Guava is a fruit that you can eat, and it’s technically a large berry. It grows on the guava fruit tree, and you’ll find it growing in warm weather in subtropical locations in hardiness zones 9b. No matter the type of guava tree you have, if the temperature dips below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it could suffer damage or die. This is one plant that doesn’t like to be cold, and the various types of guava all look the same. They are bumpy on the outside and have a yellow or green rind. They are on the small side with a pear or round shape.
Generally, types of guava only weigh two ounces. When the fruit inside of this plant ripens, the rind turns edible. They also feature edible seeds in the center, but you can find seedless types of guava too. The colors classify what the fruit will look like on the inside. You can eat it raw or use it in jellies, juice, and jam. There are several types of guava you can grow, and we picked out 15 great options below.
1. Allahabad Safeda
Out of all of the types of guava you can get in India, the most sought-after and famous is Allahabad Safeda. This is the root source of many Indian cultivars, and this includes Kohir Safeda. This type of guava is available in over 30 nations around the world. It’s hardy in zones 9 to 12 if you want to grow it in the United States, and guava cultivation happens throughout the year in native areas, except May and June. An Allahabad Safeda tree is no different, and the fully-grown trunks can reach 20 to 20 feet high at full maturity. Also, these trees possess horizontal branching habits growing out of broad crowns.
However, this heavy-bearing fruit tree is very prone to issues with wilt, and the branches are brittle and tend to break easily. As this tree matures, the mild green skin on this type of guava covers the white flesh with scattered seeds. The outer peel becomes very soft as the fruit ripens. Fruits generally have a round shape and are on the smaller side. If you take one bite of this fruit, you’ll get a rush of pleasant sweetness. You can use it for processing or eat it raw.
2. Apple Seedless Guava
As a seedless type of guava, it originated in Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Thailand and India. When fall arrives, the change in temperature between day and night makes these guava more sweet. Vigorously growing and fruity, these trees top out at 6 to 32 feet high. It produces medium to large guavas that are between 1.9 and 3 inches long. This plant also produces a very aromatic pump that is a mix of lime zest, peach, and passion fruit flavors.
This type of guava ripens in large bunches from September to November, or in naive Malaysia, all year round. The seedless flesh develops a crispier and more firm texture than other guavas. Seedless guavas are usually sweeter than seeded ones. So, since this is seedless, this cultivar is usually eaten raw and fresh or mixed into salads. Ripe seedless types to guava can ripen after you pick them, so you can keep them at room temperature until they reach the desired ripeness level.
Also, this plant is very popular in Asian countries not only because it makes a good snack item, but it has medicinal uses. You can use this fruit to help strengthen your immune system and treat digestive issues.
3. Cas or Costa Rican Guava
Cas or the Costa Rican type of guava is a very small tree that is native to South or Central America. It’s a staple in Costa Rican cuisine or culture. It produces golf ball sized fruit that is lime green when it’s younger and it turns yellow in the fall. The fruits usually range from 1 ¼ to 2 ½ inches long at full maturity. Hailing from tropical climates, these fruit trees are less tolerant of the cold and prefer higher temperatures. This pretty tree tops out at 20 to 35 feet tall, and it makes a very nice addition to your backyard. It will do wonderfully in a corner of your garden with a sweet scent and white flowers in midsummer.
Typically speaking, the flavor is what makes this type of guava stand out. The appearance doesn’t differ from common guavas, but it has a very distinct taste. To be more specific, the tartness you get is a mixture of the pineapple and passionfruit. Since this tends to be a very tart fruit, it’s commonly used to make a juice or cooked down rather than eaten raw. This cultivar will produce fruit all year round, but the largest crops come from December until February, and there is a second large crop in June to August.
Cas Guava by firesika / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
4. China White
This pear-like fruit has a range of names, including Taiwan Guava, Thai Guava, Apple Guava, or Asian Guava. You may have come across it in your local Asian market. In the United States, you can grow this perennial tree if you live in zones 10 to 11. The average mature size of this tree is 12 to 20 feet high, and it gets 8 feet wide. This is a heavy-bearing tree that provides fruit the first or second year after you plant it. The white-fleshed fruits are available all year-round, and they make a great snack.
