What pineapple guava cultivars produce good fruit in the U.S. south?

Shibumi is in southern LA and considering pineapple guava (feijoa).


From what I quickly read, for cold hardiness, size of fruit and taste, pineapple guava seems the obvious choice.

It’s also the one I see more frequently in local nurseries.

I do see the strawberry as well, but the fruit looks really small.

There are many cultivars of pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana). Perhaps someone here can help identify which do well in the south.

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Just to clarify, “pineapple guava” is not actually a true guava (Psidium sp.) and it may in fact be more closely related to things like rose apple/jambu than it is to the true guavas. Mine have had no winter dieback, and on their 3rd year in the ground here in Seattle. This is their first year flowering for me, though. I don’t know what cultivars might do well for you.

True guavas that might work for you do include the strawberry guava (P. cattleianum) and its hardier cousin P. longipetiolatum, which has managed to cling to life even here without winter protection for winters down to 16°F and 17°F, though it gets killed above ground level and sprouts from the roots.


Pineapple Guava (feijoa) is in the Myrtle family.

Research who is getting fruit in Florida, I think it is planted there fairly often.


The main issues with pineapple guava in the south is the fruits not ripening before first frost. Natural pollination can be a minor stumbling block as well, but not a big issue given how easy they are to hand pollinate, and I think some people get away with not even having to do that.

I am currently trialing some standard “seedling” pineapple guavas and two of the new named varieties from New Zealand. The seedling plants should be pretty representative of the typical cultivars available from most US nurseries. The new New Zealand cultivars are supposed to be earlier, as well as bigger, better, and easier to eat.

Hopefully I’ll know by next year whether that’s true.

Assuming it is true, then there probably isn’t much reason to buy the older varieties. If not, then from among the standard varieties, look for early ones like coolidge, Nikita, and arhart. I believe Moore, andre, and apollo are more mid-to-late season, so they might be more risky in the South. Not sure about mammoth or nazametz.

I’ll be sure to follow up once I have some firsthand data to report.



Why would ripening be an issue in the south? Isn’t because the natural fruit formation and maturation is still too long even for gulf coast climate (excluding southern Florida and Texas)?

Average first freeze to last freeze for me in southern Louisiana Zone 9a is about 8-8.5 months.

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I think any variety will do well for you. Lots of people have great success with even seedling varieties in the south.
Feijoas are highly adaptable. All you need is lots of water during the growing season which I believe you have.


Ah ok, yes. Deep South can probably grow most any variety, and gulf coast definitely can. It’s only mid and upper South where you have to be mindful of which varieties you grow.

I think what might make this more of an issue than it ought is that the plants that first got spread around were both not self-fertile and pretty late ripening. So, for example, the JC Raulston arboretum in Raleigh has been growing a pineapple guava for at least a decade, but I don’t think they’ve ever gotten any fruit off of it.

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I was considering starting a thread for the Southeast. So I vote to keep this one going. I’m posted some in the Pacific NW thread, but our climates mean we get different results. I have had 2 seedlings for about 9 years, and they fruit prolifically, even without hand pollination.
I think the fruiting is dependent upon genetics. Mine were said to be a combination of Trask and Nazemetz, since seedlings were all i could fine then. All the newer generations are more self fertile, even if just partial.

All mine flower 1-2 months ahead of the Seattle crew so I think even the late ones might make it just fine because of our heat units. The delay is more a water and heat issue in my experience. When we get low rainfall, the fruit stay juvenile and only grow when I hand water or if we have more rainfall.

My named ones, anatoki, Takaka, fruited from the first year in the pot around , whereas I have yet to get fruit on mammoth. Apollo fruited second year. All ripen before November if they get enough water. I have access to a few late ones- Albert Supreme, Waingoro, Ramsey and Mammoth. Once they start fruiting, I’ll ask the grower to let me know when the fruit is ready. But I suspect they will fruit earlier as well.

The only issue is that the heat down here supposedly affects the flavor, but I’ve never tasted a California or New Zealand grown one, so I don’t know the difference…


They grow In Sacramento and Central California heat just fine. Fruit quality is quite excellent.
The only difference is your humidity. But I do not think that will be a problem at all.
Regarding certain cultivars not doing well — I have a so called Nikita for 6 years in a prime spot. It has not produced one fruit in all these years. It is possible that some seedlings or varieties don’t produce but they are the exception. All my other named varieties appear to do just fine.


Short answer is that the Newer varieties fruit more readily and sooner. For named, I reccommend Takaka, Apollo, Anatoki, since I can vouch for those. Takaka is the most productive at an earlier age than any others I’ve seen. Seedlings of named varieties appear to do well, but the fruits are definitely smaller.

