Grow a Pomegranate Tree!

By on November 12, 2015

Pomegranates make beautiful landscape plants!

Once considered a fruit for royalty, the pomegranate is a delicious addition to your backyard orchard or edible landscaping. Its beautiful, showy, red-orange flowers become decorative fruit in the fall, filled with juicy arils for you to enjoy all year long!

Getting ready to plant

Pomegranates are best grown from cuttings to ensure the quality of the fruit produced. There are many varieties of pomegranate trees to choose from, including the ever-popular Wonderful, yummy pink Sweet, and unique non-staining Eversweet

Select a location with full sun, and allow a 20 ft diameter space for your tree to grow into, unless you plan on keeping it smaller by pruning. If planting as a hedge, you can plant them as close as 10 feet apart. Learn more about shaping your pomegranate tree in this article.

Pomegranates are adaptable to many soil types, though they grow best in loamy soil with good drainage. The ideal climate is zone 7 to 12, with short, mild winters and low humidity. They may be grown in containers in colder places, and kept indoors or in a greenhouse over winter. If your tree’s trunk is damaged or killed by frost, it will typically grow new suckers that can be trained into a replacement trunk.
Ambrosia pomegranate

Caring for your tree

Pomegranates have relatively low water requirements, and can survive drought conditions for several years (although during that time, the harvest will be smaller). Too much or uneven amounts of water, either from irregular or over irrigating, heavy summer rains, or high humidity, can result in fruit cracking, decreased fruit production, and other problems.

It is not necessary to prune your pomegranate trees, but it can help with ease of harvest, better fruit, and for a shapelier tree. Pomegranates naturally grow in bush-form, and produce lots of suckers. This is ideal for hedges or living walls, but not for most other situations. When your tree is a year old, select one to six trunks to keep; prune the rest at the ground. Most professional orchardists prefer five or six, because they will produce fruit sooner, need less care, and recover quicker if damaged by frost. 

When doing maintenance pruning as the tree grows, prune lightly, and never trim all the branches in the same year. Pomegranates fruit on short new shoots that come from wood that is more than one year old, so pruning all new growth back at once can result in nothing to harvest the following seasons. You should also prune back any new suckers that you don’t want to grow into trunks. For more on pruning your pomegranate, read this article.

Harvest Time!

Your pomegranates can begin to fruit within a year of planting. However, don’t be worried if the first few years’ fruits mature late, or drop before maturing. It will take 5 to 6 years for the tree to mature and produce large harvests.

Fruits can be harvested as soon as they reach their mature skin color, feel heavy, and sound metallic when tapped. If left on the tree too long, they will split open; they may also split if it rains during harvest season. If this happens to your fruit, you can still harvest and enjoy it, but it cannot be stored whole.

Fruit should be harvested with pruning snips, and not pulled from the branch. They can be stored whole in a cool place for several weeks, or in refrigeration for 3 months. For longer storage, you can de-seed and freeze the arils whole. You can also extract the juice by running the arils through a food strainer or a blender and straining out the seeds; the juice can be frozen for up to 6 months or made into a variety of canned foods such as syrup (also called grenadine), jelly, and more.

For detailed growing information, watch our video, read the University of California’s guide to pomegranates, and for lots of great recipes, visit the Pomegranate Council’s website

 

  Comments (28)

R

Do I need to plant two pomegranate trees in order to produce fruit ?

Posted by Richard on Apr. 18, 2017 at 6:28:05 AM

Richard, you do not need two trees to produce fruit, but you may get a heavier fruit set if you have more than one pomegranate.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Apr. 18, 2017 at 3:47:49 PM

P

My pom is loaded. Should I pinch-off some of the fruit?

Posted by Pattie on May. 04, 2017 at 1:31:26 PM

Pattie, I would let them develop a little longer before thinning the fruit. You should thin your fruit in June to avoid broken branches.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on May. 05, 2017 at 11:58:11 AM

S

When is the best time to transplant a pomegranate tree from a pot to the ground?

Posted by Sage on May. 26, 2017 at 1:57:25 PM

Sage, the best time is when the tree is dormant, so in the winter time. However, you can transplant it now but do it when it is cool, like either in the morning or after the hot sun has gone down. You might give it a shot of some Thrive Alive or some kelp after transplanting.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on May. 31, 2017 at 9:44:02 AM

T

1) Is Florida summer climate suitable for planting Pomegranate trees. 2) Where are the best sources to buy organic seeds?

