Gardening

How to grow pineapple guavas (feijoa) in COOLER climates

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Pineapple guavas (Feijoa sellowiana), aka feijoa, produce delicious edible flowers and fruit that taste like exotic tropicals. In this detailed guide, you’ll find out how to grow these unique evergreen plants in cooler climate regions — and how to eat the flowers and fruit! 


Pineapple guava fruits harvested from our plants in October on the outskirts of Greenville, SC, Zone 7b.

Pineapple guava fruits harvested from our plants in October on the outskirts of Greenville, SC, Zone 7b.

Table of contents:

You can read this article in its entirety or click the links below to go right to the section you’re interested in.

I. Introduction to pineapple guava (aka feijoa)
II. Five things you should know before growing pineapple guavas
III. The basics of growing pineapple guavas
IV. Pineapple guava propagation from seeds or cuttings
V. Pineapple guava variety selection and comparison
VI. How to eat pineapple guava flowers and fruit

I. Introduction to pineapple guava (aka feijoa)

We first encountered pineapple guava fruit growing at our friend Eliza’s house near downtown Greenville, SC, over a decade ago. We were shocked by the delicious tropical-flavored fruits and even more shocked that these attractive evergreen shrubs could be grown in our area. 

Due to the heat-trapping effects of urban areas (aka heat islands), Eliza’s house is in Agricultural/Hardiness zone 8a. Drive 20 minutes out to the more rural area where we live and you drop to Zone 7b. 

Can we grow pineapple guavas too, we wondered? After a bit of planning, we decided to give it a shot.

Years later, and we’ve been handsomely rewarded for our efforts by piles of our own delicious pineapple guava fruits that ripen each fall. We’ve also gained experience growing pineapple guavas in-ground, in containers, and even growing pineapple guava plants from seed. 

So if you want to grow your own pineapple guavas in cooler climates, you’ll find out everything you need to know in this article! 

Gorgeous white-red flowers of pineapple guava, aka feijoa. Gorgeous white-red flowers of pineapple guava, aka feijoa. In addition to producing edible flowers and wonderful fruit, pineapple guavas are an evergreen shrub that feature beautifully in a landscape.

Gorgeous white-red flowers of pineapple guava, aka feijoa. In addition to producing edible flowers and wonderful fruit, pineapple guavas are an evergreen shrub that feature beautifully in a landscape.

Other names:

Pineapple guava started with the scientific name Feijoa sellowiana, then was reclassified as Acca sellowiana. A 2019 paper in Systemic Botany titled A New Subtribal Classification of Tribe Myrteae (Myrtaceae) helped reinstate the name Feijoa sellowiana, although the two names are often used interchangeably by reliable sources. Also confusing: they have multiple common names, the most popular being feijoa (pronounced: fay-o-ah) and guavasteen.

So if you’ve encountered the fruit under a different name(s), hopefully any confusion has now been eliminated! 

No, pineapple guavas are NOT true guavas — nor are they true tropicals. 

We should also clarify that pineapple guava is NOT a true guava (Psidium guajava), even though both species are in the myrtle/Myrtaceae family. (See our article: How to grow guava trees in pots if you want to grow true guavas in cooler climates.)

From our trees: Slices of 'Peruvian white' true guavas on the left and 'Mammoth' pineapple guavas on the right. Despite their names, the two plants are not closely related.

From our trees: Slices of ‘Peruvian white’ true guavas on the left and ‘Mammoth’ pineapple guavas on the right. Despite their common names, the two plants are not closely related.

True guavas are native to tropical regions of the Americas (primarily Central America and the Caribbean). Pineapple guavas are native to sub-tropical to warm temperate zones in countries throughout central South America. 

This distinction is important to note because it illuminates why growing true guavas in-ground in cooler climate regions is impossible whereas you can grow pineapple guavas in-ground in cooler climate regions.  

II. Five things you should know before growing pineapple guavas

Here are some important things you should know about pineapple guavas BEFORE you decide to grow your own: 

1. Temperature requirements & growing zones:

Most sources say pineapple guavas can only be grown from Zones 8-11. Having successfully grown different varieties of pineapple guavas in-ground in Zone 7b for multiple years, we can say this claim at least needs some caveats and exclusions: 

a. Microclimates

First, if you select a warm microclimate, it’s likely that you can successfully grow pineapple guavas in-ground down to Zone 7a, or perhaps even lower. For instance, we grow our plants right next to the south-facing side of our home so the plants benefit from extra warmth provided by both early morning sunlight and the thermal mass of our home. 

