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How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree: Complete Care Guide 2022

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree: Complete Care Guide 2022

The pomegranate is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub in the family Lythraceae, subfamily Punicoideae, that grows between 5 and 10 m tall. The pomegranate was originally described throughout the Mediterranean region.

  • Scientific name: Punica granatum
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Family: Lythraceae
  • Order: Myrtales

The pomegranate tree is a tree that has its history. It has been present in most cultures, and the benefits of pomegranates, its fruits, have aroused enormous curiosity about it. 

Although the pomegranate and its fruit have been known and used for more than 5,000 years, the truth is that its origin is Iranian and that it was introduced in Spain by the Arabs of Al-Andalus.

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There are references to the pomegranate tree in the tombs of the pharaohs, and it has been associated with mythological stories and gods, such as Aphrodite. 

If your curiosity has already been piqued and you want to know everything about the pomegranate, keep reading; we will tell you about its main characteristics so that you can get to know it and learn to identify it. Do not miss it!

How is it? We tell you everything about the pomegranate!

The pomegranate is a small tree, which can measure from 3 to 6 meters in height depending on the variety in question. The pomegranate tree has a deciduous leaf, and its trunk often twists as it grows. 

And, watch out for its branches! In addition to being many, some are full of thorns; who knows if to protect their rich fruit? But what most attracts the attention of the pomegranate are its flowers. These are large, red, and orange, and of all of them, only some end up becoming its rich fruit.

Although we are used to seeing large pomegranate trees, smaller ornamental species can be used to decorate gardens or houses. The reason is that they do not take up much space and, due to their flowers, they are very striking.

Its flowers, beautiful and full of benefits

As we have already anticipated, the pomegranate flowers are crimson red or sometimes orange. They are medium-sized and grow alone or in small groups of two or three.

These flowers can be pollinated by insects or themselves in many cases. Flowers that do not bear fruit are known as sterile flowers, and you will be able to tell them apart because they are slightly different in shape.

Most of them fall from the tree, but if you know how to identify them, you can make beautiful teas with them! In addition, its tonic and astringent properties are very beneficial for the body. They are also perfect for making mouthwashes.

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022

Where do pomegranates grow?

The pomegranate tree prefers subtropical and even semi-desert climates. And this tree tolerates heat very well! It can withstand dry seasons but finds it more challenging to overcome frost or shallow temperatures. With these conditions, it is not surprising that eastern Spain is the country that exports the most pomegranates to Europe!

The Middle East is where the pomegranate was born, and its cultivation there is still very extensive. 

For its part, India is the largest producer of pomegranates globally. However, in China, they are grown in large quantities and even have a variety of pomegranate trees whose fruits are seedless. In Africa, the pomegranate tree is also widespread. 

The reason is that, since other species are difficult to cultivate due to the climate, they choose this one for their exploitation. It has even reached South America, and countries like Chile or Peru are included in the list of leading producers and exporters worldwide.

In Spain, the pomegranate tree can be found in some areas of the Mediterranean. More than 2,500 hectares of this product are cultivated in the country, and most of them grow in Alicante. 

The province is the largest producer in the country with 90% of total production, followed by Murcia. Its dry and hot climates are the perfect place for the pomegranate tree! 

And although the pomegranate is not as appreciated in Spain as it is in other European countries, such as the Netherlands or Germany, little by little, the incredible benefits of this fruit are becoming known, and consumers are beginning to include it in their diets.

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022

When and how are pomegranates harvested?

When the flowers are already pollinated in June, the pomegranates begin to set. Depending on its variety, its collection is appropriate in a few months or others. In general, its harvest can start from August or September, but other types such as the Mollar pomegranate, for example, can be harvested until December.

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022
How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022

But how do you know that the pomegranate tree is ready to pick? You should pay attention to whether its color is red solid or brownish. The skin of the pomegranate is tough and resistant. Therefore, it is tough for insects or worms to reach its interior. 

Also, as long as the skin is intact and unbroken, the pomegranate will not rot. But keep in mind that the skin of the pomegranate sometimes cracks. 

And it’s natural! This happens due to humidity or because the fruit has gained ground over the bark. The important thing is that this does not imply that it can no longer be eaten; quite the opposite! It is a sign that he is on point.

To collect pomegranate fruit, it is essential to treat it with care. It should not be hit, or the grain will be spoiled. Pruning shears will be necessary since they cling very strongly to the tree, and an unfortunate pull can lead to the breakage of its or the fruit.

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Uses of pomegranate

Pharmacology

Usually, the root bark is used, and sometimes the trunk and the fruit. The root and trunk bark contains alkaloids derived from piperidine, especially Pelletier, and tropinone derivatives, especially pseudo-Pelletier. They also contain mineral salts and abundant tannins (e.g., ellagitannin). The peel of the fruit includes ample tannins.

It has been used as a deworming agent, although it causes intolerance at times. It is also used as an anti-diarrheal, anti-hemorrhagic agent. Traditionally, it has been used to reduce fever in flu-like processes and against inflammatory tonsils. It has an anthelmintic effect and is especially effective against tapeworms. Depending on the dose, it causes paralysis or death of the tapeworm. It also has astringent, anti-diarrheal, and anti-hemorrhagic effects.

The bark of the root and trunk is toxic due to alkaloids. It can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and problems with eyesight. It should be avoided in the case of gastritis, gastric ulcer, and duodenal ulcer during pregnancy and lactation.

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022
How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022

Gastronomy

It is one of the typical sweet fruits of fall. Pomegranate is often used to prepare desserts; it is very showy, lending elegance to a fruit salad. It also goes well with ice cream, yogurt, and cheese. An example is a glass of pomegranate with orange blossom and yogurt ice cream and pomegranate with sweet wine. Jams and jams can also be prepared from pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate is also an ingredient in the creative kitchen. So it can be prepared in a salad by adding pomegranate seeds to green salads or salads based on potatoes, white beans, or chickpeas. It goes well with dried fruit such as pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and tofu. It can also add a dash of color and flavor to meat and fish.

In the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon), pomegranate seeds are traditionally used for stuffing poultry, as well as for making muhammara, a sophisticated sauce whose main ingredients are red pepper and walnuts or fesenjan, based on dried fruit (almonds, raisins), fried onions and chicken meat.

In India, pomegranate seeds are used to prepare chutneys or dried as a spice in some curries. Pomegranate juice is trendy in North Africa and the Middle East. Grenadine is also used as an ingredient in some cocktails.

The pomegranate is also used in gardening, as a natural shrub or bonsai.

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Where do pomegranate trees grow best?

The optimal growing areas for this fruit are USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 to 10. They appreciate cool winters and hot, dry summers. They thrive when growing season temperatures are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Pomegranate trees are more cold tolerant than citrus trees, but the levels vary depending on the cultivar.

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022
How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Complete Care Guide 2022

How long does it take for a pomegranate tree to bear fruit?

Fruit ripening takes around six to seven months for most pomegranates, so flowers blooming in April and May should be ready between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Are pomegranate trees hard to grow? They are easy to grow.

They are naturally adapted to Mediterranean regions with cool winters and hot summers and are especially suited for California gardens.

Do pomegranate trees grow fast?

This shrub grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24″ per year.

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