Strawberry guava tree referred as cherry guava by most Kenyan’s is a beautiful, fruit-bearing shrub that is native to South America. Closely related to common guava, the plant is an excellent candidate if you want to grow fruits in your backyard. As a landscape plant, strawberry guava has a bit of everything that includes:
- Deeply-colored foliage
- Beautiful form
- Dark, patterned bark
- Sweet-tasting fruits
It goes by the scientific name of strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum). The plant is simple to care for and grow. Also known as Cherry guava in Kenya, the tree has a shallow root system, which makes it perfect for growing near your house as an attractive border.
Strawberry guava tree has a shallow root system that bears white flowers. Clusters of berries that ripen in the follow the beautiful blooms. Once these berries attain a cherry-red color, they’re ready to devour. The fruit tastes like a sweet and tart strawberry.
The tree or bush is very adaptable and can be grown outdoors. Even when it typically prefers warmer climates, the strawberry guava tree is quite hardy in temperatures as low as 22°F (-5°C).
As an evergreen shrub, red strawberry guava tree can reach a height of 15-20 feet, but should ideally be pruned to 12 feet in height, because the root system is relatively shallow and weak. If the cherry guava tree gets too tall, it could easily topple over from strong winds.
How To Grow Strawberry Guava In Kenya
Here’s a quick brief on how to grow strawberry guava in Kenya and what to expect in the weeks post-planting.
Strawberry Guava Seedlings Availability In Kenya
Strawberry guava seedlings tree spreads by shoots and seeds. You can find the seeds at specialty nurseries or online seed companies. Rest assured, strawberry guava seeds are readily available. Get intorch with 0724559286 or 0790509684 to buy seedlings in Kenya. The nurseries are located in Muranga and Nairobi. Deliveries will be arranged for you.
Cherry Guava Seed Germination Info
To ensure the cherry seeds germinate on time, plant them in moist, sterile soil with a warm temperature of 70-85°F (21-29°C). The estimated germination time is 4-6 weeks and could also take up to 12 weeks, depending on the quality of the soil and temperature consistency.
When to Plant cherry guava in Kenya
May is the perfect time to plant a strawberry guava tree if doing on commercial scale. The soil is more workable, there are high chances of rain, and the sun is out most of the time.
Where to Plant your cherry guava seedlings
They can be planted in your garden, outside your house, or can be grown as a small tree in your backyard. However, the plants are an invasive species, so it’s best to avoid planting in areas that you don’t want to be taken over!
How to Plant cherry guava in Kenya
Since guava seeds can be slightly tricky to germinate – its best to purchase an established seedling to avoid the hustle – you should keep the soil and temperature consistent. Plant the seeds ¼-½ inches deep into fertile, loamy soil. The soil temperature should stay between 70-85°F to ensure successful germination. If you’re planting indoors ahead of the season, or if you’d like to keep your tree in a container, use Air Pots. These are expertly-designed to support the tree’s root system.
Strawberry Guava Tree in Landscaping
Strawberry guava is excellent for edible landscaping. Both the fruit and plants can be used as an architectural accent, single yard specimens, or even as shelter plants. The foliage is so versatile and attractive that it can be used as a backdrop for smaller, more delicate plants and looks gorgeous planted along a driveway. If you have a patio or front porch, embellish the empty spaces with strawberry guava plants.
Sun and Temperature
Strawberry guava can spread fast and grows well in full sun. It grows well in warmer temperatures, typically between 70-85°F (21-29°C).
The tree needs regular, ample watering. Although the plants can tolerate short periods of drought, guava red trees need proper hydration. They need even more water during fruit development so the berries can ripen properly. Regular irrigation at least once a week, once the plant matures, is good enough to maintain healthy growth.
Strawberry guava needs well-drained, loamy to sandy loam with an acidic pH between the ranges of 5 and 7. The soil should also be quite rich in organic matter and slightly warm. Cooler soil temperatures can inhibit the germination of the seeds.
Strawberry guava plant naturally stays in shape; however, if you’re planting it for landscaping purposes, a little pruning can go a long way. They have a naturally pretty form. Nonetheless, you can cut off any branches that are invasive or growing outside the borders. Tipping the branches will also mean bushier growth if that’s what you want.
As aforementioned, the strawberry guava tree has a sweet but slightly tangy flavor, resembling that of strawberries. The guava fruit has a thin skin on top that tastes like rose petals. The fruit has a creamy white interior with small edible seeds. All in all, the fruit is quite aromatic and tastes like a strawberry, lime zest, and sometimes, passionfruit.
The fruit appearance of the Strawberry guava tree is quite striking. Once ripe, the fruit turns a rich maroon to dark red. The size of the fruit can be as small as a dime or slightly bigger, like a golf ball. The flesh of guava strawberry is white and yellow with splashes of pinkish-red hues. The seeds are yellow and hard.