Since our pineapple guavas were first planted in-ground, we’ve had nightly temperatures dip into the mid-teens each winter but the plants haven’t skipped a beat or failed to set fruit the following spring/summer.    

b. Growing in containers/pots

If you live in Zones 7a or lower and/or don’t have a warm microclimate, you could still grow pineapple guavas in pots. This will allow you to move the plants under protection when temperatures dip below 15°F. 

If you go this route, you’ll want to select smaller varieties, so be sure to check out our pineapple guava variety selection & comparison section

c. Living vs producing fruit

Buds may freeze off of pineapple guava plants when temperatures drop below 15°F (-9°C). If so, that would render the plants flowerless and fruitless during the following warm season. However, those cold temps won’t necessarily kill the plants. 

In fact, during a record breaking winter cold snap years ago, our friend Eliza’s pineapple guava plants lived through two nights of 5°F (-15°C), granted they were also growing in a warm microclimate next to her home. The plants sustained some damage but bounced back within the next growing season. 

If you live in cooler climates and want to grow pineapple guavas in-ground, you can opt to keep your plants pruned low enough to make it easy to cover them when temperatures dip into or below the mid teens. Or if you want to take a low maintenance higher risk approach, perhaps you can just settle on getting fruit after warmer winters even if you don’t get fruit after colder winters.

Pineapple guava flower buds beginning to size up.

May 3, pineapple guava flower buds beginning to size up.

d. Chill hours

As mentioned previously, pineapple guavas are subtropical-temperate plants, not tropical plants. They actually need 50-100+ “chill hours” (hours wherein the temperature stays between 32°-45°F) in order to produce flower buds and quality fruit. 

So if you do opt to grow pineapple guavas in containers, be sure they get adequate chill hours/cool weather exposure.  

2. Size and space requirements: 

Pineapple guavas are shrubs. Most varieties mature to a height of 8-12 feet with a comparable width. However, some varieties can top 20′ if left unpruned.  

May 3 - You can see new growth buds emerging from a stem that was pruned back just above a node earlier in the spring.

May 3 – You can see new growth buds emerging from a stem that was pruned back just above a node earlier in the spring. 

The plants do take pruning well, and can be shaped and kept much smaller than they’d naturally grow. For instance, when visiting family on the coast of South Carolina in Mt. Pleasant (Zone 8b/9a), we’ve even seen hedgerows of densely planted pineapple guavas pruned to a height of 4′.  

This size flexibility means pineapple guava plants can work well for you whether you have a little or a lot of growing space. 

3. Self-fertility issues — two plants ideal for fruit production, with exceptions…

You’ve read this far and now you’re thinking: I want to grow one pineapple guava! Not so fast. 

Most pineapple guava varieties are not self-fertile. Others are marginally self-fertile. Still others are fully self-fertile. Thus, it’s usually a good idea to grow at least two different pineapple guavas if you want to get good fruit production, depending on the varieties you’re growing. 

Most pineapple guava varieties are not self-fertile. As such, if you want fruit, you need to grow at least one other genetically distinct plant/variety unless you select a self-fertile variety.

Most pineapple guava varieties are not self-fertile. As such, if you want fruit, you need to grow at least one other genetically distinct plant/variety unless you select a self-fertile variety.

If you’re really pressed for space and only have room for one plant, note the most self-fertile pineapple guava varieties detailed in our variety comparison section below.

4. Pineapple guava plants can live for decades — but younger plants are more sensitive. 

Growing pineapple guava plants is not a short timeframe commitment. That’s because they can live to be over 50 years old! 

July 15, fruit sizing up on pineapple guava plants in our front yard. It's quite possible our pineapple guava plants will outlive us. How long can pineapple guava plants live? Over 50 years old.

July 15, fruit sizing up on pineapple guava plants in our front yard. It’s quite possible our pineapple guava plants will outlive us.

It’s also important to note that younger pineapple guava plants (1-3 years old) are more sensitive to cold weather and drought than older, established plants. 

In fact, if you’re pushing growing zones like we are, you might want to wait until your plants are at least two years old before putting them in their permanent in-ground spots. 

Related note: We’re going to test the cold hardiness of some of our seed-grown 1 year old saplings in-ground this winter and will report back in the spring! 

