The pomegranate is a small tree that can grow up to 9 m (30 feet) tall outside. You can also keep a pomegranate tree as a houseplant if you prune it regularly, although dwarf varieties are better suited to indoor growing. The pomegranate's shiny thick leaves are narrow and pointed. Blossoms and fruit typically form within three years of planting. Pomegranates need hot summers and cool winters to bear fruit. Pomegranates can live for 200 years in optimal conditions.
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Things you need
- Pomegranate seeds or cutting
- Potting soil
- Plant pots
- High-nitrogen fertiliser
- Pruning shears
Plant pomegranate seeds or cuttings in pot with drainage holes. If you are using cuttings, cover your pomegranate's roots with 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) of potting soil. Leave 5 cm (2 inches) between seeds or cuttings.
Fill in around the roots with soil if you are using cuttings. Do not cover any part of the trunk with soil. Press down potting soil to eliminate any air pockets around roots; water thoroughly.
Keep constantly moist for the first two weeks or until plants are established. Select the best seedling and discard the weaker ones. Reduce watering frequency to once per week or when surface of soil begins to dry; mist foliage daily with water.
Keep your potted pomegranate tree in full sun. Fertilise every six months with high-nitrogen fertiliser. Add organic compost on top of the soil each spring .
Use pruning shears to cut back unwanted branches when your new pomegranate tree is about 60 cm (2 feet) tall. Clip shoots off at a 45 degree angle just above leaf nodes. Shorten branches regularly to prevent leggy growth.
Remove any crossing branches or shoots to prevent damage to the bark. Leave four shoots per branch. Remove any damaged wood. Remove any sucker branches from the lower trunk.
Transplant into a bigger pot when your pomegranate becomes root-bound. Watch for foliage damage from insects. If you notice pests, attempt to flush with water before resorting to pesticides.
Pick fruit in autumn. Peel fruit and if the seeds are bright in colour and the inside is juicy, it is ripe.
Tips and warnings
- For best results, purchase a young, nursery-grown dwarf pomegranate for indoor growing. Planting a seed from a grocery store fruit is unreliable because many fruits come from hybrids plants so the offspring will never grow fruit. They do, however, still make nice, free ornamental houseplants.
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