Strawberry Guava Plants: How To Grow A Strawberry Guava Tree

Strawberry Guava Plants: How To Grow A Strawberry Guava Tree

By: Mary Ellen Ellis

Strawberry guava is a large shrub or small tree that is native to South America and loves a warm climate. There are some good reasons to choose strawberry guava plants over the common guava, including more attractive fruit and foliage, and a better tasting tropical fruit. Read on to learn more about strawberry guava care.

What is Strawberry Guava?

Strawberry guava (Psidium littoralei) is also known as cattley guava, purple guava, or Chinese guava, although it is native to the Americas. Strawberry guava generally grows to heights between six and 14 feet (2 to 4 meters), although they can grow taller. As the name suggests, this tree usually produces a red fruit, but yellow fruits are also possible.

The fruit on the strawberry guava is similar to that of the common guava: a fragrant, juicy pulp with seeds. However, the flavor of this type of guava is said to have a strawberry essence and is considered to be less musky. It can be eaten fresh or used to make puree, juice, jam, or jelly.

How to Grow a Strawberry Guava Tree

Another advantage over the common guava is that strawberry guava care is generally easier. This tree is hardier and will tolerate more difficult conditions than common guava. Although it prefers a warmer climate, the strawberry guava will remain hardy down to temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 Celsius). It does best in full sun.

When growing a strawberry guava tree, soil considerations are not too important. It will tolerate poor soils that other fruit trees will not, including limestone soils. If you do have poor soil, your tree may need more watering to produce fruit.

The strawberry guava tree that produces red fruit is also very drought tolerant, while the yellow fruit-producing tree can take occasional flooding. These trees are generally considered pest and disease free.

The fruit from strawberry guava plants is tasty but delicate. If you are growing this tree to enjoy the fruits, be sure to use right away when ripe. Alternatively, you can process the fruit to store it as a puree or in another form. The fresh fruit will not last more than two or three days.

NOTE: Strawberry guava is known to be problematic in some areas, such as Hawaii. Before planting anything in your garden, it is always important to check if a plant is invasive in your particular area. Your local extension office can help with this.

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Read guava tree information on how to grow guava tree faster from seed, cuttings and layering in containers and ground, guava varieties, guava tree fertilizer and how to look after your guava plant. Guava (Botanical name : Psidium guajava) is a tropical tree, producing sweet fruits which are eaten as a fruit or used as an ingredient in drinks, smoothies and desserts.

The common names are guava, amrood, amrud, jamphal, goiaba, guayaba, djamboe, djambu, goavier, etc.
Guava Fruit

Strawberry Guava

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  • Also known as Cattley Guava, Purple Guava, and Chinese Guava.
  • This fragrant fruit has juicy, sweet/tart pulp, small seeds, and the essence of strawberry.
  • The crimson red fruit can be eaten fresh or used to flavor your favorite drinks and desserts.
  • Size varies depending on growing conditions and pruning.
  • Can be kept as a small bush with pruning or a 15'-20' tree.
  • Prefers a warmer climate but is adaptable to temperatures as low as 22°F.

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  • Entry Size Bush measures 12"-18" tall. It arrives in a 4"x4"x9" pot

Guava for Zones 8: Chilean Guava

More a shrub than a tree, the Chilean guava is hardy to USDA zone 8, or to about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Also known as a strawberry myrtle, murta or murtilla in its native Chile, it's a diminutive plant, reaching only about 3 or 4 feet in height. Its deep green leaves are smaller than most other guavas – only about 1/2 inch in length, and its flowers are white with a graceful, pendulous form, reports Wanderlust Nursery.

The fruits are small, deep pink and blueberry-sized with a flavor similar to strawberry or watermelon. The Guardian reports that they are high in pectin, which makes them work well in pies and jams.

Psidium Species, Cattley Guava, Cherry Guava, Purple Guava, Strawberry Guava

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Psidium (SIGH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: cattleianum (kat-lay-ee-AH-num) (Info)
Synonym:Psidium cattleianum var. littorale
Synonym:Psidium cattleianum var. purpureum
Synonym:Psidium cattleianum var. pyriformis
Synonym:Psidium obovatum
Synonym:Psidium variabile


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Canyon Country, California

Hidden Meadows, California

San Jose, California(2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida(3 reports)

Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii

Orchidlands Estates, Hawaii

Gardeners' Notes:

On Aug 30, 2017, alexgr1 from Dunnellon, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Beautiful little bush. Trained two of them as bonsai and they flowered and gave fruit at the two year mark. Zone 9a, under 50% shade screen. I will post pictures later.

