Pomegranates, native to southeastern Europe and Asia, were brought to Mexico, California and Arizona by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Today, the woody shrubs grow throughout the southwestern United States. Pomegranates grow as far north as southern Utah, although they rarely produce fruit in that region. Pomegranates grow to between 6 and 12 feet in height and are often trained to a tree form through early pruning. Harvest the fruit when it is a dark red color and makes a metallic sound when tapped.
Consult a local county extension office for a variety that produces well in your area. The University of Arizona Extension Office recommends "Wonderful" for Arizona. Some flowering pomegranate trees are ornamental and don't produce edible fruit. Make sure your tree is a fruit-bearing variety.
Grow pomegranates in a greenhouse of you live north of hardiness zones 7 or 8. Pomegranates grown outdoors bear fruit reliably south of southern Utah, in Nevada, Arizona, Texas and California.
Prune young pomegranates annually, shearing off the tips to promote new, bushy growth. Pomegranate fruit develops on new growth only, so the bushier the plant, the more pomegranates you'll harvest.
Water drought-tolerant young pomegranates every two to four weeks for 30 minutes during dry weather. Older trees require less water. Overwatering promotes fruit drop.
Fertilize young plants every March and November by applying 2 lbs. of granular fertilizer around the base of the tree. Older trees require little, if any, fertilizer and may drop fruit if overfertilized.