Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Strawberry Guava, Thai Guava, Cattley Guava, Cherry Guava, Chinese Guava, Purple Guava, Kuahpa
Psidium cattleianum

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Psidium (SIGH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: cattleianum (kat-lay-ee-AH-num) (Info)

Synonym:Psidium littorale
Synonym:Psidium littorale var. longipes
Synonym:Psidium cattleianum var. littorale
Synonym:Psidium cattleianum var. cattleianum

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

24 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
By grafting
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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By IslandJim
Thumbnail #1 of Psidium cattleianum by IslandJim

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Psidium cattleianum by kennedyh

By IslandJim
Thumbnail #3 of Psidium cattleianum by IslandJim

By NativePlantFan9
Thumbnail #4 of Psidium cattleianum by NativePlantFan9

By IslandJim
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Thumbnail #6 of Psidium cattleianum by Kameha

By Kameha
Thumbnail #7 of Psidium cattleianum by Kameha

There are a total of 29 photos.
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13 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral alldoe On Dec 13, 2011, alldoe from San Jose, CA wrote:

My strawberry guava looks very nice. But the fruit is not ripping. It stays green. It's in the ground for a little 2 years now. I wonder why. Do anyone know? Please let me know if you have any info.

Neutral dingg On Nov 8, 2011, dingg from Richmond
South Africa wrote:

Declared alien invasive in South Africa - may not be sold at nurseries. Delicious jelly!

Positive sandtiger21 On Jun 30, 2011, sandtiger21 from Pearland, TX wrote:

I planted a small 4.5' one I bought at the farmer's market in Houston around March 2011. I've planted it in my front yard and it's doing great and has been growing alot. A few weekends ago a few of the leaves were seared by the hot weather we are having. Damage seems to have been limited to that weekend and burned leaf damage has not spread.
I bought a second one a month ago it it is developing new growth.

Positive AlicePolarbear On Feb 27, 2011, AlicePolarbear from Fresno, CA wrote:

My next door neighbor in mid-city L.A. had a mature strawberry guava in his back yard. He didn't care for the fruit (abundant crop every year) and allowed me to come over and harvest his. In that climate, all he did was occasionally water it. He never put much effort into it, yet it did beautifully and was a sweet-looking small tree (apx 12 feet).

The seed is a nuisance, but I'd just spit them out. I'd also run the fruit through a blender then strain out the seeds. The pulp combined with half-and-half and maybe a smidge of sugar made the most INCREDIBLE ice cream!

I just took delivery on a young one to try to grow up here in Fresno, CA where I live now. I hear they don't do great in hot dry summer climates and would be grateful for any tips.

Positive nullzero On Apr 27, 2010, nullzero from Mission Viejo, CA wrote:

Great plant to have in a container. Will fruit in a 5gallon container. I would recommend the yellow variety, it fruits practically all year round in Southern California. The critters love the fruit though, so I would advise using netting around it.

I am going to propagate more so I can meet up with my daily cravings of it :). Strawberry guava has a lot of potential, if it was introduced into a good breeding program.

Positive islander808 On Oct 23, 2008, islander808 from Kealakekua, HI wrote:

I love strawberry guava. Yum! In Hawaii we call the tree and fruit "waiawi" pronounced "why wee". I have many trees growing on the lava rock of my 20 acre property in Puna, island of Hawaii. The red ones are my favorite and when its in season I can sit there and eat lots of them, even the ones with the worms in them.
The tree was imported from Brazil to Hawaii in 1825 to be used as erosion control along the stream banks. The trees even as seedlings have a strong root system that really holds onto to the soil. It has grown so prolifically in our forests that "scientists" are now saying that they are harmful to our native forests. They classified the strawberry guava tree as an invasive weed instead of a valued fruit tree so that they can "control" it. The way in which they want to "control" it is by releasing an insect that will sicken the tree and cause it to become fruitless. The release of this insect means that it will harm ALL trees even the trees on my own private property. In other words, my trees eventually will not bear me anymore delicious vitamin c rich fruits and if I want my tree to bear fruit, I have to spray it with pesticides in order to kill the insect. How sick is that? The "scientists" claim that using the bug for control is the cheapest and most effective way of controlling the growth of the strawberry guava. They also claim that the bug is "target specific" and that it won't mutate and sicken other fruit trees since they have "tested" it for 6 years. They have completely disregarded the fact that the tree is a food source for many of us and bears a fruit that is very rich in vitamin c.

