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Growing Pomegranate In The Backyard

Introduction of growing pomegranate in the backyard

Growing pomegranate in your backyard is not an impossible task but you need to be careful about climatic conditions and watering. Pomegranate is a berry shrub/small tree that produces fruit that contains small edible seeds. These seeds are incredibly healthy for you! Not only will they produce tasty and healthy fruit in the fall, but they will provide gorgeous bright-red flowers in the early summer! Pomegranates thrive in a warmer climate, but it can be grown outside and is commonly grown in pots indoors or greenhouses since its cold sensitive. This guide will show you how to grow pomegranate in your backyard if the climate is compatible or indoors if needed!

A step by step guide for growing pomegranate in the backyard

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. The leaves have a narrow, lance shape and are glossy. 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.

Pomegranate varieties for growing in the backyard of home garden

Following are the varieties of pomegranate:

Bhagwa: Also known as Sinduri or Shendria, Kesar, and Ashwagandha. This is a selection from the F2 population of the cross Ganesh x Gulesha Red. Fruits are attractive glossy red rind. Arils are blood-red color. It is a soft seeded variety.

Ganesh: Fruit is very large, it has pinkish aril with soft seeds and rind yellowish red. It is the commercial cultivar of Maharashtra.

Arakta: The fruits are smaller than Ganesh variety having dark red colored arils with soft seeds.

Mrudula: This variety has all the characters of the Ganesh variety and is dark red color. The average fruit weight is 250-300 grams.

Muskat: The fruits of this variety have red rind with pink colored arils. The average weight of the fruit is 300- 350 grams.

Jyoti: The fruits are having dark red arils and large with an attractive color.

Ruby: For shape and size, this fruit resembles ‘Ganesh’. It is having green streaks containing red bold arils and is reddish-brown.

Dholka: Fruits are very large, and rind yellowish red with pinkish-white aril. It is a popular cultivar of Gujarat.

Other pomegranate varieties cultivated in India are: 

  • Alandi
  • Co 1
  • IIHR selection
  • Kabul
  • Kandhari
  • Paper Shelled
  • P23
  • P26
  • Spanish Ruby
  • Yercaud 1

Pomegranate tree propagation

The pomegranate tree propagation can be done by seed, by cuttings, by layering, and by offshoots at the base of the tree.

Pomegranate propagation by seed

You can propagate pomegranate trees from seeds, but there is no guarantee that the new trees will resemble the mother tree. Seedbed takes place in spring, in the nursery garden, with seed collected in the same year. It should be chosen for this operation, grains of acidic and late-maturing varieties. These varieties are more resistant than those with sweet fruit.

Although pomegranate seeds germinate easily and without much delay, this propagation method is rarely used and is not recommended due to the long time needed and not all varieties are adapted to it.

Pomegranate propagation by cuttings

If you are propagating pomegranate trees from cuttings, you get a tree of the same species and cultivar as the parent. Growing a pomegranate tree from cuttings is the preferred method of pomegranate tree propagation. Propagation by cuttings is simple and works well. They are placed in the nursery in such a way that all others remain buried except a bud is above the ground. The cuttings will root easily and quickly and they can be transplanted in the next spring, although it is recommended to leave them in the nursery for two seasons.

Pomegranate propagation by layering

The layering is rarely used, being in simple layering and layering in the stump.

Pomegranate propagation by offshoots

Propagation by offshoots at the base of the tree is fairly easy to obtain, as the pomegranate produces offshoots in abundance.

Soil requirement for growing pomegranate in the backyard

Soil requirement for growing pomegranate plant.
Soil requirement for growing pomegranate plant.

Considering the soil requirement for pomegranate, it can be grown under different types of soil, from low-fertile to high-fertile soil. However, in deep loamy, it gives a very good yield. Plant can tolerate soils that are limy and slightly alkaline too. Soil having pH 6.5 – 7.5 is suitable for Pomegranate farming. However, pomegranate can be grown on soils that are considered to be unsuitable for most of the other fruit trees. For the most part, pomegranates will adapt to the soil they are planted in, so long as it drains well.

