ceramic or a terracotta pot. Avoid using a plastic pot since it may crack when exposed to the sun the whole day.

What is the best location and temperature?

Since guava trees have an affinity for hot and humid climates, choose a location that receives sunlight for at least 8 hours and has a shed as well. The optimum temperature for germination of guava seeds is between 20° C to 28° C. These trees do not survive well in winters, especially in freezing temperatures below 0° C; the mature tree might survive up to -5° C though.

How to prepare seeds?

  1. You may choose seeds from fresh guava, but it is advisable to buy good-quality ones from a nursery.

2. If using seeds from fresh guava, then wash them thoroughly with water and dry them using a paper towel. Once dry, soak the seeds overnight in warm water to accelerate the germination process. If using seeds from the nursery then just soak them in warm water overnight.

3. Now sow the seeds in the soil and cover them with soilless seed starting mix. Water the pot, and place it directly under the Sun.

4. You may initially cover the pot with a plastic sheet to speed up the germination process which may take 4 to 5 weeks.

5. Once your guava plant grows up to 8 to 10 inches, re-pot it in a slightly larger container.

6. When growing using seeds, a guava plant takes 4 to 5 years to mature and start producing fruits.

How to water?

Upon germination, water the plant regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. Reduce watering in winters and keep the plant indoors for a warmer temperature.

How to grow guava using cuttings?

  1. Growing a guava tree using the seed method is a fun but tedious task and generally tests your patience. Another method in practice is by using cuttings.

2. Choose a firm and healthy stem from new growth, having 3 to 4 nodes worth of leaves on it. Chop off its terminals up to 6 to 8 inches.

3. Plant the cutting within a day of its removal. Fill the pot with the soil you had prepared.

4. Mist the cutting frequently and water the plant regularly to keep the soil moist.

5. The cutting may take up to 6 to 8 weeks to develop nascent roots and 5 to 6 months for a complete root system.

How to harvest?

Mostly, guava trees are self-pollinating, and the plant bears the fruit in 3 to 4 months after flowering.

In tropical regions like India, the harvest season is around winters and post summers. Winter fruit is more desirable because it is healthier and sweeter.

Taking care of the guava tree

  1. You may want to spray the plant with a urea spray, and the flowers and the fruit-bearing stem with a 25% solution of urea to produce a good yield. Allow the spray to dry and water the plant afterward.

2. For the plant to bear a healthy fruit, it is advisable to fertilize the young plant with 6:6:6:2 [N P K Mg.

3. Once established, guava trees are drought-tolerant, can bear heavy showers, and still survive.

4. Once the plant is mature, treat it with fertilizer at regular intervals.

5. Pruning of guava is important for the healthy growth of the tree. Prune the damaged and diseased branches whenever spotted.

6. You may also perform mulching with some organic matter for the plant to retain moisture.

7. Pinch the growing tip regularly, for a bushy tree.

Guavas are a rich source of vitamin C and are high in fiber as well.

So, how do you wish to consume the juicy guavas you are planning to grow? Send us your recipes at gardenchee@gmail.com and we might post them. Happy gua-wow-ing.