Posted by Tifito on Jun. 23, 2017 at 11:10:21 AM

Tifito, the pomegranate likes to grow in arid climates but they can adapt to a Florida climate. The best place to buy organic seeds is here at Peaceful Valley or on our website at groworganic.com

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Jun. 26, 2017 at 9:37:27 AM

T

Is it normal for the leaves to be wrinkled? Plant is 3 years old , no fruit yet.

Posted by Tania Campbell on Aug. 07, 2017 at 5:22:43 PM

Tania, do the leaves look like they are spiraling? I had that same problem with my pomegranate last year and it did not kill the tree but really caused me to worry. I did some research and found that the misshapen leaves is caused from insect pests. Look for thrips, psyllids,  leafminers, leafrollers, aphids or even mealybugs. They are most likely the cause of the problems. So far this year my tree is growing just fine, so might not need to worry. As far as no fruit, is it even putting out flowers? Try giving it more phosphorus (for next years flowers). I know that mine took a couple of years before it started flowering.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Aug. 08, 2017 at 10:20:47 AM

J

I have had my pomegranate tree for 2 years, it blooms several flowers in early summer but not much after that and is yet to have any fruit. I am unable to figure out why?

Posted by Jason on Aug. 13, 2017 at 1:12:33 PM

Jason, pomegranates can take up to 5 years to really start producing fruit. My experience with my newish pomegranate tree is that it took about 3 years in the ground to really start producing flowers, and then most of the flowers did not set fruit. Last year I had 3 flowers set fruit and this year I have about 6 flowers that set fruit. You can try adding more phosphorus to your soil, but it sounds like you just need to give your tree a little more time.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Aug. 14, 2017 at 1:13:07 PM

R

I have 2 Pom plant grown from seeds in large pots in Plano, Tx.
The plants are more than 5 years old. Last year few flowers appeared & were fallen without growing. This year in Aug in both
plants many flowers appeared. Few enlarged a little but fallen all.
Now in early Sept again in both plant are appearing new flowers.
Is it OK. In July/Aug I have applied fertilizer. The flower this time are growing a little bigger but few have fallen already.

Posted by Rizwan ul Haq on Oct. 08, 2017 at 10:21:42 AM

Rizwan, most of the time the reason that pomegranate flowers drop is because they did not get pollinated. Do you have a good population of pollinators? Usually they do not flower late in the season, so sounds like fluctuations in environmental conditions. I know from personal experience, my pomegranate produced at least 50 flowers this year and I only have about 6 fruit developing. But this was more than the previous year, so I would just be patient with your tree. Not sure what kind of fertilizer you are using, but you might consider one that is higher in phosphorus.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Oct. 09, 2017 at 12:51:38 PM

Rizwan, most of the time the reason that pomegranate flowers drop is because they did not get pollinated. Do you have a good population of pollinators? Usually they do not flower late in the season, so sounds like fluctuations in environmental conditions. I know from personal experience, my pomegranate produced at least 50 flowers this year and I only have about 6 fruit developing. But this was more than the previous year, so I would just be patient with your tree. Not sure what kind of fertilizer you are using, but you might consider one that is higher in phosphorus.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Oct. 09, 2017 at 12:51:39 PM

M

Is Pomegranate a deciduous tree or shrub i.e. it sheds leaves in the fall?

Posted by Mir Jehan Zeb on Oct. 18, 2017 at 6:59:04 PM

Mir, pomegranates are deciduous, so they will drop their leaves in the fall/winter.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Oct. 19, 2017 at 8:51:17 AM

A

I have 2 pomegranate bushes I guess they should be called. About 3 -4 ft tall. These thing are any where from 10-20 years old and have never had any pruning or care done for them. I want to manage them to get a harvest from them but I’m not sure where to start.

