Pomegranate Winter Care: How To Care For Pomegranate Trees In Winter

By: Amy Grant

Pomegranates hail from the far eastern Mediterranean, so as you may expect, they appreciate plenty of sun. While some varieties can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees F. (-12 C.), for the most part, you should protect pomegranate trees in winter time. How do you go about overwintering pomegranate trees?

Pomegranate Winter Care

Dense, bushy deciduous plants, pomegranates (Punica granatum) can grow up to 20 feet (6 m.) tall but can be trained as a smaller tree. Pomegranates produce their best fruit in regions of cool winters and hot, dry summers. While they are more cold hardy than citrus, similar rules apply and specific efforts should be made for pomegranate trees in the winter.

Suitable for USDA zones 8-11, pomegranate tree care in winter means moving the plant indoors, especially if they grow in an area with poor cold air circulation or heavy soil. So what steps should you take prior to winter care for pomegranate trees?

The first step in pomegranate winter care is to prune back the tree by about half in the fall, six weeks or so before the first potential frost. Use sharp shears and cut just above a set of leaves. Then move the pomegranate inside near a sunny, southern exposure window. Even during the winter months, the pomegranate needs at least eight hours of sunlight per day or it will become leggy and drop leaves.

Additional Winter Care for Pomegranate Trees

When overwintering pomegranate trees, be sure to maintain temperatures above 60 degrees F. (15 C.) so the plants do not go totally dormant. Position them so they are not in any drafts or near heating vents whose hot, dry air will damage the leaves. Just as with other plants in a dormant or semi-dormant phase, water the pomegranates sparingly during the winter months. Only moisten the soil down an inch (2.5 cm.) every week to 10 days. Don’t overwater since pomegranates, like citrus, abhor “wet feet.”

Turn the pot once a week to allow all part of the tree to get some sun. If you live in a warmer area and get warm, sunny winter days, move the plant outside; just remember to move it back in when temps begin to fall.

Pomegranate tree care for the winter is almost over once spring is imminent. Begin a normal watering routine about a month before the last spring frost forecast in your area. Move the pomegranate outside once nighttime temps have risen to above 50 degrees F. (10 C.). Place the tree in a partially shaded area to acclimate so it doesn’t go into shock. Over the course of the next two weeks, gradually introduce the tree to direct sunlight.

All in all, pomegranates need very little care while overwintering. Provide them with enough light, water and warmth during this time and you should have a thriving, fruit laden tree mid-summer.

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Read more about Pomegranates

Pomegranate Tree: A Festive Winter Harvest

Punica granatum, the pomegranate tree, is a tree in a class of its own. Producing an unusual fruit filled with little arils or sacs of sweet juice, this tree originated abroad and has become a hit in the United States.

We all know the pomegranate as a fall and winter fruit, visible in the cornucopia at Thanksgiving or scattered amidst pine boughs at Christmas. But the juice of this fruit is used year-round in grenadine for mixed drinks, and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. They’re an amazing addition to a healthy diet!

It can be grown as a small fruit tree or as an attractive shrub, in small gardens or large. We’re packing this full of tips for growing the happiest pomegranate trees you can!

Some Of Our Favorite Pomegranate Varieties:

Good Products For Pomegranate Growers:

The pomegranate can range from a dwarf shrub of three feet to a small tree of 20 to 30 feet. The average size of a standard pomegranate shrub is 12 to 16 feet tall with a round shape. If you want a short version, choose the 'Nana' variety.

The leaves are glossy and have a narrow, lance shape. In most places they are deciduous, but in the warmer climates, they may be evergreen.

The flowers are tube-shaped and more than one inch long. They are a brilliant scarlet red and are very attractive to hummingbirds. The flowers are self-pollinating, though fertility is improved through cross-pollination.

The pomegranate fruit is approximately 2.5 to five inches wide. It has a red, leathery rind. Each seed (aril) is encased in pulp and sectioned off by walls.

Harvest when the color has developed and makes a metallic sound when tapped. Use a pair of pruning shears to cut the stem above the fruit instead of pulling it off. They can be stored for a long time if kept between 32 and 40 F.

How to Prune Pomegranate Trees

Last Updated: March 17, 2021 References

This article was co-authored by Steve Masley. Steve Masley has been designing and maintaining organic vegetable gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. He is a Organic Gardening Consultant and Founder of Grow-It-Organically, a website that teaches clients and students the ins and outs of organic vegetable gardening. In 2007 and 2008, Steve taught the Local Sustainable Agriculture Field Practicum at Stanford University.

There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Growing pomegranates is a rewarding experience. Not only will you get a beautiful tree laden with bright, red fruits, but you'll get a tasty treat once harvest time rolls around. They do require pruning twice per year, however. If you don't prune a pomegranate tree, then you may encounter problems such as disease, dieback, stunted growth, and poor harvest.

How to Grow and Take Care of Pomegranate Trees Effectively

Pomegranates are tropical fruits that require summer heat and lots of light to grow properly. Know the basic tips of cultivation before growing pomegranates on your own.

Pomegranates are tropical fruits that require summer heat and lots of light to grow properly. Know the basic tips of cultivation before growing pomegranates on your own.

