Belonging to the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae) but not true (Psidium genus) guavas,
the Acca genus contains three species, of which Acca sellowiana, Pineapple Guava, is the
most well known. Several dozen cultivars have been developed.
A multi-stemmed shrub or small tree.
Up to 50 years.
Slow to moderately rapid depending on fertilization and water.
3-20' high and as wide.
Four to six fleshy, white petals curled inward at the sides, tinged with purple, surrounding
long bright red stamens with yellow tips. The flowers petals are edible and have a bit
of a marshmallow taste. They can be removed for eating while leaving the rest of the flower
intact for fruiting.
Usually no. Two plants should be placed together for cross pollination. Poor fruit yield is
often caused by lack of pollination. Hand pollination with a small brush is very successful.
Years before fruiting:
3-5 years from seed.
Egg shaped, blue-green, waxy skin, fragrant, edible. Fruit size varies from 0.75" to 4" in
length. The flavor is said to be a cross between pineapple and another fruit, such as
strawberry, apple and mint, or banana. Eat the fruit like an avocado, scooping the flesh
out of the skin with a spoon. The skin is edible but sour.
Months for fruit to ripen:
4.5 to 7. The fruit are ripe or nearly ripe when they drop from the branch after the plant
is shaken. Check every two days.
Storage after harvest:
Firm fruit will ripen further if placed in a bowl at room temperature, but will not taste
as good as that fully ripened on the plant. When ripe, they will still be fairly firm.
Keep them no more that one week in a refrigerator for the best quality. Dip the fruit in
lemon juice after peeling to prevent it from turning brown. Pineapple Guava bruise easily
and should be treated with care.
Green and smooth on top, silvery underneath, elliptical, thick.
Deep if properly watered, non-invasive.
Cultivars of Note
for hot, dry climates:
'Coolidge' self-fruitful, small to medium sized
fruit, a reliable, heavy bearer. This is the most popular cultivar grown in California.
'Nazemetz' self-fruitful, medium sized fruit,
ripens late season. The fruit does not darken after being cut.
'Trask' self-fruitful, medium to large sized
fruit, ripens early.
The flowers attract birds, but bees are the main pollinators. The fruit attract birds and
mammals. The foliage is not usually browsed by rabbits and deer. Rabbits may dig at moist soil
under the plant after irrigation, however, looking for water, damaging roots and moving mulch
Toxic / Danger:
Northern Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones:
8b-10. Hardy to 15°F. One cultivar, less well suited to high temperatures, can handle
Typically 100-200 hours. 100-200 chill hours are needed for the best flowering.
Yes, once established. Extra water is needed to maintain appearance over 90°F. Heat
stress may cause fruit drop and leaf browning. If the tips of leaves turn brown,
will allow the plant to stay green.
Yes, but prolonged lack of water, especially in high temperatures, results in a loss of fruit
and a ratty appearance.
Full sun to part afternoon shade. Avoid reflected sun or hot zones.
Locate the plant in a sunny location, possibly with part afternoon shade. Make sure there is
enough space for it to grow to its full width and height, or prepare to trim it to a desired
The best time to put this plant in the ground is after the danger of frost is past, in
late winter or early spring.
Plant the shrub so that the root crown is at least one inch above ground level. The top
roots must extend out from the trunk, just above, and uncovered by, soil.
It can be grown in large containers.
Well drained. This plant is tolerant as to soil type. It performs best in pH 6.1-7.5
(slightly acidic to neutral) soil but tolerates slightly alkaline soil. It is moderately
Fertilizer causes rapid, leggy growth and possibly should be avoided. Use an organic
fertilizer mid-winter if desired. Avoid composted manure or other high nitrogen fertilizers
that will inhibit flowering and fruiting.
Water after becoming established:
once or twice a month when not fruiting.
Deep water every one or two weeks when fruiting and when temperatures over 90°F to maintain
appearance. This encourages the plant's roots to grow deep, away from the heat of the sun,
improving its water gathering capacity. Leaves turning brown half-way, from middle to tip,
is a sign of insufficient water and a need for deep watering.
Use mulch to protect roots from summer heat and winter cold.
After fruit harvest, trim lightly to shape. The plant will handle shearing, but this reduces
flower production, which occurs on new growth. Dense branches may need thinning to expose
flowers and fruit, but exposed branches should be painted with tree trunk paint to prevent sun
burn. The plant can be shaped to any form.
Moderate fruit and leaf drop.
Rooted cuttings, cuttings grafted onto established rootstock, or seed. Seed are easy to grow
but are not true to their parents. Cuttings for rooting, taken in November, from branches at
the bottom of the trunk have a better success rate than those taken higher up, should be about
1/4" diameter, and have three nodes with two leaves left at top.
Ornamental, edible flowers and fruit, hedge. The flower petals are used in salads and tea and
can be removed from the rest of the flower while allowing fruit formation. The fruit can be
eaten out of hand or used to make jams and jellies.
The former scientific name of this plant is Feijoa sellowiana.
Most plants sold by retail nurseries do not have a cultivar designation; named
cultivars are available from a few Pacific Coast nurseries.
Do you have additional information or a different experience for these plants that you would
like to share? Email info@GardenOracle.com. All contributions are welcome and appreciated.