1. Agripedia

A Complete Guide to Guava Cultivation

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Guava
Guava

Common name: 

Guava is commonly called “Amrud” in the national language of India, Hindi.  

Scientific name:  

Psidium guajava  

Features: 

Guava is a hardy, long-lived tree and a prolific bearer. It has high commercial significance. Guava cultivation is very profitable and requires not much care.  

Producing States: 

Guava farming is done all over India.  

Chief states producing guava are: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.  

Uttar Pradesh is the most important state for guava production. Allahabad is famous for producing the best quality guava in India and the world.  

As per a report by National Horticulture Board (NHB), area under guava cultivation in 1991-92 was 94,000 ha. It increased to 64% and reached 1,55,000 ha in 2001-02.  

In the same year, guava production reached 1.7 million tons in India.  

India exports guava fruits to several countries including US, Netherlands, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait.  

Guava Varieties:  

Some of the popular varieties include:  

  • Lucknow 49 (the most popular variety, also called ‘Sardar’ guava) 

  • Allahabad Safeda 

  • Apple color 

  • Pear Shaped 

  • Behat Coconut 

  • Safeda Jam (hybrid: Allahabad Safeda X Kohir) 

  • Kohir Safeda (hybrid: Kohir X Allahabad Safeda) 

  • Arka Mridula (soft-seeded) 

  • Arka Amulya (soft-seeded)  

  • Banarasi 

  • Chittidar 

  • Baruipur Local  

Hero Organics has released a high-yielding and profitable variety of guava that is gaining the attention of farmers.  

You can also find exotic varieties of guava that are cultivated around the world. A few of them include: 

  • Mexican Cream:A popular choice for desserts, this white-fleshed variety has a creamier texture.  

  • Tropical White:White-fleshed variety packed with sweetness.  

  • Red Malaysian:Gardeners’ favorite, this variety has red flesh and lovely pink flowers and red leaves.  

  • Pineapple Guava:Grown usually in Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina, this white-fleshed variety is drought resistant.  

  • Thai Maroon:A beautiful variety just like Red Malaysian, it features reddish pink flesh and red leaves.  

  • Ruby X:Thick-skinned variety, resistant to fruit flies. 

  • Giant Vietnamese:This white-fleshed variety is a great choice for making juice. 

Climate Required: 

Guava farming can be done successfully in subtropical and tropical climates. It can grow at a height of 5000 feet (1500 m) from sea level.  

Guava thrives between June and September with an annual rainfall of less than 1000 mm.  

You must take care of young plants, as they are more vulnerable to cold and drought conditions.  

Soil Required: 

Being hardy, Guava crop can do well on all soil types. It grows successfully on well-drained, heavier soils. Though it has sensitivity to waterlogging.  

Best soil: Well-drained and deep friable soil with rich topsoil, as guava is surface-rooted. The surface of soil should be rich. Soil pH from 4.5 to 8.2.   Alkaline or saline soils are not fit for guava cultivation.  

Mode of Propagation: 

  • Seed 

  • Grafting 

  • Budding 

  • Cutting  

  • Air layering  

  • Stooling  

Air layering has proved to be the most successful mode of propagation for commercial guava cultivation.  

Stooling, which is basically mound layering on nursery beds, is the most inexpensive way for rapid multiplication.  

Sowing Process: 

Soil preparation:  

  • Begin with deep ploughing, cross ploughing, harrowing, and leveling of soil.  

  • Dig pits of 0.6 m x 0.6 m x 0.6 m before monsoon.  

  • Leave them open for 15-20 days.  

  • Then fill them with soil that is mixed with 500 g superphosphate and 20 kg organic manure.  

  • In case of poor soil, you must dig bigger pits of size 1 m x 1 m x 1 m. Also add more organic manure.  

  • Start planting with the onset of monsoon.  

Spacing:  

Standard spacing is 6 m x 6 m. This accommodates 112 plants per acre.  

Flowering and fruiting period:  

Main flowering seasons are: 

Area 

Seasons 

Northern India 

April-May and August-September 

Eastern India 

April-May and September-October 

Southern India 

April-May and August-September 

Western India 

February-March, June-July, and October-November 

There are names for different flowering seasons in guava farming. Each season features different quality in fruits.  

