Relatively recently, outlandish leathery dark green fruits the size of a small chicken egg have appeared on the markets and counters of Russian stores. This juicy berry, when ripe, tastes like pineapple with strawberries and has a wonderful aroma. Such fruits grow on a plant called feijoa.
Due to numerous requests from readers, I want to tell you about the cultivation of this exotic subtropical tree - and beautiful, and tasty, and aromatic - in room culture. It grows well in rooms. The shoots are light brown, the leaves are pubescent, silvery, it has beautiful flowers with tasty, sweet, fleshy petals; after flowering, small, round edible "cucumbers" appear.
Feijoa - ornamental evergreen shrub with a height of 2 to 5 meters, the plant is not resistant. Its leaves are glossy on top, silver-gray below, small, elliptical in shape. The bush is exceptionally beautiful during the period of mass flowering due to the abundance of bright flowers against the background of grayish-green foliage. The flowers are bisexual, single, up to 4 cm in diameter, 1-4 of them in the leaf axils.
The flower petals are fleshy, edible, white; inside they are pink. Numerous stamens (from 50 to 120 pieces) of carmine color, protruding from the flower, they are much longer than the petals. Even the stipules are colored brownish-red on the inside and green on the outside. The fruits are berries the size of a small egg or a large plum. They are green; as they mature, they acquire a yellowish color, often with a reddish barrel and a rough surface. The flesh of the fruit is dense, cream-white, sweet and sour, melting, refreshing taste with the smell of pineapple and strawberries. The fruits are 4-7 cm long and 3-5 cm wide, they have numerous seeds, small - up to 1 mm long. The peel has a tart taste, but it separates easily from the fruit, so it is usually not eaten. They contain vitamins C and P, 6-10% sugar, 1.5-1.6% malic acid and 2.1-3.9 mg of iodine (per 1 kg of fruit). Due to the exceptional amount of water-soluble compounds of iodine, feijoa is used for the prevention and treatment of thyroid diseases. In terms of vitamin content, it is close to tangerine. The fruits are used fresh and for the preparation of jam, marmalade, jelly, tincture and liqueur. They are useful for atherosclerosis and for its prevention.
The genus Feijoa (Feiyoa Berd) belongs to the myrtle family, includes three Brazilian species, only one of them has food value. Distributed in southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Argentina. Europeans have known feijoa for no more than 100 years. In our North Caucasus and Krasnodar Territory, as well as in room culture, only one species is grown - the Sellova feijoa. It has many forms. Few varieties are grown in Russia. The prevailing varieties are Allegro, Coolidge, Superba; domestic varieties Sochinskaya early, Adlerskaya large, Crimean aromatic. Some of them are self-fertile. Feijoa blooms in late May-June. Flowers appear on the shoots of the current year. The fruits ripen from October to the beginning of winter, the plants are cultivated in cold greenhouses.
Feijoa is grown as a flowering houseplant. However, it not only blooms, but also bears fruit, pollination must be carried out artificially. It blooms profusely, but usually up to 95% of the ovaries fall off. The fruits fall off when ripe, after laying in a cool room, they become very tasty. The plant reproduces well by seeds and cuttings. With seed propagation, splitting occurs. When grown from seeds, plants bloom for 3-4 years, with cuttings - for 22-3 years. Full fruiting occurs from 5-8 years. The average yield from a bush is 20-25 kilograms of fruit.
For indoor cultivation, seeds are sown in spring in a mixture of earth and sand. Seedlings appear in 20-25 days at a temperature of 18 ... 20 ° C. Seedlings dive into boxes at a distance of 4-8 cm. Soil composition: 1 part of earth, 1 part of humus, 1 part of sand. Plant care consists of watering, spraying. It is desirable to keep them in a bright place at this time. As they grow, the seedlings are planted in pots with a diameter of 9 cm, and then - 11 cm. In the future, the feijoa is transplanted every two years into large containers. Cuttings for propagation are cut 8-10 cm long from the upper and middle semi-lignified parts of the shoot. After treatment with heteroauxin, they are planted in sand. Cuttings are carried out in November-December.
