The dwarf pomegranate is a subtropical shrub that is unique in the fact that not only the tree is dwarfed, but also the flowers and fruit. The shrub is often pruned to become a bonsai tree. In most cases, the dwarf pomegranate is grown in containers; however, in gardening zones 8 through 11, it can be planted outdoors. The small shrub produces trumpet-shaped, orange-red flowers, followed by small pomegranate fruits that are about 2 inches wide. The fruit grows in abundance under the right conditions.
Fill your container to within an inch of the top with two parts potting soil, one part compost and one part coarse sand. Mix together well. Dig out a hole in the center 1 inch deeper than the root ball and 2 inches wider. Make a small mound of soil at the bottom of the hole.
You can also plant outdoors if your low winter temperatures do not average below 40 degrees. If planting outdoors, choose a location with full sun and protection from drying winds. Dig a hole twice as deep and wide as the root ball and amend the dug-out soil with compost and coarse sand. Fill the hole halfway with the amended soil and create a small mound on the bottom of the hole.
Carefully remove the plant from the container you purchased it in and rinse off some of the soil on the root ball. Spread the roots out slightly and set over the mound in the hole so the roots hand down around the mound.
Fill in halfway around the root ball and water to compact the soil around the roots. Continue to fill the hole the rest of the way and water again. Place more soil on top where it has settled and hand-tamp the soil down tightly around the trunk.
Water generously immediately after planting and then water to keep the soil moist for a few weeks. This will help the roots get established well. Then cut the watering back to when the top of the soil feels dry.
Keep the container in full sun and in an area that is protected from strong winds. When temperatures start to cool in the fall, bring the container indoors an keep near a sunny window that will allow the plant at least 4 hours of full sun each day.
Fertilize with a liquid fertilizer after you start to see growth and every other week starting in the spring through the fall. Refer to manufacturer's directions regarding the amount of fertilizer to use for each application.
Pruning should be done to take off any dead or diseased branches whenever you see them. Cut off branches that cross other branches or crowd the inside of the plant. This will keep the plant healthy and allow for ventilation. You can also prune to create a wonderful little bonsai tree, if you like.
Re-pot the pomegranate every two years to keep it healthy. Use a larger container if you want a larger shrub, or keep it the same if you want to keep the shrub small. Re-pot in the spring when buds begin to grow.