The sweet nectar of the guava plant is a special sort of reward for a job well done in the garden, but without its inch-wide flowers, fruiting will never happen. When your guava won’t flower, it can be a frustrating – and sometimes even alarming – development, but no flowers on a guava doesn’t always spell trouble.
Why Won’t My Guava Bloom?
As with many plants, guavas wait to bloom until they detect that conditions are right for their offspring to develop and succeed. Otherwise, why waste the effort that goes into producing seeds? No blossoms on guava usually points to an environmental problem, rather than a pest or disease, but you still have no blossoms on guava! Here are some common factors to consider:
Plant age. Fruit plants need several years to mature before they can bear. For guavas, that means a wait of three to four years from planting to your first harvest. If your plant is younger than this, or you don’t know when it was planted, and it looks otherwise healthy, it’s pretty safe to assume it’s just too young to flower.
Excessive watering. In many parts of the world, guava is considered a weedy plant, often seen growing in ditches and other unkempt areas. Much of its success is due to its ability to tolerate very dry conditions. Because of that, guava isn’t a huge fan of being overly wet. In fact, flooding can induce leaf drop stem dieback and even tree death, all things that will interfere with blooming and increase stress on the plant. Keep your guava on the dry side.
Seasonal timing. If you’re eagerly waiting for blooms now because you read somewhere that guavas bloom in spring and you can harvest the fruit in fall, this may be the root of your problem. The many guava varieties actually bloom and set fruit at different times of the year, so your plant may literally just not bloom in the season you were told it should.
Sun exposure. Guavas living the good life inside may refuse to bloom because they lack one vital ingredient all blooming guavas require: ultraviolet light. Guavas like a lot of bright, direct sunlight, but if your plant is inside, don’t move it into a window or leave it outside all at once. Slowly acclimate it to brighter conditions, first leaving it in a shaded outdoor spot for a few hours at a time, gradually working up to a few hours in sun and ultimately, full time in the sun. Alternatively, you can look into full spectrum plant lighting kits to give your plant all the tools it needs to succeed inside.
Root binding. Guavas are a varied group, growing in a variety of sizes and forms. A few are well suited to large pots, but many are not and should be planted in the ground. If your guava is in a pot smaller than five gallons, it’s time to repot it. Guavas tend to form very large, sprawling root systems and bloom more readily when they can really spread out beyond their own canopies.