Psidium: Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
Tropical and Subtropical America
These are attractive fruiting plants which although not spectacular are pleasant to grow for their deep green foliage, white, many stamened flowers and edible fruits. Psidium cattleianum, the Strawberry Guava from Brazil, has plum-coloured fruits high in vitamin C which live up to the name by having the flavour and texture of a strawberry. P. guajava is a slightly smaller species which, after a couple of years from seed or, should be flowering and producing yellowish fruits. By the time a good sized shrub in a large container has grown it should be possible to harvest enough fruit to make a pot of guava jelly. P. g. ‘Pyriferum’ is the form with pear-shaped fruits which is most commonly seen. I always soak the seed for 24 hours before sowing just under the surface of peat-based seed at 21-24°C (70-75°F). Even then germination tends to be erratic, taking from one month onwards. Cuttings of shoots, preferably with a heel of more mature wood, should be rooted in spring or summer. The only drawback is that the evergreen foliage is liable to be spoilt by growths of sooty mould if attacks of mealy bug or scale insect go unchecked.