5. Growth rate, years to fruit, yields… 

We’ve heard some people describe their pineapple guavas as “slow growing.” That has not been our experience.

Our one-year-old pineapple guavas grown from seed are now over 4′ tall.

How fast do pineapple guava plants grow? Here are 11 month old pineapple guava saplings grown from seed that are already close to 4' tall.

How fast do pineapple guava plants grow? Here are 11 month old pineapple guava saplings grown from seed that are already close to 4′ tall.

By the time they were three years old, the ‘Mammoth’ and ‘Nikita’ pineapple guava varieties we purchased as young saplings from One Green World had to be pruned to keep them under 6′ tall in front of our house.

How soon will pineapple guavas produce fruit?

You can expect fruit production by year three, with increasing yields each year thereafter. With some grafted, precocious varieties, you may get a small amount of fruit during Year 2. 

How large are pineapple guava fruits? 

There is wide variability in fruit size between different varieties of pineapple guavas and even variability on the same plant. Depending on the variety, oval-shaped fruits can range from 1-4″ in length, with recently developed cultivars producing the largest sizes.

Even on the same plant, there can be fruit size variability. These fruits all came from our 'Mammoth' pineapple guava.

Even on the same plant, there can be fruit size variability. These fruits all came from our ‘Mammoth’ pineapple guava.

For instance, our ‘Mammoth’ can produce fruit as large as 3″ weighing about 2.5 ounces each, but our ‘Nikita’ produces 1-2″ fruits that typically weigh about an ounce. Some new pineapple guava varieties can produce fruits topping 6 ounces, as you’ll see in our variety comparison section!

How much fruit will a pineapple guava plant produce?

Total fruit yields will vary by plant age, variety, growing conditions, and management approach, but you can expect a mature pineapple guava plant to produce about 10 pounds of fruit per year.

Our young (but reproductively mature) ‘Mammoth’ pineapple guava produces about 1.5 pounds of fruit per day at peak, more than satisfying our family’s needs. 

Our 'Mammoth' pineapple guava plant on October 4. The fruits blend in so well, it's hard to tell how loaded the tree is, but they're just starting to get ripe here.

Our ‘Mammoth’ pineapple guava plant on October 4. The fruits blend in so well with the leaves, it’s hard to tell how loaded the tree is, but they’re just starting to get ripe here.

When do they ripen?

Pineapple guavas ripen in fall.

Here on the outskirts of Greenville, SC (Zone 7b), we usually get ripe fruit throughout the month of October, with some variability depending on how quickly things warmed up the previous spring. 

How do you know when the fruit is ripe?

Ripe pineapple guava fruit falls to the ground when ripe. You can also gently shake the plants to dislodge ripe fruit from the branches. 

Ripe pineapple guava fruit lets you know it's ripe by falling on the ground.

Ripe pineapple guava fruit lets you know it’s ripe by falling on the ground.

This feature means you’ll want to avoid having dense ground cover plants, tall grasses, etc. growing under your pineapple guavas or the ripe fruit will be very difficult to spot. This is another reason why it’s helpful to use mulch under your plants, as we’ll discuss further below!  

Can frosts and freezes damage unripened fruit?

An unseasonably early cold snap in mid-October helped us answer this question when nightly lows dipped to 31°F, despite there still being significant amounts of fruit on our plants… Our pineapple guava fruit showed no signs of visual damaged and actually tasted slightly sweeter after the cold snap. However, the cold exposure seemed to trigger a thickening of the fruit skin and the dense, somewhat gritty outer flesh. 

However, we can’t say with any certainty what would happened to the fruit under colder or more prolonged freezing temperatures. 

III. The basics of growing pineapple guavas 

Now to the basics of growing pineapple guavas:

Light requirements:

Pineapple guavas need at least 6 hours of sunlight during the warm months for optimal fruit production. 

Soil & fertility:

Pineapple guavas thrive in rich, well-draining soil.

Each spring, we put a 2″ layer of compost or worm castings under our plants, then a thick 3-4″ layer of wood chip mulch over the compost. That combination provides them with all the fertility and microbial partners they need to thrive throughout the remainder of the year. 

Mulch also serves to suppress weeds, maintain more even soil moisture, and moderate soil temperature fluctuations. These benefits translate to less tree stress and better fruit production.

It’s also important to note that nitrogen-heavy fertilizers can actually cause pineapple guava plants to produce more foliage and less fruit, so opt for balanced, microbe-rich organic fertilizers if your plants look like they need additional nutrition. 

