Psidium guajava, commonly known as guava, is a small tree or shrub in the family Myrtaceae that is native to Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. Guava trees grow to a height of 10-20 feet and have short trunks with a round canopy of branches. The leaves of the guava tree are elliptical and are dark green on the upper side and lighter green on the underside. The flowers of the guava tree are white and have five petals. The fruit of the guava tree is round or pear-shaped and has thin, green, or yellow skin. The flesh of the fruit is white, pink, or red and has small seeds scattered throughout.
Guava fruit is rich in nutrients and has a high concentration of vitamin C. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and contains small amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium, and iron. In addition to being eaten fresh, guava fruit is also used to make jams, jellies, and drinks. The leaves of the guava tree have traditionally been used in herbal remedies for a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, coughs, and sore throats.
Guava trees are widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. They thrive in well-draining, fertile soil and require plenty of sunlight to produce high-quality fruit. Guava trees are generally hardy and resistant to pests and diseases, but they can be damaged by cold temperatures and prolonged drought.
There are many different varieties of guava, which vary in size, shape, and color of the fruit. Some common varieties include ‘Apple Guava’, ‘Strawberry Guava’, and ‘Red Malaysian’. Guava fruit is a popular food in many parts of the world, and the trees are also grown for their ornamental value.
Varieties: Allahabad, Lucknow 49, Arka Amulya, Arka Mridula, and Banaras.
Soil and climate: Guava grows well both in wet and dry regions but it does better under irrigation in dry tracts. It can be grown up to 1000 m altitude.
Well-drained soils are the best. Tolerates salinity and alkalinity. In saline soils add 3 Kg Gypsum/plant during planting and once three years after planting.
Planting material: Layers.
Season of planting: June – December.
Spacing: 5 – 6m either way.
Planting: Plant the layers with the ball of earth in the center of a pit of 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm size, filled with FYM 10 Kg, neem cake 1 Kg, and topsoil + 50 g Lindane 1.3%.
Irrigation: Irrigate copiously immediately after planting, again on the third day, and afterward once in 10 days or as and when necessary.
Manures and fertilizers: FYM 50 Kg and one Kg in each of N, P, and K per tree in two split doses during March and October.
To increase the yield spray Urea 1 % + Zinc sulfate 0.5% twice a year during March and October. To correct the boron deficiency (reduction in the size of leaves and fruit cracking and hardening) spray 0.3% borax during flowering and fruit set stage.
Micronutrients spray for controlling bronzing of leaves: Spraying of a combination spray containing ZnSO4, MgSO4, and MnSo4 @ 0.5% and CuSO4 and FeSO4 @ 0.25 % plus Teepol @ 1ml per 5 lit of solution on various stages;
1. New flush
3. One month after the first spray
4. Fruit set
Intercropping: Legumes and short-duration vegetable crops may be raised during the pre-bearing stage.
After cultivation: Pruning of the past season’s terminal growth to a length of 10-15 cm is to be done during September-October and February – March to encourage more laterals.
The erect growing branches are to be bent by tying on onto pegs driven on the ground. Old unproductive but healthy trees may be either pollarded or cutting the trunks at 75 cm from ground level or dehorned by cutting the secondary branches at a distance of 75 cm from their origin.
Plant Protection (PEST & DISEASES)
Pests and diseases, including tea mosquito bugs, aphids, mealybugs, fruit fly, and red rust, can be controlled through various methods such as chemical spraying and releasing predators.
Tea mosquito bug: Spray endosulfan 35 EC at the rate of 2 ml/lit or fenthion 100 EC @ 1 ml/lt or malathion 50 EC at the rate of 1 ml/lit or monocrotophos 36 WSC @ 2ml/lit or neem oil 3 %.
Spraying should be done in the early mornings or late evenings, at least four times at 21 days intervals during the fruiting season.
Aphids: Spray monocrotophos 36 WSC @ 1ml/lit or dimethoate 30 EC @ 2 ml/lit.
Mealy bug: Triazophos @ 2ml/lit + neem oil 5 ml or phosalone 0.05% + neem oil 5 ml. Release of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri beetles (Coccinellid beetles) @ 10 beetles /tree.
Fruit fly: Remove the fallen fruits and bury them deeply with lindane 1.3% dusted over them. Spray endosulfan 35 EC or malathion 50 EC @ 1 ml/lit four times at 15 days intervals.
Stir the soil around the tree during pest incidence and dust Lindane 1.3%. Use polythene bags, and a fish meal trap with 5 gm of wet fish meal + 1 ml.
Dichlorvos in cotton. 50 traps are required/ha, fish meal + dichlorvos soaked cotton are to be renewed once in 20 and 7 days respectively.
Safe waiting period: Monocrotophos 36 WSC-10 days and malathion 50 EC – 9 days.
Red rust: Spray Copper oxy chloride 2.5 g /lit or Bordeaux mixture 0.5 % or Wettable sulfur 2 g per liter.
Harvest & Yield
Guava is typically harvested in two seasons, from February to July and from September to January, and can yield up to 25 tons per hectare.
Harvest: Layers come to bear in 2 – 3 years.
First crop: February – July.
Second crop: September – January.
Yield: 25 t/ha.