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How to Grow Pomegranate Trees in California

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How to Grow Pomegranate Trees in California

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Overview

The hot, dry climate in parts of southern California is excellent for growing pomegranates, an exotic fruit. The plant a pomegranate grows on is more similar to a shrub than a tree, but it is a commonly referred to as pomegranate tree. The trees are self-pollinating, so you only need one to get a harvest of fruit each year. You can plant a pomegranate tree from a seed, but they do not often grow to mature trees using this method. Instead, plant a pomegranate tree either as a cutting from a mature tree or a young tree purchased at a nursery.

Step 1

Select a site for planting your pomegranate tree. Pomegranates will grow best in sunny spots. Choose the sunniest, warmest spot in your yard.

Step 2

Remove any weeds from the planting site either by removing them by hand or applying a weed-killing herbicide.

Step 3

Till the soil at the planting site to loosen up the top level . If you do not have a tiller, use a spade to loosen the soil.

Step 4

Remove all the leaves from the pomegranate cutting if you are planting from a cutting. If you are planting a young tree, you will not need to alter it in any way.

Step 5

Dig a hole large enough to accommodate either the cutting or the young tree. If you are planting a young tree, the hole should be both deep enough and wide enough to fit the entire root structure. If you are planting a cutting, 2/3 of the length should be buried in the soil.

Step 6

Place the cutting or the young tree in the hole, setting it in gently and firmly. If you are planting a your tree, allow the roots to spread out naturally so they are not damaged.

Step 7

Fill the hole back in with the surrounding soil and firmly tamp it down to prevent air bubbles from remaining in the soil. Air bubbles can prevent the tree from growing properly.

Step 8

Water the pomegranate tree immediately after planting. Pomegranate trees grow quite well in hot, dry climates, but they should be watered every seven to 10 days when there is no significant rainfall.

Step 9

Fertilize your pomegranate tree the first two springs after planting it using ammonium sulfate or another nitrogen-containing fertilizer

Step 10

Prune your tree once it reaches 2 feet tall. Remove shoots so there are only four or five remaining evenly distributed around the tree. The shoots should be 8 to 10 inches off the ground--remove any shoots or suckers below that. Maintain this type of pruning for the first two years of growth.

Step 11

Remove suckers and sprouts with pruning tools as they appear on the tree.

Step 12

Prune all the dead wood and branches from the tree each winter to encourage new growth and healthy fruit production.

Things You'll Need

  • Weed-killing herbicide (optional)
  • Tiller or spade
  • Ammonium sulfate or a nitrogen-containing fertilizer
  • Pruning tools

References

  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Pomegranate
  • University of California-Davis: Pomegranate: Planning the Orchard Site
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: The Pomegranate
Keywords: growing pomegranates California, planting pomegranates California, about growing pomegranates

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.