Water/Irrigation:  

For the first three years, pineapple guava plants will benefit from regular irrigation (at least in the warm months) so long as they’re in well-draining soil and don’t get wet feet. Mature, established plants are much less water-sensitive. 

In fact, mature pineapple guava plants are considered to be fairly drought-tolerant. With our established plants, we only provide supplemental irrigation in the middle of summer if: a) temperatures are consistently above 90°F for multiple days at a time, and b) we haven’t had rain in ~7 days. The plants can become stressed in extremely high temperatures (95°F or higher), causing them to drop fruit, so supplemental irrigation including misting the leaves can be especially helpful during heat spells. 

As a general rule for optimal fruit production, keep the soil lightly damp but not wet under your pineapple guava plants, from bud formation to fruit harvest. 

Want more and larger pineapple guava fruits? Rich soil and irrigation help.

Want more and larger pineapple guava fruits? Rich soil and irrigation help.

Spacing and pruning:

If you’re aiming for maximum fruit production then letting your pineapple guava plants grow tall and wide into large shrubs is ideal. Note the specific sizes of the variety or varieties you’re growing and space them accordingly with plans for them to reach that size in about 5-7 years. barring pruning.  

Since our pineapple guava trees are incorporated into an edible front yard landscape, we keep ours pruned to a height of about 6′ and also allow for the development of multiple lower stems in order to provide more of a dense, bush-like appearance. However, commercial pineapple guava producers usually train their plants to a single leader with an inverted umbrella shape.

When do you prune pineapple guava plants? We do light pruning throughout the warm months when the plants are growing rapidly, but avoid late fall or winter pruning. 

Pollination: 

Presently, we only have two different varieties of reproductively mature pineapple guava plants (plants that produce flowers and fruit). Pollinators do visit our pineapple guava flowers, but the flowers aren’t as popular as other flowers in our yard. 

Thus, to ensure we get the most fruit production possible, we hand-pollinate our pineapple guava flowers using a paint brush. You may want to do the same to boost your fruit production. 

How do you hand-pollinate pineapple guava flowers? Simply rub a paint brush or q-tip over the stigma and anthers of flowers on one variety, then do the same on another variety before going back to the original plant to ensure it has received genetically unique pollen. Repeat daily as time allows until your plants are done flowering. 

How to hand-pollinate pineapple guava flowers, aka feijoa.

Hand-pollinating pineapple guava flowers with a paintbrush to maximize fruit production.

Again, hand-pollination is not essential, especially if you have pollinators frequenting your pineapple guava flowers and/or you have far more plants than you can possibly hand-pollinate. 

Pests & Diseases: 

Pineapple guavas are also very pest and disease-resistant. We’ve never seen any insect or even animal damage on our fruit or foliage. As best we can tell, deer don’t eat pineapple guava leaves either. 

June 2 - Pineapple guava flowers desiccating as fruit sets.

June 2 – Pineapple guava flowers desiccating as fruit sets.

IV. Pineapple guava propagation from seeds or cuttings 

Once you have your own pineapple guava plants, you might decide you want to grow more. Or perhaps you’ve got a pineapple guava fruit in hand and want to grow your own plants from seed… 

3 ways to propagate pineapple guava plants

Each pineapple guava propagation method has pros and cons:

Option 1: Grow from seed – Pros: Very easy to do and you might end up with an amazing new variety/cultivar. Cons: You might not get a variety that produces good fruit or is self-fertile. 

Option 2: Grow from rooted cuttings – Pros: Your new plants will be genetically identical to the parent plant. Cons: More difficult than growing from seed and rooting success rates vary.   

Option 3: Graft cuttings to rootstock – Pros: You’ll get new plants genetically identical to the parent, and you can even graft multiple varieties to the same rootstock to improve pollination. Cons: Most difficult option.

Here’s a good overview of these three propagation options via University of Florida Extension

“Clonal propagation is a challenge in feijoa [pineapple guava], with most reports indicating limited success. Three-node cuttings with the top two leaves attached taken in November–December have shown some success when 3000 ppm IBA solution is applied and bottom heat is provided. Cuttings can also be taken in July–August from the middle to lower sections of branches that are approximately 1/5” in diameter. Softwood cuttings have a lower success rate, though a misting system may improve the odds. Air layering and ground layering of low-hanging branches are additional options.