On Jul 31, 2016, nathanieledison from Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Totally useful and underutilized. I have been growing these for several years now and am overjoyed to say how satisfying they are.

LIGHT - They accept much shade, however at the expense of some fruit. Full sun with some brief midday shade is ideal.

SOIL - Also will tolerate and even thrive in most acceptable soils, however best performance is achieved in rich, porous ones.

WATER - is key, as some have said. Psidium cattleianum will pump out plenty of flower buds and then drop them if it doesn't have enough water/light during flowering. The yellow-fruited variety P. c. lucidum is less inclined to drop buds during this time, making it somewhat more adapted to our hot & dry California climates. Conversely, P. c. lucidum can also take occasional flo. read more oding.

TEMPERATURES: The leaves and fruit of both types of Psidium cattleianum will burn unless slowly exposed to direct sun in very hot temperatures. They will accept full sun in warmer climes, however will look somewhat anemic and will need regular fertilizer. The straight species is hardy to about 22 degrees when established, P. c. lucidum to about 25.

IMPORTANT: If your plant gets severely damaged by cold, it may take an entire year for it to re-sprout new leaves, making it formidable to remove. Don't pull it out! Or, dig it up carefully and put it in a large pot until you know it's alive or dead.

FRUIT - Will not last long off the tree at all! Best to leave it there until you want to eat it. They are delectable and the seeds are softer than those of Psidium guajava (Tropical Guava).

This is a lot of info, but I adore these plants and hope that what I posted benefits some Dave's Garden users!

On Jan 14, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The World Conservation Union IUCN has included this species on their list of 100 of the world's worst invasive species, an honor it shares with only 31 land plants.

Native to Brazil, this species has become an invasive threat to the ecology in many places around the world with tropical and semitropical climates, especially on islands.
It invades undisturbed native forests and forms large dense stands which other plants cannot penetrate. It is also a weed of forestry plantations and meadows and pastures, displacing forage plants.

It has become a serious problem, not just in Florid. read more a and Hawaii, but also on Mauritius, Reunion, the Seychelles, and most of the South Pacific. It's also on Australia's Noxious Weeds list, and its planting and trade is illegal in South Africa. ).htm

In Hawaii, it not only threatens the many unique plants and animals found nowhere else, it also harbors fruit flies that cost farmers who grow common guava (P. guajava) millions of dollars annually to control. Strawberry guava is grown as an ornamental but it isn't grown for commercial fruit production.

In contrast to the fruit from common guava (P. guajava), strawberry guava fruit is low in vitamin C, with only 11-50 mg per 100 g.

On Oct 6, 2015, texgardenerz9a from San Antonio, TX wrote:

My tree is about 7ft tall and 5ft wide ,I live in zone 9a and it seems to handle our winters fine . I have it on the west side of the house and, its produce a few guavas .

On Dec 13, 2011, alldoe from San Jose, CA wrote:

My strawberry guava looks very nice. But the fruit is not ripping. It stays green. It's in the ground for a little 2 years now. I wonder why. Do anyone know? Please let me know if you have any info.

On Nov 8, 2011, dingg from Richmond,
South Africa wrote:

Declared alien invasive in South Africa - may not be sold at nurseries. Delicious jelly!

On Jun 30, 2011, sandtiger21 from Pearland, TX wrote:

I planted a small 4.5' one I bought at the farmer's market in Houston around March 2011. I've planted it in my front yard and it's doing great and has been growing alot. A few weekends ago a few of the leaves were seared by the hot weather we are having. Damage seems to have been limited to that weekend and burned leaf damage has not spread.
I bought a second one a month ago it it is developing new growth.

On Feb 27, 2011, AlicePolarbear from Fresno, CA wrote:

My next door neighbor in mid-city L.A. had a mature strawberry guava in his back yard. He didn't care for the fruit (abundant crop every year) and allowed me to come over and harvest his. In that climate, all he did was occasionally water it. He never put much effort into it, yet it did beautifully and was a sweet-looking small tree (apx 12 feet).

The seed is a nuisance, but I'd just spit them out. I'd also run the fruit through a blender then strain out the seeds. The pulp combined with half-and-half and maybe a smidge of sugar made the most INCREDIBLE ice cream!

