I bought 3 Fruitwood Nursery seedling plugs exactly 2 yrs ago.
This spring they all bloomed. To improve odds of fruiting I cross pollinated them with a small paintbrush. All 3 produced at least 2 fruit each.
They are in 3 and 5 gallon root pruning containers. I need to up pot them but plan to keep them
in containers indefinitely due to my climate. I may have to shelter them for a few days each year
when our temps drop dramatically or have a specially cold spell.
Richard captured my thoughts. I was trying to make sense of the picture not matching the description. Better still to not include the name of the parent directly in the label as somebody may abbreviate it later back to the name of the parent, and they are distinct from the parents.
I am in what is now 8a but lost a couple planted in ground the last few years. I have one remaining in ground seed grown plant that is next to a shed that has survived 5yrs. I also covered it with a box when very cold. It has stayed small and has produced no fruit.
That’s interesting. I have never lost 1 even through some horrific winters back when we were in 7B. The winter hardiness may be variety dependent. Or maybe like Citrus, they could do better on colder winters as dormant, versus a warmer winter with cold snaps that stop them from going dormant…
I am in Texas 8A and have or had Nazemetz, Coolidge and Mammoth in the ground here outside DFW. Had them in ground for about 9 years. All three varieties lose some leaves when temps get in the 15F range. Kind of depends how long at that temp. If it is the typical brief Texas cold snap damage to the leaves will be less etc. But usually each winter it seems to get cold enough at least once to cause some leaves to drop. It ends up being the newest leaves, with the older leaves more likely to survive. In any event I have not seen this cause any issue with fruiting. I also noted that the leaves that don’t get killed in the winter and drop will basically get replaced with new leaves once growth starts in the spring.
Not surprisingly cold hardiness varies between varieties. Mammoth was more cold sensitive than the other two. We had a big freeze here were it was 0F for a night, followed by low teens in the day, then back towards 0F at night in the big Texas freeze a couple years ago. This affected all my varieties. Nazemetz and Collidge were killed either to the ground or down to the thickest part of the bush/trunk. I saw different effects even forth the same varieties, some killed to the soil, some killed back to the thickest branches. The roots or in some cases trunk were not killed so either they spouted new growth out of the ground or out of the still living trunk, So for both of these if the roots remain alive the grow back. But I had about ten trees, 7 Nazemetz, 3 Coolidge and 1 Mammoth. One Coolidge and the Mammoth got killed completely in that freeze. One Nazametz did send up a weak new plant but then succumbed later by summers end… I have been growing these back since the freeze and am just now getting fruit on some of the bushes. How fast they grew back varied, if the trunk survived it is much much faster. If it has to send up a new plant recovery is longer by a year or two depending. “Recovery” here does not mean all my plants are back at their former size. I think I have two or three back at their previous size and others lagging behind. That zero degree weather killed off 6 good years of growth and it was frustrating to say the least. As noted i found Mammoth to be be a bit more sensitive, by just roughly 3-5 degrees F. If I had Mammoth I would be worrying about temps around 8-10F. Nazametz appeared a bit more cold hardy than Coolidge, but only slightly, both are hardier than Mammoth. With these two I start to worry in the 5-8F temp range and duration of cold matters too.
Now as a precaution if it gets below 10F i cover the plants in large tarps to hold in some heat from the ground. just to be sure. Only this year has two plants out of this group just started to fruit again with a few fruit.
Taste wise I found Nazemetz to have the best consistent taste of the three varieties for those curious. Nazemetz and Mammoth are very similar taste wise, with Mammoth fruit being larger but honestly not excessively so. Coolidge was a close third but deepened on the individual fruit. I have noticed a mix of great tasting fruit, and some that are mediocre on the same tree. It seems the more round the fruit in shape the better the taste, more elongated shaped fruits were hit and miss. Don’t know why I get different fruit quality from the same plant but noticed it most with Coolidge, but also on Nazametz but to a lesser degree. Mammoth had a bit of this too. Wonder if pollination somehow caused this, or maybe the pollen parent. I was always out there hand pollinating. Or maybe it was self pollination vs. cross pollinating. They flower so much I am certainly not getting every flower hand pollinated. Will be getting a bunch of NZ varieties this spring, and got some seedlings of Albert’s Pride and Albert’s Joy adding to the collection. Love Pineapple Guava’s.
So in sum, 0F for extended periods (like two nights in a row is very damaging or sometimes fatal. 10F is the border I think when serious damage starts. Covering in a tarp prevented major damage with one 8F night last winter. Leaf damage by its self at 15F did cause some leaf drop, but did not affect fruiting the following summer… Just some data on temperatures and tree damage/death for those interested.
No this has always been the case with varying fruit quality on the plant before any freezes. It will vary on the same branch. Weird thing. Still tastes good, just certain fruit have a little bit of off flavors. Most are great and it is one of the best fruit trees for North Texas.
Thank you @Darby64 for the detailed account of your experience with Pineapple Guava! I fell in love with the fruit after having a few from a farmers market in southern CA. Do you keep your trees pruned so that they are easier to cover if temps drop sharply? When is the best time to prune without affecting next seasons fruiting?
I don’t prune as the varieties I have seem to remain bush size. Pruning might reduce fruit output although not sure on that. As the bushes have got larger I just got larger tarps, or used more than one tarp to do the job. I get these plastic painters tarps which can come in some really large sizes.