Grafting is difficult because the wood is hard and splits easily. Successful grafts have been obtained using cleft and whip-and-tongue grafts. It is advisable to graft multiple cultivars onto a common rootstock. ‘Precocious’ is a good cultivar to include because its long flowering habit allows it to serve as a pollen parent throughout the flowering season of other cultivars. The addition of ‘Precocious’ to a multivariety grafted tree does not appear to influence flowering of other cultivars.

Feijoas are relatively easy to start from seed, because seed dormancy is not a concern, and they can be planted immediately after removing from the fruit. However, the resulting plants will likely not be true-to-type, meaning that they will be genetically different from the mother plant. These seedlings may also be used as rootstocks for desirable scion cultivars, because improved rootstocks have not been developed.

Growing pineapple guavas from seed

Which of the three propagation methods have we used? Growing from seed. 

When our own pineapple guava plants were still too young to produce much fruit, we satisfied our itch for the fruit by purchasing from Rincon Tropics. The fruits they sent were large, beautiful, and excellently flavored. Thus we decided to grow new plants from their seeds, adding some genetic diversity to our pineapple guava collection. 

Here’s how you can grow your own pineapple guava plants from seed:

Step 1: Remove seeds from high quality fruit

Only select seeds from the largest, best tasting pineapple guava fruit possible to have a better chance at producing offspring with excellent fruit quality.

Pineapple guava seeds selected from large, excellent quality fruit.

Pineapple guava seeds selected from large, excellent quality fruit. These were sown on Nov 1 and began germinating in about 9 days! 

If the parent plants are growing in your cooler climate area, even better — that means the new plants might have some extra cold-hardiness as well.  

Step 2: Sow seeds then keep warm and lightly damp

Sow pineapple guava seeds about 1/4″ deep in high quality organic seed starting mix or potting soil. We used 4″ x 4″ plastic cells.

Two things we found out through experience: 

1. Pineapple guava seeds germinate quickly with no dormancy period required. Our first seed germinated in 9 days and all seeds had germinated within 13 days. 

November 18, pineapple guava seedlings developing leaves.

November 18, pineapple guava seedlings developing leaves.

2. Pineapple guava seeds have very high germination rates. We didn’t know what the germination rate would be so we put two seeds in some cells. Turns out pineapple guava seeds (at least the ones we used) had over a 90% germination rate! 

Once our seeds were sown, we put them in a humidity dome with the top open. We also put the whole tray on top of a heat mat to keep soil temperatures close to 80°F. 

We lightly misted the soil surface as-needed to ensure it remained lightly damp but not wet. We also kept grow lights going overhead to reduce the development of surface mold or damping off.  

Pineapple guava seedlings: from left to right: November 14, 21, and 26.

Pineapple guava seedlings developing. From left to right: November 14, 21, and 26.

Step 4: Maintenance after germination 

Soon after all of our pineapple guava seeds germinated, we removed the humidity/heat dome. We provided light via grow lights for 12 hours per day.

Don’t have grow lights? You could move your pineapple guava seedlings in front of the sunniest window in your home if you’re starting them in the cold months. Or keep them outdoors if temperatures are above 50°F. 

Also, make sure to maintain even, lightly damp soil as the seedlings grow. Soon, you’ll start seeing additional leaf development! 

Pineapple guava seedlings developing. From left to right: Dec 7, 14, and 28.

Pineapple guava seedlings developing. From left to right: Dec 7, 14, and 28.

Step 5: Transition to natural sunlight

As soon as outdoor temperatures are 50°F or higher, you’ll want to start transitioning your pineapple guava seedlings to natural sunlight, aka “hardening off.” If you transition them to full sunlight without a transition, you can cause the leaves to get sunburned or even kill the plants. 

A transition over the course of ~10 days should be fine, although the season/light intensity will impact your hardening off schedule. Summer = longer, slower transition; winter = shorter, faster transition. 

Step 6: Pot up to prevent stress and promote growth

At Month 5, our pineapple guava seedlings needed to be potted up for the first time. We split saplings that were growing two per pot, then potted everyone up into deep, ~1 gallon nursery pots with high quality organic potting soil. 

July 3 - potted up pineapple guava saplings are developing additional bottom stems.

July 3 (8 months) – Potted up pineapple guava saplings are developing additional bottom stems.

