Pomegranate tree was once considered a fruit for the royalty, and it can be a delicious addition to your backyard. The amazingly beautiful, showy, red-orange flowers are great as a decorative fruit in the fall, after which they will grant you juicy arils to enjoy for months afterward.
Planting a Pomegranate Tree
The trees grow best from cuttings, as it ensures the quality of the fruit produced. Many varieties exist, including the always-popular Wonderful, yummy pink Sweet, and the uniquely non-staining Eversweet type.
Make sure to pick a location in full sun, and establish a 20 ft. diameter space for your tree so that it has space to grow into. You can also make it smaller by pruning it. For a hedge, plant them 10 feet apart.
The pomegranate tree is adaptable to many different soil types, and they grow best in loamy, well-drained soil. The ideal zones are from 7 to 12, with their short and mild winters, as well as rather low humidity. You can grow them in containers in colder places, and keep indoors. A greenhouse over winter also works. If the trunk is damaged or killed by frost, it grows new suckers.
Pomegranate trees have a relatively low water requirement and are capable of surviving drought conditions for years. Too much water or an uneven amount from either irrigating, heavy rains, or high humidity, may result in fruit cracking, decreased production, and other issues.
Pruning is not required, but it can help you with ease of harvest, better fruit, and to have a better-looking tree. The natural shape of the pomegranates is the form of a bush, and they produce a lot of suckers. This makes them ideal for hedges or living walls, and not for much else really. While the tree is one year old, pick out between one and six trunks to keep, and prune the rest at the ground. Most professionals prefer five or six because that way they will produce fruit a bit sooner, need much less care, and recover more quickly from potential frost damage.
When doing maintenance, prune lightly and make sure never to trim all of the branches during the same year. You should also try to prune back any new suckers that you do not want to grow into full trunks. As you can see, much depends on your preferences when it comes to caring.
Pomegranate tree that you plant can begin to fruit after a year of the initial planting. However, do not be worried if the first fruit matures late or on the ground drop before fully maturing. It generally takes from 5 to 6 years for the tree to mature all the way and produce considerable and large harvests.
You can harvest the fruits as soon as they reach their mature skin color, feel heavy in hand, and sound metallic when you tap them. If you leave them on the tree for too long, they will split open. They also tend to split if it rains during the harvest season. If this happens, you can still harvest them and enjoy their unique taste, but you will not be able to store them whole.
Always harvest the fruit with pruning snips, and never pull them from the branch. Feel free to store them whole in a cool place for several weeks, or in refrigeration for 3 months. If you want longer storage, take out the seeds and freeze the arils whole. The juice can also be squeezed if you run the arils through a food strainer or a blender. The juice can be frozen for up to 6 months, or you can make various canned foods like syrup and jelly.
We hope the article encouraged you to plant and grow your own pomegranate tree in your yard!