The best climate for growing pomegranate in the backyard

Light, temperature, humidity, and rainfall are considered to be important factors for pomegranate cultivation and the best climate for the pomegranate is subtropical and even tropical. Pomegranate plants flourish under dry climate and bright sunlight. Pomegranate plants can survive under extremely low (0°C) and very high (50°C) temperatures. Pomegranate plants can tolerate frost to some extent and may be considered drought-tolerant.

Temperature requirement for growing pomegranate in the backyard

The optimum temperature for pomegranate is 35 -38°C. Usually, like all subtropical or tropical fruit, it cannot withstand cold weather but there are some species in this genus that can withstand -15°C. Frosts cause more damage the longer they are delayed.

Lighting requirement for growing pomegranate in the backyard

Good lighting must be ensured to allow the fruits to fully develop their coloration. Therefore, it prefers sunny and sheltered places.

Water requirement for growing pomegranate in the backyard

Water the plant at timely intervals, appropriate place, and desired quantity is very important for pomegranate. Watering must be done as a small amount but frequently. Overwatering creates huge losses in pomegranate. The roots become inactive and increase the incidences of fungal diseases.

Fertilizer requirement for growing pomegranate in the backyard

The pomegranate is not very demanding in terms of fertilization; the leaf fall is the optimum time to provide phosphate and potash fertilizers, and at the time of entering into vegetation, nitrogen balanced formulas. Sprinkle about ⅓ of a cup of fertilizer three times throughout the first year of growth.

Gardening tips to follow while planting pomegranate seeds

Below mentioned are the tips to plant pomegranate seeds:

  • Start pomegranate seeds indoors in mid-winter for best results. So that before the spring planting season, they can have a couple of months to grow.
  • Take some seeds and rinse them in cool water, then to remove the pulp rub them with a paper towel.       
  • Allow the seeds to dry for a few days to keep them from rotting.
  • Plant the seeds to more than ¼” deep in seed-starting potting soil, and lightweight.
  • Put the pot in a sunny, warm window, and keep the soil moist as your seeds germinate and grow.
  • You may find it helpful to cover the pot loosely with a clear plastic bag until the seeds have sprouted for added humidity and warmth during winter.
  • When the weather warms in spring, you can begin gradually hardening off the plants before moving them permanently outdoors.

How to plant pomegranate in the garden

When buying a pomegranate seedling or sapling, make sure you are not buying a flowering variety that doesn’t produce edible fruit. Fruiting trees are self-fertile so you don’t need more than one tree.

If you know someone with a pomegranate tree, you can start a new tree with a cutting. A branch at least 10 inches long can be cut from a healthy tree, and the cut end treated with powdered rooting hormone. Plant the tip about 5 to 6 inches into loose potting soil, and keep it moist. You will have longer to wait before you get any fruit, compared to a larger purchased seedling, but it can be a handy way to propagate a tree that you know produces well.

Growing pomegranate in a container

Pomegranates in large containers will work fine, though you should keep it well trimmed and pruned to a small size. A dwarf variety will thrive the best. When selecting a dwarf tree, double-check that it will produce fruit. Many dwarf or potted trees are ornamental only and the shrubs have lovely flowers.

You may also check this: How To Grow Ginger At Home.

Growing pomegranate in a container.
Growing pomegranate in a container.

Container plants will need a bit more water than garden-planted ones, but pomegranates will do fine in dry soil so you shouldn’t need to water too frequently.

Taking care of pomegranate tree

You can follow these tips to take care of the pomegranate tree:

  • Pomegranates are quite drought-tolerant but during any extended dry periods, they should be given a deep watering at least every 3 weeks if necessary.
  • Fertilizer is helpful for the first year or two but after that most trees will do fine without additional nutrients unless you happen to have particularly poor soil. A yearly feeding or even just a dressing of compost or aged manure is enough.
  • If you want your pomegranate to grow in a tree form, you will need to prune the many suckers that sprout up from the base of the trunk.
  • You’ll also want to prune any dead branches each spring to keep your tree healthy.
  • Once you create a tree form for your plant, it shouldn’t require too much more pruning.
  • After about 3 years, you will start to see your tree developing from fruit but it will probably drop most of them before they mature. This is normal for pomegranates, and you won’t start to get a real harvest until around 5 years of age.

