Pomegranate is a great plant choice for your garden. This tree loves a hot climate and a lot of sun rays. The fruit is exotic but unpretentious. Therefore, you can quickly grow pomegranates at home. Just like lemon and orange – you only need a seed.
To know how to grow pomegranate from seed, read the article we prepared for you.
Is a Pomegranate Tree Easy to Grow?
Despite the fact that you will have to put some effort into growing this tree, the pomegranate remains a non-capricious plant. This is why it is relatively easy to maintain.
If you decide to grow pomegranate from purchased seeds, you should not hope for a particularly chic taste. All pomegranates sold in stores today are hybrids. However, people love growing pomegranate trees just for their remarkable blossom – every year, the tree blooms with beautiful purple flowers. Pomegranates can grow all summer.
Often people grow a dwarf version of pomegranate. It is pretty tiny and begins to bloom a year after planting a pomegranate tree. This plant is resistant to dry air. Usually, people grow dwarf pomegranate as an ornamental tree. It can also be used to make a small bonsai.
For cultivation are often used such varieties:
- Shah Nar;
Main Steps of Growing Pomegranate From Seed
Growers recommend November and February as the best months to germinate pomegranates. It’s the perfect season for the seeds to sprout most quickly. We advise you to start sprouting in mid-February. The closer to the spring, the less additional light you will need to use.
Choose the biggest and ripest pomegranate. Its skin must be not damaged, the flesh shouldn’t be rotten. Seeds suitable for sprouting have white or creamy color and are also reasonably firm. Look at the seeds. If they are green and soft, they are definitely not ideal for growing pomegranate trees. So how exactly do you prepare them?
The seeds should be cleaned of pulp and placed in water. To ensure there is no more pulp, you need to wipe the seeds with a paper towel. It would be best if you were more careful with this since the pulp can provoke the appearance of rot.
Then you need to soak the seeds again: the seeds should be half-covered with a small amount of water. Leave for 12 hours. Add water very moderately as the one in the saucer evaporates. Place this bowl in a cool, damp place.
Pomegranate Seedling Care Tips
- Prepare the soil for the pomegranate. In this case, the tree is quite unpretentious. However, it still needs a few conditions. Be sure to choose loose, moisture- and air-permeable soil. Please take a slightly acidic or neutral substrate. Pomegranate can also take root in clay or sandy ground.
- Choose a container for the pomegranate. The pot should be sturdy and shallow – this is because the root system of the plant is wide and not deep. Consider the minimum distance between the seeds – 1 in (2-2.5 cm).
- Provide good drainage for seedlings. It would be good to place small pebbles at the bottom of the pot to make sure the water doesn't stagnate at the roots.
- Fill the container with suitable soil and moisten the substrate.
- Spread the seeds at a depth of 0.5 in (1 cm). Sprinkle with earth on top. The soil should remain loose, so do not tamp the seeds.
- Create a greenhouse effect. Cover the seeds with foil or any suitable lid to create a comfortable environment that is moist and warm.
- Place the container in the sunniest spot in the house.
Usually, seeds germinate from two weeks to two months. It all depends on the season when you decide to plant the pomegranate.
You need to provide the pomegranate with the most crucial thing – lots of light and warmth. The temperature should be stable at 70-80˚F (20-25˚C). The light day should last at least 10 hours. The growth is even faster when you use artificial lighting as well.
An essential point in caring for pomegranate seedlings is to maintain high humidity. You will want to humidify the air every day. And every two days, you need to spray the soil a little.
The tree can be planted in the soil when it already has a few leaves. In this case, other weak shoots have to be removed. After about a month, cut the crown by one-third. It helps the tree's roots grow better and build their system faster.
How to Get Fruit?
Pomegranates can survive in different conditions. However, it begins to bear fruit only if all the rules of caring for pomegranate are followed. If you did everything right, the tree starts to bloom in the first year of its growth. But be aware that pomegranate starts giving fruits only three years after planting.
A pomegranate needs to receive the maximum possible amount of light. The more sun a tree gets, the faster it grows. However, in summer, especially in a hot climate, the plant will be vulnerable to heat. Leaves can get burned and dry out. Therefore, we recommend you shade the plant during hot hours a little bit. At the same time, never grow your pomegranate entirely in the shade, or the tree will be weak and ill.
Without pruning, it isn't very easy to get fruits on your own (especially in a short time). Therefore, experienced growers recommend periodically trimming the top of the tree. It is necessary to remove old and dry branches. In the case of a one-year-old plant, it is worth cutting off the shoots, leaving a few of the most important ones that grow in different directions.
How to Pollinate?
Since the pomegranate is considered an exotic fruit, it does not need to be grafted. One of the advantages of growing pomegranate is that it itself forms female and male flowers. They differ in the length of the pistil. Fruiting ones have an oblong pistil. The pollination process can be done independently using a regular cotton swab. Some varieties of the pomegranate can self-pollinate. However, it is often better to do the pollination yourself to ensure the process is done correctly.
In autumn, the pomegranate goes dormant. The tree sheds leaves, and this is normal. It is necessary to rearrange the seedling in a cool but sunny place. You only need to water once every two weeks. Before doing this, be sure to check the condition of the soil – it must be completely dry.
Pomegranate loves moisture. It is especially important in summer. Spray pomegranate leaves with warm, settled water. Just make sure you do it either early or in the evening. Spraying the leaves in the middle of a hot day can do a lot of damage to the delicate pomegranate leaves.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your tree will be protected from pests and diseases. So check your trees regularly for any signs of illness. There are some of the most common symptoms of disease or pest damage:
- Cracked bark;
- Dry branches;
- Tree wounds.
If your tree shows even one of these symptoms, you should immediately remove the areas affected by the infection. If the whole tree is already infected, try cutting it down to the root so that you can try to grow it again later.
How long does it take to grow a pomegranate tree from seed?
Caring for seeds and then seedlings can take up to one year. However, pomegranates are able to bloom even in the first year of growth.
Do pomegranates grow true from seed?
It depends on what kind of pomegranate you want to have. Dwarf pomegranates are easy to grow and will look just like their ancestors. This may not always work with ordinary strains. You’ll get fruits, but their taste will differ from the pomegranate you’ve used for seeds.
How long does it take for a pomegranate tree to bear fruit?
If you follow all the rules of caring for a pomegranate tree, it can bear fruit in the third year of growth.