It is already that time of year when my Red Malaysian Guava (Psidium guajava) is loaded with ripe fruit and ready to be eaten. My tree flowers during the summer and the fruits ripen late November and well into early January. Due to the fact I get about 100 ripe fruit each year from my one small tree, I choose to only grow the one plant. The flowers only last a day but are a pretty light-pink when in bloom.
Although called “Red Malaysian,” tropical guavas are really native to Mexico down to northern South America. However, many guava have become an invasive pest species in some parts of the world, like Hawaii. As trees go, the Red Malaysian Guava tree can get rather unruly and leggy. But with proper pruning in early spring you should be able to control it. Mine is slowly growing into a nice-shaped tree.
Of course the only reason you are growing Red Malaysian Guava is for the fruit, but the tree itself does have some redeeming qualities. These include attractive deep red new leaves, the typical peeling bark found in the Myrtle family, and small pretty pink flowers I showed earlier.
Something else I have noticed growing guavas in Southern California is the fact they are virtually pest free. So it is a great low-maintenance fruit tree for the organic gardener. Pest free means no need for treating the tree, or developing fruit like shown below, with chemicals or organic treatments.
Guavas are high in dietary fiber, have high antioxidant content, and are loaded with vitamins A and C. It has been said you need to eat 3-4 oranges to get the same amount of Vitamin C found in a Guava. One word of caution here: Guava seeds are an amazing laxative! Both my son and daughter used to love eating the entire fruit, seeds and all. After noticing an increase in diarrhea episodes in our house during Guava season I did a little research. Let’s just say we now scoop out the seeds.
To get a detailed list of all the health benefits about the fruit of Psidium guajava you can visit the Organic Facts website.