Pineapple Guava

Las_Palmas_Norte(Zone8)June 14, 2005

Just wondering how everyones Pineapple Guava shrubs (Feijoa sellowiana) are doing? I left a nice 6 footer behind at my last home 4 years ago, and not too much for flowering at the time. I've planted a new one here and it's only about 2 and a half feet tall. I hear there are some nice well established old specimen around the PNW.

Cheers, Barrie.

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Ron_B

I know of a couple that are 6 ft. or more in Seattle. Flowering is somewhat sparse, as with yours. Garden centers have beens stocking it, winters have been mild, so smaller examples are fairly easily found while walking around urban residential neighborhoods.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 2:31PM
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PurpleHaze(Northwest)

Mine has just started to grow nicely this past week; no blooms, though.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 12:24AM
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larry_gene

I've had mine for 10 years. It is 9 feet tall because every year I pinch it repeatedly and height-prune to boot.
It would grow about 30" in all directions otherwise. In years of cold weather all leaves will brown and fall, but the plant will leaf, bloom, and fruit in spring/summer anyway.

Two blossoms open so far; at least 500 buds to open in next 2 or 3 weeks.

Harvested 176 fruits last year, an average crop.

On the other hand, a feller just down the street has one for at least 3 years and it is doing nothing. He is real good with plants, so I don't why that plant is stubborn.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 1:27AM
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Ron_B

Heard tonight about another one that is fruiting pretty well in Seattle.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 3:08AM
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Jens(8 west seattle)

Mine is only about 32" & slow going. I've only had it just about 1 1/2 years so I am being patient. Glad to hear it will harvest here, eventually.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 12:57AM
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Ron_B

It MAY produce fruits eventually.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 2:18AM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

Mine aren't blooming yet. They are about 4' tall and have never set fruit. They lived through December 1998 though in about the coldest part of my garden (temperature might have been about 10 - 12 F). I have heard that fruit set it more likely if you have two different clones of this plant that can cross pollinate each other.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 4:48PM
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homernoy(z8b Bemerton)

My parents have had one in a pot for 10 or more years in Bothell, Washington at 350 ft elevation. My Mom never knew that the plant might be affected by cold so she never planted in the ground until recently. It has bloomed like crazy every year, but the fruit, when produced, lasted until March at the latest, then fall off. At that point they were never even been close to being ripe ( 1 inch long.) The last two years she had it in the ground, and it seems to flowers later, but has become much larger. I guess if the immature fruit stay on the stem through the winter without dropping, you can get a crop of ripe fruit by mid to late summer, but it takes 5 to 7 months ( or longer ) from flower to fruit in most of California. The one good thing is the flowers taste great! Kind of like marshmallows. I have picked a bunch of them, and added them to waldorf salads, and it is.....awesome! Give that a try if you never can get fruit.

-Brian

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 8:47PM
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larry_gene

I'm up to 6 open blooms now, the thing's stalled because of the cool wet weather. The only year in 10 it didn't fruit was a late bloom after 1 July, so time is tight.

These feijoa plants seem highly variable in all aspects of growth, bloom, & fruit. My fruits enlarge in October and ripen during the holiday season.

My plant attracts NO INSECTS, so I molest the blooms by hand or with a brush. Pollen has to transfer from the stamen tips to the central flower spike for fruiting to occur.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 12:45AM
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AariqSkought(sunset 14/ CA)

I've also had trouble with my feijoa's. We have three of them and they've only produced a few flowers ever. I hand polinated them, but then the fruits just aborted when they were still small. Maybe they are too shaded? Does pruning help?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 4:03PM
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Ron_B

Pruning would not correct inadequate sun exposure or other environmental limitations.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 7:37PM
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larry_gene

Fruit drop is reported for feijoa if water is inadequate. I put the sprinkler under mine for a couple of hours every 2 or 3 weeks during hot weather.

I suspect this plant may be wind-pollinated to some extent because the pollen goes flying when I molest the blossoms.

Feijoa blooms on last year's growth; rarely on older wood.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 1:58AM
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flyfishun

I know this is late but does anyone know where you can buy these in the Seattle Tacoma area. I'm very interested in putting a couple of them in.
Thanks

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

For some years most independent garden centers in the Seattle area have stocked them. Nearly all of the time they are unselected seedlings, fruit size and perhaps quality can be expected to vary. If you do not see any in stock now it will be because it is too early - ask when they are going to get them in. If they are not going to get any, never have had this item you are not asking at a place with a full selection.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:36PM
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plantknitter(8)

I saw some for sale at the garden show this weekend...........
sorry but I can't remember which vendor.
Their name/ booth was something about edible plants.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 1:54AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe Northwoods/One Green World. I think they have worked the show in the past, supplied local garden centers - I may have seen their tags on plants here.