China White is a tree that produces big fruits that weigh roughly a pound with a sweet pulp inside. As the guava matures, the fruit emits a very pleasant scent and the skin goes from green to yellow. Like all types of guava, you can eat this smaller fruit off the tree, processed, or semi-ripe. This is also a great pick for ornamental purposes because the tree’s height is suitable for use in your landscape.
China White by Darya Pino / CC BY 2.0
5. Egyptian Yellow
Unsurprisingly, this highly productive type of guava comes from Egypt, and it likes to grow in the subtropics and in warmer climates. It’s great for fruiting and flowering, and this tropical plant has spread through Hawaii and several Caribbean Islands. One point to note is that if you choose to grow this type of guava from seeds, the growth rate will be very slow for the first few months before accelerating. A fully grown tree tops out at 20 to 40 feet high, and the yellow fruit will get up to four inches long.
The blooming season for this plant starts in spring and goes through summer. So, the fruiting period happens 60 to 90 days after it flowers. The juicy and sweet white flesh will be very sweet when you bite into it, and it’s common to use Egyptian Yellow Guavas in shampoo products due to the strong scent. You can also train it to grow as a large bonsai to keep it indoors.
To have a successful large crop with this type of guava, you want to fertilize and water the trees on a schedule. Juicy and fresh guavas will show up two years after you plant them. They are excellent as raw snacks, or you can use them to make preserves. This tropical plant is very sensitive to cold spells, so move your plant inside if the temperature dips below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, these trees have issues with a range of insects, so monitor them closely.
Egyptian Yellow by Vegan Feast Catering / CC BY 2.0
6. Giant Vietnamese
Among the types of guava, this one is the biggest you can get. You may be familiar with the other names it goes by like Asian Giant or Bangkok Giant, and this is a very productive plant that is native to Asia. The ideal planting zone of this plant is zones 10 and 11 as it prefers to be in warmer climates. It can reach up to 12 feet tall at full maturity, and it flowers a lot in the spring months.
Like other types of guava, these ripe fruits are ready to harvest at any point during the year, and the first crop will be ready to go within a year or two of planting them. The fruit has a round shape and possesses a little more mild and mellow taste than other types. Sometimes, this fruit can get up to softball-size and it can weigh between 1.8 and 2.7 pounds. Due to the high mineral and vitamin content and the larger size, these guavas are popular for making drinks and juice.
Giant Vietnamese by shankar s. / CC BY 2.0
7. Hong Kong Pink
The Hong Kong Pink type of guava is native to Tropical America. If you have a chance to go to Hawaii, you’ll find this plant growing wild alongside roads on the island. This tree tops out at 30 to 40 feet, and it grows best in zones 9 to 11. This cultivar was originally bred in Hawaii from a seed that came from Hong Kong.
When this tree is mature, the round fruit goes from a green color to yellow or red, and it weighs between 0.3 and 0.5 pounds. If you can get it to germinate, this plant will produce fruit during the second year of growth. You can expect the ripe fruits to be available all year round. The pink flesh has a very sweet to medium sour flavor to it with a very smooth texture and minimal seeds.
8. Mexican Cream
Mexican Cream is also widely known as the Tropical Yellow. As the name may suggest, this type of guava comes from Central American and Mexico, and this type of tree can live for up to 40 years. The maturing tree trunk can get up to 12 feet wide and 30 feet tall to make it easy to harvest the fruit. Also, the ripe fruits are available throughout the year in tropical, warm climates. In Southern California, harvesting happens in the falls.
When the fruit ripens on this type of guava, the rind goes from yellow to red. You can expect the fruit to get up to 1.9 inches long. It has chewable and plentiful seeds in the middle of a thicker white pulp. Just like the name implies, the flesh is very sweet and thick, and it has a very creamy texture. The fruit’s fragrance is like passion fruit and pineapples, and this makes them go well in smoothies or juice. Along with this, Mexican Cream is also a great cultivar to put in desserts. The combination of cream cheese and guava paste gives way to a treat called Bocadillo con Queso of Mexico.
