This hearty producer is a natural for south Florida gardens. It loves lots of sunshine and doesn’t mind sandy or rocky soils. Although it is drought resistant, it can also tolerate periods of heavy rain. Guavas are rich in Vitamin C and fruit production continues year-round, providing sweet and nutritious treats in every season.
A slender single or multi-trunked tree, the guava has a distinctive and attractive dappled greenish-brown bark. The leaves are dark green, large and oblong in shape. The white flowers are small, about one inch across. They bloom singly or in small clusters. Cross-pollination is unnecessary, but planting two varieties of guava can increase production on both trees. Fruit varies in shape from round to pear-like and in color, ranging from pale green to yellow with yellow, pink or red flesh. Ripening fruit is known for its distinctive aroma, a musky perfume that permeates gardens. Pick guavas when the shell gives slightly to pressure and continue ripening indoors at room temperature for a day or two.
Eat the sweet, firm-fleshed guava as-is, use them in smoothies or fruit salads, or replace berries with guava in baking recipes. Guava nectar is a healthy tropical alternative to orange juice.