Guava is a popular fruit tree of tropical and subtropical climate. Guava is considered as one of the exquisite and nutritionally valuable and remunerative crops. In Andhra Pradesh, Guava is cultivated in an area of 9626 hectares with a production of 1.44 lakh metric tons. Guava is grown in Rangareddy (2125 ha), Krishna (1078 ha), Anathapur (800 ha), Prakasam (680 h), Medak (585 ha), West Godavari (557 ha), Mahboobnagar (550 a).
Climatic requirement for Guava cultivation
For maximum production in the tropics, guava crop requires 500 to 1000mm of rain, evenly distributed throughout the year. Guava is grown successfully in tropical & subtropical regions up to 1,500m above mean sea-level. Best quality fruits are obtained where low night temperatures (10o c) prevail during the winter season. Temperatures between 23-28oc are ideal for flowering and fruit set.
Soil required for Guava tree
Almost all soils are suitable for guava cultivation. However deep loams with good drainage are ideal for guava.
1. Allahabad Safeda
It is the most popular variety in India and occupies the largest area under cultivation. Tree vigorous, medium tall, with dense foliage. Fruits round and medium in size with smooth skin. Flesh is white, soft, firm with few soft seeded.
2. Lucknow – 49 (Sardar)
The tree Semi-dwarf, vigorous, with heavy branching habit. Fruits are roundish ovate and meaty pulp with soft seeds. The fruit tastes sweet (9-10 O Brix) with good keeping quality.
3. Safed Jam (Hybrid)
It is a hybrid between Allahabad Safeda and Kohir evolved at Fruit Research Station, Sangareedy. The tree is medium in size. The fruits are round with thin skin. Seeds semi hard and located at the core. The keeping quality of the fruit is good.
4. Kohir safeda (Hybrid)
It is a cross between Kohir selection and Allahabad Safeda evolved at Fruit Research Station, Sangareedy. The tree is large. The fruits are large, round and bear profusely. The fruit has hard seed.
5. Arka Amulya (Hybrid)
It is a cross between Allahabad safeda and Triploid released from IIHR, Bangalore.Fruits are medium in size with white flesh, high TSS (12.5 O Brix) and good keeping quality.
6. Arka Mridula
Arka Mridula is a seedling selection of variety Allahabad Safeda. The fruit size is medium with excellent quality. The pulp is white with few soft seeds. The plants are of medium vigor but high yielding.
7. Allahabad Surkha
Allahabad Surkaha is an excellent variety of large, uniform pink fruits with deep pink flesh. The plants produce up to 120 kg fruits in its sixth year of fruiting. The fruit is sweet, strongly flavored with few seeds and is slightly depressed at both ends. The plants are vigorous, dome-shaped and compact.
The variety is released from CISH, Lucknow. It is high yielder when compared to Allahabad Safeda. The fruits are red fleshed with good sugar acid blend. Lalit variety is suitable for both table and processing purposes. The pink color in beverage remains stable for more than a year in storage.
The variety is released from CISH, Lucknow. The fruits are deep red in color having attractive shape, few soft seeds. Fruit develops attractive peel color during winter when temperatures are less than 10 Oc.
Guava is commercially propagated by ground layers (embedded pot layering) and approach grafting. Disease-free Guava grafts/layerings of desired variety should be selected for planting.
Planting of Guava
Ideally, plant guava saplings in June- July or October- November months depending on rainfall and its distribution and the type of soil. Plough the land thoroughly, Pits of 60 x 60 x 60cm are dug at a spacing of 5-6m distance in the summer season. Fill the pits with 20-25 kg FYM, 500g SSP, 1 kg Neem cake, and 50g Lindane powder to control termites with top soil. To obtain good crops plant the layers/grafts obtained from good pedigree plants.
Guava fertilizer recommendation
|Age of the tree
(Murate of Potash)
|1||100 (217)||40 (250)||100 (170)|
|2||200 (434)||80 (500)||200 (340)|
|3||300 (651)||120 (750)||300 (510)|
|4||400 (868)||160 (1000)||400 (680)|
|5 years and above||500 (1085)||200 (1250)||500 (850)|
For one year old plants, 100g N, 40g P2O5, 100 K2O should be applied. 50% recommended N, 100% P2O5 and 50% N, 50% K2O should be applied in September.
