Chilean guava - 5 seeds

Chilean guava - 5 seeds


Ugni molinae is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) commonly known as Chilean guava, strawberry myrtle, Ugniberry, or New Zealand cranberry. An excellent ornamental plant with a beautiful strawberry aroma. Often grown as a low growing hedge or a container specimen. It was a favorite fruit of Queen Victoria having been introduced to the UK in 1844. The fruit has an absolutely delicious flavor, it is very aromatic and tastes of wild strawberries. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter and is freely borne even on small plants. The fruit is used to make jam. Leaves are a tea substitute. The roasted seeds are a coffee substitute. It is used to make the traditional liqueur Murtado in Chile.

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Depending on your location, Chilean guava can be a bit of a gamble. It is hardy down to -10°C or thereabouts and will need a sunny, sheltered spot to induce the plant to fruit but the most trouble it'll give you is in digging a small hole in which to plant it. It really is low-maintenance.

To stack the odds in your flavor, plant your Chilean guava in moist, well-drained soil in full sun, sheltered from cold drying winds. It will tolerate a little drought once established, but any water you can give it in dry periods will benefit it. It also grows very happily in pots.

Chilean guava is self-fertile so can be grown individually, or planted in number to form a low hedge. No pruning is needed, although it is as happy to be shaped as it is left untamed. Late frost may knock new growth back a little, but the plant will usually recover very well. If you live in a colder region, I'd be tempted to keep your plants undercover, at least through the colder months