Greenhouse Northern VA with guava, lime, and sweetsop

The guavahas plenty of light. I was eating guava into January last year. This is the first year for the sweetsop.

In the past, I have always bring the sweetsop in. They would ripe but they were tasteless. Probably because they didn’t get enough light. After 5 yrs, I pretty much give up. So this year I put them in my green house. They were amazing. If they die, I will start over again. Partly because I didn’t like they way they were trained. It was due to my lack of knowledge about them.
A few lessons I learned so far. You have to vigorously pinched them back to create a bush like tree. That is if you want a bush. To stimulate flowers you have to cut all the leaves off. If you manually polinate it, you will get 3x to 5x more fruits. They seem to be self-fertile. I gave my brother a single tree and it fruited just fine. If you want ripe fruit you need 6-8 months of warm and sunny weather. My trees flowered in late June and ripe in December. Good luck.


I see in your video a fan mounted. How hot did it get on warm sunny days in the winter? Did you have to vent? Which direction does the greenhouse face?

they are self-fertile, and quite precocious. Your project even proved amazing precocity considering the shorter growing seasons and growth-hindering cold weather.

It’s about 70F-90F. Last year on the coldest day (~10F). It was 75F inside around noon. The fan is there to keep the air volume even in temperature. So that the thermostat can run with better accurately. The second year that I had the greenhouse with out the fan. My favorite guava trunk got cold injuries. I was glad I had some growing back from the root. It was my favorite guava tree. It was the only 1 I kept out of the many I grew 6 years ago. It was also the year I tested the cold hardiness of guava. I set my thermostat to 35F. I think it would have been ok if I had the fan. The top was fine and live for another 2 years. I have also found that the green guava are more cold hardy than the pink guava.

Very nice. Reminds me of my greenhouse here in middle TN. I also keep mine warm with just a space heater. I’ve had mine going for about five years now, and never lost a plant.



That is awesome! Have you consider the more exotic fruits that you can’t buy in groceries? I heard Jambu ripen in 2 months. Guava ripen in 5-6 months. Sweetsop in 6-7 months. I have friends whom grown dragon fruits here successfully. Starfruit is also fun. Sapote is also very easy. The hard ones are rambutan, longan, lychee, jackfruit, durian and mangosteen.

@Sunny_Orchard @RobThomas

Have you given any though to growing June Plum I am hoping to win over more fan.
Spondias dulcis aka June Plum, Golden Apple, Ambarella, Pommecythere. Why is no one growing this fruit?

Very helpful!! This is my first year overwintering tropical guavas indoors, any idea why they keep dropping so many leaves? Temperature is between 50-60. I’m worried they won’t stop dropping. Chilean, pineapple, and strawberry guavas are all fine, only the tropical guavas are dropping leaves.

Also, do you find you get enough light over the winter to keep tropical happy this north?

What minimum temperature do you keep for overwintering? Any supplemental lighting?

I am very tight on space. Also Ambarella seeds are very hard to find. I can only find young green ambarella fruits. When I can find a few I will start growing them.

Leaves dropping is very normal. They are starving for solar energy. I think they drop them to reserve energy because those leave don’t produce energy and are draining resource. The greenhouse provided enough light for the tree to ripen the rest of the guavas for me.

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That’s makes me happy to hear!! As long as they won’t drop all of their leaves? Should I be concerned about that?

I understand that. Only Logees is what I would call affordable. Juneplum is truly a fast grower. Mine grew from a twig in a 2.5" pot too the size it is now since about june. It is already on its second flowering. I dont expect fruit till I can move it back outside next year. Juneplum is also know to root exceptionally well from cuttings. I will share when mine is large enough maybe next year. If your are interested I suggest using the wishlist button on Logees. If you really want to grow from seed you might want to contact Bryan Brunner Montoso Gardens PR. I read in another forum he had seeds available. I purchased my elusive Calathea allouia from him. Forewarning, he is Puerto Rico and the Island is still devastated. He has solar power and internet but shipping might not be available for new orders.

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When do your sweetsop flower?

They flower a month after you clipped all the leaves off.

Do you have access to PawPaw’s. Have you ever considered timing it so you can cross pollenate?

I believe they have different chromosome counts, and won’t cross.?

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It takes a lot of time and effort to start breeding a plant. I am on my second guava breeding. I got a good red guava out of the 16 seedlings. I got the seeds from the ARS GRIN program. It’s the only keeper so far. It is sweet, early, and fragrant. Two of them are trash. One was very sour and the other one still hasn’t ripened (8 months counting). I have years left to test out the rest. It’s very fun but it takes so long. My 1st breeding took me 5 yrs and I am not satisfied with the result. I may re-do the green guava breeding once I am done with the red ones. Everyone has their favorite fruit to breed. Mine is guava. Currently my latest guava flowers in June and ripen in October. If I can get one to ripen in September. I would consider that a success. Something I may consider breeding next is Muscadine. However, the breeders are doing such a good job. I don’t think I can improved on their work. If you decided to breed Sweetsop let me know the results. It will be fun.

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