I just took delivery on a young one to try to grow up here in Fresno, CA where I live now. I hear they don't do great in hot dry summer climates and would be grateful for any tips.

On Apr 27, 2010, nullzero from Mission Viejo, CA wrote:

Great plant to have in a container. Will fruit in a 5gallon container. I would recommend the yellow variety, it fruits practically all year round in Southern California. The critters love the fruit though, so I would advise using netting around it.

I am going to propagate more so I can meet up with my daily cravings of it :). Strawberry guava has a lot of potential, if it was introduced into a good breeding program.

On Oct 23, 2008, islander808 from Kealakekua, HI wrote:

I love strawberry guava. Yum! In Hawaii we call the tree and fruit "waiawi" pronounced "why wee". I have many trees growing on the lava rock of my 20 acre property in Puna, island of Hawaii. The red ones are my favorite and when its in season I can sit there and eat lots of them, even the ones with the worms in them.
The tree was imported from Brazil to Hawaii in 1825 to be used as erosion control along the stream banks. The trees even as seedlings have a strong root system that really holds onto to the soil. It has grown so prolifically in our forests that "scientists" are now saying that they are harmful to our native forests. They classified the strawberry guava tree as an invasive weed instead of a valued fruit tree so that they can "control" it. The way in which they want. read more to "control" it is by releasing an insect that will sicken the tree and cause it to become fruitless. The release of this insect means that it will harm ALL trees even the trees on my own private property. In other words, my trees eventually will not bear me anymore delicious vitamin c rich fruits and if I want my tree to bear fruit, I have to spray it with pesticides in order to kill the insect. How sick is that? The "scientists" claim that using the bug for control is the cheapest and most effective way of controlling the growth of the strawberry guava. They also claim that the bug is "target specific" and that it won't mutate and sicken other fruit trees since they have "tested" it for 6 years. They have completely disregarded the fact that the tree is a food source for many of us and bears a fruit that is very rich in vitamin c.

On May 6, 2008, geobar from Tortuga,
Trinidad and Tobago wrote:

Can anyone provide seeds of this species? I cannot import plants, but grow a lot of fruit from Seeds and have a lot of success.
Please let me know how to get seeds of this plant.
George from Trinidad in the tropics (Zone 11 Plus).

On Jul 23, 2007, tropicaldude from Orlando, FL wrote:

I have a Red Strawberry tree and and a Yellow Cattley. Fruits of the red variety is usually twice as large as the yellow, but the yellow tastes slightly better. Interesting that fruitflies still prefer the red however. Maybe it's the color.

The fruitfly larvae ruin the fruit in no time, especially when ripening coincides with the wet season. The red cattley grows at at a good pace to about 12-13 feet and I find it interesting how for some people it's invasive, yet in 11 years I've only seen 2 seedlings develop (and slowly at that). It might vary with the specific plant. This guava is cold-hardy.

Overall I recommend the yellow variety which in my case also regularly fruits during in the middle of the winter time. They both fruit at least twice a year. Unfortuna. read more tely my yellow has't grown any in over 10 years of having it! The trunk has gotten a bit thicker and that's about it. The Red has become a small tree while the yellow it's a small shrub (when it's supposed to get twice as large as the red variety).

On Aug 14, 2006, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Planted our 4 months ago and it has already grown about 1 foot. We have it partially shaded by our banana plants and it is protected from the hottest parts of the day. The plant requires quite a bit of water and the leaves droop when it is thirsty. We have to water it twice a day so far.

On Aug 4, 2006, Gina_Rose from Hollywood, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

My grandmother has this in her backyard, although she had been told what she was buying was the standard guava tree like she used to eat from when she was younger. It's a very pretty little tree, and it fits right in to the small space where it's growing. I don't find it messy there's a birdbath right underneath the tree which has never been stained or soiled by the fruits. The birds love it, I've seen the squirrels eating the fruits, and I'm betting some of our invasive iguanas probably enjoy it as well. ) I have not found any volunteers growing.

I think this comment is mistaken: "Requires consistently moist soil do not let dry out between waterings"
We don't particularly water the tree at all, yet it's healthier than I am and just finished putting out a big cro. read more p of fruits.

