Fruit of the Month: Pineapple Guava

Pucker up for this tiny, tart fruit that packs in the flavor! The pineapple guava is our fruit of the month and the fruit is beginning to ripen and will continue to be ripe throughout the fall.

Background and History

The pineapple guava is a member of the Myrtle family, which includes allspice, eucalyptus, and clove. The pineapple guava is native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Freidrich Sellow, a German explorer discovered the plant in southern Brazil in 1815. In 1890 the plant was transported from La Plata, Brazil and planted in a garden in France by botanist Dr. Edouard Andre. Today the fruit is known as Feijoa, pineapple guava, Brazilian guava, fig guava, guavasteen, New Zealand banana, and the guayabo del pais.

The pineapple guava was planted with great hopes of being commercially successful, but it is only recently that you are able to find this fruit in the supermarkets. Part of the reason the fruit is not commercially viable is due to the fact that it is difficult to judge the maturity and quality of the fruit based on visual ques.

Types and Characteristics

The pineapple guava is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that is can grow to 15 feet high and 15 feet wide. Also, the plant can be manicured and grown as small container plant, trained or espaliered as a small tree, or grown in close clusters to create a hedge, screen or windbreak.

In the spring the flowers begin to bloom with sugary pink petals that are a true sight to see! The flowers are edible and you can eat them right off the plant or sprinkle them in your salad.



The fruit has a greyish-green skin and amber-colored flesh. The flavor is strong and tart with slight pineapple and papaya undertones. The texture is gritty and is similar to a pear with tiny edible seeds. The fruit is ready to eat when slightly soft and when the jellied sections of the fruit are clear. The fruit is unripe when the sections are white and overripe when the sections are brown.


Harvesting and Storage

The best way to harvest is to allow them to fall from the tree. Shake the tree and gather the fruit from the ground every couple of days. Keep a tarp or large cloth under the tree to catch the fruit as they fall to prevent bruising. The fruit can also be picked when firm and mature and ripen at room temperature. However, the quality will not be as good as when they ripen on the tree. You can tell the fruit is starting to ripen when the fruit has a slight fragrance and the skin gives slightly when touched. Mature fruit can store in the refrigerator for about a week.

Propagating and Care

The plant likes full sun, but can tolerate shade and harsh conditions. The plant can be drought tolerant, but when it is stressed it will begin to drop fruit. Water deeply on a regular basis with special caution during flowering and fruiting periods. To retain moist soil, mulch around the base of the plant.

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16 thoughts on “Fruit of the Month: Pineapple Guava”

  1. Adam says:

    I have several fruits that I got from a friend’s tree. Can I put the entire fruit in the ground to grow my own, or must one first extract the seeds before planting? Also, what might the optimum time to plant be? Thank you.

  2. Hope says:

    Dear Friends,
    Can you refer me please to anyone who sells these fruits commercially to those of us who live in the North? Thank you.

  3. Tomas says:

    when dos it finish to grow

  4. Hawaii Vacation Rentals says:

    I really like it when people come together and share views.
    Great blog, keep it up!

  5. Garden Coach Karen says:

    The source on the West Coast is One Green World. We have two of their plants that bloom beautifully each year. This is the first year we harvested ripe fruit and they are exceptionally aromatic and tasty.

  6. Jo says:

    I have six trees that give more fruit than I can handle so I freeze them as they spoil quickly. Freezing them will keep them for over a year and they are like a delicious sherbet if you partially thaw and then eat them. ENJOY!

  7. Carol c says:

    Found this tree on our property and love the fruit. Any ideas what to do besides eat them raw?

  8. Carol cunningham says:

    Any recipes for this fruit?

  9. Sandy on the York says:

    I live in zone 7b and bought a Pineapple Guava about 12 years ago. It’s now about 12 ft. It has flowered but this is the first year we have gathered fruit. I could be that we have had an unusually warm fall. We look forward to trying. Thanks for the information.

  10. Dorothy Winn says:

    I have a tree in my yard that I have had for probably ten years. It was in a large pot for at least four years before I moved it in ground. Some years I have more fruit than I can handle; last year there was none. But this year it is densely covered with blossoms. I just read on this blog that the blossoms are edible, so will try them raw or as tea. There are so many! I have sometimes cooked the ripe guavas into sauce (like applesauce) and then freeze. I have been trimming the tree 2x year because it is so vigorous and want to keep it manageable.

  11. Chrissy says:

    Also in 7b, please don’t tell me that it takes 12 yrs to bear fruit?

  12. Amy Williams says:

    My Grandma and sister and I made guava jelly about this time of year… Quarter the guavas, cover win water, simmer till tender (bout 20-30 min.) Strain liquid, add some sugar, small amount of lemon juice. Simmer. Meanwhile, sterilize jelly jars, lay out clean cloths. Skim bubbles off guava mixture. When a “jelly stage” – a bit becomes jelly on a saucer… Pour into sterile jelly jars. This is a lovely, amber-colored-perfect-for-Thanksgiving-rolls, jelly.

  13. Sue Lietz-Davis says:

    I live in Sunnyvale , California and have a tree. If someone would like some of the fruit to try, I will share.

  14. Chris says:

    Is the skin of the fruit edible?
    If you make it into a type of applesauce do you need to peel the skin?

  15. carol Minarcik says:

    I have had my guava plants as a shrub (20 plants in a circle) Everyone always commented how pretty the bed looked, however today I first noticed some large fruits on the ground, never seen that before, found this website, ran out to taste one, and WOW was I surprised, they are really good.

    Never would have thought my shrubs would bear fruit.

  16. Margaret m Cassidy says:

    hello! Does anyone fertilize this plant, and if so, with what? I have two planted, they are each a year old.

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