The pomegranate is a warm-weather crop suited to tropical or subtemperate regions of the world. Although the plant is hardier than oranges or other citrus crops, it is not tolerant of temperatures below -6.67 degrees C. Pomegranates do have a seasonal growth pattern and a dormant period during a mild winter. The blooming period is associated with new spring growth.
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The spring bloom commonly begins in April in most areas with a climate warm enough to grow pomegranate. The flowering period continues through at least June. The flowering dates will vary slightly with local weather conditions and climate. The blooms occur in two types. The male flower produces the pollen while the hermaphroditic flower produces the fruit. The hermaphroditic one is identified by the larger and rounder base where the fruit forms.
Some pomegranate shrubs continue to bloom through the summer. The flowers often occur in spurts or flushes of flowers that increase and decrease through the summer season. Flowers late in the summer rarely set fruit.
The pomegranate is self-fruitful; this means the shrub pollinates itself, allowing production from a single plant. The pollen is distributed within the plant by hummingbirds and insects. Growers should encourage insects such as bees during the spring blooming period.
Fruit maturity occurs about six months after the blooming period. The largest fruit set on the earliest flowers of the spring. With blooming occurring in April, the harvest period would be expected in October or later depending on weather conditions. Blooms occurring in June, for example, would not produce ripe fruit until December or even January of the next year. Multiple harvests may be necessary if the growing season is sufficient for some of the late-season blooms to develop mature fruit.
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