The pomegranate tree, a Persian native, is deciduous and grown commercially in the U.S. for its juice. The tree thrives in locations with cool winters and hot summers and does not tolerate frost. In Arkansas, which lies in USDA hardiness zones 6a to 8b, it may be a bit of a challenge to get the pomegranate to set fruit, but it is not impossible. According to Pulaski County Master Gardeners, pomegranates were sold or grown in Little Rock from 1840 to 1900. Some varieties, such as Entekhabi Saveh and Kazake, are more cold-tolerant than others. You might also consider growing a dwarf variety in a container and moving it indoors during the winter.
Choose a growing site that is sunny and warm. Although the pomegranate tree will grow in the shade, it may not set fruit, according to growers at California Rare Fruit Growers.
Water the newly planted pomegranate tree according to how much rain you are receiving in your area of Arkansas. During dryer periods the tree requires slow, deep watering every two weeks. Water the established pomegranate tree every three weeks during the growing period. Allow the water to puddle at the base of the tree and when it drains, water it, slowly, again.
Fertilize the young Arkansas pomegranate tree in the spring with ammonium sulfate, at the rate suggested on the package. According to the California Rare Fruit Growers, the tree should be fertilized only in its first two years and won't require fertilization after that.
Apply a 3-inch-deep ring of well-rotted manure or compost around the pomegranate tree every spring.
Prune the pomegranate tree for the first three years by trimming branches back to 5 inches in length. As the tree matures, the only pruning required will be to remove dead and dying branches.
Protect the in-ground pomegranate tree from winter frost by covering it completely with a tarp or other insulating material. Heat supplied under the tarp, such as from a string of Christmas tree lights, will also help the tree survive the winter.
Things You Will Need
- Ammonium sulfate
- Manure or mulch
- Heat supply