Increase the dose by 100g N, K2O and 40g P2O5 every year until the plants are five years old and thereafter a dose of 500g N, (1085 g Urea), 200g P2O5 (1250g SSP) and 500g K2O (850g MOP) should be applied. 50% N should be given in the farms under organic cultivation. Spraying of 4g Zinc Sulphate + 2g Boric acid per liter of water and urea 2% during fruiting stage will improve fruit size and yield.
Inter-cultivation practices necessary in Guava farming
The root suckers should be removed frequently. The tree should be trained and pruned to good shape with strong branches. Intercropping with pulses and vegetables is profitable in all soils in young orchards up to 4 the year which checks the weed growth and increases soil nutrient status.
There are two major flowering seasons, one during March to may, the fruits of which are harvested in rainy season and the other in July /August with the fruits harvested during winter. The rainy season crop is poor in quality with watery, insipid taste. The incidence of fruit fly is also high during the rainy season.
In guava, the winter crop gives best quality fruit. The crop is regulated by holding water after harvest from February onwards and pruning of branches to half the length of the entire tree in the month of May. The trees are irrigating in June with the application of manures and fertilizers. One of the following crop regulation methods may be followed for getting the winter crop.
Withholding irrigation from February to May. The plant shed all the leaves. In the month of June, the recommended dose of fertilizers is applied along with irrigation. After 20-25 days new leaves emerge which produces the winter crop.
In the month of May 50 % of the terminal shoots should be pruned which induces new leaves which produce the winter crop.
Bahar Treatment for Guava
In black soils, crop regulation is done by bahar treatment. In the month of May, the roots are dug and exposed to the sun. This bahar treatment makes the plant to shed all the leaves. After the leaf shedding, in the month of June, fertilizers are applied and the exposed roots should be covered with soil and irrigated. The new leaves which emerge will produce the winter crop.
For proper leaf shedding in the month of May for crop regulation, the trees may be sprayed with 10 % Urea. The leaves will senesce and plant sheds the leaves. The plants are manured and irrigated in the month of June. The new leaves which emerge will produce the winter crop.
Irrigation of Guava trees
Young plants should be watered regularly during the first year. To get better yield trees should be irrigated at flowering and fruiting stage. Irrigation should be withheld prior to ripening. Plants under drip irrigation perform well and 60-70% water saving will be there.
Harvesting of Guava
The quality of guava depends on the season of the cropping. Winter crop gives better quality fruits then rainy season crop. The fruit comes to maturity 4-5 months after flowering. The maturity indices of the fruit are the change in dark green color of the fruit skin to light green color. As all the guava fruit does not come to maturity at a time, frequent harvesting should be done based on maturity. The frequency of harvest for rainy season crop is 2-3 days and for winter season crop is 4-5 days. The fruit harvested with two leaves will stay fresh for a longer period and amenable for long distance transportation.
The guava plant starts commercial yield from 3rd year onward under good management practices. Under irrigated conditions guava yields about 100-150 kg fruit for 8 years and above age trees.
Pests of Guava and their control
1. Fruit Flies (Bactrocera dorsalis, B. zonata, B. diversa)
The fruit flies deposit eggs in the soft skin of ripening fruits. On hatching, the maggots bore into fruit and feed on the soft pulp. The infested fruits show depressions with dark greenish punctures and when cut open, the maggots are visible. The infested fruits rot and fall.
Pheromone trapping with methyl eugenol for Bactocera dorsalissp replenishing the traps with new wicks every fortnight during the fruiting season. Bait sprays carbaryl (75% wp) @ 2g/lit + Protein hydrolysate @ 1.0g/lt or molasses @ 1.0g/lt (or) Malathion (0.1%) @ 1ml/lt.
2. Spiraling whitefly (Aleurodicus disperses)
Severe infestation initially gives silvery appearance on the ventral side of guava leaves. Affected leaves turn yellow, crackle and fall.