The next potting up took place in Month 8, when we bumped them up into ~2 gallon pots. If you see roots wrapping around each other and the plants starting to get root bound, be sure to loosen the roots by hand before potting them up.

July 25 - Potting up slightly root bound pineapple guava saplings into larger 2 gallon nursery pots.

July 25 – Potting up slightly root bound pineapple guava saplings into larger 2 gallon nursery pots. Notice how the tightly bound roots in the middle picture were loosened up before going into the new pot. 

Step 7: Transplant into final spot    

We plan to get some of our 1-year-old pineapple guava saplings in-ground this fall to trial their winter hardiness. However, we’ll hold the majority of them back for transplanting until the spring of their second year.  

Again, younger pineapple guava plants are more sensitive to cold — and plants in pots have their roots above ground making them even more susceptible to cold weather. Thus, if you live in Ag Zone 7a or below, you might want to put your pineapple guava saplings in larger pots for Year 2, baby them through their second winter, then transplant them to their final spots in the spring of Year 3. 

When is the best time of year to plant pineapple guavas? Spring or fall, giving them a chance to establish roots before temperature extremes kick in.

V. Pineapple guava variety selection & comparison

6 factors to consider in pineapple guava variety selection

If you live in a cooler climate, what are the most important factors to consider when selecting the right pineapple guava varieties for your yard, garden, or home orchard?

  1. Plant size, in case you have to grow them in a pot/container.
  2. Fruit size, because it’s nice to have larger fruit so long as fruit quality isn’t sacrificed.
  3. Cold hardiness, especially if you intend to grow your plants in-ground. 
  4. Early ripening, in case you’re really stretching growing zones and trying to beat deep freezes. 
  5. Self-fertile, in case you only have room for one plant. 
  6. *Propagation restrictions, in case you decide you want to grow your own new pineapple guava plants from seeds or cuttings. (*Breeders spend countless hours doing important work to make new, improved varieties possible. They’re compensated by selling the new varieties they’ve developed, so it’s nice to respect their efforts.)

Our top pineapple guava variety recommendations: 

What are the best varieties of pineapple guava? The factors most important to you will determine the pineapple guava varieties that are best suited to your needs.

Here are our top variety recommendations for various scenarios/considerations:

  • If growing in a pot/container: Nikita™ which tops out at about 6′ tall and is also partially self-fertile. 
  • If you’re growing in-ground and you want the largest fruits possible without sacrificing fruit quality: Kaiteri™ (partially self-fertile), Kakariki™ (partially self-fertile), Mammoth (not self-fertile, so you’d need at least one more variety). 
  • If you simply want the most cold-hardy varieties available regardless of fruit size: Kakariki™ (partially self-fertile), Nikita™ (partially self-fertile).  
  • If you only have room for one plant and want the most self-fertile variety possible: Apollo, Coolidge, Pineapple Gem, Nazametz, Robert, Takaka, Unique.

Where can you buy pineapple guava plants? 

Local nurseries in most areas of the country (including ours) don’t carry pineapple guava plants, but here are three good online sources:

  1. One Green World has a nice variety assortment and we were very happy with the health and vigor of the plants they sent us. However, due to popular demand, they’re often out of stock. They do have a waitlist though!
  2. Amazon is a good source since you can find highly rated nurseries/sellers, however you can’t always tell what variety you’re getting.
  3. Planting Justice is another good source that is certified organic and a non-profit organization that helps formerly incarcerated people get back on their feet. They don’t have as good a selection as One Green World, but you can easily choose from multiple named varieties. 

Pineapple guava variety comparisons, from A to Z:  

For a deeper dive, here’s a comparison of pineapple guava varieties commonly available in the United States, listed alphabetically: 

