Guava - An Amazing Fruit
Guava is a tropical fruit with a green or yellow skin which can be smooth or rough depending on the species. Native to Mexico and parts of Central and Northern South America, the guava is now grown in many other parts of the world especially tropical and subtropical regions. It is a juicy fruit which comes in many varieties with lemon guava and apple guava being amongst the most commonly cultivated varieties. It is important to note that guavas are one of the richest sources of vitamin C and contain about ten times the amount of vitamin C found in citrus.
Common names of Guava
Some of the common names of this fruit in other languages are as follows:
- Jwafa in Arabic
- Goyave in French
- Guaiava in Italian
- Guayaba in Spanish
- goiaba in Portuguese
- Amrood in Urdu and Hindi
- Gvajave in Latvian
- Guave in Dutch and German
- Jambu biji in Indonesian
- Gujawa in Polish
- Guajaav in Estonian
- And guava in many many other languages
Now you can talk about guava while on a world tour. :)
Buying and Storing Guavas
Choose ripe guavas, most common species will have a yellow skin when ripe. Also they should give slightly to the touch when gently pressed. They have a shelf life and can be kept in refrigerators for about 5 days. Ideally, they should be eaten as soon as they ripe. However they can be frozen for a bit longer period.
Health Benefits of Guava
Guava is a rich source of vitamin C. Eat the fruit without peeling its skin off as the skin is much rich in vitamin C. It also contain calcium potassium, iron and folic acid. Guava is beneficial for asthma, high blood pressure and prolonged menstruation. It also strengthens the heart and helps with weight loss. Reducing acne and enhancing digestive system are also two of its numerous benefits. So, even if you don't like it, consume a lot of guava for its health benefits.
Grow Your Own Guavas
You can easily start a new guava plants from seeds. Make sure there are no fruit particles left on the seeds. Soak the seeds in lukewarm water for about 24 to 48 hours (this speeds up the germination process). Now you can germinate the seeds either in soil or ziploc reclosable bags. Place the seeds in moist well-drained soil or place them in the ziplog bag with a moist tissue paper in it. Remember, the soil or tissue should be kept moist during the process. The seeds normally germinate in about two to three weeks but can take up to 8 weeks to germinate.
Guava tree requires direct full sunlight but little seedlings will burn under direct sun. So, initially plant seedlings in pots and when the plant is 1 to 2 years old, transform it the ground of your orchid. Plant it in full sunlight. They do best when watered regularly, however allow the soil around plant to dry before watering it again. Fertilize the soil with fertilizer high in nitrogen once in a month when the tree is producing fruit. 5 to 7 pH is preferable.
Remember, guavas can also be propagated by methods of stem cutting, root cutting and air-layering; but I believe that propagating them from seeds is the easiest method for a layman.