The pomegranate (Punica granatum) grows as a large shrub that easily attains a height of 20 feet. On rare occasions the shrub grows as a small tree with training and pruning. The pomegranate prefers cold winters accompanied by hot, dry summers in USDA zones 8 to 10. A deciduous shrub, it normally has large thorns on its stems. Each spring it produces an abundance of red trumpet shaped flowers followed by fruit.
The pomegranate shrubs grows in areas with exceptionally cold winters. A few varieties can survive a temperature plunge to 10 degrees F. but other pomegranate shrubs will only tolerate a temperature down to 18 degrees F. according to Texas A & M University.
Choose a planting site that offers full sunlight. Shrubs grown in full sunlight produce a more fruit then ones forced to grow in partial to shady conditions. Pomegranates grow well in a wide variety of soils such as clay, loam and even gravelly sites. They prefer acidic to neutral soil but they will tolerate alkaline conditions. Adding organic matter such as peat moss or aged manure will aid the young pomegranate in establishing itself. Remove all grass and weeds around the shrub and mulch heavily to keep unwanted weed growth back.
Plant young pomegranate shrubs in February or March for best establishment according to the University of Florida. Space shrubs at least 18 feet apart. The pomegranate tree is self-fertile so it does not require a pollinator to produce fruit.
Pomegranates are exceptionally drought tolerant when fully established but young shrubs require adequate water during the hot summer months. Weekly watering is required the first year of the plants life. Thereafter, water the shrub every two or three weeks thoroughly.
Fertilize the young pomegranate shrub with 1 to 2 cups of ammonium sulfate in the February, May and in September during the first year after planting. Increase the ammonium sulfate by one cup for each year of the pomegranates life once established until the shrub reaches 3 years of age.
The pomegranate will require regular removal of any dead or diseasesd branches by pruning. If the sucker growth around the crown of the shrub is prolific then removal will be necessary to maintain the shrubs shape, allow air flow to the branches and open up the shrub for sunlight to reach its interior.