Mexican Cream by (3) / CC BY-ND 2.0
9. Pineapple Guava
Although this type of guava isn’t in the same genus as tropical guavas, it has several similarities with the common fruit. Pineapple guava is a pretty evergreen plant that is native to Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. It produces pretty purple and white flowers during the month of May, and the flowers are edible. You can eat them right off the tree, put them in salads, or use them to make a cold tea. The fruits start to show from fall into winter, especially in October to December. They give off a very floral scent as they ripen, and the flesh on the pineapple guava is juice, thick, and creamy white like a pear texture.
Despite the name, the fruit offers a tropical and sweet flavor that is very close to how a banana tastes instead of a pineapple. It’s a combination of an apple, pineapple, and mint for the flavor profile. You can eat it raw, or it’s a great fruit to use to make beverages or canned products like purees, jams, and jellies. The tree gets between 15 and 25 feet tall, but it has a wider canopy on it. Along with the compact size, this is a great choice for a home garden.
Pineapple Guava by Greg Grossmeier / CC BY-SA 2.0
10. Red Malaysian or Thai Maroon
The Red Malaysian Guava is one type of guava that goes by Purple Guava or Thai Maroon. It’s native to Central America and Southern Mexico, and this is a mainstay in tropical regions like Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. It gets between 10 and 30 feet tall at full maturity, and during the blooming season, this plant produces purplish-pink flowers with pompom stamens. This is totally different from the white flowers the majority of guava species produce. In the United States, you can see the red fruits dangling from the tree in late fall or early spring.
Meanwhile, this prolific type of guava tree bears fruit several times during the year in their native Southeast Asia. It is the guava plant that offers medium to large-sized fruit in a spherical shape with reddish-pink flesh. Under the surface, the inner pulp has several edible but hard seeds. The taste of this fruit is sweet and slightly acidic, but it has a very pleasant scent. An average ripe guava fruit can get between 3.1 and 3.9 inches around, and it’s best eaten raw.
Red Malaysian by Joegoauk Goa / CC BY-SA 2.0
11. Ruby Supreme
As the name suggests, this type of guava is a cross between Ruby and Supreme varieties, and it’s a legacy of G.D. Reyhle. He first introduced Ruby Supreme in 1945 to the Tropical Research and Education Center. This is a very quick growing tree that tops out at 10 to 20 feet wide and 15 to 20 feet tall. This guava is a top choice for beginner gardeners because it’s one of the easiest fruiting plants you can grow.
Ruby Supreme, and types of guava in general, and plants that love heat. So, how many fruits each tree produces depends heavily on how much warmth and sun you give them. This is a very high-yield cultivar that can create 40 to 70 pounds of fruit per tree each year. It produces baseball-sized fruits that turn yellow on the outside with a very fragrant smell when it gets ripe. Meanwhile, the thicker pink flesh on the inside is very sweet. You can eat this fruit raw or make into a jelly or juice. This species will develop fruiting and flowering all year-round in cycles that are 60 to 90 days long.
Ruby Supreme by Jim Brennan / CC BY 2.0
12. Sweet White Indonesian
As this type of guava’s name suggests, it’s a very productive plant that comes from Indonesia. It’s a part of an evergreen shrub, and you can grow it outside if you live in zones 9 to 11. This is a ripe fruit that varies from 0.7 to 1.3 pounds, and it has a greenish-yellow skin. The flesh is creamy and whitish-pink, and it’s a very sour and sweet fruit that is ready to go early in the spring.
Remember, you want to prune this type of guava regularly to limit how large the tree grows. At the same time, lightly pruning the plant gives you a solid base to ensure it can hold the weight of the fruit when it’s time to harvest them. It makes a very nice snack to eat raw, and it has medicinal benefits associated with it when you can use the fruits or leaves to treat cardiovascular diseases.
Sweet White Indonesian by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
13. Tropical White
Tropical White is a type of guava that originates in Southern Mexico, and it’s grown a lot through Asia and the Pacific tropics. The plant grows well in subtropical climates and soil as long as it has relative humidity levels, and it shouldn’t be too wet or dry. However, it can survive temperatures down to 22 degrees Fahrenheit. You can grow them in zones 9 to 11, and they top out at 20 feet at full maturity. It makes a pretty edible hedge in your garden or yard.