I see they are offering named forms. That is noteworthy - as long as their stock is clonal, and not seedlings of named forms. The pricing could be taken to imply that they are vegetative propagations. But I would ask before ordering.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pineapple Guava

This post was edited by bboy on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 13:35

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 1:28PM
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larry_gene

...Northwoods being the wholesale operation and OGW the retail.

One Green World has moved the retail outlet to SE Portland, making is slightly closer to some WA gardeners.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 11:33PM
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OregonEd

We have five 4 1/2 year old feijoas, grown from seeds. The two largest finally bloomed last summer (in June-July I think). I expect the other three plants to bloom next year as they are getting large too.

The two largest that bloomed are 6' and 8' tall and 4-6' wide. I prune them somewhat as right now all but one tree is in a container. I also prune them to force them to grown more dense.

One of the two that bloomed set fruit. That tree bloomed 6 flowers and has four feijoas of which three will definitely be viable with the four fruit a question mark.

We have two varieties, Apollo and an unknown. The unknown was grown from seeds from Hirt's Garden (Amazon). I contacted them for the variety, but they don't know. Unfortunately, this unknown is also the one fruiting. The four Apollo varieties might need another to cross-pollinate. I'm hoping they can pollinate next year if the others bloom too.

As I understand it, the main issue with Feijoas producing fruit it battling the freezing temperatures because in the PNW they won't ripen until Dec or around then. I have placed larger X-mas lights on my tree and turn them on when temps get below 35 (so far only twice). The X-mas light should keep the air around the tree from freezing.

I will probably add another cultivar to my feijoa forest next year. I was looking at OneGreenWorld's selection and leaning toward Mammoth, since they are a good pollenizer for my Apollos. I would also like a Triumph, but don't see them for sale in the US. FYI, My Apollo seeds came from New Zealand, where feijoas grown like weeds.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 10:59PM
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larry_gene

Ed, thanks for that report. Feijoas may grow like weeds in NZ, growing them in Australia is discouraged because of a native fruit fly. Ironically, feijoas are native to Brazil and Paraguay where they are not cultivated and there is no industry for them.
---------------
There may be hope for your plants bearing fruit as mine in SE Portland (in-ground) had 63 pounds last year and will be close to 100 pounds this year. They started dropping before Halloween this year, a couple of weeks early. Hard freezes will ruin the fruit, 30 degrees is OK if brief. Since 1995 have only lost one crop to a freeze (2011). The lights may help if an east wind is not blowing.

I do not have a second plant for x-pollen, but I transfer pollen by hand for 2-3 weeks in early summer.

Pruning for dense growth may be OK up to a point, I have seen densely-foliaged plants bear a good crop.

If you would like some fruit, please email me via my forum "My Page" link.

See also this report from 2012

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 12:17AM
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OregonEd

Larry:
Wow, what a picture. Thanks for the information.

Maybe i don't need my lights for warmth then, I am encouraged :)

Our tress are all young and here's hoping they produce exponentially more blooms and fruits in the next couple of years. Last summer's growth was the most so far, almost twice the foliage on most of our little trees at the end of summer.

We also hand pollinated the 15-20 flowers that two of our tress produced. The few fruits we have are maybe 1.5 inches long and just starting to flip on the underside of the branches.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 12:27PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Love all that production. Wouldn't call any seedlings by cultivar names, likely once growing from seed entered the sequence the cultivar characters were lost.

The convention with most kinds of woody plants (and many perennial herbaceous plants) is that only clonal productions (cuttings, divisions, grafts) are entitled to cultivar names, the assumption being that seedlings will not be coming true to type. Woody plant seedlings may often be similar, sometimes even coming up with their own red stems, cut or purple leaves - whatever general features the cultivar exhibits - but will not so often be just like the parent. And will definitely not have the exact same DNA.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 2:16PM
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OregonEd

bboy, you make a good point about cultivars and seedlings. Mine are all technically seedlings :)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 6:34PM
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larry_gene

I have put a single 250-watt infrared heat lamp near the base of the plant to protect ripening fruit from 29-30 degrees in past years, any other use of heat via lights for this plant may be impractical.

