The guava tree is a popular tropical or subtropical fruit tree, which is very famous for the sweet guava fruits. It is widely cultivated in the Indian subcontinent for the harvesting of the guava fruits. It is known by many names in India, such as ‘Amrud’ in Hindi, ‘Payara’ in Bengali, ‘Jamphal’ in Gujrati, and ‘Peru’ in Marathi.
India is the worldwide leader in the production of guava fruits and it accounts for about 40 percent of the total production of guava fruits in the whole world. The guava trees are also cultivated in large numbers in countries like China, Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, and Egypt.
The guava fruit is fondly consumed in many ways, people eat the fruit in its raw form, as it has a sweet taste. Many people consume guava in the form of juice by making guava juice. It is also used for making salads, vegetables, curries, chutney, and many other dishes. There are many varieties of guava trees that produce different types of fruits. The most famous varieties in India are Chittidar, Navalur, Hafsi, Sardar, Seedless, Safed Jam, Kohir Safeda, Allahabad Safeda, Pant Prabhat, Hisar Safeda, Lalit, Swetha, and Banarsi.
Guava Tree – Basic Description
The guava tree belongs to the ‘Myrtaceae’ family; its scientific name is ‘Psidium Guajava’. It is a small-sized evergreen tree that generally grows about 10 meters high, with spreading branches. The guava tree has a smooth, thin, copper-colored bark; it flakes off showing the greenish layer of the tree beneath it. This tree has a thin and slender trunk that has a small diameter of 10 inches at breast height.
The leaves of the guava tree are light green in color; they smell quite aromatic when they are crushed. They grow in the opposite patterns, they have short petiole, and they are oval or elliptic in shape. They are generally about 6 inches long and up to 2 inches wide, they are quite leathery, with conspicuous parallel veins.
The flowers of the tree are generally white in color, they grow singly or in small clusters in the leaf axils, they are quite small about 1 inch wide with 4 or 5 white petals which quickly shed. They have a prominent tuft of about 250 white stamens with pale-yellow anthers on the tip.
The fruit of the guava tree is its main attraction. It is generally very sweet with a musky odor, especially when it ripes. The fruit is round, ovoid, or pear-shaped, and it is about 2 to 4 inches long. It has 4 or 5 protruding floral sepals at its apex, and it has a thin and pale yellow skin.
Guava Fruit – Benefits and Uses
The guava fruit is also known as the ‘apple of poor’ because it is easily available to the masses. Guava fruits come in different shapes and sizes all around the world. Different varieties have different shades of flesh within the fruit, most of which are white, pink, red, ruby, and some varieties also contain green flesh. The guava fruits are very tasty and have many health benefits for the human body. Let’s have a look at the health benefits and uses of the guava fruits.
1. The guava fruit has high fiber content, and as such, it works as a natural laxative and boosts the digestion process. It prevents the consumer from constipation and other gastric issues.
2. The guava fruit is rich in Vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system of the body, and in turn, it protects the body against cold, flu, and other infections.
3. The fruit contains a high volume of antioxidants, healthy nutrients, and minerals that help to keep your body and skin look young and vibrant.
4. Eating this fruit daily helps to boost your metabolism and trigger the weight loss process. It does not have much sugar in it and it is fibrous, which makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
5. The guava fruit and its leaves work to regulate the blood pressure by lowering the overall cholesterol levels and triglycerides in the body.
6. The skin and seeds of the guava fruit are also very safe to eat, they contain concentrated flavonoids that improve the overall health of your body.
How to Grow Guava Tree at Home
The guava tree is one of those trees which can be easily planted in your home. It produces tasty and sweet guavas that are very nutritious and full of good virtues for your body. The guava tree can be grown very easily in almost all kinds of soils and this is the reason it is available in abundance in most of the areas.
The guava tree is grown all around the world, particularly in the tropical and subtropical regions, where it is cultivated commercially as a very popular fruit plant. Guava tree can also easily tolerate the varying climates in these regions and it does not even require much water once the tree has established itself. Let’s have a look at the process of growing the guava tree at home.
1. The first step is selecting the right variety of guava tree for growing at your home. There are many varieties of guava fruit like Sardar, Lalit, Dhareedar, etc. All these varieties have some merits and demerits which may vary as per your requirement. If you want to grow the guava tree in a pot or in a small space, then it is suggested to go for the Thai guava variety.
2. Its a tropical variety of guava tree which is very popular in South Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The Thai guava tree is very suitable for growth in a smaller area; also it produces sweet and crispy guava fruits. Another good quality of the tree is its ability to produce the fruits continuously, and that too, twice a year.
3. Although you can propagate the guava plant from the seeds, it is suggested to use the plants germinated either by air-layering method or grafting method. A seed-grown plant is not very suitable for growing in your home as it may take more than 3 years to start producing fruits. While the grafted or air-layered plants will start producing fruits within one year of planting.
4. So get a healthy and viable plant from the nursery which is at least one foot tall, and prepare the soil mix for potting. Although guava trees can be grown in any kind of soil while planting it in a pot you must make sure to use a good potting mix. The soil should be well-drained and organically rich with pH value in the range of 4.5 to 7.
5. For making a good potting mix you can use 40 percent garden soil, 20 percent coco peat, 20 percent manure, 10 percent sand, and 10 percent compost. This potting mix mixture will provide good support for the growth and fruiting of this new plant. Initially, this plant can be potted in a small pot but as its size grows it should be planted in a spacious pot or in your garden or backyard.
6. You should keep the guava plant in a location where it receives sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Guava trees grow well in a tropical or subtropical climate, and it also needs some watering at regular intervals, especially in the early days of its life. So you should make sure that the potting mix is always lightly moist.
7. It is also quite important to regularly provide fertilizers to the growing guava tree. As the guava tree grows, its requirement for fertilizers increases. Initially, it requires nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in sufficient quantities, and after the first fruiting, it also requires magnesium. You should only use organic fertilizers for your guava tree for better results.
8. The fertilizer mix should be used only four to five times a year. The pruning of the guava tree is also very necessary for its proper growth, and to form the proper structure of the tree. The pruning should be done after the fruits are harvested from the guava tree.
Guava Juice – How to Make
The guava juice is a very tasty and easy way of imbibing the benefits of the guava fruit in your body. The guava fruits are very rich in Vitamin C, they help in overcoming constipation and other gastric problems. For making the guava juice, take some fresh guava fruits and peel the outer skin of the guava fruits.
Then cut them into small pieces and add all these chopped pieces in a mixer. After adding some water process the mixer for a couple of minutes, you can also use either honey or sugar as a sweetener, as per your taste. You can also add flavors or syrups for taste as per your liking to make a healthy and tasty juice.
Now strain the juice with the help of a sieve to separate the seeds from the guava juice. After straining your guava juice is ready for consumption, it is a very refreshing and healthy drink, with multiple benefits for the body.