I can offer readers feijoa seeds for propagation. I'm waiting for an envelope with a return address in a large format with stamps glued on for 30 rubles, I will send a catalog for orders. Write: Brizhan Valery Ivanovich, st. Kommunarov, 6, st. Chelbasskaya, Kanevsky District, Krasnodar Territory, 353715.
Valery Brizhan, experienced gardener, Krasnodar Territory
Feijoa is home to subtropical regions in South America: South Brazil, North Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay. In the wild, this plant is common in the forests of South America as an underbrush. Feijoa is a typical subtropical plant, and all attempts to cultivate it in the tropics have failed.
This unique fruit and ornamental plant was first discovered in the middle of the last century by the botanist Sellov, from whose surname the specific name of the plant comes. And the generic name of feijoa comes from the name of the director of the Brazilian Museum of Natural History - Joani de Silva Fejio.
In 1890, feijoa appeared in France, from where it was brought to Yalta and Sukhumi in 1900, and to California in 1901, where it became relatively widespread. In 1913, this plant took root in Italy, and then spread to other Mediterranean countries. The plant is adapted to the climate of the subtropics, but it has moved far to the north. For example, in Crimea, feijoa tolerates frosts down to -11C without significant damage.
Currently, the feijoa culture is also common in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Crimea, Krasnodar Territory. However, in most of these areas, feijoa is grown mainly in household plots. Feijoa works well in indoor culture.
The small South American genus Feijoa belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It includes only three species, of which only one is widespread in the culture - Feijoa sellowiana.
Feijoa is an evergreen shrub with grayish-yellow branches, 2-3 m high. The leaves are opposite, rigid, pubescent, green, silvery-gray underneath, with a characteristic odor. The flowers are bisexual, large, crimson-red with white-pink fleshy petals.
The feijoa fruit is a green berry with a reddish tinge. Fruits are oval or oblong, 4-6 cm in diameter and 5-10 cm long. The weight of one fruit is 25-50 g. Even in mature form, they have an unassuming greenish color. Outwardly, feijoa fruits look like greenish plums with a bunch of short tails at the end. In the pulp of the fruit, there are four multi-seeded nests with numerous seeds that are not felt when eating. The pulp of ripe fruits is dense, juicy, sweet and sour with a pleasant aroma. Feijoa is one of the most winter-hardy subtropical plants: it tolerates frosts down to -12, -14C.
Feijoa fruit pulp contains sucrose. The acidity of the fruit is quite high. Ripe fruits contain vitamin C, the content of which increases as the fruits ripen. They contain quite a lot of pectin and fiber. Some protein substances. The amino acid composition of the fruit is not rich, it is represented mainly by 5 amino acids (asparagine, arginine, glutamine, alanine, tyrosine).
A unique feature of feijoa fruits is the ability to accumulate significant amounts of water-soluble iodine compounds easily assimilated by the human body. In this respect, feijoa is superior to other fruits and berries. However, this is not typical for all areas of the Feijoa culture. For example, in Batumi, only traces of iodine were found in feijoa fruits.
The fruits are also rich in phenolic compounds. Among them are catechins and leukoanthocyanins, soluble tannin, etc., which are found mainly in the skin and give the fruit an astringent taste. However, the skin is easily separated from the pulp and is almost never used for food.
The peculiar strawberry-pineapple aroma of the fruit is due to the essential oil, which consists of 93 specific substances.
Therapeutic and prophylactic properties
In scientific and folk medicine, the fruits are used for diseases of the thyroid gland and for atherosclerosis. The fruits are also recommended to be used for hypo- and vitamin C deficiency, inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, gastritis, pyelonephritis.
Fresh, boiled or mashed with sugar, feijoa fruits are very useful for people suffering from atherosclerosis.
Feijoa comes from the tropics, a native of South America, but it was brought to the Transcaucasus before the war, where it took root well. And now, most often on the shelves, the feijoa fruits are from there.