Pomegranate, scientific name Punica granatum, belongs to the fruit-bearing deciduous variety of shrubs and dwarf trees. The plant bears a berry type fruit in which a thick aril encloses about 600 red seeds. Pomegranate nutrition is widely studied both for therapeutic benefits and culinary usage. Clinical trials have shown that juice of pomegranate reduces the risk of developing heart diseases and cancer and is effective for lowering blood pressure and preventing infection.

Though pomegranate fruits are available in the market, they are quite pricey. Hence, you can choose to plant them in your garden. Growing a pomegranate tree is relatively easy, provided that you select a variety suited to your region and understand the plant requirements. Here, we shall discuss the basic pomegranate tree caring tips and favorable environmental conditions for its plantation. With correct care guidelines, you can surely enjoy the taste of freshly harvested pomegranate fruits.

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Pomegranates are listed under best landscaping trees for areas with dry and hot climatic conditions. Many gardening enthusiasts prefer to maintain a pomegranate garden, not only for the nutritious fruits it bears, but also for the spectacular, bright red pomegranate tree flowers. There are also fruitless varieties that are planted just for the sake of the beautiful blooms. Irrespective of the purpose of growing this fruiting tree, selecting a hardy cultivar is suggested.

Choose the Variety

There are several types of pomegranates, of which you can finalize some according to your plan. As per your taste, you can inquire about the fruit flavor of the cultivar before buying it from the pomegranate tree nursery. Purchase only healthy stem cuttings (about 20 inch) that have a green foliage, without any signs of disease.

Prepare the Soil

A pomegranate tree adapts in both acidic and alkaline soil, hence soil preparation for your fruit planting project is not an issue. In fact, it grows well in different types of soil, as long as there is no drainage problem. Add adequate amounts of humus, farmyard compost, and granular tree fertilizer to the existing garden soil, and plant the tree saplings.

Ideal Temperature Range

A tropical tree by origin, pomegranate thrives well in moderately high temperature. While it is tolerant to mild frost, exposure to temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit for a prolonged duration can lead to leaf damage and fall. The ideal temperature range for pomegranate tree cultivation is between 40 degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Light Requirement

To ensure better growth and a good harvest of Pomegranate, select a plantation site that receives full sunlight. High temperature and heat are important for getting a good yield of large, juicy fruits. On the contrary, smaller and less juicy pomegranate fruits are produced, if the trees are exposed to shady environment for an extended time.

Regular and Deep Watering

No variety of pomegranate tree can tolerate long dry spells. It requires high humidity and sufficient amounts of water for optimal growth. For a good harvest, the plants should be deeply irrigated on a regular basis, especially during the flowering and fruiting stages. But, allow the top layer of the soil to dry between two watering sessions.

Prune at the Right Time

Regarding pomegranate tree pruning, the first trimming should be done when it reaches a height of about 2 feet. Depending upon the cultivar, a pomegranate tree height varies from four meters to eight meters. You can trim off the dead branches during cold winter months, when the trees are inactive.

Fertilizing is an Option

Supplementing fertilizer is not mandatory for pomegranate trees. However, if the planting soil is poor or it lacks essential plant nutrients, you can add organic fertilizers and farmyard compost occasionally, once in three months. Do not use chemical fertilizers for the plants when the fruits are in their ripening stage.

Pests and Diseases

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Most pomegranate cultivars are resistant to common pests and diseases. Under unfavorable conditions, foliar damage and spots caused by mealy bugs, white flies, thrips and scale insects are manifested. Occasionally, these insects cause fruit spots. While using insecticides and pesticides for pest control, make sure you apply them before the fruits are ripe.

The dwarf pomegranate tree care is the same as that of regular sized varieties. So, follow the same maintenance tips for growing the dwarf species and bonsai forms of pomegranate as the regular variety. You can identify ripe fruits from their distinctive color. Harvest them before the fruits are overripe or crack opened. The major advantage of growing a pomegranate tree is that it survives for many years. Hence, there is no need for immediate replacement of the trees after fruit setting.

I have this container tree, 7 ft, that I need to winter in my garage and wanted to know how I can keep it from going dormant so that it will have a good start in the summer to bear fruit.

Plants go dormant for a reason - they need to rest. Allowing your tree its rest period will help it to be stronger in the spring. Anyway, pomegranate is deciduous, so it drops its leaves for the winter. Here's some thoughts on overwintering: http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/archives/november-9-2013.html

Harvesting Pomegranates

Typically, pomegranate trees can begin to fruit within a year of planting, which is quicker than most fruit trees. However, it might take a few years for the trees to produce abundantly.

Fruits can be harvested once they reach their mature skin color, feel heavy, and have a metallic sound when tapped – typically 6-7 months after flowering. If you leave the pomegranate fruits on the tree too long, they’ll split open. Pomegranates can also break open if it rains during harvest season.

The right way to harvest the fruits with pruning snips rather than pulling them from the branch. Pomegranates can be stored whole in a cool place for several weeks, or in a refrigerator for three months.

If you want to store them longer, you can de-seed them and freeze the arils whole. Another choice is to extract the juice by putting the arils through a food strainer to remove the seeds. You can freeze the juice for six months or add to canned foods. Or, why not make some preserves out of those delicious arils?

Watch the video: How to Grow Pomegrante Tree in Pot - Complete Growing Guide

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