Today we'll teach you how to grow pomegranate from seed. Growing a pomegranate plant from seed is fairly easy and doesn't require a ton of work, pruning, or planning. Pomegranates, Punica granatum, are an amazing source of antioxidants as well as Vitamin C, so having some in your own backyard could mean year long pomegranates! Use pomegranate seeds in your salads for a little crunch, eat raw, or enjoy the juice – the possibilities are endless!
Pomegranate trees were once considered to be fruit for royalty! This is because of its showstopping insides as well as the sweet and sour exotic taste. Pomegranates have been grown for thousands of years mainly through the Mediterranean regions of Asia, Africa, and Europe. The fruit itself is native from Iran to the Northern Himalayas. From there, the pomegranate fruit traveled to China, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Burma. It was only in the 1500s that it was introduced to the Americas by Spanish missionaries.
Pomegranates are a member of the Lythraceae family and have a smooth, almost leathery skin. The insides of the pomegranate offers the edible arils. The arils are the small edible seeds that contain juice and lots of antioxidants.
Pomegranate trees are not only grown for their fruit or to make juice, but they also make quite extraordinary ornamental trees. The orange-red blossoms right before fruiting is a sight to behold! You can also grow pomegranates in a pot, provided you prune them regularly.
Pomegranates enjoy warmer climates and do not like frost. Therefore, although you can start your pomegranate indoors, it will need to be moved outside so make sure you live in USDA zones 7-10 or you have a greenhouse! Alternatively, you can grow pomegrantes in pots and provide them with enough sunlight. They may be moved outdoors once all danger of frost has passed.
Pomegrantes are self pollinating and only need on tree to bear fruit. They are pretty hardy, and will usually bear fruit within the second year.
The pomegranate plant can take anywhere from 2-3 years to produce fruit, so be patient! Once harvest, pomegranates can last up to seven months in cool and dry conditions.
When to Plant:
Start planting your pomegranate seeds in mid-winter. That way, they can grow inside and be ready to plant in the springtime.
- Scoop out the seeds from a pomegranate fruit and wash them well to remove any slimy residue.
- Dry them with a paper towel and leave them to dry for a few days to prevent rotting.
- In a pot with seed starting soil, plant the seeds no more than 1/4″ deep.
- Place your pot in a warm, sunny spot and make sure to keep the soil moist.
- Once spring has sprung, transfer your pomegranate plants outdoors.
- Dig about a foot, and mix potting soil with a little bit of fertilizer.
- Plant your pomegranate plant and water once a week.
Pomegranate Tree Care:
- If grown indoors, be sure to place your pomegranate tree in a south facing window. Pomegranates need warmth and full sun.
- Water the tree deeply once a week, and more during hot summers.
- Fertilize the pomegranate tree with half a cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer. Do this by spreading the fertilizer on top of the soil and about two inches away from the trunk.
- Use a watering can to water the food into the soil.
- During the first two years while the tree is growing, fertilize in November, February, and May.
- After that, fertilize only in November and February.
- After the tree's first year, prune out any crossing branches or shoots, leaving anywhere from 3-5 per branch.
- In late winter, prune any dead or damaged limbs.
Now that you know how to grow pomegranate from seed, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!