The time of its active fruiting falls on November-December, therefore, already in November, these still unusual fruits appear on the market shelves. Often, in order to attract buyers, sellers put signs next to the feijoa, where they try to tell what kind of exotic fruit it is and “what it is eaten with”.
However, people are not actively buying up subtropical exoticism, apparently not too much trusting homemade advertising. In various books and articles it is written that "the fruits of feijoa are very tasty and fragrant, and their smell resembles a mixture of strawberries, pineapple and something else very pleasant." Have you tried it yet? Do not be disappointed - in order for this taste to fully manifest itself, the fruits must be ripe, and ripe fruits cannot be transported.
There is nothing wrong with that, feijoa ripens perfectly during storage. If you bought hard fruits, wait patiently until they feel soft to the touch. Then the flesh of the feijoa will become like jelly and will acquire a real taste and aroma. And the beneficial properties during "artificial" ripening, according to the assurances of experts, are not lost.
But the beneficial properties of feijoa can hardly be overestimated! First of all, feijoa is the only plant that can be compared to seafood in terms of iodine content. A unique property of feijoa fruits grown in natural conditions is the presence in them of water-soluble iodine compounds (up to 40 m per 100 g of pulp). They owe this to the sea breezes, which carry volatile iodine with them. So only the fruits that have grown under the real sun by the real sea are of true value.
Both in scientific and folk medicine, feijoa fruits are used for thyroid disease. They are also recommended to be used for hypo- and vitamin C deficiency, inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, gastritis, pyelonephritis.
In addition to thyroid diseases associated with a lack of iodine in the body, fresh, boiled or mashed with sugar feijoa fruits are very useful for people suffering from atherosclerosis.
Feijoa contains not only iodine, the fruits of this plant contain a large amount of vitamin C, sucrose, pectin, fiber. Feijoa even surpasses other berries in their quantity.
When eating feijoa fruits, there is a kind of contradiction between taste and benefits. The fact is that the peel of the fruit is in principle edible and, moreover, very useful, as it contains such phenolic compounds as catechins and leukoanthocyanins, biologically active substances that are strong antioxidants that help prevent cancer. But, having a tart, astringent taste, the peel spoils the taste of the product.
Lighting... Feijoa is a light-loving culture that is not afraid of direct sunlight. The best location is south and southeast windows. In the autumn-winter period, the plant must be supplemented, otherwise the lack of light can lead to leaf fall. The temperature of the winter content is 8-12 ° C (withstands a drop to 5-7 ° C). In summer, you can take it out to the balcony or garden.
Temperature... Mature plants can withstand temperatures down to -12 ° C, are drought-resistant, and cannot tolerate excess lime and moisture in the soil. In winter, the plant is best kept in a cool, bright room with a temperature of 8-12 ° C. In summer, it is good to take out to the garden or balcony. In terms of frost resistance, feijoa is much superior to citrus fruits and painlessly tolerates temperatures as low as -10 ° C.
Soil and fertilizing... The plant is undemanding to soil conditions, an ordinary flower substrate is suitable. The best substrate for growing feijoa is a medium alkaline flower soil.
For growing feijoa at home, a soil mixture is perfect, which consists of turf, leafy soil and sand (1: 1: 1). Feijoa is fed every 15 days throughout the year, alternating between nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Horse manure (1:10), superphosphate and ash extract are used. Superphosphate is poorly soluble in water, therefore, first, 1 teaspoon of fertilizer should be boiled in 1 liter of water. The cooled solution is diluted with water in a 1: 1 ratio. To obtain potassium fertilizer, 1 tablespoon of deciduous ash is infused for one week in 1 liter of water. Before feeding, the plant is watered with plain water. Feijoa is very picky about feeding during flowering and fruit setting.
In the first 2-3 years, due to the active growth of the root system, the transplant should be carried out annually. When transplanting, it is imperative to keep the soil ball and not to deepen the plant. Subsequently, the transplant should be done once every 3 years.
The plant is hygrophilous... When the earthen coma is overdried, leaves fall, branches and parts of the root system dry up. After watering, the water accumulated in the pan is not removed - after a while it will be absorbed into the earthen lump. Plentiful watering is recommended in summer, moderate in winter. In winter, when the air humidity in the house is low, it is useful to spray the plant with lukewarm water. In hot weather, once a day, the plants are sprayed with water at room temperature.
