The pomegranate cops bad flack, being reputed to be responsible for the fall of Persephone (daughter of Demeter) and is associated with many myths and rituals – not hard to see why when you watch it’s growth and production. But this ancient fruit is worth the effort of separating the juice from the seeds and pith. It’s beautiful, especially in winter and in the Middle East the juice is a thirst-quencher.
Pomegranate is deciduous, grows as a shrubby bush (to 4m tall), flowers in profusion from spring to summer and the fruits mature some 8 months later, on new wood. The fruit will remain hanging on the tree after the leaves fall. But don’t leave your neglected and unharvested fruit hanging on the trees over winter, this hardy fruit deserves better!
Suited to most soils including heavy. Prefers a warm position and although drought tolerant needs adequate water during dry periods for good crops. Best fruit occur when atmosphere is hot and dry in summer and autumn.
Autumn – Harvest in late autumn. Cut rather than pick the fruit and take the largest, most colored fruit first. Pick with care to avoid brusing the fruit. Weeding and watering.
Winter – Plant in winter. Give the tree a feed of compost – best results from fertilising in winter. Prune now if needed but generally the plants don’t need too much, encourage a single trunk with four or five main branches to form the main structure. Remove suckers and dead and tangled branches. Retain fruit bearing wood, i.e., mature growth 2-3 years old.
Spring – Keep up the weeding. Feed with compost. Mulch. Spray with seaweed.
Summer – Continue weeding and watering.
Generally – Not much to growing these trees, just enjoy the ornamental value as well.
Eating – If picked ripe and unblemished, the fruits will keep some months; the seeds will remain flavorful, if not even more intense. Be patient!