The guava is a universal favorite. The ripe guava which is oval, round or pear shaped, is yellow in color has a pungent smell and is considered to be one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. The tree is probably a native of South and Central America, according to the Purdue University. It may have been later introduced to areas with warmer climates.
The guava tree is small with a copper-colored bark which peels off in curls. It is grown both from seeds and from cuttings grafted to mature plants.They start bearing fruit within 2 to 4 years. The fruit yield per tree may vary from 100 to 300 fruits in a season. Trees in warmer climates may also give a second yield of fruit.
Guava trees flourish in areas with bright and sunny weather. The sunlight provides the tree with the energy it needs to bear flowers and fruits.
Spraying the guava tree with a urea spray just before blossoms appear in spring is seen to be helpful in augmenting the fruit yield. A mixture of 25 percent solution of urea is sprayed on all flower and fruit-bearing branches. This is followed by watering of the tree. This helps the guava tree to produce fruits. However, ensure that you allow the spray to dry on the tree before you water the tree.
Application of a fertilizer rich in potash or potassium keeps the tree healthy and increases the fruit yield. Spreading one pound of 8-3-9-2 fertilizer among the root area of the tree and working it round the base of the tree is advised. The tree needs to be fertilized 3 to 4 times a year at equal time intervals. Fertilizing is not advised in cooler climates and in late seasons, as the tree’s growth and subsequent fruiting at this stage may damage the plant.
The guava tree should be given a restricted water supply for two to three weeks.The resultant drying of the soil activates the reproductive mechanism of the tree. It results in blooming of flowers in the plant. Pruning of the tree is the next step. Older wood should be cut a few inches before the growth node. This node is an indication of new growth. There will be sprouting of new branches, new blooms and fruits as a result.
Pollination of guava flowers is generally done by bees. However, if sufficient number of bees is not present in a guava orchard, they can be introduced. Some guava cultivators also resort to hand pollination. Taking a small paint brush and tickling the insides of guava flowers may do the trick. It helps in spreading the pollen and results in pollination and production of fruit.