You may know that different types of guava have different ripening signs. This one’s skin will turn to a greenish-yellow color to cover the creamy, sweet flesh inside. This is a very heavy producer, and it’ll start to bear fruit when it’s a year old. This fruit is also on the larger side at three to four inches in diameter. The ripe fruit is ready to go all year-round in Florida, and it produces the two largest crops in August to October and in February to March each year. This plant also has edible seeds, and the slightly acidic but sweet pulp has a very strong scent to it.
Tropical White by Rosa Say / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
14. White Indian
White Indian types of guava are native to Florida and they produce large yields of small to medium fruits that are between two and three inches around. This is an evergreen tree that is widely cultivated in California and India. Unlike other cultivars, this one won’t bear fruit all year-round, but in the early spring and late winter. The scent of the ripe fruits smells like a mixture of bananas and pineapple. However, it also has seeds that are larger than normal, and they are very hard. You will get a melting, soft flesh with a sweet to mildly sour flavor.
When you compare it to other types of guava, this one is the most cold hardy. Cold-tolerant crops grow with frost too. So, if you live in a region that is prone to frost, this is a great option. The tree will get between 20 and 22 feet high at full maturity.
15. Wild Guava
Wild types of guava go by Patina Oak or Ceylon Oak, and it grows throughout forests in India. It shares many characteristics with common guava, but it’s not part of the Genus Psidium or Myrtaceae families. These trees are medium-sized, and they get 50 to 65 feet tall at full maturity. The leaves turn red when the cold comes, just like maple trees. They also produce yellow flowers that turn into green fruits that are ripe and ready to pick in June and July. They are very large and contain a host of poisonous seeds. The flowers are edible and the leaves work as salad greens in Thailand. The flower sepals and bark gets used in India to treat colds and coughs.
Wild Guava by Dinesh Valke / CC BY-SA 2.0
Popular Guava Uses
Guava trees get cultivated a lot in Central and South America, as well as Spain, India, and many South Pacific Islands. It’s not 100% clear where it came from, but many people believe that it may have been first introduced by explorers in certain areas and distributed by birds and animals. The trees usually have a short bearing season but produce a lot of fruit. This may leave you wondering what to do with all of the fruit. Rather than waste it, consider using it in juice, jellies, and pastries as well as using it to add a zing to sauces, meat, and cocktails.
When you have a bumper crop of guavas, you can freeze some, use a few to make preserves, and make guava daiquiris. Savory recipes using various types of guavas are very popular. Try mixing it with things like onions, garlic, hot or sweet peppers, or exotic spices. A savory and sweet chutney goes very well with Asian, Indian, or Caribbean recipes. Grilled meats with a guava glaze is nice to give it a sweet, smoky finish.
Fresh guava made into salsa is an easy way to make a great snack with some corn chips. Even vegetables can go well with types of guava with a dressing made out of garlic, guava, shallots, and a white balsamic vinegar with your favorite out and Dijon mustard.
Other Guava Fruit Uses
An inexpensive and natural beauty routine features a type of guava. The antioxidant properties in this fruit get rid of free radicals and balance your skin when you use it topically. You can make a facial serum with egg and crush guava fruit. Spread it over your face and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. This can help diminish dark spots, leave the skin refreshed, and get rid of under eye circles.
Water mixed with crushed guava leaves can help combat acne and blemishes when you use it topically. You can try to use it as a part of a weight loss regimen to help you feel full for longer and to regulate your metabolism. Topical guava benefits can include anti-itching properties, wound healing capabilities, and hair restoration.
Once you go through the beauty and culinary uses for types of guava, you can look into other uses. The bark, roots, and leaves have traditionally been used to help with gastroenteritis, dysentery, and diarrhea. Leaves have the ability to help with a toothache when you gargle crushed leaves in water.
They also have a very high amount of folic acid, and this makes them great to eat when you’re pregnant. The higher fiber content helps with constipation, and it has a lower glycemic index that makes it a diabetic-friendly food. It could also potentially help boost your immune system, enhance your eyesight, and help with heart disease.
Different types of guava have different taste profiles, but they are all edible fruits with sweet to mild flavors. They prefer to be in subtropical climates, but they’re prolific growers that produce large fruit yields.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.