Flowering pattern 

Flowering period  

Fruit ripening period  

Preference  

Ambe Bahar  

February-March (spring) 

July-September (monsoon) 

Not preferred much due to poor quality fruits 

Mrig Bahar  

June-July (monsoon) 

November-January (winter) 

Most preferred due to excellent quality fruits 

Hasth Bahar  

October (autumn) 

February-April (spring) 

Usually practiced in South and West India. Fetches good prices.  

Fruit drop can be a matter of concern in guava cultivation. The drop can reach upto 45-65% resulting due to various environmental and physiological factors.  

GA spray is effective in fruit drop reduction.  

Irrigation Requirement:  

Guava tree hardly requires irrigation.  

Young guava plants need 8-10 irrigations per year. During summer, dry areas and light soils may need hand watering.  

Full-grown and fruit bearing trees need watering at weekly intervals between May and July.  

Winter irrigation decreases fruit drop and enhances fruit size.  

Drip irrigation is highly beneficial to guava crop. It saves upto 60% water and gives a significant increase in number and size of fruits.  

It is a good idea to create saucer-shaped or half-moon or V-shape basins to retain moisture in soil after pre-monsoon showers.  

Fertilizers:  

Guava is highly responsive to inorganic fertilizers and organic manure. Apply 100 g N, 40 g P, and 40 g K per plant ever year. Stabilize in the 6th year. You can split them in two equal doses in August and January.  

In case of Zinc deficiency, spray the trees with 0.34 kg slaked lime and 0.45 kg ZnSO4 (Zinc Sulfate) dissolved in 16 gallons (72.74 l) water. Fix number of sprays as per severity of deficiency.  

To increase fruit size and yield of guava crop, do pre-flowering sprays with 0.3% ZnSOand 0.4% Boric Acid. Also spray 0.2-0.4% CuSO4 (Copper Sulfate).  

Weed management: 

Manual weeding is better. Mulching twice a year discourages weeds and conserves moisture. Spray of Gramoxone is effective in weed management.  

Plow soil twice a year (once in October, next in January) for effective management of guava orchards.  

Intercropping:  

Intercropping can be done with a combo of vegetables, legumes, and plantation crops. Cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, pineapple, papaya, beans, cowpea, and peas are good choices.  

Training & Pruning:  

Training enhances fruit quality and yield. The major aim of training is to give the tree a productive framework, featuring branches that are strong enough to bear a highly remunerative crop.  

Shoots just near to the ground (30 cm from surface) are chopped off. Let the center be open. Allow four scaffold branches to grow. Keep the angle between stem and branches wide enough to let sufficient sunlight penetrate the center.  

Light pruning is done annually to maintain the framework of tree and to promote growth of new shoots.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM1uES6xcWo 

Pest & Diseases:  

Pests: 

  • Scale insect:Serious problem in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Maharashtra. These scale-like flat, green insects stick to leaves, shoots, and fruits. Spray mixture of fish oil rosin soap in crude oil emulsion or water, methyl demeton, and dimetholate.  

  • Guava fruit fly:A dangerous pest that induces fruit dropping. Pluck and burn the infested fruits. Spray 0.5 ml phosphamidon and 2 ml malathion per liter of water.  

  • Mealybug:These tiny, oval-shaped insects with white waxy surface suck sap from young plants. Found in clusters under leaves. They affect yield considerably. Spray dimethoate, methyl parathion, or monocroptophos. Treat soil with thimet, malation, or aldrin. Cover plant base with polythene film to block the upward movement of nymphs on plants.  

 Diseases: 

  • Guava wilt: A serious fungal disease that causes yellowing of leaves, followed by drying, wilting, and dying. More serious in alkaline soils and during monsoon. Remove dry and wilted parts. Drench with Brasicol at trunk base. Spray Bavistin at earliest infection stage. Injections of 8-Quinolonol Sulfate is effective.  

  • Anthracnose:Causes spots on leaves and fruits. Remove affected parts. Spray Dithane, Oxychloride, or Difolatan. To control this disease in post-harvest fruits, dip them in Aureofungin and Thiabendazole solutions.  