Feijoa is propagated by seeds. Seeds are sown in January - March to a depth of 0.3–0.5 cm. The first shoots appear in 2 weeks at a substrate temperature of 20–25 ° C.
The most common pests are scale insects, worms, and from diseases - gray rot and leaf spot.
Here you can see photos of feijoa trees grown at home from seeds:
For successful fruiting, you must have two plants that must bloom at the same time. It is difficult to achieve this in indoor conditions, therefore it is better to grow parthenocarpic (self-pollinating) varieties in the house, such as the Crimean early or Nikitsky aromatic. Feijoa seedlings begin to bear fruit in the 5-6th year, and the trees obtained from rooted cuttings - in the 4th.
At home, the easiest way to get seedlings of this plant. Feijoa is most often grown from seeds, as they adapt better to new conditions.
Before growing feijoa, seeds are extracted from fully ripe, freshly picked fruits. In overripe and long-stored plants, the seeds are often germinated and not suitable for sowing. To extract them, with a sharp knife it is necessary to cut off about 1/5 of the fruit from the side of the stalk, carefully squeeze out the jelly-like pulp, in which there are a few seeds. Then rinse them in a weak solution of potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate), trying to completely remove the sticky pulp. The selected seeds are dried.
Freshly harvested (germination remains up to a year) seeds are sown into light, well-steamed soil, to a depth of 0.5 cm, it is better to sprinkle it with clean river sand by another 0.5 cm - this will protect the seedlings from the black leg. Water it very carefully so that the seeds do not rise to the surface of the soil. Before the appearance of the first shoots, cover with polyethylene or glass, keep in the light. At a temperature of 25-28 ° C, seedlings appear within three weeks, sometimes this process takes up to two months.
When the first shoots appear, the shelter is removed. When the seedlings grow up to 5 cm, they are transplanted into half-liter bowls. Feijoa is not demanding on the soil, but does not tolerate excess lime.
These photos show what a home-grown feijoa tree looks like:
The first year of life, the plant hardly branches, so it is better to pinch the crown. In subsequent years, growth becomes intense, therefore, up to 5 years, the plant must be transplanted annually, without destroying the earthen coma, then once every three years, with the replacement of the topsoil. The trunk is not buried, feeding begins in two months.
Feijoa houseplant is fed from May to October every 10 days. In winter, once a month is enough. Organic and complex chlorine-free mineral fertilizers alternate. Separately, nitrogen or potash fertilizers are applied at the beginning of summer. Water for irrigation is kept in the light for at least a day.
Seedlings bloom in six years. Feijoa blooms from May, sometimes throughout the summer, but the massive bloom lasts three weeks. Corolla petals are edible - sweet. Tearing them off does not affect fruit setting. In autumn, the fruits ripen, crumbling from the bush. However, they are still firm to the touch.
The uniqueness of the fruits is that they contain water-soluble iodine compounds, therefore they are especially useful for people with thyroid diseases. Feijoa berries are good in any form - fresh, in compotes, preserves, jams. Fruits, stored at a temperature of 10-15 ° C, ripen, soften and become fragrant within 5-10 days, at 7-8 ° C they can be stored for 30-40 days.
It takes a long time to wait for the feijoa to bear fruit.
But, as you can see in the photo, the feijoa tree, even without flowers, with rounded glossy leaves on top and lowered from below is very decorative:
Although grafting is a more reliable way to maintain the qualities of the mother plant, it is usually less commonly used for propagation of feijoa.
Plant grafting is almost not widespread due to the thin bark and poor engraftment of the eyes during budding. And how to grow feijoa with root shoots?. Shoot propagation is mainly used in industrial horticulture. Good results are obtained by aerial rooting of branches of a fruiting tree.
In the first 2-3 years, the feijoa should be transplanted into fresh nutrient substrate annually. Adult plants are transferred into a large bowl, filling only the space between the walls of the pot and the root ball with fresh substrate. The roots emerging from the drainage hole should be pruned.
