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Feijoa (Pineapple Guava)

 
                                      
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Anyone have experience with these? What grows well with them or even where to get named cultivars in the San Fran Bay area? I'm very curious...

Thanks.....
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Feijoas are commonly grown in NZ.
I love them, although some people find the perfumed fruit a bit intense.
They'll get pretty big, but respond well to heavy pruning and some cultivars are dwarf-ish.
They're not too fussy, but have shallow roots, so you don't want to be digging around them.
They love sun, so the sunny edge of a food-forest, underplanted with the usual suspects like clovers, alliums and comfrey...
They're bird-pollinated. A good prune and plenty of mulch will bring them in.
Most cultivars aren't self-fertile, so keep that in mind.
I won't make any cultivar recommendations, since they'll be called something else, but I do suggest you get grafted, named cultivars: seedlings can take ages to fruit.
 
                          
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They should do very well in SF, and I'm sure there a some around as ornamentals.

From my experience:

- they like a lot of water, even if they can live with very little
- can get big (I had some 5 meters high, and 6x6 wide)
- polinited by bees here
- get grafted trees (huge difference in fruit quality, quantity and precocity between trees)
- can be very productive
- always prune to make them high ... branches will go down whatever you do.  You pick fruit from the soil, so tall trees are not a problem and you want to be able to get under them.
- they cast a lot of shade and have shallow roots ... also make very good soil.
- somewhat prone to fruit flies (ceratitis capitata here)
- makes one of the best marmalades I know of
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 700
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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This is the only dedicated thread I was finding for pineapple guava. I planted two of these last year in the side yard. I went to plant a Esperanza between them today(at some point I picked up the notion that they're nitrogen fixers, but I'm not finding the reference) and noticed that one of them has two flowers.

Not much substance in those few petals, but they sure were delicious. I hope when they start producing the fruit is as good. I have seen a pineapple guava in Austin that was producing fruit in nearly full shade, so I have strong hopes for this mostly sunny location.

More looking found where the rumor of Esperanza fixing nitrogen started. At least it will still draw in pollinators and be nice to see outside my window.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Posts: 8849
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I'm thrilled to see you have planted these! I've tried to grow them here I think 3 times, and all died because I didn't irrigate enough at first and/or the deer ate them. We had a massive hedge of them in California and they thrived with no irrigation (natural rainfall about 10"). Squirrels love the flowers and fruit, unfortunately. I really love these plants and hope to try again with them some day.

 
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