Growing & Caring for Pomegranate Trees

Growing & Caring for Pomegranate Trees

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Juicy jewel-like nuggets nestled inside a tough leathery exterior, the Pomegranate tree and its antioxidant-rich fruit brighten both your garden and your diet! Bold red, orange or yellow flowers and lovely fine-textured foliage, Pomegranates are ornamental flowering and fruiting trees that are sure to enliven the landscape!

If you’re in a warmer climate and looking for a drought-resistant tree with ornamental beauty and amazingly healthful fruit, look no further than Nature Hills' wide selection of Pomegranate tree varieties.

Origins of the Pomegranate Tree pomegranate bouquet

Pomegranate trees are relatively fast-growing fruit trees that produce highly sought-after fruit. Typically ripening around and given as gifts for the holidays, the hidden gems inside the blushed leathery exterior have been a heart-healthy and diet-conscious addition for decades! 

Pomegranates are one of the oldest fruits in cultivation! Since ancient times in the Mediterranean, their exotic beauty and delicious fruit made them wildly popular throughout the Middle East, India, and more arid parts of Southeast Asia and Northern Africa.

Pomegranates made their way into Europe through Spain, and the fruit was prized in England even though it did not thrive in that colder climate. English colonists in America tried to import the tree, but those in southern colonies like Georgia and South Carolina were the only ones to see success. The Pomegranate tree was introduced to California by Spanish settlers in 1769 where it continues to thrive today!

Pomegranate Tree Care

Pomegranates thrive in a wide range of warmer USDA growing zones between 7 through 10. But those gardeners in cooler climates need not despair! You can grow a patio Pomegranate tree in a large planter and simply move it into a bright sunny window, sunroom or greenhouse for the winter!  infographic

These are easy-to-grow and low-maintenance fruit trees and require about the same care you’d expect from any other fruiting tree or shrub! They are even disease-resistant and self-fruitful!

  • Full Sun
  • Moderate Moisture & Fertility
  • Loves Mulched Beds
  • Prune Late Winter/Early Spring
  • Plant in Well-Drained Average to Organically Rich Soil
  • Requires ~150-300 Chill Hours
  • Self-Fruitful
  • Drought Tolerant Once Established

Pomegranate Sun & Soil Requirements

Tolerant to a wide variety of soil conditions and accepting any well-drained soil type, Pomegranates thrive in the full sun all day and for best flowering and fruiting require a minimum of 6 hours of direct light a day. 

Pomegranate Tree Watering Needs

Requiring average, but consistent moisture, once established these are drought-tolerant trees. Apply water on an even, regular schedule until the roots are well established. An uneven application of water can result in split fruit. Apply a three-inch layer of arborist mulch over the root system. Pull it back away from the trunk by several inches. Apply organic fertilizer for fruiting plants. Follow the directions on the package for both timing and application rates.

Once the plant is established, it can survive periodic droughts. However, container plants need careful water their whole life. During dormancy, water once a month at most, and ensure the excess water drains quickly.

Pruning Pomegranate Trees

Prune in late winter - or before new growth begins to emerge in early spring - to shape and control the size of your tree as needed. Pomegranates can be a bit hesitant to leaf out in the spring, so don’t panic if you are not seeing leaves as soon as the weather warms.

Those bare stems mean it is a great time to view the framework of your tree, remove weak or sickly-looking branching, eliminate crossing branches and style your tree specifically for your yard and needs. It’s important to open the canopy up to the sunlight and good air circulation as well.

Some varieties of Pomegranate sucker and you can allow them to grow as colonies if you so desire the larger size, spread, and privacy they’ll create! Otherwise, simply remove these suckers when they appear to maintain a clean, single-stem trunk. 

organic fertilizer

You can even prune Pomegranates into smaller shrubs with their limbs to the ground for screening and an easy-to-reach size.


Fertilize Pomegranate trees as they leaf out with a good slow-release and preferably organic fruit tree fertilizer to support their relatively fast growth. If not slow-release, be sure to provide your tree with supplemental fertilizer 2-3 times a year during the growing season.


Sometimes fruit trees can get carried away, or have a mast year, meaning they will have an enormous bounty of fruit and your tree branches may hang dangerously heavy with fruit. Other times multiple fruits can hang on the same branch but each is smaller than you would expect or desire.

This is when thinning your fruit tree is necessary. For the largest, healthiest fruit, look carefully at each cluster and remove the smaller side fruit from each branch and leave the largest, healthiest fruit to grow. Do this while the fruit is still small and just starting to form. This pumps all the tree's energy and focus into larger, healthier fruit and prevents your tree's limbs from weakening or even breaking under their burden.

Three Seasons of Color

The Pomegranate tree is attractive in any landscape and can thrive for decades in warmer planting zones. Pomegranate tree flowers are showy and decorative, bringing a splash of red to your property in the spring that continues well into summer! Their trumpet-shaped blooms attract pollinators, though the tree does not need outside pollination to produce fruit!  open pomegranate

Deciduous trees in cooler climates, Pomegranate trees may behave as broadleaf evergreen trees in more tropical zones and areas with mild winters. All growing season, the foliage is dark green and glossy. 

Multiple trunks with distinctively twisted bark often appear sculpturally entwined for added visual interest and delight in winter. In autumn, the leaves turn a brilliant yellow as large, round, red fruit conclude the Pomegranate’s three seasons of colorful entertainment!

Whether you have room for a large Pomegranate tree like the Tom’s Red or the Purple Heart, or you may need a small tree like the Parfianka for your porch or patio planters, you’ll be delighted with several pounds of late-season fruit each year on a mature tree.

Fruitful Healthful Pomegranate Trees

Pomegranate fruits are quite unique and always eye-catching! Ripening between August through Winter, ready when they change from their rounded form to a more rugged hexagon shape as the seeds inside swell. 

The spherical outer shell is filled with dozens of small ruby-colored seeds clustered inside, with the exception of the Gissarskii Rozovyi which looks more like a Grapefruit inside and out! 

The leathery skin ranges from red and green, to orange and brown and even pink. Each features unique pointed ‘arils’ that are all that remains of where the flower once was to create a large rosehip-like effect. 

This fruit produces delicious citrus-flavored juice that is sweet with a slight acidic edge. It has been universally acclaimed for its health benefits! Pomegranates are used for juice, jellies, Pomegranate wine and salad dressings. Eaten fresh as snacks, added to desserts and salads, the shiny plump jewels and their edible seeds make any dish look fit for a king or queen! 

ripe pomegranate

Featuring a long storage life, the fruit can be kept for a period of seven months under special storage conditions without shrinking or spoiling, in fact, the fruits improve in storage! Becoming juicier and intensifying the flavor!

Pomegranate fruit is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It contains high amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and iron while also contributing to dietary fiber and folate. Pomegranate fruit contains antioxidants that are purported to help protect blood lipids from oxidation. 

Check out Nature Hills Nursery’s YouTube Channel to cut open your Pomegranate fruit and not make a mess!

Quite pricey in the grocery store, the beauty, joy and large harvests you’ll enjoy by growing your own Pomegranate certainly outweigh the one-time cost of purchasing a tree! 

Pomegranate is Latin for 'seeded apple', and you’ll love having one of these exotic fruits a day to keep the doctor away! Get growing your own Pomegranate Tree with the help of today!

Happy Planting!

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