On Jul 22, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I think this is a great plant- not invasive here. Looks great w/ or w/o watering and is generally just an attractive shrub.
The only thing I am not happy about is that the seeds are so large it makes the fruit less appealing than say pineapple guava. Still the fruit is tasty but those darn seeds are so big! Oh well can't have it all I suppose.

On Mar 15, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

I love guavas and any edible fruit species. As a child and until a few years ago, we went guava picking as folks up north probably go blueberry picking. Then there was the fruit fly problem and the invasive fears of environmentalists. These plants have been wiped out almost everywhere from the places we used to gather them. So I can only have guavas now by giving them space in my yard. To me it is sad. Maybe if I had ever gotten a fruit full of worms I would be more understanding. So far I have not in half a century plus.

On Mar 14, 2005, Cyanidae from Malabar, FL wrote:

This tree is most certainly an invasive in central FL, as one other writer noted. I have spent two weeks with 6 people and power tools removing hundreds of these trees in my back one acre. They crowd everything else out! I think they are pretty and the fruit is good, but it is not an environmentally responsible plant to grow here.

On Aug 14, 2004, Pameladragon from Appomattox, VA wrote:

This is one of my favorite house plants. I got a tiny specimen about 6 years ago and it now grows in a 15 gallon tub, outside in the summer and indoors all winter.

I am fortunate in having a large garden room with a southern exposure and can grow a lot of tropical and sub-tropical shrubs and small trees. The strawberry guava finally reached bearing size three years ago and produce the most delicious red fruits.

A nice thing about this shrub is that it is relatively free from pests, unlike my citrus! Occasionally I see some scale but it is easily taken care of with light horticultural oil.

My shrub is currently (August) covered with tiny green fruits that will ripen by the end of September. It is important to provide sufficient water when t. read more he plant is fruiting or they will dry out and turn bitter or drop off.

On Jul 20, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have this plant growing in my front yard. It does nicely with or without water. The birds (especially the monk and black-headed parakeets) as well as some wildlife love it and feed on it. The problems associated with this plant is that the fruit (guava apples) are extremely messy and slimy when the fall on the pavement and can be a pain to clean up. The plant is moderately invasive. The tree is native to South America, notably Brazil. The fruit is edible (I think) but I have'nt tried it, but they smell sweet, somewhat like apples. I live in South Florida and the tree (as well as its relative, the Common Guava) seem to do well in our area, as well as in much of central Florida.

NOTES (UPDATE!) - Just recently, the tree was removed. I'm happy it is gone, since the berries ma. read more de a mess and it is moderately invasive. Still, it was a little nice to have the tree, but I'd much rather plant something native to southern Florida.

On Jul 16, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant is native from here, on the brazilian coastal line, where it is abundant. It grows anywhere, and the fruits are delicious.

On Jul 16, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

This is considered the worse pest plant in Hawaii's rain forests, favored by pigs which spread the seeds. Prospects for biological control are slim because the commercial use of the common guava would require rigorous species specificity of the control agent. Some studies are underway in Brazil (Must be big problem there too, or maybe they just have the right bugs and diseases). Elevation: 150M - 1300M. Strawberry-guava is a popular flavor for jams and juices, but is made with common guava and strawberries, not the strawberry guava fruit.

On Apr 9, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This shrub is known to be an invasive exotic species in central Florida, where I have seen it crowding out native shrubs in otherwise natural seepage-fed wetland forests. It is not as commonly found as other invasive exotics, but can cover a few acres pretty solidly where it occurs. I would suspect that it would be unlikely to escape in a drier climate.

On Apr 6, 2004, nancyanne from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A very attractive plant, glossy green leaves almost evergreen here in zone 9a - the very coldest temps may frostbite branch tips.
A fast-growing small tree or large shrub. The fruit is tasty, though full of b-b sized seeds. It must be self-fruitful my yields have increased, however, since I planted a second tree.

On Jun 8, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

If you live in a zone that this plant likes, it will make a handsome specimen landscape shrub, an attractive hedge plant, or a small, multi-stem patio tree. Its stems, while not as peeling as a crape myrtle, are every bit as interesting looking. The fruit, which is quite good, is a bonus. The fruit, however, is subject to attack by fruit flies. But it has its advocates, nonetheless. When an acquaintance was asked, "What should I do if my guavas get fruit flies?" He replied: "Eat them in the dark." I will try to remember to post pictures of ripe fruit [without fruit flies] later this year.

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