Feijoas are such a kiwi favourite! Feijoas are a hardy fruit tree that are super simple to grow and care for and produce an abundance of fruit. We have all your commonly asked feijoa questions to help you grow a bumper crop in 2022 which you’ll be sharing around in no time:
Nancy asked: When is the best time to prune feijoas?
Our answer: The best time to prune a feijoa tree is after it has finished fruiting. Prune on a dry day to limit the chance of fungal infections. You don’t have to prune every year but prune to allow enough space for air flow and to let the birds pollinate the fruit and for sunlight to get through.
Miriam asked: Our feijoa hedge has not had any flowers on it for the last 2 -3 years. There are about 6 well established trees, approx 3 metres high. What has happened?
Our answer: It may be a good time to give your feijoa hedge a good, hard prune. If possible take a third off and apply a fertiliser that is high in Potash, prior to the fruiting season. The Potash will encourage flowers and fruit to grow.
Linda asked: When is the best time to hang a guava moth trap in my feijoa trees. Will one trap suffice for the three feijoa trees planted adjacent to each other? Is it once a year?
Our answer: Unlike the codling moth, the guava moth breeds all year round and has a wider range of fruit they infest so the earlier you can get your trap up before fruiting the better for your fruit. The traps are used as a method of controlling small infestations but can also be used as a tool for monitoring your trees to see what the level of infestation is like. If you catch lots of moths on your traps, you will likely need to spray as well to rid yourself of these pests. Neem oil can be sprayed at 7-day intervals until there are no more or minimal moths caught in the trap. Yates Success Ultra can also be used to kill the newly hatched caterpillars. It depends on the size of the infestation as to how many traps to place. I would recommend just planting the one per group of trees for now just to monitor the numbers of moths and then go from there. Good luck, these insects can be a pain, but with a good monitoring system and spray routine it can be controlled.
Dale asked: I planted an Apollo Feijoa tree. Do I need another tree for it to fruit? If so what species would you recommend?
Our answer: Feijoas grow best when you have different varieties, so they can cross pollinate and will give you more fruit. Get one that grows to a similar growth habit there are several varieties.
Annette asked: I planted a Unique feijoa last winter – it’s leaves are chewed & it’s new tips aren’t developing, it’s remaining leaves are rather sparse, what do you think this could be and how do I treat it?
Our answer: Most likely there will be little caterpillars in the tips of the branches chewing on this nice new growth. Ensure there is a good mulch layer around the tree (i.e. no grass growing up to the trunk). Lightly trim off the damaged tips which will encourage new growth, fertilise with Novatec Fertiliser and it will come away quickly. You will also need to spray for caterpillars.
Anita asked: We have a small feijoa tree in the garden. It had some flowers on it but has absolutely no fruit. I have heard that I need two trees. Can you please help please?
Our answer: potentially your tree is a little small to give fruit yet and will take 2-3 years to get established. However they do tend to give more fruit when multiple plants are planted, the cross pollination appears to give better results. Also ensure no grass is grown directly under the feijoa as this will use up all the fertiliser that the plant would like.
Our answer: This is most likely to be the Australian Guava Moth, which is now becoming a real nuisance with reports of fruit damage even as far down the country as Wellington. The guava moth infest fruit all year round with it effecting feijoas in autumn, citrus in autumn and winter, as well as plums, peaches, pears, nashis and macadamias in summer through to early winter. Adult moths lay their eggs at the stem end and in cracks and crevices on the fruit. The resulting larvae feed inside the fruits, causing premature fruit drop or when the fruit is picked insect faeces is evident outside and inside the fruit. The fruit’s flesh could also be brown and rotting. The only control that we are currently aware of is the guava moth trap which you can purchase in store. The trap has a pheromone attractant lure that is chemical free and non-toxic, this will trap the male guava moth reducing the breeding and hence infestation. Regular use of Neem Granules and Neem Oil also appears to be beneficial. The removal and disposal of infected material and associated leaf litter from underneath trees will help destroy pupating guava moths. You can also cover green fruit with fine mesh to prevent moths laying eggs on the ripening fruit.
Judy asked: How do I get bigger feijoas?
Our answer: You could add some Sulphate of Potash every 3-4 months, or remove some of the crop so energy goes into fewer feijoas but hopefully creates bigger ones. Remember some varieties are smaller fruiting ones so if you plant any new trees, go for the bigger varieties such as Apollo or Golden Goose.
Karyl asked: On our new property there are four feijoa trees which are possibly four years old – after crop could we transplant these?
Our answer: Yes, they transplant easily, wait until fruiting has finished (and some Autumn rain), prune them hard and shift.