The formation of the crown begins when the seedling reaches a height of 25-30 cm - you can cut it by 2/3. This promotes the rapid development of skeletal branches. In the future, pruning is not necessary, you should only remove weak and dried branches. To speed up fruiting, the seedling should be formed on a low stem and the emerging root growth should be cut out.
Watch the video "Feijoa at home", which shows all the basic agricultural techniques:
The feijoa houseplant suffers more from improper care than from pests. The only exceptions are spider mites, which are very common on the plant, and whiteflies with scale insects, which love to settle on the hard leaves of weakened plants. To fight insects, you need to wash the leaves, increase the humidity and use biological products with insecticidal properties. Treatment with classical insecticides is desirable only during the period when the plant is not bearing fruit.
Indoor feijoa during flowering.
Feijoa berries appear on sale by the end of September and disappear in January. They are not very attractive in appearance - small and inconspicuous, with green pimpled skin. Many of them come to us unripe. You can determine the degree of ripeness of berries by the color of the pulp - in greens it is white, in ripe ones it is transparent watery. Fruits with brown flesh are not suitable for food.
('if you bought feijoa fruits that have not yet matured 9, do not be upset and do not rush to throw them away - they can reach the desired condition after lying in the dark at room temperature for a while. You can also try to grow feijoa in a winter garden or even in the apartment - then during the ripening season of its fruits you will have a fresh harvest.This plant is very decorative, especially during flowering.
Feijoa varieties can be cross-pollinated and self-pollinated. For growing in an apartment, one of the self-pollinated varieties is more suitable - for example, Krymsky early or Nikitsky.
Feijoa can be propagated by cuttings and seeds. In Ukraine, it is much easier to get seeds than to look for an adult feijoa bush for grafting. However, it should be borne in mind that not all seedlings retain the properties of the mother plant. Since the feijoa season ends by February, and sowing seeds is best done in March, the seeds extracted from the fruits are stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in several layers of paper.
They are sown in an air-permeable substrate with drainage (universal peat and soil mixtures, soil for seedlings are suitable) to a depth of no more than 5 mm, watered from a spray bottle so as not to wash off the top layer of soil. When shoots appear, place the container with shoots in a well-lit and warm place (but not in direct sunlight). In March, the air temperature is already quite comfortable, and the daylight hours are long, so the seedlings will have time to get stronger, harden, and then they will transfer planting to a permanent place without stress. Feijoa grown from seedlings enter fruiting in the 5-6th year of life.
Rooting feijoa cuttings is difficult, but in this case, the plants will begin to bloom and bear fruit much earlier - from 3-4 years.
It is better to cut feijoa in spring or early summer. Any substrate intended for seedlings with the addition of sand is suitable for rooting cuttings. Semi-lignified shoots up to 10 cm in length are cut from a strong, healthy plant. The cuttings are completely dipped in a solution of heteroauxin and soaked for about 15 hours, or the lower part of the cuttings is dipped into the root. Then the leaves are removed, leaving only the upper pair, and planted in the ground at an angle, deepening by two-thirds of the length.
The container with cuttings is covered with a cellophane greenhouse, in which you can make several small holes for ventilation. A moist environment is maintained under it. The cuttings can also be covered with a glass jar, but then they need to be periodically ventilated or a very small gap left between the soil and the edge of the jar to keep the temperature in the greenhouse at 25-27 ° C, but not more than 30 ° C. Feijoa takes root up to 2 months.
Young plants are transplanted to a permanent place in a larger container, in a denser and more nutritious, but at the same time sufficiently breathable substrate, with drainage. As the tree grows, it is transferred into a larger pot, while the density of the soil is also slightly increased. Thin twigs at the very bottom of the trunk are cut off during transshipment. Since the feijoa branches moderately, you can plant two plants in one pot - they complement each other and look more magnificent. It is also useful for cross-pollinating seedlings if the variety is not self-pollinating.
