Guava trees are easy to care for and grow, and if you have limited space at home, you can plant them in a pot. With the information offered in this article, you will be able to understand how to grow guava in pots as well as its care. It will delight you with its sweetly scented flowers, delicious fruits and beautiful tropical appearance.
Guava Tree Basic Information
Guava (Psidium guajava) also known as Feijoa is a small tropical tree that reaches an average height of 5 to 6 meters, but if properly pruned it does not exceed 3 m. It is a hardy plant that can also be grown in pots.
The stems of guava are tender when the leaves are born in pairs, pale green and elongated, with a length that varies between 10 and 20 cm and 8 cm wide.
The flowers are born at the base of the leaves, about 1 to 3 per node, on the youngest branches with a large number of stamens and a pistil.
The shape of the fruit, the size, the color of the pulp and the skin generally depend on the variety. Maturity is observed when the skin reaches a yellowish-green, yellow or pale pink color.
Although you can grow guavas from seed or cuttings, it’s easier to buy plants that are already established. Also, by buying small trees, you will get fruit much faster (about 1 year versus 3-4 years.
In this article we are going to focus on how to grow guava in a pot, but if you want to know how to propagate it, we invite you to read the following article where we explain everything to you: How to plant, propagate and grow guavas.
How to grow guava in a pot
Choose the right pot
The guava tree grows very tall (about 9 meters), but in a pot it can be reduced to 2 or 3 m.
Choose a large pot, at least 30-40 cm wide and the same depth so that the plant has enough space to take root.
If you don’t have a pot of this size, you can plant the guava in a smaller pot, but you will need to transplant it when the tree has grown enough.
Make sure the pot has adequate drainage holes. It’s best to choose a clay pot with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom, although a plastic pot may be better if you need to move your tree in the winter.
The guava tree likes sunny and warm exposures. It is a tropical tree but very adaptable to temperate climates with moderate winter, when grown in the ground.
If you are growing guava in a pot in the tropics, you can choose a location that receives afternoon shade and at least six hours of sun per day.
In cooler areas, place it in a location that receives full sun for healthy growth and more fruit.
To grow guava in a pot, choose a quality potting soil or make your own potting mix using equal parts compost, sand, and garden soil.
It is possible to grow guava in different types of soil. It is one of the plants that easily tolerates different types of soil.
It can be grown in clay or very sandy soils with a pH between 4.5 (acid) and 9.4 (alkaline), but the optimum is loose, well-drained soil, rich in organic matter and with a pH neutral or slightly neutral. .
The optimum temperature for guavas is between 20 and 28 C. In winter, the temperature should not fall below -3 C for young guavas. Mature guayaberos (at least 3 years old) can withstand temperatures down to -6°C.
Remember that guavas cannot tolerate frost, especially young plants, so if you are in a climate where the temperature drops below the range given here, it is best to keep it indoors until as the temperature increases.
Guava tree care
When the plant is young or forming flowers, water it regularly and thoroughly to keep the soil slightly moist. Consistently moist soil at the time of fruiting helps develop juicier, sweeter fruit.
In winter, reduce watering. One of the most interesting facts about guava trees is that they are drought tolerant and once established can only survive on rainfall and withstand long periods of drought. Even so, it’s best to keep the soil slightly moist, especially in the summer.
Caring for guava trees is simple and easy and with a few basic facts, you can grow a healthy plant.
Pruning is essential to maintain guava growth in a pot at the desired shape and size to develop a strong structure, healthy plant, and increased fruit set.
Dry, dead, damaged or diseased branches can be pruned at any time.
The ideal time to prune a guava tree is when it stops bearing fruit. It is better to cut off too long and unbranched shoots and branches that cross and block the penetration of the sun’s rays.
Perform a maintenance pruning every year to maintain the desired shape and size.
Do not feed guavas from late fall to mid-winter. For new plantings, a once-a-month fertilizing regimen is recommended for the first year after the plant shows signs of new growth.
An average of 200 g is recommended. fertilizer per tree. In consecutive years of growth, the frequency of fertilizing will be reduced to three or four times a year, but the dose of fertilizer will be increased to 900 g. per tree.
The use of copper and zinc based fertilizers is also suggested to fertilize a guava tree. Apply these foliar sprays three times a year, spring through summer, for the first two years of growth, and once a year thereafter.
Guava is also susceptible to iron deficiency (symptoms include yellowing of leaves between dark green veins). It can be corrected or prevented by the regular application of chelated iron.
Plagues and diseases
The care of guava against pests and diseases is not very necessary when grown in pots.
This fruit tree is very hardy, but watch out for common garden pests. Scale insects, whiteflies, fruit flies and thrips can affect it.
As for diseases, guava suffers from rust, which occurs in climates that are too hot and very humid.
Additionally, anthracnose and leaf spot can also be a problem, both of which occur in humid climates and are spread through splashing water. If properly watered, it can be easily avoided.
Most varieties of guava are self-pollinating and the fruit ripens year-round in the tropics (except summer). Guava fruits usually ripen 3 to 4 months after flowering.
Usually the main harvest takes place in winter and after summer during the rainy season. The winter harvest is tastier and sweeter.
Some tips for the maintenance of guava
Do not abruptly change the location of your potted guava tree or the plant may partially lose its leaves.
To get a bushy plant, it is necessary to regularly pinch the growing tip.
It may also be interesting to read: How to propagate, grow blackberries in a pot and their care.
It is advisable to suspend the fertilizer during the winters. In the tropics, you can continue.
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