Pomegranate tree if grown under optimal conditions, live up to 200 years. It is native to Middle East (Iran) and South Asia. It is a shrub or small tree that might grow up to 6 m (20 ft) but usually reduced to 2 m.
USDA Hardiness Zones — 9b – 11, *can be grown below zone 9 in containers
Difficulty — Easy
Soil pH — Neutral
The exotic container plant is adorned with five to eight centimeters long lance shaped leaves that are shiny and bronze in color from the bud, which later turn green.
Pomegranate flowers are delicate, bell-shaped and show up in the wild bright red. Its flowers are up to 3 centimeters wide. Ornamental varieties can have flowers in pink, cream, and even white.
In addition to the decorative foliage and flowers, it is mainly the fruits that make the pomegranate tree so desirable. They have the size of apples and a yellow-brown to reddish-brown shell.
Dwarf Pomegranate Varieties
- ‘Nana’ – The most interesting variety among the pomegranates trees is the dwarf variety ‘Nana’. It grows compact, floriferous and is considered robust and cold hardy, it grows in USDA Zones 7 to 11. As a container plant it grows up to only about 1 m tall, forms orange to garnet red flowers that produce small fruits with viable seeds.
- ‘Provence’ – When most of the pomegranate varieties are not much cold hardy, provence is one you can look at. It can tolerate temperature down to 5 F (-15 C) and can be grown in cold climate.
- ‘State fair’ – State fair is manageable variety for containers. It grows up to 1 . 5 m tall and grown in USDA Zones 7 to 11.
Propagation and Growing Pomegranates in Containers
Pomegranate plants can be propagated by cuttings or by seeds in spring to summer when temperature remains in range of 68 F (20 C) but it is better to buy a 2 – 3 year old plant from nursery or online. This way you don’t have to wait long for fruits.
Propagation by seeds
Buy as ripe pomegranate as possible. Separate and clean seeds from the pulp by rubbing them from paper towel, let them dry up for a few days before sowing.
Plant the seeds no more than ¼ inches deep in light seed-starting mix. Place the pots in a bright location, optionally inside a plastic bag or greenhouse that maintains a temperature around 68 F (20 C). Always keep the soil moist.
- ‘Flore Pleno’ – It is fruitless variety of pomegranate, the name translates as “double flower”. In summer, it produces countless beautiful orange-red flowers.
- Punica granatum ‘Madame Legrelle’ – A well-known ornamental variety. Special thing about this variety of pomegranate is its extraordinary, dense double flowers that come in shiny orange to salmon colors with white border.
Pomegranate is a manageable plant, you can also try large varieties.
Propagation by cuttings
Take several 8 to 10 inch-long cuttings. Plant the cutting in a well drained potting mix. It roots easily and quickly at ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and high humidity.
Choosing a pot
Pot should be appropriate to the size of plant, increase the pot size by repotting as your plant grow. Also care about to have sufficient holes in the base of pot you’re using for proper drainage.
If you’ve grown citrus in pot, growing pomegranates in pot can not be difficult for you. Moreover, pomegranate is more cold hardy and easy to grow. It requires a lot of water and fertilizer. It is also frost sensitive but after all of this care it rewards you with iron rich, fresh juicy fruits.
Choose a sunniest location to keep your pomegranate plant happy and healthy. The more sun it will receive, the more it will fruit. However, it also thrives in partial shade but it makes the plant to bloom and fruit lesser.
Soil should be loamy, rich in organic content, loose and permeable.
In the growing period its water requirement is medium to high. Therefore, it should be watered regularly and deeply. Soil must be kept moist but not wet or waterlogged.
In the winter watering should be reduced.
Pomegranate Tree Care
During the growing season pomegranate tree is fertilized regularly, fertilize after every two week using half strength liquid 8-8-8 fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Pomegranate tree in pot often becomes zinc deficient, which is indicated by yellowing leaves. To overcome this, you can spray diluted zinc solution on foliage.
Overwintering pomegranate is similar to citrus. It is a deciduous tree that worships sun. Most of its species are sensitive to frost. But to low temperatures, the plant has developed a protective mechanism.
It sheds its leaves and become dormant below freezing temperature. There are only a few pomegranate tree varieties that survive really freezing temperatures with more than -10 C without damage.
If the pomegranate is cultivated in a pot in a cold climate below USDA Zone 9, it is important to prune it in the fall. Best place to keep pomegranate plant in winter is the garage or basement that remains warm. Temperature while keeping it indoors should not fall below 37 F (3 C). However, the optimum low temperature for most of the pomegranate varieties is 7 C (45 F).
In spring, bring back the plant to a warm and bright place so that it’ll gradually acclimate the climate. A window that is oriented to South is good. Just when the plant show the first sign of growth and forms a few fully developed leaves, you can again start to fertilize it and give more water. Once the temperature comes in range of 7 C (45 F) place it outside.
Pruning is necessary to give and maintain desired shape of your pomegranate tree and encourage flowering and fruiting. Pruning it best done after all danger of frost has passed when the tree is about to start growing.
Thanks for reading.