How to Grow Pomegranate Trees
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Pomegranate Tree: Care and Growing Guide
Pomegranates (Punica granatum) produce delicious fruit and, if you have the right warm climate, they are easy to maintain and not affected by many pests or diseases. The fruits have red, rough skin, and the sweet edible seeds are packed with antioxidants and have many health benefits.
The pomegranate can range from a 3-foot dwarf shrub to a 20 to 30-foot tree. The average size of a standard pomegranate bush is 12 to 16 feet tall with a round shape. In most places they are deciduous, but in warmer climates, they can be perennial.
They are also attractive in ornamental terms, with glossy leaves and scarlet-red tube-shaped flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds and other pollinators. Pomegranate is a popular choice for bonsai. The bark is reddish-brown and the branches may have thorns.
A bit drought tolerant, a pomegranate is perfect for the sunniest and warmest backyard spots that can burn other plants. Young trees should be planted in the spring after the danger of late frosts has passed. It usually takes two to three years to bear fruit.
|Botanical Name||Punica granatum|
|Plant Type||Shrub, small tree|
|Size||From 3 ft. dwarf forms to 30 ft tall trees|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Grows in most types, but must be well-drained|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral, alkaline (5.5 to 7)|
|Hardiness Zones||7-10 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Iran to northern India|
How to Plant Pomegranate Trees
When planting, make sure the soil is loose and not too wet. The spacing will depend on how you plan to use your pomegranate. Some growers use them as a hedge for propagating shrubs, and they can be spaced 6 to 9 feet apart. For those used for fruit production, it is best to space them about 15 feet apart.
Pomegranate Tree Care
Pomegranate bushes can be grown partially in the shade, but ideally, place them in a location with as much sun and heat as possible. For a good harvest, your tree must receive at least six hours of sunlight a day.
Pomegranate needs well-drained soil, although it is capable of growing in a wide variety of soils, from acidic clay (preferred) to low-quality alkaline types.
The pomegranate is drought tolerant, although irrigation is necessary for adequate fruit production. Water deeply every two to four weeks during the dry season when planting new trees.
However, be careful not to overwater. Overwatering and waterlogging conditions can lead to a poor harvest. Fruits will also be more prone to cracking, increasing the chances of problems with pests and fungal diseases.
Temperature and humidity
Ideal growing areas for this fruit are USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7-10. They enjoy cold winters and hot, dry summers. They thrive when growing season temperatures are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pomegranate trees are colder tolerant than citrus trees, but levels vary by cultivar. Some can withstand winter temperatures of up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, when diving at this height, it would be wise to grow them in containers so they can be moved to a garage or other sheltered location to minimize the chance of frost damage.
Fertilize in November and March for the first two years. Otherwise, you generally won't need a lot of fertilizer in the years to come. In fact, over-fertilization can result in a poor harvest.
Pomegranate Tree Varieties
There are many cultivars to choose from, including some that are more cold-hardy. Some of the popular types include:
- 'Nana': A dwarf form that is cold hardy to zone 7 and typically grows to just 4 feet tall
- 'Sweet': Produces fruit earlier than some cultivars and, as the name suggests, has a very sweet flavor and usually provides a prolific harvest
- 'Wonderful': The most popular cultivar grown in the U.S.; produces large, flavorful, red fruits in abundance late in the season
It takes about three years for a pomegranate tree to produce a proper crop. You will know that the fruits are ready to be picked when the color develops, they have a dull sheen instead of shiny, they change from a round to a hexagonal shape, and they make a metallic sound when struck.
Use pruning shears to cut the stem above the fruit instead of plucking it. They can be stored for a long time if they are kept between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pomegranates tend to produce sprouts, so remove them as soon as they appear. If you decide not to prune your pomegranate, it will grow into a bushy, bushy, and broader form.
Regular pruning of the branches in the early years, especially, will help encourage the development of healthy new shoots and a more abundant harvest.
Once the tree is established, pruning off dead, damaged, or diseased branches may be sufficient. It is a good idea to clarify the fruits that grow on the branches. This will ensure that the grenades grow to normal size and will reduce the chance of a limb breaking due to excess weight.
Propagating Pomegranate Trees
Propagation is best done with wooden cuttings in winter, as those grown from seed may not stay true to type.
Common Pests and Diseases
Pomegranate bushes are one of the easiest fruits to work with, as they are generally unaffected by many pests or diseases.
Possible occasional pests include the pomegranate butterfly, thrips, scales, bed bugs, and whiteflies. Diseases are rare in well-maintained trees but include leaf spot, fruit spot, branch death, dry rot, and soft rot.
Enjoy This Video Tutorial About How to Grow Pomegranate Tree from Seed
Source: Daisy Creek Farms with Jag Singh
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