Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Pomegranate, a drought resistant fruit tree

Image - Wikimedia / Habib M'henni

The pomegranate is a tree or large fruit shrub very resistant to drought and very easy to grow which has very pretty red flowers. It grows in all types of soils, including calcareous soils that have a great tendency to compact, and is not usually affected by pests or diseases.

If you are looking for an all-terrain plant that gives a lot of fruit for the whole family, the pomegranate is undoubtedly for you.

Key features

Pomegranates are hardy fruit trees

Image - Wikimedia / Philmarin

The pomegranate, whose scientific name is Punica granatum, is a more or less thorny deciduous plant that belongs to the botanical family Lythraceae. It is native to Iran, although it has become naturalized in the Mediterranean region and in the Canary Islands. It reaches a maximum height of 5m, and has small, lanceolate leaves, greenish-yellow when they are young, and green when they finish maturing. The flower, which sprouts in spring, is about 4cm in diameter, red in color. And the fruit, the pomegranate, measures up to 12cm and has a spherical shape, red in color.

It is a plant that, although it may seem otherwise, is very, very rustic. In fact, can resist up to -12ºC. And if we talk about maximum temperatures, it holds up to 40ºC without problems. So you can have a pomegranate in a wide variety of climates 🙂.

Pomegranate varieties

There are three types:

  • Common: which is the one that produces sweet-tasting fruits.
  • Sour: as its name suggests, its fruits are unpleasant for the palate. But its flowers are used to decorate.
  • Seedless: like the grain of Elche or the mollar de Játiva, two of the main Spanish varieties.

Growing or caring for the pomegranate tree

Would you like to have one in your garden or patio? Take note of these tips:

Location

It is a plant that you need to feel the passing of the seasons, so you have to have outside. Likewise, it is important that it is in an area where the sun shines directly, ideally throughout the day, otherwise its development will not be adequate.

Soil or land

Not demanding, but whether you are going to have it in the garden or in a pot, it is preferable that the soil or the substrate be able to drain the water quickly, since the pomegranate is a plant that does not like too much waterlogging.

Irrigation

The pomegranate resists drought

In the garden

It is a plant that although it is very resistant to drought, when grown for its fruit it should be watered twice a week. In any case, if at least 350mm of precipitation falls per year in your area, from the second year it is on the ground, you can space out the irrigations.

Potted

In case of growing it in a pot, you have to water it from time to time throughout the year, being more followed in summer than in the rest of the year.

You have to pour water until it comes out of the drainage holes. If you see that it comes out too quickly, something that happens if the substrate has become so compact that it has 'become' a kind of earth block unable to absorb water, take the pot (without extracting the pomegranate from it) and put it in a container of water for half an hour or until you see that the substrate has been completely moistened.

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It is not strictly necessary, but you can pay it from spring to late summer, being advisable to do it with an organic fertilizer such as algae extract following the instructions specified on the product packaging.

You can also put mulch, compost, or herbivorous animal manure on top of the soil, and mix it with the top layer of soil. In this way, you will be able to enrich both your garden and your pomegranate.

Pruning

To prune your tree, you have to remove those branches that intersect, the suckers, and those that look weak or sick late winter.

Use proper pruning tools for this, such as pruning shears for branches 1 centimeter thick or less, and a handsaw or handsaw for thicker ones.

Don't forget to wear gloves to keep your hands protected.

Planting or transplanting time

Plant your pomegranate in the garden or move it to another larger pot in spring, when the frosts have passed.

It supports transplants quite well, but be careful not to manipulate its roots too much. When it is in its new location, give it a good watering.

Pests

It can be attacked by the borer, aphids, cotonet, cochineal of the soot and by the auger.

They are treated with diatomaceous earth, potassium soap, or neem oil.

Diseases

It is sensitive to botrytis, a fungus that, in its case, rots the fruit. It is treated with fungicide.

Pomegranate problems

The pomegranate is easy to keep healthy, but sometimes two problems can arise:

  • The grenades open: it occurs when it has not received the same amount of water during the growth and ripening of the fruits. You can avoid this by installing a drip irrigation for example.
  • Pomegranates crack and appear spots: occurs when they have been exposed to strong sunlight.
    You can put shading mesh over it if you consider it necessary.

Harvest

Pomegranates are harvested in autumn

Harvesting begins as soon as the fruits acquire their final color and size, that is, towards late summer / early fall the earliest varieties, and towards the middle of autumn the later ones.

Multiplication

The pomegranate is multiplied by seeds and cuttings in spring or fall.

Seeds

They are sown in seedbeds with universal cultivation substrate, trying not to put more than 2 seeds in each one. Then, it is watered from time to time, so that they germinate after about 20 days.

Place the seedbed outdoors, in full sun. In this way, the seedlings will be able to grow well.

Cuttings

It is the fastest way to get a specimen of a certain size. For it, a branch of about 25 centimeters is cut, the base is impregnated with homemade rooting agents, and then it is planted in a pot with soil, burying its first 5 centimeters.

Finally, the pot is taken outside, in semi-shade.

Rusticity

Resists cold and frost down to -12 degrees Celsius, but from my own experience I will tell you that it lives without problems in hot regions. For example, in my area the minimum temperature is -1,5ºC sometimes in February, and the maximum is 38ºC in August, and the pomegranate grows and produces numerous fruits without problems.

What uses is it given?

The pomegranate resists drought

The pomegranate has several uses:

Ornamental

It is a very decorative plant, ideal to have as a hedge, or even as an isolated specimen. It is also widely used as bonsai.

Culinary

Fruit it is consumed grain by grain, fresh. Likewise, syrup, drinks and sorbets are made with it.

Medicinal

It is used in gargles to relieve cough especially. In addition, it can help reduce fever, stop diarrhea and relieve colic pain.

Where to buy?

Get your pomegranate from here!.

With these tips, your pomegranate will grow healthy and strong 😉.


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  1.   Loli said

    Thanks for your knowledge !!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      To you 🙂

  2.   Maryte said

    Hello, I bought one recently, at first it was splendid green but after a month and the leaves turned yellowish and like scorched I do not know if it is because I watered it a lot since I did not know that it was only twice a week or if I got sick! We are in spring one month from summer

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Maryte.
      From what you count, it seems that it has suffered excess watering.

      The pomegranate is a very drought-resistant plant, so it needs to be watered very little.

      My advice is to suspend watering for a season, and treat it with an anti-fungal product (fungicide). If you have a plate under it, or in a pot without holes in the base, it is better to remove it since if the roots are in contact with standing water for a long time they rot.

      And to wait.

      Cheer up.

  3.   Esther said

    I would like to put it on a south-facing attic terrace in Madrid, my problem is the wind, which has left an orange tree without leaves ... and I don't know if the currents suit the pomegranate or not.
    By the way I love the web !!

  4.   wake trejo said

    It is the first flowering of my pomegranate tree, it is small, about 1 meter tall with many flowers but they have already fallen off. what should it be? thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Estela.
      Did you happen to water its flowers by any chance? Is that if that happens, they fall immediately.
      It may also be that you lack fertilizer. If you have never fertilized it, I recommend doing it in spring and summer with a little earthworm humus, for example.
      A greeting.