Cas Guava, Costa Rican Guava (Psidium friedrichsthalianum)

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Meet the Cas! Adorned with a suitable name for its native land of Costa Rica, the Cas, or Costa Rican Guava, is an evergreen fruiting shrub with a distinctive tart, sour flavor profile also known by Sour Guava and Acid Guava. A Myrtaceae or Guava family member, the unique plant bears a name derived from the Boruca indigeounous name for the fruit, “Kas”. 

The easy-maintenance Cas tree grows similarly to Cattley Guavas and grow quickly, withstanding short frosts. You can find their green to yellow, dainty 1-3 inch guavas year-round, but see peaks in productivity throughout winter. The Cas’ semi-smooth, small fruits carry a slightly astringent, crispy bite that softens with ripeness. Low on the glycemic index, it’s great for fruit lovers aiming to consume less sugar. Rich in vitamin-C and antioxidants like copper, phosphorus and potassium, the Cas consists of 80% water, making the fruit popular to juice into a traditional Fresco de Cas beverage with Cas, Sugar and Water.  

These delights are not grown commercially, so if you want to try them, you’ve got to find them in the wild or grow them! 

Quick Care Guide

Plant Type:

Subtropical to Tropical Fruiting Shrub/Tree

Harvest Season:

Spring, Summer

Mature Size: Up to 12 ft. tall
Soil & Moisture:  Avoid planting guavas in low spots where cool air settles, as they don't like cold. 
Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
Self-Fertile: Yes
Growth Rate: Very Fast, Fast
Zone Hardiness: Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+
Propagation: Our Guava Plants are grown from seed and are capable of fruiting within 3 years.
  

Plant Care Guide for Growing Guava Trees

Guava trees (Psidium guajava) are tropical fruit-bearing plants known for their delicious, fragrant fruits. Proper care is essential to ensure healthy growth, optimal fruit production, and disease resistance. Whether you're growing guava trees in your backyard or as potted plants, follow these guidelines to cultivate thriving guava trees.

1. Location and Climate: Guava trees thrive in warm, tropical to subtropical climates. They require plenty of sunlight for optimal growth and fruit production. Choose a planting location with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. While guava trees are adaptable, they prefer well-draining soil.

2. Soil Preparation: Plant guava trees in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5.0-7.0). You can amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve fertility and drainage.

3. Planting: Plant guava trees during the warmer months, preferably in spring. Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball. Place the tree in the hole at the same depth it was in the nursery container. Backfill the hole with soil and water thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots.

4. Watering: Young guava trees require consistent moisture to establish their root systems. Water deeply and regularly, especially during the first year. Once the tree is established, reduce the frequency of watering but provide deep soakings when the top few inches of soil feel dry.

5. Fertilization: Feed guava trees with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring, early summer, and late summer. Choose a fertilizer with a ratio like 10-10-10 or 14-14-14, which provides a balanced mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application rates.

6. Pruning: Pruning helps maintain a healthy shape, remove dead or diseased branches, and encourage air circulation. Prune guava trees during the dormant season, typically in winter. Remove any suckers that emerge from the base of the tree. Regularly thin out the canopy to allow sunlight to reach all parts of the tree.

7. Pest and Disease Management: Guava trees can be susceptible to pests such as fruit flies, aphids, and scale insects. Regularly inspect your trees for signs of infestation and treat promptly if necessary, using horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps. To prevent disease, avoid over-watering and waterlogging the soil.

8. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk to prevent moisture-related issues.

9. Fruit Thinning: If your guava tree produces an excessive number of fruits, consider thinning them out. This promotes larger and healthier fruits and prevents the tree from being overburdened.

10. Harvesting: Guava fruits are ready to be harvested when they change color and give off a sweet aroma. Gently twist or cut the fruits from the tree. Avoid pulling, as this can damage the branches.

By following these guidelines, you can successfully cultivate guava trees that produce flavorful, tropical fruits for you to enjoy. Remember that specific care requirements may vary based on the guava tree variety and your local climate, so always observe your tree's behavior and adjust your care routine accordingly.

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