Pruning of pomegranate tree

Pruning the pomegranate tree is an art of cutting away a portion of the plant to improve the vegetative growth of the plant and the quality of the product; the parts commonly removed are branches. Pruning helps to reduce water shoots, maintain a low tree profile, properly trained and pruned trees yields high-quality fruit much earlier in their life cycle and live significantly longer. Pruning is essential in both young and old trees. In the winter pruning, the height of the trees is brought back to the desired height. Broken, bent, and interfering branches are removed. To keep the interior of the tree open during the growing season, summer pruning is carried out according to needs.

Pests and diseases of pomegranate tree

Following are some of the pests and diseases attacked by the pomegranate tree:

Pests of pomegranate tree

Fruit borer

It is a major pest, which bore into the developing fruits, feed inside, and making fruit susceptible to fungal and bacterial infection.

Control: It can be controlled by bagging young fruits at the early stage with polyethylene bags, spray phosphamidon 0.03 %, or sevin @4 gm.


It makes holes on the main trunk and forms networks of tunnels inside it. Fill it with excreta and feed on bark during nights.

Control: It can be effectively managed by plugging the hole with cotton dipped in kerosene, petrol or carbon-bi-sulfide, and chloroform followed by covering with mud. Nowadays bagging of fruits is also practiced by the farmers. This helps up to a certain extent and also improves fruit quality.

Diseases of pomegranate tree

Bacterial leaf spot or oily spot

It is characterized by the formation of small-dark brown water-soaked spots on leaf, twig, stem, and fruits.

Control: It can be measured to some extent by spraying of strep to cycling at the rate of 0.5 g/ liter and mixing with copper oxychloride at the rate of 2 g/ liter on three consecutive days.

Fruit cracking or fruit splitting

it is one the most severe disorder due to the irregular irrigation, boron deficiency and sudden fluctuation in nocturnal and diurnal temperatures, fruits are cracked, which is a common problem in pomegranate.

Control: Spraying of boron at the rate of 0.1% and GA3atthe rate 250 ppm disease can be minimized to some extent.

3) Sunburn

It is also a major problem if fruits are not harvested at the proper stage. A blackish round spot appears on the upper surface of fruits. It reduces the cosmetic appeal of fruits.

Control: Bagging of fruits maintains color and attack of fruit flies

How to harvest pomegranate fruits

You can begin to harvest your pomegranate tree when their outside rind has turned deep red. Pick the fruits when ripe, which is usually in early fall. You can tell that they are ripe once they reach their proper skin color and feel heavy. Cut these pomegranates off the shrub/tree leaving the stem with the fruit.

How to harvest Pomegranate fruits.
How to harvest Pomegranate fruits.

Pomegranate harvesting is starting after 150 to 180 days from flowering to fruit maturity. But it depends on genotype, climatic condition, and growing region. Harvesting of pomegranate fruits should be done at the optimum maturity stage because early harvesting results from the dull, immature, and improper ripening of fruits whereas late harvesting leads to more prone to the attack of disorders.

Fruits should be harvested with the help of secateurs or clippers, because manual twisting may cause damage to fruits in clusters.

Storing the pomegranate fruits

The pomegranate fruit storage can be well in the refrigerator.Fresh pomegranates can be kept in the fridge for about 2 months, and you can even store them at cool room temperature if you prefer but they will only last 2 weeks in that case. If you can store them in a basement or root cellar type of area, they will store the best (much like apples). A location with temperatures just above freezing and high humidity will keep pomegranates fresh for up to 6 months.

Some facts of pomegranate fruit

Following are some facts of pomegranate you need to know:

  • Meaning of the word pomegranate is apple with many seeds
  • Pomegranates are native to the middle-east
  • Pomegranates belong to the berry family
  • Pomegranates are classified as a superfruit
  • Pomegranate trees can live for more than 200 years
  • You can store pomegranates up to 2 months in the refrigerator
  • Pomegranates do not contain cholesterol or saturated fats
  • Pomegranate trees can grow in dry and hot climates
  • Pomegranate trees are grown commercially and domestically (in home gardens)

In case if you are interested in this: Profit in Dry Fruit Business in India.


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