How to Grow Pomegranate? The pomegranate is one of the fruits that is gaining popularity across the country. Recently, it appears that there has been a pomegranate explosion in the food industry, with the fruit appearing in an increasing number of dishes and in the produce area of your local grocery store. But, as a gardener, have you ever thought about how to plant your own pomegranate tree? Is it difficult? What is required? Is it even possible where you live?
Pomegranate trees are resistant to disease and pests, making them a low-maintenance option for gardens. Some trees are small, barely three feet tall, while others can grow to reach 20 to 30 feet tall. Pomegranate trees can be evergreen in the warmest climes and attract hummingbirds for kilometres around. If you like pomegranates and are wondering if they are suitable for your yard, keep reading this advice on how to plant a pomegranate tree.
Where Do Pomegranates Grow Best?
Pomegranates are supposed to be Iranian in origin (it was called Persia then). It swiftly expanded across the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India, parts of Africa, and drier regions of Asia. Pomegranates prefer hot, dry weather.
Types of Pomegranate Trees
Before you begin your pomegranate-growing adventure, you must first determine which tree you will be planting and why. Those who want to plant pomegranates for consumption or sale should not buy the first pomegranate tree they encounter without first determining what variety it is. Here are three different types to be aware of.
The Nana Pomegranate tree is the smallest of the pomegranate trees. At its highest, it is slightly over 3 feet and is the most adaptive in a cooler growing zone. This tree is commonly used in landscaping and as border plants. While it does produce little fruit, the eating quality isn’t really good. So, if you want to produce and harvest edible pomegranates, choose a different kind.
The Wonderful Pomegranate tree is the most prevalent pomegranate tree in the country, and it is intended for harvesting. The Wonderful variety accounts for 95% of the US pomegranate consumer market, therefore if you’ve ever eaten a pomegranate, chances are you did so with a Wonderful pomegranate. The ideal climates for this tree are usually moderate or dry and quite warm. The Wonderful Pomegranate tree is designed to produce fruit (lots of it), so if you want to grow pomegranates for money or personal use, this is the tree for you.
Early in the season, the Sweet Pomegranate tree bears fruit. These pomegranates are frequently sweeter than those from the Wonderful tree. You can expect a good crop from these pomegranate trees, but the flavour may not be what you’re looking for if you’re used to the flavour of regular, sour pomegranates.
How to Grow Pomegranate?
1. Plant to Grow Pomegranate
Before planting your pomegranate tree, make sure the last frost has gone, especially if the tree is still quite young. The soil around the tree should be loose in order for the tree and its roots to establish themselves. If your soil is too compact, use a hand or rake cultivator to break it up a little where you’re planting the tree. If you intend to plant a row of these trees, you might consider purchasing an electric tiller to break up the soil in a row.
In any case, make sure the ground is loose and the temperature is rising. You don’t want to startle the pomegranates by planting them and pushing them to endure an unexpected freeze. This may expose your pomegranate tree to diseases and pests. Even if your trees survive the weather event, the shock could impede their growth for several weeks.
2. Space Out Your Trees
If you intend to plant numerous trees, leave at least 15-20 feet between each one, especially if you intend to harvest the fruit. If you’re utilising smaller decorative shrubs as a border, you can space them anywhere from six to nine feet apart. These trees require adequate space above ground to spread out, but the roots also require space beneath the dirt so that each tree has its own place.
3. Need for Sunlight to Grow Pomegranate
If you are unsure where to plant your pomegranate, choose a location in your yard or garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. This region can be somewhat sheltered, but not completely because pomegranates prefer the sun and warmth. Pomegranates will perform even better if they are placed in an area that receives more than six hours of sunlight per day.
4. Watering to Grow Pomegranate
After you’ve planted your pomegranate tree, make sure it gets enough water for the first several months. Keep in mind that these trees, in general, are drought resistant. When they mature and their roots are entrenched in the soil, they can demonstrate their resilience when rain is scarce. Consistent irrigation of these trees is required to prevent shock and give them the best start possible.