Posted by Angelica on Apr. 04, 2018 at 11:11:53 AM

Angelica, your pomegranates will benefit from a good pruning. I would suggest thinning out branches first then shaping the bushes. Might want to search the web for more detailed information on pruning pomegranates.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Apr. 04, 2018 at 3:12:17 PM

S

I just bought a place and there was pomegranate trees here already. One of them is about 7 to 8 ft tall, it doesn’t have a thick trunk just a ton of shoots. I mean it is a very full tree, looks like a huge bush. It has flowered, and I mean tons of flowers, lots of bees hang around my garden, and they are everywhere on my pomegranate tree so I’m in worries about pollenation. However, I am worried about the flowers, they are wilting bad and they look like they are all just gonna drop. But there are like 2 to 3 little bulbs all around the flowers. Are those pomegranates? Or will they also flower? How does the whole process work? Does a pomegranate grow from the flowers? I would love to see some pictures of the growth process, I can’t find any at all. I’m really wanting to have a harvest this season, but I have no clue what’s going on with the tree. If it’s healthy or of the withering flowers are a bad sign. I also just want to know where the actually pomegranates grow from, if they come from the inside of the flower or the little bulbs around the flowers

Posted by Stacey on May. 12, 2018 at 2:53:52 AM

Stacy, you can prune your pomegranate to a single trunk or just let it grow as a bush. You may want to prune out the suckers growing at the base of the tree. The pomegranate will drop its flowers if they don’t get pollinated, so how is your pollinator population? The fruit will develop from the flower if it gets pollinated. The flower will fall off and you will see a small pomegranate develop.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on May. 14, 2018 at 9:23:49 AM

S

Everytime I go out there, i am guess there’s always about 20 to 30 bees all over! I’m hoping that’s enough, they just seem to love the tree. I would prune it, but it’s like there are so any flowers ALL over every single shoot/branch it’s loaded with them smile and I know how great pruning can be because I had a DEAD grape bush, I pruned it really well and it’s growing like crazy! I can’t believe it’s alive! But I have a feeling I’m going to have a very full harvest of pomegranates from my tree.
I think after we harvest, I will do some pruning because it is a very full tree. No on was taking care of it for a few years before we moved to our house. So I guess it just grew and grew.
Thanks! You been a lot of help!

Posted by Stacey on May. 14, 2018 at 9:58:53 AM

M

We have a small tree over 5 years old that produces perhaps 20 small 2.5 - 3” fruit per year. Could our climate have something to do with that? We are in the Caribbean, where the overnight temps never go below 68 (Jan/Feb only) and humidity is always rainforest high. Can I add something more than phosphorous to the soil? We have lots of pollinators.

Posted by Maria Elena on Sep. 06, 2018 at 11:17:59 PM

Maria, I am not sure about growing in a tropical zone. It would be best to consult someone in your local area, like a nursery. Pomegranates are rated to zones 8-10, so they like it hot, but I am not so sure about your high humidity. I would think those trees need a dormant period as well, and they are not getting it with lows of 68.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Sep. 11, 2018 at 3:54:32 PM

E

There is a pomegranate tree in our backyard about 12 feet tall. Grows lot of fruit but the fruit is not easy to harvest unless I climb on the roof. Not save, I am too old for that. How can I cut the tree back into a shorter bush to manage the harvest from ground level. Please help. The tree is said to be 14 years old.

Posted by Eberhart on Oct. 08, 2018 at 5:14:19 PM

Eberhart, pomegranates can be pruned during the winter when they are dormant. You can prune the suckers on the ground level and you can thin out crossing branches. You may want to prune your tree in a couple of steps so you will still get fruit the following year, but up to you. You can refer to this guide, http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/391-575.pdf, or you may want to consult a local arborist.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Oct. 09, 2018 at 1:02:46 PM

F

We live north of Amarillo, TX but I don’t know what zone that is. But we sometimes get pretty harsh winters. Last winter our bush almost died, but we kept watering it in the Spring and it came back. This year it is beautiful. Should we cover it when we know it is going to freeze? My husband has covered it with foam sheet then plastic tarp. I don’t think it needs that much protection. My sister has a beautiful pomegranate bush (lives by El Paso) and she never covers hers and it produces lots of big fruit. Is it really necessary to cover?

Posted by Frances on Oct. 20, 2018 at 12:06:44 PM

Frances, Looks like you are probably in zone 7. There are a few pomegranates that are listed in zone 7. What kind do you have? How old is your tree/bush? It really only would need to get covered when it is young, unless you have one that is not rated for your zone.

Posted by Suzanne at GrowOrganic.com on Oct. 22, 2018 at 12:13:46 PM

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