  • Anatoki™ – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Large / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: Yes / Self-fertile: Partially / Propagation restrictions: Yes
  • Apollo – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Medium-Large / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: No / Self-fertile: Yes / Propagation restrictions: No
  • Coolidge – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Medium-Large / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: Yes / Self-fertile: Yes / Propagation restrictions: No
  • Kaiteri™ – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Largest (up to 6 oz) / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: Yes / Self-fertile: Partially / Propagation restrictions: Yes
  • Kakariki™ – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Largest (up to 6 oz) / Cold hardiness: High / Early ripening: Yes/ Self-fertile: Partially / Propagation restrictions: Yes / 
  • Mammoth – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Largest / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: Yes / Self-fertile: No / Propagation restrictions: No
  • Nazametz – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Large / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: No / Self-fertile: Yes / Propagation restrictions: No
  • Nikita™ – Plant size: 5-6′ / Fruit size: Average / Cold hardiness: High / Early ripening: Yes / Self-fertile: Partially / Propagation restrictions: Yes
  • Precocious – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Average / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: No / Self-fertile: No info / Propagation restrictions: No
  • Ramsey – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Large / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: No / Self-fertile: Partially / Propagation restrictions: No
  • Robert – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Large / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: No / Self-fertile: Yes / Propagation restrictions: No
  • Takaka™ – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Large / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: Yes / Self-fertile: Yes / Propagation restrictions: Yes 
  • Unique – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Average-Small / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: No / Self-fertile: Yes / Propagation restrictions: No
  • Waingaro™ – Plant size: 8-12′ / Fruit size: Average-Large / Cold hardiness: Average / Early ripening: No / Self-fertile: Partially / Propagation restrictions: Yes

How to eat pineapple guava flowers and fruit

We saved the best for last: eating your pineapple guava flowers and fruit! 

Yes, pineapple guava flowers are edible and possibly the most delicious edible flower we know of… 

Pineapple guava flowers, aka feijoa flowers. Beautiful and edible.

Beautiful and edible pineapple guava flowers in bloom, June 1.

You don’t have to wait until fall to get delicious treats from your pineapple guava plants. That’s because the delicate white flower petals may well be the most delicious edible flower out there. 

They have a silky smooth, thick texture and a candy-like sweetness that makes them quite a delicacy. You can carefully pull off flower petals without damaging the reproductive parts or affecting fruit set.

Also note that like any fruiting plant, your pineapple guava plants will produce far more flowers than fruit. Rough guess: less than 5% of the flowers on your pineapple guavas will develop into fruit, but that still ends up being a lot of fruit! 

What can you do with pineapple guava flower petals? Eat them on the spot, add them to veggie or fruit salads, or use them as a garnish on dishes. 

What does pineapple guava fruit taste like? 

Now comes the best part: pineapple guava fruit! Pineapple guava fruit tastes like a tropical fruit blend of pineapple, passion fruit, and mango with a slight hint of mint.

We’ve tasted pineapple guava fruit from a range of different cultivars and can’t tell much difference between them. 

How do you eat pineapple guava fruit?

The entire pineapple guava fruit, from skin to inner pulp, is edible. However, the skin isn’t great, and it has a somewhat gritty consistency. If you eat the fruits whole, the skin isn’t bad. But if you eat the skin by itself, you probably won’t be a fan. 

A cross section of a pineapple guava fruit. Note the relatively clear, juicy seed pulp in the center surrounded by firmer flesh which gets slightly gritty as you get closer to the green skin.

A cross section of a pineapple guava fruit. Note the relatively clear, juicy seed pulp in the center surrounded by firmer flesh which gets slightly gritty as you get closer to the green skin.

We (and our toddler) eat most of our pineapple guava fruits whole, skin and all. This is especially true with smaller fruits.

When serving larger pineapple guava fruit to guests, we typically use a carrot grater to remove the skins, then slice them into bite-sized pieces. Alternately, you can cut large fruits in half long ways, then scoop out the pulp with a spoon, leaving the skins behind. 

Removing skins from larger pineapple guava fruits before slicing and serving. How to eat pineapple guava fruit.

Removing skins from larger pineapple guava fruits before slicing and serving.

The inner pulp of a pineapple guava fruit is definitely the culinary crown jewel — and the part you’ll want to use when making pineapple guava recipes. 

More good news: Pineapple guava fruits are high in fiber and loaded with Vitamin C. In fact, 3.5 ounces of pineapple guava (about 2 medium sized fruits) gives you 40% of your daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C! 

Want a simple and delicious pineapple guava recipe? Try our pineapple guava ice cream made in a blender (with no sugar added)!

What could be better than pineapple guava ice cream? Pineapple guava ice cream that doesn't contain any added sugar using a recipe that you can make in your blender.

What could be better than pineapple guava ice cream? Pineapple guava ice cream that doesn’t contain any added sugar using a recipe that you can make in your blender.


Now you know how to start growing your own pineapple guava plants in cooler climate zones! We hope you love the flower petals and fruits of these unique plants as much as we do.

Visit our pineapple guava Google web story for a video summary of this article. 

KIGI,

Other fruity grow guides you’ll love:

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