Strawberry Guava – Psidium littorale syn. Psidium cattleianum
An evergreen edible hedging plant the Strawberry Guava tree is best suited to warmer climates. The common name comes from the small red fruits that appear in autumn. The foliage is aromatic and the fruit follows large white flowers. The fruit is said to taste like strawberries.
Yellow fruiting varieties are also available, slightly milder and a little sweeter in taste.
Foliage is oval and leathery, the fruit itself is very juicy. It is reported that the plant can become a little weedy in tropical areas. Netting the tree when in fruit will prevent the seeds from becoming dispersed.
How to grow Strawberry Guava Trees
Although it grows in a wide range of soils and is reasonably drought tolerant once established the Strawberry Guava is not that great in areas where heavy frosts are prevalent and does require some moisture during dry periods.
Tree tend to vary in height depending on variety and conditions, so from around 2 metres to 4 metres can be expected.
Full sun is best in cooler areas, although semi shade is OK as well and preferable to have some protection from the hot afternoon sun. Flowering just before the end of the year in Australia.
- Sheltered position in full sun.
- Humus rich soil.
- Water through dry spring and summer periods.
- Fertilise in late winter adding some sulphate of potash to improve flowering and fruiting.
The fruit will turn red to purple when ripe, you can also gently squeeze the fruit to see if it is beginning to soften. Another way is is smell the fruit itself, if it smell sweet and perfumed it is probably ripe. The fruit will ripen sequentially, so harvesting every 3 days is a good regime. Remember that these are not a good fruit for keeping and once ripe need to be eaten or processed within 3 – 4 days.
Although once the formative pruning is carried out these trees do not require much pruning, mostly they are kept to around 2.5 metres in height to make harvesting easier.
Used as a fruiting hedge or windbreak Strawberry Guava will reach 6m although it is easily pruned or trimmed to keep in shape. Best to keep well mulched as the root system is fairly shallow.
Try an espalier effect for a narrow fruiting screen. White flowers late spring followed by red fruit which is high in vitamin C and a with a nice taste. The Strawberry Guava fruit can be eaten fresh and is also widely used in jams and preserves.
The yellow cultivar (Psidium cattlenium var. lucidum) is perhaps not at tough as its red relative.
Strawberry Guava Trees are available for sale from the following nurseries
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order