I suspect that the graininess seems to be made worse by the heat, so best to get smoother varieties in my unscientific opinion. Brazilian scientists did a study showing that shade and cooler temperature increase the aromatic compounds in the fruit as compared to fruit grown in direct sunlight:

Aromatic profile of Feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana) fruit in protected cultivation, at harvest and after cold storage

So stands to reason that the heat down here would make the fruit blander…



But just like you said before. The South’s lows in Spring and Summer are much higher than most of the Cities out west, even if the highs are similar. Sounds like Nikita is a crapshoot from all the people who post their experiences here…Too bad…

FYI, seems like lack of chilling hours is the main limitation down south. There is a minimum chill needed for the fruit to flower, so if your winters are too warm, no flowering appears, although the plant grows just fine…

HS1424/HS1424: Growing Feijoa Fruit in Florida

"Feijoa thrives in Mediterranean climates. It can be grown in zones 8–11, but tree injury is likely below 20°F, and fruit injury below 28°F. Chilling appears to be required for flower bud initiation, although the amount required is poorly studied and cultivar dependent. Estimates are documented at between 50–200 hours, yet little fruiting is observed south of the I-4 corridor (Orlando-Tampa latitude), which averages 200 chilling hours per year. "

Also: Pineapple Guava, Fruits of Warm Climates

" The plant did not succeed in southern Florida but became quite popular in northern Florida, primarily as an ornamental and particularly as a clipped hedge. Dr. Henry Nehrling had two plants growing well in a shed in half-shade at Gotha in central Florida, in 1911. They flowered and fruited but the fruit dropped before maturity and rotted quickly. In recent years, the cultivar ‘Coolidge’, vegetatively propagated, has borne well in Florida. In California, the feijoa is grown in a limited way for its fruit, especially in cool coastal locations, mainly around San Francisco. At the Experimental Station in Honolulu a plant flourished for 15 years without bearing fruit. Later plantings have succeeded at higher elevations.

The feijoa is sometimes cultivated in the highlands of Chile and other South American countries and in the Caribbean area. Jamaica received a few plants from California in 1912 and planted them at various altitudes. I have seen occasional plants on roadsides and in private gardens in the Bahamas, but they do not fruit and often fail to flower. In southern India, the feijoa is grown for its fruit in home gardens at temperate elevations–about 3,500 ft (1,067 m)."


Was hoping someone from the region would have chimed in.

No worries…thanks for all the input.

Yeah the weather here is tough for a lot of different non-indigenous plants and fruits.

Too much work to create a new growing zone system. I’d imagine it would be populated by hundreds of different categories. Sometimes waking up to a sunrise low of 80 degrees and 100% humidity is not ideal for many plants.



I’m in 8A Atlanta and mine fruit just fine. I guess I didn’t post the location actually. I’ll update this one throughout the season since I’m the only one here with named varieties in the region. But I think @georgiagent and @NCDabbler have Feijoa as well…


I just got Takaka and Antoki earlier this summer. Do you have a preference between them?

And yes, Takaka is definitely precocious: mine had a flower on it, and it’s still knee-high to a middle-schooler, maybe a year old since bring grafted? Didn’t set fruit, but still, that’s an early flower.


The Takaka is for sure more productive. Out of all the varieties, it has the most fruit at an earlier age. This is Year 2 and it has about 10 fruit on it. My Apollo has 3 fruit, and it’s on year 3. The Anatoki did flower, but it appears to be less self fertile, as it only kept fruit when I hand pollinated, while Takaka and Apollo set fruit without me. There wasn’t enough fruit last year for me to tell the difference between varieties. But all the NZ ones were sweeter, larger and less gritty than my seedlings.

I tried to select the more self fertile and larger varieties because I don’t really have time to play hummingbird every day when they’re flowering. I also just got Unique to test as well, even though it’s known to be a much smaller fruit.


@manfromyard, I do grow them in 7B North Carolina, and they generally fruit well for me and handle our early and late frosts better than most non-native plants. I have them planted along the south side of my house, and most winters they’re evergreen. I had some significant splitting of the bark in several of my older trees this past winter, and I lost some of the larger limbs from that. I think it was a warm December followed by a sudden drop that caused the damage. The only named cultivar I’ve tasted is Mammoth. It’s good tasting, productive, and has larger fruit than most of my seedlings (but I have one seedling that’s just as big). Taste wise they’re all pretty similar, but the fruit size and productivity of the seedlings varies quite a bit.


Where did you order these varieties from?

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I have ordered from one green world, planting justice, and restoring eden.
I also grafted some varieties (Albert’s supreme, mammoth, and Nikita) this year onto some seedlings that I got from my plants. They’re growing at another location. I’ll update this thread with pics once I go back to visit in a week or two. They are all out of stock now I think, although restoring eden had a few Uniques this week.

It seems very hard to get them when they’re in, which is why I started trying to graft over seedlings. I may try going to the ATL Zoo or Botanical Gardens as both have landscape feijoas, and see if I can get a few dozen free seedlings or fruit. I wish there were other sources of scionwood though. I’ve only found 1 place that sells the feijoa scionwood…