Positive geobar On May 6, 2008, geobar from Tortuga
Trinidad and Tobago wrote:

Can anyone provide seeds of this species? I cannot import plants, but grow a lot of fruit from Seeds and have a lot of success.
Please let me know how to get seeds of this plant.
George from Trinidad in the tropics (Zone 11 Plus).

Neutral tropicaldude On Jul 23, 2007, tropicaldude from Orlando, FL wrote:

I have a Red Strawberry tree and and a Yellow Cattley. Fruits of the red variety is usually twice as large as the yellow, but the yellow tastes slightly better. Interesting that fruitflies still prefer the red however. Maybe it's the color.

The fruitfly larvae ruin the fruit in no time, especially when ripening coincides with the wet season. The red cattley grows at at a good pace to about 12-13 feet and I find it interesting how for some people it's invasive, yet in 11 years I've only seen 2 seedlings develop (and slowly at that). It might vary with the specific plant. This guava is cold-hardy.

Overall I recommend the yellow variety which in my case also regularly fruits during in the middle of the winter time. They both fruit at least twice a year. Unfortunately my yellow has't grown any in over 10 years of having it! The trunk has gotten a bit thicker and that's about it. The Red has become a small tree while the yellow it's a small shrub (when it's supposed to get twice as large as the red variety).

Positive tmccullo On Aug 14, 2006, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Planted our 4 months ago and it has already grown about 1 foot. We have it partially shaded by our banana plants and it is protected from the hottest parts of the day. The plant requires quite a bit of water and the leaves droop when it is thirsty. We have to water it twice a day so far.

Positive Gina_Rose On Aug 4, 2006, Gina_Rose from Hollywood, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

My grandmother has this in her backyard, although she had been told what she was buying was the standard guava tree like she used to eat from when she was younger. It's a very pretty little tree, and it fits right in to the small space where it's growing. I don't find it messy; there's a birdbath right underneath the tree which has never been stained or soiled by the fruits. The birds love it, I've seen the squirrels eating the fruits, and I'm betting some of our invasive iguanas probably enjoy it as well. ;) I have not found any volunteers growing.

I think this comment is mistaken: "Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings"
We don't particularly water the tree at all, yet it's healthier than I am and just finished putting out a big crop of fruits.

Positive aprilwillis On Jul 22, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I think this is a great plant- not invasive here. Looks great w/ or w/o watering and is generally just an attractive shrub.
The only thing I am not happy about is that the seeds are so large it makes the fruit less appealing than say pineapple guava. Still the fruit is tasty but those darn seeds are so big! Oh well can't have it all I suppose.

Positive DawnRain On Mar 15, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

I love guavas and any edible fruit species. As a child and until a few years ago, we went guava picking as folks up north probably go blueberry picking. Then there was the fruit fly problem and the invasive fears of environmentalists. These plants have been wiped out almost everywhere from the places we used to gather them. So I can only have guavas now by giving them space in my yard. To me it is sad. Maybe if I had ever gotten a fruit full of worms I would be more understanding. So far I have not in half a century plus.

Negative Cyanidae On Mar 14, 2005, Cyanidae from Malabar, FL wrote:

This tree is most certainly an invasive in central FL, as one other writer noted. I have spent two weeks with 6 people and power tools removing hundreds of these trees in my back one acre. They crowd everything else out! I think they are pretty and the fruit is good, but it is not an environmentally responsible plant to grow here.

Positive Pameladragon On Aug 14, 2004, Pameladragon from Appomattox, VA wrote:

This is one of my favorite house plants. I got a tiny specimen about 6 years ago and it now grows in a 15 gallon tub, outside in the summer and indoors all winter.