Spraying of Neem oil @ 5ml/lt of water or Dichlorovos @ 1ml/lt or Triazophos @ 2ml/lit of water.
3. Bark eating caterpillar (Inderbela spp)
The caterpillars feed on the bark under webbed galleries of silk, chewed wood and excrete during night. The infested plants show the presence of such galleries on main stem and branches.
Field sanitation and removing excreta of the caterpillar. CAtterpil;l It can be killed by injecting 5ml Dichlorovos or Kerosene or petrol into holes infested with the caterpillar and closing the hole with clay.
4. Stem Borer
Attacks the trees between February and April months. The grubs bore into the bark and stem and can be identified form the saw dust coming from the bores and by the follow sound when the branch is tapped. In severe cases, the plant dies.
Remove the grubs and inject petrol into the holes and plug to kill the young ones remaining inside.
5. Mealy bugs (Ferrisia virgata, Plannococcus citri, P. lilacinus)
Severely infested fruits are covered by white mealy bugs and in severe cases, sooty mold develops on the fruit surface. They affect fruit quality as well as size.
Control these mealy bugs by releasing predators like chrysopa and cryptolaemus sps. In the case of non-availability of predators, cut and destroy the infested branches. Spray Acephate @ 1g or Dichlorovos 1ml per liter of water
6. Fruit borer (Virachola Isocrates)
Larva bore into the fruits and feed the pulp.
Collect and destroy infested fruits. Spray Carbaryl @ 3g/lit of water
7. Tea Mosquito Bug (Helopeltis antonii)
The nymphs and adults puncture fruits of all sizes, tender shoots and leaves to suck sap. Feeding punctures on fruit result in brownish spots which develop into raised pustules. Severely infested fruits become hard and corky which cracks and finally drop.
Collect all infected and fallen fruits and destroy.Grow moderately resistant varieties like Sardar (Lucknow -49) and Saharanpur Seedless.
8. Aphids (Aphis gossypii Glover)
Nymphs and adults colonize on tender shoots and leaves and suck cell sap. They excrete honeydew resulting in the development of sooty mold.
cut and destroy infested branches in the primary stage. spray Dimethoate 2ml/lt.
Diseases of Guava and their control
1.Wilt (Fusarium oxysporium, f.psidi, Rhizoctonia spp.)
Yellowing and browning of leaves at the tips of twigs are the characteristic symptom. Leaves dry and splitting of bark, drying of leaves on terminal branches is followed by complete wilting of the plant in 10-15 days.
- Plant the varieties like Lucknow-49 which are resistant to the wilt.
- Application of 90 Kg. FYM + 10 kg. Neem Cake + 2 Kg. Trichoderma Viridi at the base of a tree in the month of June.
- Drenching the trees with Carbendazim/Benomyl @ 1g or COC @ 3g/lt. of water thrice at 10 days interval.
- In alkali soils where the wilt is severe, apply 1 kg lime in the basin of the tree along with the green manure.
- Irrigate the guava plant thoroughly especially in summer months where the wilt incidence is severe.
2.Anthracnose (Colletotrichum Psidii)
Anthracnose in guava is caused by Colletotirchum, Botrydiplodia and Pestolotiasis fungus. The young shoots and leaves and fruits turn develop brown spots and later turn into black spots and the shoots completely dry up. The anthracnose affected fruit rot during storage.
Spray Bordeaux mixture (1%) or Carbendazim 1 g /l or COC 3 g/l.
3.Fruit Canker (Pestalotiopsis psidi)
Cancerous growth on fruit leading to cracking of fruits.
Apply Dithane Z-78 (2g) or Cuman L (4ml/lit) and Rovral (2g/lit) during the rainy season.
4. Red Rust (Caphaleuros virescence)
This is caused by Caphaleuros virescence algae. Red color pustules 3-5 mm size appears on leaves both on upper and lower surface. Later the red pustules change to grey color.
Spray COC @ 3g/l twice at an interval of 10 days.
- Dr.Y.S.R. Horticulture University, Andhra Pradesh.