Container grown pomegranates are very popular nowadays. They provide a beautiful display when they’re planted in containers or hanging baskets. These trees can be grown successfully in most areas of the world. However, there are some things which need to be considered before planting container grown pomegranates in your garden:
Pomegranate seeds require warm temperatures (between 60°F and 70°F) for germination. If these conditions aren’t met, then the seeds will not sprout properly.
The soil temperature needs to be between 65°F and 75°F. Too cold and the pomegranate won’t develop well. Too hot and it may rot or even die off before you get around to harvesting its fruit.
You’ll want to plant them in a location where they have plenty of room to spread out so that they don’t crowd each other up too much.
When you’re ready to harvest the fruits, you’ll want to make sure that they’ve been harvested before the weather gets too warm again. You could wait until springtime but if it’s going to be too cold, then you might as well just go ahead and cut them down now.
If you live in a colder area, container grown pomegranates might not work at all. The roots are not going to develop properly and you’ll just have dead twigs sticking out of the ground with no telltale signs that they were ever even planted there. If this is the case for you and you still want to have pomegranates in your yard, then planting them in the ground is going to be necessary.
Just make sure that you plant them during the correct season for your area.
The size of your container is going to be very important if you want a container grown pomegranate tree to survive. Pomegranates are large trees so you’re either going to need a very big container or several medium sized ones to grow them in. Most nursery centers sell these special containers.
Just make sure that they have good drainage.
When you choose where to plant container grown pomegranates, pick a location that is either in full sun or at least has several hours of sun a day. Pomegranates are going to require a lot of light in order to grow well. If the area that you want to plant them is mostly shaded then you’re going to get poor growth and the tree may never even bear fruit.
Container grown pomegranates require a good deal of attention. You’re going to have to water it on a regular basis and keep an eye out for pests which might be attracted to the trees. Check the soil every so often to make sure that it’s still moist.
Pomegranates start out as little seedlings just like any other plant would. You’ll want to pick a spot that you want them to be planted in, perhaps next to your garden. Then all you have to do is follow these planting instructions:
Plant the pomegranate seeds 1 inch deep. Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. Keep the area around it free of weeds and water it regularly.
Once the seeds have sprouted, cut off the bottom of the stalk so that it’s only about an inch or so high. This will help the plant to develop a stronger root system.
When your pomegranates are about a foot or so high, you need to start keeping the area around them free of weeds. Container grown pomegranates aren’t going to be able to compete with weeds so this is very important. If you don’t keep the area around them clean, the weeds will steal all the nutrients that the pomegranate tree needs and it won’t grow properly.
While container grown pomegranates are going to be more work than most plants but if you want them in your yard, then this is the way to go. Why not visit a nursery or garden center in your area and ask one of the experts there which container would work best for pomegranates. They will also be able to advise you on how to take care of container grown plants so that they grow big and strong.
Growing pomegranates from seeds is very difficult so you’re probably better off just buying an established plant from a nursery. These nurseries are most likely to have more experience with container grown plants than you would so it’s best to leave it up to them.
One thing you might want to think about is planting more than one pomegranate tree. Pomegranates produce better when they have others around them so if you plant more than one, you’ll be helping your trees to produce more fruit. Just make sure that they have enough space between them so that they each get enough sun.
One of the most important things about taking care of pomegranates is keeping the area around them clean. Pomegranates have a tendency to draw all kinds of bugs and pests to them so you’re probably going to be cleaning up their mess at least once or twice a week. Pests that seem to love pomegranates are grasshoppers and crickets.
These can usually be taken care of with a strong stream of water or by spraying them with some plant spray. Just make sure that you don’t kill the pomegranates as well! If the problem persists, you may want to bring in a professional to take care of the issue.
Pomegranates are very hardy and can actually thrive in many different kinds of soil. They prefer a soil that is on the sandy side but they have been known to grow in just about any type of soil. You don’t need to add anything to the soil in order for it to be healthy for your pomegranates, in fact, if you add too much fertilizer, you may actually be doing more harm than good.
Sometimes nature finds a way of balancing itself out.
Pomegranates also require very little water. You should water them about once a week and even then, it doesn’t take too much. They are very drought tolerant so unless you live in a desert area, water once a week should be just fine.
Pomegranate plants can grow to be anywhere between 6 and 20 feet tall depending on how healthy they are and what type of care they are getting. They can produce flowers but these flowers do not produce fruit. This may be a bit confusing at first but the flowers that pomegranates produce are actually created for the bees.
The bees come and go to the flowers but they are really collecting pollen from the male parts of the flowers. This pollen is what goes onto the female parts of the flower which is located lower down. The pomegranate flower is self-fertile so it doesn’t need bees in order to reproduce.
