Punica granatum L.
juice is a true delicacy, with a flavor that is a cross between
strawberries and raspberries. It’s great by itself with a little
sugar and shaved ice. It can also be made into jelly or a fantastic
fruit wine. There’s a tasty reason pomegranates were called the
nectar of the gods.
Uses in the Landscape
grow to approximately 12-15 feet tall. The attractive shrubby plants
are deciduous, and have glossy dark green leaves. Flowers are flaming
orange-red, and may grow singly or in clumps. Add a pomegranate to your
shrubbery border or as a fruitful hedge. Pomegranates are self
pollinating, so you can plant only one if you wish. For a hedge, plant
6-9 feet apart and let suckers fill in the gaps.
Planting and Culture
sandy loam soils are preferred, but pomegranates will grow on many soil
types if good drainage is provided. Pomegranates will grow more
vigorously and produce more fruit in full sun. Avoid frost pockets
– trees may be damaged by unseasonable frosts.
Soil Preparation and Planting
prefer alkaline soil (pH 6.5 to 7.0 or higher). If you are in doubt
about the acidity of your soil, take a soil sample to the Cooperative
Extension Agent in your county for a soil test. Adjust soil pH as
Dig a planting hole approximately three times the
width of the pot and at the same depth as the root ball. Set that soil
aside and mix it 50/50 with either aged mushroom compost, aged manure,
or rotted pine bark & aged manure/compost. Remove the plant from
the pot, gently loosen the root ball and place in the planting hole. To
avoid burying too deep, make sure plant is positioned with the top most
roots at the soil line. Fill the planting hole with the mix of soil and
organic matter; gently tamp it in. Water thoroughly to settle the roots
and eliminate air pockets. Do NOT put fertilizer in the planting hole.
Only apply fertilizer if it is the correct time of year (see
Fertilization section below).
If desired, construct a water
basin around the base of the tree approximately 36 inches in diameter.
Mulch in spring and summer with approximately 4-6 inches of mulch. Pull
mulch a couple of inches away from the trunk for good air circulation.
type of fertilizer you choose may be chemical or organic. Make sure
that the fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium,
molybdenum, copper and boron. These minor elements are very important
to plants and most soils are low in these elements. Application rates
vary according to age of plant. See chart below.
|10-10-10 or 10-0-10 with minerals:||1 cup per each year of tree’s life - Max out at 9 cups for Mature tree|
|Espoma Citrus Tone (Organic):|| 6 cups for 1 year old - 10 cups for 2 year old (4-6ft) - 18 cups for 7-9ft tree - 24 cups for tree over 9ft|
the fertilizer evenly under the entire canopy of the plant avoiding a
5-inch area around the trunk. Water or rake in. For Zones 8a-10,
fertilize 3 times each year in late February, late May and late July.
Never fertilize after August as this will promote new growth late in
the year which will be subject to freeze damage.
first year is a critical time for the establishment of a new
pomegranate. Water thoroughly twice a week on light soils and once a
week on clay soils. Soak the entire root system deeply – this
usually takes 40-50 minutes. Pomegranates should receive at least 1
inch of water each week for best growth and fruit production. Water
regularly, especially during dry periods. Fruit may drop prematurely if
insufficiently irrigated during dry spells.
Pruning and Care
tend to be bushy and sucker from the root. Fruit wood is formed on
older wood so it is wise to choose 4 to 6 well spaced out suckers to
train into trunks and remove any new suckers as they emerge through out
the summer. Prune out crossing and crowed branches to maintain light
within the canopy. Pomegranates are best pruned in early spring rather
than winter to remove freeze damaged and dead wood. If trunks are
heavily damaged to freezes remove and replace with a newly emerging
sucker in the summer.
Pomegranates have few pests and diseases.
Mites can be controlled with sulfur dust in June while scale insects
can be controlled with dormant oil during winter when leaves are not
present. A neutral liquid copper spray controls leaf spot.
Variety List for Central Florida
All pomegranates are self pollinating.
This variety was found growing in Port St. Joe Florida by Bill Mahan.
It is a beautiful, deep red skinned pomegranate, with pale pink seeds
and very juicy. One of the few pomegranates we have seen to bear
heavily in the humid south. Very cold hardy.
GAINEY SWEET Heirloom from the Gainey family, excellent sweet flavor. Good producer.
GAINEY SOUR Reliable fruiter with good quality fruit for making sauces and marinades.
An heirloom from Marianna, Florida. This one fruits reliably and is
sweeter than WONDERFUL and tarter than CHRISTINA. A great gift from
another great customer.
This one has a strange name as the donor who brought us the cuttings
lost the name tag! The mother tree came from Russia and was the 8th one
in the row, so Russian #8 was born. It's a large pomegranate and the
sweetest one we carry.
SHARI’S Another gift from a great customer, Shari’s has a tart flavor and ripens from August into October.
Juicy red seeds and a deep orange skin.
Bring Ancient Beauty to Your Garden
shiny, emerald green plants that are quite showy when in bloom, with
large, red, trumpet-shaped flowers. That’s a pomegranate!
begins in May and continues for several weeks. Hummingbirds love the
flowers, which are followed by a colorful show of pomegranate fruit
that hangs on the trees like Christmas tree ornaments `til frost.
may be pruned into graceful, small trees, trained to a wall in
espalier, or planted four feet apart to make one of the most colorful
You may plant pomegranates in a large container to enjoy in a patio setting. Fall color is a gorgeous bright yellow.