Pineapple Guava

Photo Credit: Randy Lemmon

Let’s talk about Pineapple Guava!  I often forget about this plant when recommending barrier or fence line plants.  I’m not sure why it gets forgotten, because it is a unique and beautiful specimen. I’m confessing right here and now that I’m going to do a better job of recommending this amazing shrub in the future on my radio show. 

The leaves of the Pineapple Guava, Feijoa sellowiana, are a bit different than most evergreen shrubs.  It has silvery foliage that matures to a blue green with gray undersides.  Then there are the flowers  – white accented with red and pinkish-colored stamens.  The one magnificent aspect of this shrub I never forget about and try to experience every time I see one is the fruit that follows the flowers that can actually make a great jelly or jam.


Pineapple Guava can be pruned to keep it as a medium to tall shrub or pruned only on the sides occasionally to allow it to get above fence-height to make for a great privacy hedge. Another great attribute seems to be its adaptability to shade.  Mind you, it doesn’t start as a shade-loving plant to begin with.  But I’ve seen so many instances where this shrub, after growing for years in the sun, can still keep growing and blooming in an environment where more and more shade is developing.  Usually that kind of shades comes from the trees nearby that have been maturing themselves for years.  That’s what I call shade-adaptability.

If there is one down-side to the Pineapple Guava, and why we don’t see it near as a permanent shrub planting, is that it can die back badly in a hard freeze.  I’ve seen it survive many freezing nights down to 25 degrees, but I’ve also seen the loss of a great many when there are freezes at 20 and below for several hours. 

If you want to know what I’d fertilize the Pineapple Guava with, stick with typical tree and shrub fertilizers, but you can also sneak in fruit tree food now and again because of the unique fruiting structure inherent in the plant.   Another fertilizer that can benefit the Pineapple Guava would be hibiscus foods.  And just a reminder:  How often and where you prune on the plant is what keeps it either a tall shrub or an even taller fence-line barrier.