Pineapple Guava ripening?


#1

So I have quite a few feijao on my bushes that have not dropped. I’m pretty sure that the drought had something to do with that. 40 plus days with no rain. The fruit stayed pea size until I started watering with a hose. They grew, but are still hard and none of them have dropped.

I cut one off that the ants had gotten to, and it was tart and crunchy , but guava tasting.
How long can i leave these fruits on?
Should i cut them off at the first projected freeze?
Or can the fruit take lower temperatures?

If i have to cut them off, will the apple and paper bag trick work to ripen them?


#2

No.

True guavas are in the Genus Psidium, whereas “pineapple guavas” are in Genus Acca, specifically Acca sellowiana. Both are in the central- and south-american plant tribe Myrteae.

Do not expect your pineapple guavas to soften much when ripe. The ripe texture is more akin to Kiwi. The skin will be unpleasant to eat, so either skin them and dice into salad, fruit salad, make ice cream, etc. – or cut (bite) one end off and squeeze the fruit out like a popsicle while you eat it.

Also, do not expect the flavor of a true guava. It is more like a Bartlett pear with tropical overtones; e.g., pineapple(!).

Pineapple guavas grown from seed, or the standard nursery variety “Coolidge” have inferior fruit quality and quantity in comparison to the widely available cultivar (air-layered) Nazemetz – which in my experience does not need cross-pollination. It is excellent. Another cultivar worthy of note is “Lickver’s Pride”, but it is very hard to obtain. If you are on a quest, then check out availability from members of the CRFG.

Being in the Myrtle family, pineapple guava cultivars rarely (if ever) can be propagated by graft. Further, they do not reproduce true from seed. Air-layering with occasional misting (daily in arid climates) is the recommended approach.


#3

If the temperature goes below 30 degrees for several hours, fruit quality will suffer; they can take a light frost. The feijoa (a more common term used globally) needs to give a little when squeezed before it will continue to soften at room temperatures. Hard fruit will just eventually go to a desiccated stage with leathery brown flesh.

Right after bloom, the plant should be watered at least weekly if the weather is continually summery and dry.

A late bloom (after 4 July in Portland) can contribute to late-season unripened fruit.


#4

The term “Feijoa” originated in the Philippines several decades after the fruit and plant were first introduced there in 1526 (Manila). The term “pineapple guava” prevailed in English-speaking literature – including at the Kew center for Myrtaceae research in London – however the plant was not propagated much in western cultures.

The species A. sellowiana and its direct cultivar “Coolidge” are known as hardy evergreens down to 5F. “Nazemetz” is known to drop leaves below 15F and perish at 5F.


#5

Larry,
How did yours do this year?
Neither of my two plants had a flower on them.It might have been the temps,with the coldest being about 15F last Winter,which could have froze the buds.They didn’t grow much at all during the Summer,like being in suspended animation,only the past few weeks did I see some young leaves forming.
Another possibility is the pots may be too small and the plants are root bound.I am presently putting them in 50 gallon grow bags. Brady


#6

63 pounds and several hundred fruits this year from the single bush here. Set new records for individual fruit size, two largest were 5.6 and 5.4 ounces.

There has been some success by a home gardener in the PDX Metro region with container-grown feijoa with plants producing fruit after a few years. He is transplanting to in-ground for the fruitful plants.

The 15 degrees and container-growing could be affecting your plants. Very hard to keep a long-term container plant evenly watered.

The term “feijoa”, with various spellings and pronunciations, is the current commercial term used in Russia, New Zealand, and Australia, where the fruit is quite popular. I prefer the term as it individualizes the fruit and gets away from the “pineapple” aspect that Richard accurately points out is more pear-like.


#7

If that is a Coolidge type, then the bush is evidently well cared for. For a Nazemetz that is cared for and fed like a fruit tree, I would expect typical fruit weight of 8 oz and larger fruits in the range 12-13 oz.


#8

I’m mad I let my Nazemetz die and One Green World doesn’t seem to sell it anymore. I got 3 fruit from my Coolidge and none yet from Mammoth and Nikita.

I have a seedling of a fruit from Larry’s tree, which is likely a seedling itself. It has yet to fruit, nor have my two other seedlings that are much larger and several years older than the Coolidge. Maybe Coolidge is popular because of its precocity.

I tried grafting one year, and quickly decided that was a losing proposition.


#9

It is widely sold as an ornamental shrub with edible blossoms.


#10

The original name is Feijoa sellowiana, with Feijoa honoring the Portuguese naturalist João da Silva Feijó and sellowiana honoring the German botanist Friedrich Sellow. More recently, the classification was changed to Acca sellowiana, but the name Feijoa is accepted and used worldwide. It’s definitely shorter than Pineapple guava.

There exist multiple cultivars, many bred in New Zealand and Australia (feijoa is very popular there, especially in NZ) and some in California. I have 12 different cultivars, many purchased about a year ago from Patrick Schafer, who is a well known feijoa enthusiast in Northern California. All his trees are grafted to seedlings, so grafting feijoas is a viable approach for an experienced horticulturalist.

This year I had fruit from Mammoth (2nd harvest), Nikita, Flavia, and Nazemetz (all 1st harvest). I like the flavor of Mammoth and Flavia more than that of Nazemetz, and also the fruits of Mammoth and especially Flavia are quite larger. However, fruit quality in first few harvests might be not characteristic, so I will hold my judgement until I have more experience.

All my feijoa trees are on drip irrigation during the dry season (approximately April to October), and the irrigation is turned off during the wet season. This year, rains in Nor. Cal. started in late September, which is about a month earlier than usual. This year, I picked the fruit from Oct 23 to Nov 18. I only pick the feijoa fruit when it’s fully ripe, i.e., it when it falls from the tree. Fruits can be eaten right after they’re picked from under the tree or kept in a refrigerator for a few days. I eat them in the same way I eat kiwi fruit — cut in half along a longer axis and scoop the flesh with a spoon.


What fruits did you eat today?
#11

How big of a difference is there in taste between named varieties? I have two seedlings from two totally different nurseries and they both taste the same.


#12

For me, it’s noticeable, for example, Mammoth was quite sweeter than Nazemetz, but that can change as trees mature.


#13

I agree. :slight_smile:


#14

I used to think they all tasted the same but after a few years of eating them I don’t even want to eat my seedling anymore and just eat the Nazemetz. My Coolidge didn’t fruit much this year and squirrels got what did fruit off it.


#15

I’ve tasted feijoas from at least a half-dozen sources, and they all have the same basic flavor and aroma, the differences being sweetness, texture (neither are flavors), and complexity of flavor. About one in ten of my fruits are slightly minty.

An Apollo I tried was very sweet.

My 1993 bush is an unknown variety, possibly a seedling. This year’s harvest was 16oct-11nov. Due to hard surfaces below, I pick directly from the bush. Fruit that comes off with a light touch is ready for eating or storage, will soften rapidly at room temps, stores well in fridge for a whole month.

Am currently attempting to root ten cuttings.

One problem with the name feijoa is it seldom passes an auto-spellcheck.


#16

Could this be related to your climate?


#17

Nice to know that there are taste differences. I’m going to leave mine on the tree. Temperature is scheduled to go to 28 on a couple of nights. Maybe the fruit won’t get all the way cooked…


#18

Should be fine!


#19

I’ve had California fruit and fruit imported by a Russian grocer, plus various processed products. Currently working on a jar of feijoa jam from Azerbaijan. Overly sweet but the basic feijoa flavor component and aroma is there.


#20

But Pineapple Guava jam is already on the shelves in San Diego county specialty markets!