So you love the flavor of tropical guava and have planted a tree of your own and are anxiously waiting for it to fruit. Unfortunately, your patience seems to be unreward, as there is no fruit on your guava tree. There are several reasons for a guava tree not fruiting. If you are beside yourself because you have a guava tree with no fruit, take a deep breath and read on to find out how to get guava trees to fruit.
Help, My Guava Tree Won’t Fruit!
First, it’s helpful to know a little bit about guavas in order to determine why a tree won’t fruit. First of all, guava plants need full sun to part shade to grow, but they cannot tolerate too much heat. That said, they also dislike the cold and are very frost tender.
Guava trees can grow in U.S. hardiness zones 9-11, which translates to Hawaii, Florida, protected areas of California and Texas, and the Virgin Islands.
Also, whether grown from seed or grafting, guavas will not bear fruit until their third year. That is, of course, provided you have been giving the tree the correct amount of irrigation and nutrition, as well as well-draining soil with a pH of 4.5-7.0.
So, if your tree is in an area protected from frost, in a sunny to partially sunny locale in zones 9-11 and you have been consistent with fertilization and irrigation, there must be a different reason for no fruit on your guava tree.
A guava tree with no fruit may also be the result of a pollination problem. Apple guava, Pisidium guajava, will either need a partner to cross pollinate with or will need some help from you in the form of hand pollination. Pineapple guava, Feijoa sellowiana, will be more likely to bear fruit when hand pollinated.
How to Get Guava Trees to Fruit
Guavas can be grown in the ground or in a pot, but if you choose to grow them in a pot, be sure to choose one that is at least a foot (30.5 cm.) across or larger. Also, make sure the pot has good drainage holes. In either case, make sure you’re planting in well-draining soil that has been amended with plenty of compost.
Choose a site sheltered from cold winds or frosts in full to partial sun. Spread a 3- to 4-inch (7.5-10 cm.) layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and to nourish roots. Retarding weeds is important since it also suppresses pests. If removing weeds with garden equipment, be careful of the tree’s shallow root system.
Be sure to provide the tree with adequate water. At planting and for the first month, water daily. Once the tree is established, you may reduce the water to once per week; water at the base of the tree deeply.
Fertilize the tree with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Use 8 ounces (250 ml.) each month for the first year and then 24 ounces (710 ml.) every other month from the trees second and successive years. Water the tree after fertilizing to help carry the nutrients through the plants roots and to avoid nitrogen burn.
Varieties of Guava
- Apple Guava: This is the most common guava that is eaten fresh. It has lovely white fruit that turns light yellow.
- Strawberry Guava: A tasty guava that has a distinct strawberry flavor. This is an excellent option for eating straight off the tree.
- Tropical Guava: This fruit has yellow skin with tender, white flesh. Tropical has a lovely aroma that reaches across your garden.
- Red Malaysian: This is a beautiful tree with slightly red leaves and red fruit. The flowers are bright pink.
- Mexican Cream: Sometimes called ‘Tropical Yellow,’ this variety has incredibly sweet, tender flesh perfectly suited to desserts. This tree has a more upright form than some other guava trees.
- Lemon Guava: This variety has both yellow skin and yellow flesh with a distinct lemon flavor. It’s a slightly smaller tree, so it’s perfect if your space is limited.
- Pineapple Guava: This type has larger fruit that ripens in late fall. I have espaliered this variety, and it works well.
Why Is My Guava Tree Not Fruiting: How To Get Guava Trees To Fruit - garden
My tree is a little over than a year old and it's a product of grafting. I planted it on March of last year and it bore fruit for the first time on or near October. It was just a couple of fruit, but they were delicious. Now the tree is full of fruit but there are two problems:
1. Before they ripen, most are turning black and drying up.
2. Others develop some sort of eruptions.
P.D. I also noticed a lot of ants going up and down the trunk and black mold(?) on some leaves.
P.D.D. I tasted some of the normal-looking guavas and they're not as sweet as last years'.
Posted by: Carolene (2 points)
Posted: October 7, 2014
The "eruptions" on the fruits are scale insects that are tended by ants for the sweet honeydew they excrete and upon which the ants feed. The black mold on the leaves is sooty mold, a non-parasitic fungus that grows on the thin film of sooty mold that falls on leaves. One must control the ants to manage the scale and sooty mold problems.
The black, circular rot at the blossom end of the fruits ("blossom-end rot") may be a calcium deficiency, which can be corrected by applying a source of calcium fertilizer (Ca) such as agricultural lime. The entirely black fruits may be a severe expression of the calcium deficiency.
Posted by: Scot Nelson (3 points)
Posted: October 13, 2014
I would just like to ask a few further questions about your tree for clarification. When the tree first bore fruit did they ripen properly so that you could harvest and eat them or have all the fruit turned black? Also, does the black coloration first appear as spots which spread to cover the fruit?
There is a possibility that this is anthracnose but this would begin as sunken spots on the fruits which coalesce. The fruit would not simply turn completely black overnight.
When you cut open a fruit what does it look like? Can you add a picture?
Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (2 points)
Posted: October 9, 2014
Update October 14th 2014
How to tell if ants are the problem
For this tree there is a suggestion that ants are causing damage because of their relationship with plant sucking insects. How can you tell.
1) They are running up and down. Ants require sugar and protein. When you see ants moving up and down a tree trunk going towards the canopy it is most likely they are collecting sugar and bringing that back to their nest. Ants do form trails to collect protein (usually a dead insect) but it is much rarer and would not last for many days as they would quickly exhaust the protein supply
2) At some points in the canopy, under the leaves, on the fruit or on twigs you will see little bumps. These are the plant feeding insects. You can see different stages on the guava photo larger ones that are colored and smaller ones that are whiter. You need to approach these very slowly and you will see the ants tending them. The ants are after sugar and these insects secrete this sugar. By moving the leaves, fruit or blowing on them you can cause the ants to leave the insects. But be patient. You will see them
The ants are likely not nesting in the crown of your tree. But try to find out if the trails are going into any holes.
Lets assume they are nesting elsewhere and coming to your tree for sugar. Then you can block them on the trunk using a sticky substance called ant guard, over which they dont pass. You should also spray them off with water and/or soapy water, creating. This is also good for removing the plant feeding insects. It will also help remove that mold. See more details on a previous answer I gave here
I would like to know where the ants are going and if you can see them collected around groups of insects on the underside of leaves. I think there could be a sooty mould problem where the insects feeding on the tree release sugar as honeydew and this promotes the sooty mould (as black growth)
Would like a sharper picture of the fruit too
Posted by: David Hughes (55 points)
Posted: October 10, 2014