How to Grow Pomegranate Trees in Maryland
Pomegranate trees (Punicagranatum) are native to the Mediterranean regions of the world to Southeast Asia. They belong in the family Punicaceae. Growing to a height of 20 feet, pomegranates are large bushes or small trees. Pomegranates prefer to grow in regions that are semi-arid and have mild winters and hot summers. They will grow planted outdoors as far north as Washington D.C., but will generally not set fruit. This includes trees planted in Maryland. Cold hardy to 12 degrees F, pomegranates will need to be grown in containers where temperatures are cooler so they can be brought inside for protection.
Select an area in your garden to plant the pomegranate that is warm, located in full sun and protected from cold temperatures. Pomegranates will grow best in the warmest and sunniest area of your yard.
Clean the planting site of weeds, grasses or other vegetation that can compete with the growth of the pomegranate. Keep the area weed free at all times while the pomegranate is growing there.
Amend the soil with compost, manure or peat moss, working it into the existing soil to a depth of 1 foot, before planting the pomegranate. Pomegranates will not perform well if grown in an area that has a tendency to retain water.
Apply a fresh application of compost or manure around the base of the plant, each spring. Water the organic material in well after applying.
Apply four ounces of a fertilizer rich in nitrogen around the base of the pomegranate in early and late spring. Fertilize for the first two years of growth. Thereafter, a yearly dose of organic material will be all the fertilization that is required.
Water the pomegranate tree once to twice per week, depending on your local weather conditions. Pomegranate trees are relatively drought tolerant once they have established themselves.
Prune the pomegranate tree once it has reached a height of 2 feet. Trim the entire plant back by 1/3. Continue pruning for the first three years to produce more branches. The fruit will be born on the ends of new growth. Prune only to remove suckers and deadwood after the pomegranate is older.
Protect trees from freezing temperatures by bringing container-grown plants indoors or covering ones grown outdoors. Cover plants with blankets and situate a 60 watt, outdoor lamp under the blanket. Alternatively, hang Christmas lights on the tree to keep it warm.
Pests are usually not a problem for pomegranate trees.
Pomegranate trees can live up to 200 years.