Pomegranate Tree Growing Stages
Pomegranates (Punica granatum), known for their juicy, sweet pink seeds or arils, are a favourite treat for all ages. Growing a pomegranate tree or trees takes a little patience, some hard work, and an understanding of the different stages of growing a pomegranate tree.
If you have ever considered growing your own pomegranate tree, then it's important to understand how the tree, from seed or cutting to full maturity, so you can produce lots of delicious pomegranates.
Published: November 9, 2022.
In this article, we will look at the different stages of the tree, how to take the best care of your pomegranate tree and keep it healthy and producing fruit for years to come.
What Kind Of Soil Is Best For Growing Pomegranate Trees?
Pomegranate trees will grow in most soil types, including clay and sand. However, if you want good fruit harvests, they do the best in deep, loamy soil, rich in humus like most other fruit trees.
It's important that the soil can drain properly, as they do not like to be overly wet. Also, pomegranates thrive in slightly acidic to normal pH-level soils.
What Kind Of Sunlight Does A Pomegranate Tree Need To Thrive?
As they are a tree that prefers the Mediterranean clime, placing your pomegranate tree in full sun will bring the best growing and fruiting results.
Pomegranate trees grow best in hardiness zones 7-11, and hot temperatures are needed to produce sweet fruit.
Sowing The Seeds
The best time to grow pomegranates from seeds is either November or February. The seeds sprout the quickest at these two times.
It is recommended, however, that if you plan on getting delicious fruit from your tree, you should grow it from a cultivar instead of from seeds.
There are two methods you can use, you can plant the seed into the soil directly or try the baggie method.
Planting into soil
Clean off the pulp completely from the actual seed. Wipe with a paper towel to be sure all the pulp is cleaned away, as any pulp can introduce a rot and ruin the plant. Plant the seed in loose, moist soil and cover it with about 1.5 inches of loose soil.
The seed will sprout at room temperature in about 30-40 days. You can halve that time by adding heat. Wrap the pot in foil and place in direct sun until the seed sprouts.
The Baggie Method
- Take a coffee filter, wet it, and gently squeeze out any excess water.
- Put the clean seed on 1/4 of the filter and carefully fold the filter into quarters.
- Slide it into a sealable plastic bag and place it in a warm spot.
- Check on the seed every couple of days until it sprouts, then, you should transport it to a pot.
Rooting a Cutting
Your cutting should be about 8 to 10 inches long. It is best to take more than one cutting, just in case some of them do not root.
Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix. A warmer ambient temperature and higher humidity will help it root quickly.
Taking Care Of The Pomegranate Seedling
After the seed sprouts, plant two or three in a small pot and water. After a couple of weeks, weed out the weak plants and keep the strongest.
The seedlings need plenty of sunlight As the temperatures get warmer and there is no frost, begin taking the plants outside and slowly increase their time outside.
Pomegranate seedlings and trees are drought resistant so they can withstand dry spells. However, to prevent the fruit from falling off early, you should water the trees regularly during these dry spells.
Take care to watch the temperatures and if it gets too cold, cover them if they are outside or move them to a warmer window sill if potted indoors.
When Should You Transplant Your Pomegranate Seedling?
The best time to transplant your seedling or seedlings is Spring. If you live in a warmer climate, you can also transplant in the Autumn. You want to avoid transplanting during the warmest and coldest months.
Choose a spot outside that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight and has good drainage.
How To Transplant Your Pomegranate Sapling?
Once you find the perfect spot for your sapling outside, here is how you need to transplant your pomegranate sapling:
- Dig a hole that's approximately twice the size in width and just as deep as the root ball of your sapling. You want to plant the tree as deep in the ground as it was in the container.
- Put the sapling in the centre of the hole.
- Fill around the sapling with soil, making sure to cover the roots but not the trunk of the sapling.
- Water daily for the first couple of weeks, then slowly decrease to twice a week. Continue this for the first year.
If you are planning on growing your seedlings indoors in pots, remember to repot as the tree grows. Choose a pot that is at least twice as wide as it is deep.
How To Take Care Of Your Pomegranate Tree
Pomegranate trees need slightly different care at the different stages in their cycles. Here are some things to keep in mind while taking care of your tree.
During Growing Season
During this season, pomegranates need sun, regular water and fertilizer to help them grow, flower, and yield a good fruit harvest.
When Fruits Are Ripe
When it's harvest time for Pomegranate fruit, remember to cut the fruit from the tree rather than pull it off by hand, which could hurt the tree.
In September, a generous helping of mulch and compost or mulch and very rotted manure should be added to the base of the trees in preparation for the winter months to protect the roots from freezing and encourage growth in the Spring.
During the winter months, your indoor trees should be placed in a south-facing window for warmth and the most sunlight.
Towards the end of this period is when any structural pruning should be done.
Where Should You Plant Your Tree Outside
Fruiting pomegranate trees need to have a lot of room between other trees and structures.