If your fruits are no larger on 1 December, pick and bring indoors to see if they soften. Useful fruit are at least half as thick as they are long. Slender fruit does not amount to much.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 11:53PM
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OregonEd

Here is a picture of the larger of our trees. This one produced the most blooms last summer (15-20) but did not set fruit. It is going to be up-potted into a wine barrel or equivalent this spring.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:13PM
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OregonEd

Another tree, the smallest of our forest :)

I've got all but one in pots.for several reasons still:
- we haven't lived in this home long.
- I'd like to see if they produce fruit before putting in the ground.
- we have 5 trees and if they get too large, I'll probably give one or two away
- In case we move in 5-10 years, It would be nice to take some of them with us and not to start all over again :)

This post was edited by OregonEd on Sun, Nov 17, 13 at 13:51

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:17PM
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OregonEd

A third picture:

This one was growing the most 'leggy' and scraggly looking. I cut it back pretty hard last May and it is starting to turn into a nice bush or hedge form. Like the rest, they are 4.5 years old.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:20PM
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larry_gene

You have a logical long-term plan. Sometimes stressing a plant can cause it to bloom / set fruit, but you need to upgrade the potting situation for those as they are likely all getting rootbound and that can cause a year's delay in vigor when roots are overly disturbed during a transplant. They all show more growth than many I have seen about, even those in the ground.

Various casters or wheeled mechanisms are available for making larger pots mobile.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 1:29AM
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PRO
George Three LLC

I've transplanted these with success. Personally I would put them in the ground and just dig them up when/if you move. They are pretty carefree plants in the ground. Just a little bit of water now and again to speed along the growth. But if you leave on vacation and a dry hot spell hits, they are fine.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

More open growth than usual would be result of inadequate light at some point in their history; inability to hold themselves up would be due to spindly, shaded top growth and/or deformed roots - this last is pandemic among commercially grown containerized trees and shrubs. Often there is a tight wad or even burl (turnip) of main roots right at the base of the stem(s) which dates from when the specimen sat too long in a band, liner or 4" pot at a production facility before being potted on, without the roots being corrected.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

More open growth than usual would be result of inadequate light at some point in their history; inability to hold themselves up would be due to spindly, shaded top growth and/or deformed roots - this last is pandemic among commercially grown containerized trees and shrubs. Often there is a tight wad or even burl (turnip) of main roots right at the base of the stem(s) which dates from when the specimen sat too long in a band, liner or 4" pot at a production facility before being potted on, without the roots being corrected.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 1:39PM
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OregonEd

bboy, unless you have specific experience with feijoas, while you may be correct in general, feijoas are known for spindly, scraggly type open growth. This is one reason I am surprised when I see recommendations to use it as a privacy hedge, since it will never really fill out very dense!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 1:43PM
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PRO
George Three LLC

at casa de fruta in the picnic area just off the parking lot there are a couple very large feijoas. probably about 20 feet tall or so. great climbing tree, i went up and snacked on the flowers. very open growth in that location.

Here is a link that might be useful: casa de fruta

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 6:22PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, I am quite familiar with the growth habit of this shrub - by now having seen perhaps thousands of examples in California, Hawaii and the PNW.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 8:40PM
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OregonEd

Oh great bboy.

I would love to have gotten my little trees in the ground sooner, but I lived in rental housing until recently. We have up-potted each one about every year, though yeah that surely stresses them out some :(

I'm planting one tree more in the ground soon, and maybe a third but I am also skeptical to plant one until I see it fruit, otherwise its a waste of time and yard space.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:09PM
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larry_gene

Could be a Catch-22 here, will the plants fruit poorly from repeated repottings or fruit poorly because they are seedlings, even in the ground? It is a hard call. An extended stay in a larger container could be successful, or maybe not.

At the current rate of growth, your plants could be hard to transplant in 5-10 years. I certainly would not have attempted to do mine at years 10-15.

Although my plant has always been sprawling, most plants I have seen in PDX are much denser and have acute branch angles. And mine might be sprawly because it is essentially a foundation plant, plastered against the side of the house, no morning sun.

These plants have many fine, fibrous, shallow roots, similar to rhododendron. If kept potted, I would locate them where the plant is largely in sun and the container is largely in shade during warm/hot weather and leave enough pot headroom for a coarse mulch layer providing additional surface root shading and moisture retention.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 11:40PM
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larry_gene

Starting tonight, all feijoa fruit needs to come in, areas out of the wind may be in mid-20s for several nights.

I thought a nocturnal animal was eating the occasional fruit on the ground, but in shaking loose the rest of the fruit today, there were some empty rinds right on the bush.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 10:44PM
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