I am fortunate in having a large garden room with a southern exposure and can grow a lot of tropical and sub-tropical shrubs and small trees. The strawberry guava finally reached bearing size three years ago and produce the most delicious red fruits.

A nice thing about this shrub is that it is relatively free from pests, unlike my citrus! Occasionally I see some scale but it is easily taken care of with light horticultural oil.

My shrub is currently (August) covered with tiny green fruits that will ripen by the end of September. It is important to provide sufficient water when the plant is fruiting or they will dry out and turn bitter or drop off.

Neutral NativePlantFan9 On Jul 20, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have this plant growing in my front yard. It does nicely with or without water. The birds (especially the monk and black-headed parakeets) as well as some wildlife love it and feed on it. The problems associated with this plant is that the fruit (guava apples) are extremely messy and slimy when the fall on the pavement and can be a pain to clean up. The plant is moderately invasive. The tree is native to South America, notably Brazil. The fruit is edible (I think) but I have'nt tried it, but they smell sweet, somewhat like apples. I live in South Florida and the tree (as well as its relative, the Common Guava) seem to do well in our area, as well as in much of central Florida.

NOTES (UPDATE!) - Just recently, the tree was removed. I'm happy it is gone, since the berries made a mess and it is moderately invasive. Still, it was a little nice to have the tree, but I'd much rather plant something native to southern Florida.

Positive Monocromatico On Jul 16, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant is native from here, on the brazilian coastal line, where it is abundant. It grows anywhere, and the fruits are delicious.

Neutral punaheledp On Jul 16, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

This is considered the worse pest plant in Hawaii's rain forests, favored by pigs which spread the seeds. Prospects for biological control are slim because the commercial use of the common guava would require rigorous species specificity of the control agent. Some studies are underway in Brazil (Must be big problem there too, or maybe they just have the right bugs and diseases). Elevation: 150M - 1300M. Strawberry-guava is a popular flavor for jams and juices, but is made with common guava and strawberries, not the strawberry guava fruit.

Negative xyris On Apr 9, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This shrub is known to be an invasive exotic species in central Florida, where I have seen it crowding out native shrubs in otherwise natural seepage-fed wetland forests. It is not as commonly found as other invasive exotics, but can cover a few acres pretty solidly where it occurs. I would suspect that it would be unlikely to escape in a drier climate.

Positive nancyanne On Apr 6, 2004, nancyanne from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A very attractive plant, glossy green leaves; almost evergreen here in zone 9a - the very coldest temps may frostbite branch tips.
A fast-growing small tree or large shrub. The fruit is tasty, though full of b-b sized seeds. It must be self-fruitful; my yields have increased, however, since I planted a second tree.

Positive IslandJim On Jun 8, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

If you live in a zone that this plant likes, it will make a handsome specimen landscape shrub, an attractive hedge plant, or a small, multi-stem patio tree. Its stems, while not as peeling as a crape myrtle, are every bit as interesting looking. The fruit, which is quite good, is a bonus. The fruit, however, is subject to attack by fruit flies. But it has its advocates, nonetheless. When an acquaintance was asked, "What should I do if my guavas get fruit flies?" He replied: "Eat them in the dark." I will try to remember to post pictures of ripe fruit [without fruit flies] later this year.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Canyon Country, California
Chowchilla, California
Escondido, California
Hidden Meadows, California
Lafayette, California
Lathrop, California
Los Angeles, California
Mission Viejo, California
Port Hueneme, California
Redondo Beach, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California (2 reports)
Seal Beach, California
Vallejo, California
Ventura, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Fort Meade, Florida
Hollywood, Florida (3 reports)
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lehigh Acres, Florida
Malabar, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Odessa, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Venice, Florida
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
Honomu, Hawaii
Kailua, Hawaii
Kealakekua, Hawaii
Ama, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Slaughter, Louisiana
Missouri City, Texas
Pearland, Texas

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