You should plant your tree, leaving 15 ft of space between it and any structures.
Do You Need To Fertilize Your Pomegranate Trees?
Yes, you do. Pomegranates need potassium and nitrogen, so as long as the soil is good, there might not be a need to fertilize.
You should test your soil before you fertilize.
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When To Fertilize Your Pomegranate Tree?
During the first year of your tree's life, you shouldn't fertilize it at all, as this could have a negative effect.
During the second and third years, fertilize your tree or trees in November, February and May. After that, you only need to feed the trees in November and February.
Starting in the second year, use two ounces of NPK fertilizer and water your tree, increasing every year by an ounce until you reach 8 oz.
What Kind Of Fertilizer Should I Use?
You can use a good quality 10-10-10 fertilizer. Organic plant foods are a great choice.
You can also use inorganic fertilizers, like a slow-release shrub and tree fertilizers.
You can also do it naturally, mulching with good composting. Compost that contains coffee grounds is great for pomegranate trees. This is because it can help lower the pH of the soil.
This is the safest way to fertilize your tree, as it ensures that you do not overfeed it and cause harm.
Do not overfeed your trees, as it can cause heavier foliage, which affects how much fruit is produced, and may cause it to drop off prematurely.
Also, if you fertilize your trees too late, it may cause your fruit to ripen later in the year. It can cause the fruit to be paler in colour and affect the overall flavour of the fruit inside.
When Will Your Pomegranate Tree First Bear Fruit?
The pomegranate tree needs to grow strong enough to bear fruit. It usually takes from seed to maturation between 3-5 years before it will fruit for the first time.
How Often Should You Water A Pomegranate Tree?
As pomegranate trees are used to hot, dry climates and lots of sun, there is a risk of overwatering your tree.
Although these trees are drought resistant, they produce more and better quality fruit if they get regular water during the summer months.
It is best to soak the soil of your tree but do it less often, rather than mist it daily, in order to avoid overwatering.
Be aware that pomegranate trees need different amounts of water during the different cycles of the tree, and here is how to water them:
When It's Growing
When you first plant your pomegranate seedling, you should water it every two or three days for two weeks. After that, you should water it less frequently.
During its first active growing phase, you shouldn't need to water it every day and doing so could cause bacterial growth in the soil, killing the tree.
When It's Flowering
During flowering, providing more water for your tree during this time will help it bear more fruit. Still, you must take care not to overwater the tree.
On average, it will be once every 7-10 days or when the soil appears dry.
When It's Fruiting
Pomegranate trees prefer consistent watering when they are growing their fruit. It yields more and better-tasting fruit. If there is a drought, the tree will survive, but without water, your fruit may fall off prematurely.
When It's Dormant
As will most other plants during their dormant phases in winter, pomegranate trees won't need much water. Only moisten the soil about an inch down every 7 to 10 days. Any more than that, and you run the risk of overwatering your trees.
Do You Need Multiple Pomegranate Trees In Order To Produce Fruit?
Although cross-pollination makes for a better chance of producing fruit yearly, Pomegranate trees are self-fertile, so you don't have to plant more than one if you don't have the space.
Can You Grow Fruit-Bearing Pomegranate Trees In Indoor Pots?
Yes, you can. In fact, if you live in an area with cooler temperatures and snowfall, this is a much better option, as these trees do not thrive in cooler temperatures.
Is It Harder To Grow Pomegranates Trees Indoors As Opposed To Outdoors?
Though they are relatively easy to grow in containers, they do need a lot of care in their early years. If grown from infancy, they will need semi-regular pruning often.
What Kind Of Container Do I Need?
If you are planning to grow your pomegranates indoors, you want to grow them in 10-gallon containers with excellent drainage because too much water can cause root damage.
What Type Of Soil Should I Use To Plant My Pomegranate Tree?
Choose a soil mixture that is about 2 parts coarse sand, 1 part loam, and 1 part milled peat, or you can buy potting soil mix that has dolomitic lime in it.
Make sure the pots are in a south or west-facing window with at least 6 hours of sunlight, and rotated a half rotation each week, ensuring even sunlight.
How To Water An Indoor Potted Pomegranate Tree?
They should be watered at least once a week early on in their life, and then as they get older, you can reduce the amount of water.
How Often Should You Feed Your Indoor Pomegranate Tree?
Feed the pomegranate tree from Spring until late Summer, using a high-quality 12-12-12 or similar fertilizer and apply as recommended, and then water it carefully to distribute the fertilizer throughout the soil.
Also, organic fertilizers help feed the plants with a more constant flow of nutrients and also improve the soil quality.
Pomegranate Trees are a great addition to any garden and can even grow indoors in pots. They are surprisingly easy to care for, both indoors and outside.
If you follow the advice carefully, you should have fruit-bearing trees with a great harvest that stay healthy and happy for a long time.