How to Get Pomegranate Trees to Bear Fruit

Overview

Pomegranate (Punica granatum), a deciduous small tree native to the dry lands of western Asia, appreciates lots of sunshine and long, warm growing seasons. Pomegranates tolerate drought conditions but tend to flower and produce more fruits if the soil is moist and well-draining. More importantly, if the growing season is not at least five months in duration with very warm temperatures, the fruits likely will not reach an adequate size and ripeness. Ensuring that can provide conditions for a long, warm growing season will increase your chances of obtaining pomegranate fruits.

Step 1

Determine your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. Pomegranate is hardy and often productive in USDA Zones 8 through 12. Gardeners plant pomegranates in Zones 6 and 7, but often it is grown as an ornamental shrub rather than fruit production.

Step 2

Position the tree in a sunny location away from the shade of other trees and structures. Pomegranates require a minimum of eight hours of direct sun must for abundant flowering and fruiting. This abundance of sunshine also increases the growing season temperatures the tree experiences, which promotes flowering and fruiting. Pomegranates thrive in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Ensure the soil is fertile but not overly rich. An annual application of a rich organic mulch or rotted manure to the root zone of the pomegranate will create lush and healthy growth. Broadcast the mulch or manure at a depth of 2 to 3 inches from the trunk to the edges of the branch drip-line, keeping it 4 inches away from the trunk itself.

Step 4

Water newly planted trees, those less than 2 to 3 years old, every two to four weeks in droughts to help the trees establish and remain health and strong. Established larger pomegranate trees tolerate dry soil conditions but flower and fruit better if also given 1 inch of water every 4 weeks during a seasonal drought.

Step 5

Avoid planting pomegranate trees in dense, slow-draining soils. Avoid soggy soils and low-lying areas that flood seasonally as well. Trees growing in such conditions should not be be expected to live long and certainly not prosper to consistently flower and fruit. Relocate these plants to more optimal soil conditions if possible.

Step 6

Maximize micro-climates niches, or areas within your garden that provide extra warmth, for growing the pomegranate. With a long and warm growing season required for the full development of fruits, consider placing this tree on a southwest side of a building so it receives hot afternoon sun in climates that have growing seasons for five months or less. In general, pomegranates can produce flowers and fruits in gardens that are warm (above 75 degrees Fahrenheit) and frost-free from March to November.

Tips and Warnings

  • As the fruits mature in autumn, avoid overwatering. Excessive natural or supplemental watering can quickly cause ripening fruits to split. Such fruits must be immediately harvested and eaten before they rot. Otherwise, pomegranates can store for several months if not cracked or damaged.

References

  • University of Nevada Cooperative Extension: Growing Pomegranates in Southern Nevada
  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Pomegranates
Keywords: raising pomegranates, Punica granatum, heat-loving plants

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for The Public Garden, Docent Educator, numerous non-profit newsletters and for Learn2Grow.com's comprehensive plant database. He holds a Master's degree in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne's Burnley College.