From spring to autumn, as long as the air temperature at night does not drop below 15 ° C, feijoa can be kept outdoors in the garden or on the balcony, this stimulates growth and fruiting. But the plant is gradually accustomed to direct sunlight - at first it is exposed in partial shade and if the leaves do not begin to burn, they are taken out to a sunnier place.
Water the feijoa carefully, as the soil dries up in the tub. It is necessary to monitor the moisture content of the earthen coma, it should not dry out, otherwise the plant may shed its leaves.
Feijoa are disease resistant, mainly affected by leaf spot. Of the pests, ticks, thrips and worms settle on their leaves. Plants can be treated with insecticides when they are not bearing fruit. If the fruits have already set, the leaves are gently washed with water to remove unwanted guests.
To get a beautiful compact and lush bush on a trunk, feijoa must be formed in a tub culture. In nature, feijoa does not tend to branch, its shoots grow upward, and not to the sides. Therefore, it is necessary to pinch the tops. First, the central trunk is shortened by a third, and then the lateral shoots are pinched. This operation is carried out in the warm season, so that the young shoots have enough sunny color. In this case, they cease to stretch upward, grow strong and powerful, forming the "skeleton" of the plant. In the lower third of the trunk, all lateral shoots and root shoots are removed, since there will be no fruits on them, and the bush after this operation will look more neat.
Shoot growth is stimulated with fertilizers - for example, humate or liquid organo-mineral fertilizers of black color, with an increased nitrogen content (nitrogen is not added to fertilizing in winter].
To stimulate flowering and fruiting of feijoa in summer and spring, during the period of flowering and the formation of ovaries, organic fertilizer is applied for flowering plants based on biohumus (for example, fertimix), alternating with organic-mineral fertilizer.
The nutritional value of feijoa fruits is high in iodine. Even seafood is inferior to feijoa in this indicator. Iodine is very important for metabolic processes in the human body. Feijoa berries are rich in vitamin C, so they are indispensable for vitamin deficiency. They contain vitamins PP, B6, B9, B6, B2, B $, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. Feijoa is an excellent antioxidant.
However, its berries can cause allergies. People with diabetes should consult a doctor before consuming feijoa
Feijoa, or akka Sellova comes from the subtropics of South America, its history as a cultivated plant is still very short. Goppa of European scientists discovered it in Brazil just a hundred years ago, at the end of the 19th century. The find got its names in honor of the discoverers - naturalists Friedrich Sellov and Joan da Silva Feijo. First, the plant was delivered to France (in 1890), and from there in 1900 it came to us, to Yalta and to the Black Sea coast.
HOW CORRECTLY IS FEJOA
Feijoa fruits are fragrant, taste sweet and sour, reminiscent of strawberries, pineapple and kiwi. They can be eaten raw, without the skin, removing the pulp from the berries with a spoon. Since the peel has a high content of vitamins, it is better not to throw it away, but add it to tea or cook compote. Unpeeled feijoa berries are put into salads, cut into cubes.
Feijoa can be used to make "raw jam", which is very useful for the immune system, improves the functioning of the thyroid gland. The recipe is simple: the washed unpeeled fruits are passed through a meat grinder, the resulting mass is ground with sugar, and placed in sterilized jars. This jam can be stored in the refrigerator for two months.
Feijoa flower petals are also suitable for food. They are fleshy, aromatic and sweetish in taste.
Myrtle family. Homeland - South America. 3 types of Akka have official status.
Feijoa known to flower growers, lovers of exotic fruit, has a botanical name Akka Sellova Acca sellowiana (an outdated synonym for Feijoa Zellova Feijoa sellowiana) is an evergreen tree or shrub that grows up to 4-6 meters in natural conditions. The leaves are opposite, oval, dense and leathery. On the upper side, gray-green, on the back - silvery. Flowers on long pedicels are single or collected in rare axillary inflorescences, not large, about 3-4 cm in diameter. The flower has 4 petals, rather dense, strongly bent back, red inside, white outside. Numerous long stamens stick out beautifully from the center of the flower. Filaments are red, anthers are bright yellow. It is what makes the flowers very effective. The fruit is an edible berry with small seeds.