  • Fruit canker:It decreases market value of fruits, as the disease disfigures them. Dip harvested fruits in Ocimum sanctum leaf extract. Or wash them with 1200 ppm Aureofungin. Spray 0.2% Dithane Z-78, 0.3% Difolatan, and 1% Bordeaux mixture.  

  • Stem canker:Infected stems crack and produce lesions. Stem tissues collapse and the twigs wilt.  

  • Cercospora leaf spot:The affected leaves develop water-soaked brown patches. Spray 0.3% Copper Oxychloride or lime sulphur at 1:30 ratio.  

Bronzing is a nutritional disorder that happens due to deficiencies of phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. It occurs because of poor soils or poor cultivation and management practices. Apply NPK, Zinc, and Boron in recommended doses. 

Harvesting:  

Guava fruits should be picked as soon as they mature. The fruit is ready for harvest when its dark green color changes to light and shows yellowish green patches.  

Hand picking is recommended.  

Seedling trees take 4-5 years to reach the bearing stage, while layered, budded, and grafted trees take 2-3 years to bear.  

Storage: 

Guava fruits are highly perishable. Their shelf life is an average of 2-3 days in ambient conditions. So, you must market them as soon as possible after harvest.  

Pack the fruits in corrugated fiberboard boxes featuring sufficient perforation. In cold storage, fruits stay fresh for 3-5 weeks at 8-10ocelsius and 85-90% relative humidity.  

Yield: 

Yield/tree can go upto 350 kg through grafted trees and 90 kg through seedling trees.  

For example, a 3-year-old Lucknow 49 tree can yield anything between 55 kg and 60 kg in suitable conditions.  

Yield varies with variety, cultivation practices, area, and management or orchard.  

Guava Uses:  

  • Eaten as whole fruit. 

  • Made into jellies, marmalades, jams, beverages, and other value-added products.  

  • Guava base is used for making sauces.  

  • Guava seed oil is used in cosmetics and culinary due to its high nutrition value.  

  • Leaf and fruit have medicinal uses.  

  • In Egypt and Bolivia, guava leaves are used as a treatment for pulmonary diseases and cough. 

  • Indians use the leaves as cough treatment.  

  • Chinese use them as hemostatic and anti-inflammatory agent.  

Guava Nutrition Value: 

1 Cup (165 g) of raw guava contains: 

  • Calories: 112 

  • Total fat: 1.6 g 

  • Sodium: 3 mg 

  • Potassium: 688 mg 

  • Total carbs: 24 g 

  • Dietary fiber: 8.9 kg 

  • Sugar: 15 g 

  • Protein: 4.2 g 

  • Vitamin C: 628% of daily value 

  • Vitamin A: 21% of daily value 

  • Vitamin B6: 10% of daily value 

  • Magnesium: 9% of daily value 

  • Iron: 2% of daily value 

Guava Health Benefits:  

  • Guava is a powerful immunity booster due to its high Vitamin C, which is four times more than that in oranges. Because of this, it is also beneficial in colds and coughs. 

  • Guava is great for weight loss, as it is filling and contains lesser sugar than other fruits.  

  • Its rich lycopene content helps to decrease risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer.  

  • Guava has high fiber content and low GI (Glycemic Index), which helps to prevent diabetes when included in diet regularly.  

  • Guava helps to balance potassium and sodium in the body. This keeps heart healthy.  

  • Guava seeds serve as laxative and can help in constipation when chewed with the whole fruit.  

  • Guava has good amount of Vitamin A, which helps to keep eyes healthy and delays onset of macular degeneration and cataract.  

  • Doctors recommend eating guava when pregnant, as it contains folic acid and Vitamin B9 that prevents neurological disorders in babies.  

  • Guava leaves pose as great home remedy for toothaches, oral ulcers, and swollen gums.  

  • Guava helps to boost brain power due to its pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) and niacin (Vitamin B9) content. It improves blood flow to brain, relaxes nerves, and enhances cognitive function.  

  • Guava has anti-aging properties. It is great for skin complexion. It possesses astringent property.  

  • Guava is a stress buster thanks to its magnesium content. So, if you have had a hard day at the office, eat a guava and relax!  

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