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Acca sellowiana - Care Guide
Growing Acca sellowiana – Pineapple Guava
(Syn. Feijoa sellowiana)
These evergreen shrubs, with peculiar leaves and the most beautiful flowers, are hardy outside in milder locations but, for most of the country, they are probably best grown in larger containers in the greenhouse and only taken outside onto the patio in the warmer summer months.
Acca sellowiana is easily recognisable for its oblong grey-green leaves which have woolly white undersides. These make dense bushy plants but they only really come into their own when they flower. These have fleshy crimson and white petals with a central bunch of long crimson stamens. Not all the flowers come out at once in June or July so these can be enjoyed fully over time.
In warmer, hotter conditions than our normal Cornish summers acca will produce egg shaped berries. These, like the flowers, are edible and have a rich aromatic flavour. Although the plant originates from Brazil and Uruguay, where it is a commercial fruit crop, it is also farmed for its fruit in New Zealand. You may even have spotted them in the exotic fruit section of your supermarket.
Acca need a warm sheltered position and full wind protection. They need a light well drained soil. Under glass they can readily be grown in a loam based potting compost in full light and with plenty of water and regular liquid feeding in the growing season. Dry them down in winter but they should be kept damp.
For most of us in the UK this has to be regarded as a flowering rather than as a fruiting plant. We do however import two named fruiting varieties from New Zealand, ‘Mammouth’ and ‘Triumph’. Those of you with plenty of space in a heated greenhouse or conservatory may do better than us in getting them to perform.