How to Care for Your Pomegranate Tree?
Pomegranate tree care begins as soon as the trees are planted. To support the tree’s growth and a successful pomegranate harvest when the time comes, you must perform many actions weekly, if not bi-annually.
1. Weekly Tree Care to Grow Pomegranate
Early in the first two months, you want to make sure that the pomegranate trees are getting enough water to stay hydrated yet not drowning. If you planted your trees during a dry spell, you should water them twice a day to keep them hydrated. Make sure to water them near the base of the tree to avoid creating conditions for fungal infections on the foliage.
As your pomegranate trees grow and produce strong roots, you should cultivate around the base of the plant once a week to maintain the soil free. You don’t have to do this beyond the first year, but it’s important to maintain the soil aerated while the tree is growing.
2. Biannual Tree Care
To provide your pomegranate trees with the nutrients they require, you should fertilise your soil twice a year. While they may survive in poor soil, they thrive on modified soil. You can replace the nutrients that the pomegranate trees have received and even adjust the pH of the soil to make it more acidic for the trees by adding fertiliser to the soil at these times.
This is only necessary until your first pomegranate harvest. Once the fruit starts to appear throughout the growth season, you can reduce the fertiliser to once a year once the season has ended and winter has arrived. Over time, too much fertiliser can burn a pomegranate tree and its roots. Over-fertilizing is like having too much of a good thing, and the fact that a harvest is generating indicates that the demand for fertiliser is lessened.
3. Pruning to Grow Pomegranate
When to prune your pomegranate trees is determined by how well they are growing. Even if you reduce your weekly watering, you should still go outside once a week to inspect your pomegranate tree. Make sure to get rid of any suckers as soon as possible. The shape of your tree will begin to change if it is not pruned properly.
Pruning part of the branches will stimulate a larger crop yield when the time comes. This allows the tree to concentrate on its fruit and growth. As always, if you notice any branches on the tree that appear to be infected or dying, remove them before the illness spreads and causes major harm to the tree.
4. Pests and Diseases
While it is no secret that the pomegranate tree is resistant to illnesses and pests, there are times when they outnumber the trees due to environmental factors. Because stressed trees are more vulnerable, keeping your pomegranate tree healthy is the best defence against disease and pests. Keep an eye out for common pests such as scale, mealy bugs, whiteflies, and pomegranate butterflies, which feed on unpruned bushes and trees. They feed on unhealthy limbs and subsequently enter the trees, wreaking havoc.
When there is an abundance of water, problems such as soft rot and fruit spots caused by fungal infections might occur. Consider putting an organic fungicide and insecticide on your pomegranate trees on a weekly basis to keep either from taking over or ruining the trees you’ve worked so hard to grow.
How to Pomegranate Harvest?
After the first two growing seasons, it is now year three, and you can see baby pomegranates sprouting on the branches. Keep up with preventative pomegranate tree care to keep the insects and fungus at bay. There are various indicators that it is time to harvest your pomegranates.
The first thing you notice about your pomegranates is that the colour has darkened and become more intense. They don’t appear shiny or glossy, but their colour is so rich that it appears flat and one-note.
If you believe the colour has changed, examine the shape of the fruit more closely. Ripe pomegranates will be longer and shaped more like a hexagon with corners rather than completely round. Finally, tap your finger against the pomegranate to see if the noises return. It will sound tinny, perhaps even metallic. If your pomegranate fruits meet all of these requirements, it’s time to harvest them.
Remove the Fruit With Care
When it comes to pomegranate fruit, you can’t just take it off the tree; doing so can harm both the tree and the fruit. Instead, cut the stem close to the fruit using pruning shears.
If you live in the appropriate planting zone, we hope this advice has been useful in teaching you how to cultivate a pomegranate tree in your garden. By taking the proper procedures to get your tree started, you will ensure that it is healthy enough to fend off illnesses and pests. Giving your tree the attention it requires will result in a bumper crop of pomegranates that you may enjoy throughout winter.