Pomegranates may start producing fruit after two to three years. They can produce for many years but they do have one major setback and that is they tend to die after seven to ten years. This doesn’t mean that you need to start all over again though because pomegranate trees can be propagated through cuttings which makes it so that you never really need to be without a pomegranate tree.
There are actually four main varieties of pomegranate that you will be dealing with when you’re growing pomegranates and these are:
This variety has red skin and contains dark red flesh. This is one of the most popular varieties in the U.S.
This variety has red skin and orange to reddish flesh.
This variety has pink skin and orange to reddish flesh.
This variety has red skin anf pink flesh.
Picking and Storing
When choosing a pomegranate, you want to look for one that is heavy for its size. This is an indication that it is juicy. You also want to make sure that the skin is free from any blemishes or mold.
You can store pomegranates in the refrigerator for up to four months. You can also freeze them for up to twelve months as well.
Growing Pomegranates From Seed
If you would prefer to grow your own pomegranates from seed here is some information that you should know. This information is based on growing pomegranates in Washington State.
The first thing that you need to know is that the flowers need to be cross-pollinated in order to produce fruit. Even if you have two different varieties, the flowers still need pollen from a different plant in order to make fruit.
The flowers will only last for one day so you will need to check them every day in order to gather the pollen. You can either do this yourself or you can use a paintbrush to gather the pollen from one flower and then use that on other flowers. It doesn’t take much pollen to do the job.
Pomegranates usually begin to bloom during March and they will be in bloom until May. You can expect between 10 and 20 fruits per tree each year.
You may need to protect your tree from certain pests. This can be done using a 5% Sevin dust. You should dust the tree early in the year and then again during mid to late summer.
Pomegranates need around 1 to 2 gallons of water per tree each week. They also prefer a pH that is between 6 and 7 which is slightly acidic.
Pomegranates should begin to bear fruit within two to three years.
There are really no major problems that plague the pomegranate tree. There are certain insects and diseases that attack it but just like people, no tree is completely safe from everything.
If you notice certain leaves beginning to yellow and fall off, this could be due to a number of things. It is probably either due to the plant not getting enough water or it could be due to the pH of the soil being a little too high or low. You really need to monitor the pH and make sure that it stays in the preferred range.
Also like people, pomegranates can suffer from various types of cancer. This isn’t too common but it can happen. If you notice a growth on the bark or the trunk, have a certified arborist take a look at it to see if it is cancer or something else.
Lastly, pomegranates can suffer from leafroll virus. This is more common in warmer states but it can still affect pomegranates in cooler climates as well. The virus affects the leaves causing them to roll up.
This causes the tree to not get enough sunlight and it also makes the tree more susceptible to certain insects and diseases. There is no real way to treat this unfortunately and the tree will most likely die. The best thing you can do is keep the tree well watered and monitor it for other signs of problems (such as insects and diseases). Hopefully, these can be treated before the tree succumbs to the leafroll virus.
These are the three most common problems that you may encounter with your pomegranate trees. Of course there are other problems that can affect it such as borers, aphids, and scale insects but these are things that you would deal with regardless of the type of tree that you have. Just keep your tree as healthy as possible and be aware of its needs and you should have a long and fruitful relationship with it for many years to come.
Sources & references used in this article:
Pomegranate production in Afghanistan by K Glozer, L Ferguson – UCDAVIS College of Agricultural & Environmental …, 2008 – ucanr.org
Incidence and etiology of postharvest fungal diseases of pomegranate (Punica granatum cv. Mollar de Elche) in Spain by L Palou, V Taberner, A Guardado, MÁ Del Río… – Phytopathologia …, 2013 – JSTOR
Pomegranate roads: a Soviet botanist’s exile from Eden by GM Levin – 2006 – books.google.com
Commercial pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) production in California by KR Day, ED Wilkins – Acta horticulturae, 2011 – actahort.org
Growing Pomegranates in Florida: Establishment Costs and Production Practices by F Wu, Z Guan, G Vallad – EDIS, 2018 – journals.flvc.org
Chemical composition, water sorption isotherm, and phenolic contents in fresh and dried pomegranate peels by AS Al-Rawahi, MS Rahman, N Guizani… – Drying technology, 2013 – Taylor & Francis
Dwiroopa punicae sp. nov.(Dwiroopaceae fam. nov., Diaporthales), associated with leaf spot and fruit rot of pomegranate (Punica granatum) by KV Xavier, AN Kc, PW Crous… – Fungal Systematics …, 2019 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov