Pomegranate seeds are delicious and highly nutritious, making them a popular addition to salads, smoothies, and various other dishes. But did you know that you can grow your own pomegranate tree from those little seeds? With a few simple steps, you can plant pomegranate seeds and enjoy the fruits of your labor in a few years. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at how to plant pomegranate seeds and ensure a successful harvest.
Choosing the Right Pomegranate Seeds
The first step in planting pomegranate seeds is to choose the right type of seed. There are many different varieties of pomegranate, and some are better suited to certain growing conditions than others. Additionally, not all pomegranate seeds are created equal, and some may be more viable than others. Here’s what you need to know:
Types of Pomegranate Seeds
There are two main types of pomegranate seeds: naturally dried and extracted. Naturally dried seeds have been allowed to dry out on the fruit itself, while extracted seeds have been manually removed from the flesh. Both types of seeds can be used for planting, but naturally dried seeds are generally considered to be more viable.
Viability of Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranate seeds can remain viable for several months if stored properly, but their viability decreases over time. You can test the viability of your seeds by soaking them in water for a few hours. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container, while non-viable seeds will float to the top.
- TIP: To increase the likelihood of growing a successful pomegranate tree, it’s best to choose seeds that are less than a year old and have been stored in a cool, dry place.
Preparing the Soil
The next step in planting pomegranate seeds is to prepare the soil. Pomegranate trees prefer well-draining soil that’s slightly acidic (pH of 5.5-7.0) and rich in organic matter. Here’s how to prepare the soil for planting:
Choosing a Location
Pomegranate trees thrive in warm, sunny environments, so it’s important to choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Additionally, choose a location with well-draining soil to avoid waterlogged conditions.
Testing the Soil
You can test the pH of your soil using a soil testing kit, which can be purchased at most garden centers or online. If the pH is too low (below 5.5), you can add lime to raise it. Conversely, if the pH is too high (above 7.0), you can add sulfur to lower it.
Amending the Soil
To improve soil texture and fertility, you can amend the soil with organic matter such as compost, aged manure, or leaf mold. Mix the organic matter into the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches, incorporating it thoroughly.
Planting Pomegranate Seeds
Now that you’ve chosen the right seeds and prepared the soil, it’s time to plant your pomegranate seeds. Here’s how to do it:
Soaking the Seeds
Before planting, soak your pomegranate seeds in water for 24 hours to soften the seed coat and improve germination rates.
Planting the Seeds
Plant the seeds about 1 inch deep in the prepared soil, spacing them at least 6-8 inches apart. Water the soil thoroughly after planting to settle the seeds and remove any air pockets.
Caring for the Seedlings
To ensure successful germination, keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. As the seedlings grow, you can gradually reduce the frequency of watering, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Additionally, you can fertilize the seedlings with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to promote healthy growth.
Transplanting Pomegranate Trees
Once your pomegranate seedlings are 10-12 inches tall, you can transplant them into their permanent location. Here’s how:
Preparing the Planting Hole
Dig a hole that’s twice as wide and deep as the seedling’s root ball. Amend the soil in the planting hole with compost, aged manure, or other organic matter to improve soil fertility.
Transplanting the Seedling
Carefully remove the seedling from its pot, taking care not to damage the roots. Set the seedling in the center of the planting hole at the same depth it was growing in the nursery pot. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the base of the seedling.
Caring for the Tree
Water the newly transplanted pomegranate tree thoroughly and continue to water it regularly until it becomes established. After that, water only during dry spells or drought conditions. Provide the tree with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season to promote healthy growth.
After about three years, your pomegranate tree should start producing fruit. Here’s how to harvest your pomegranates:
Timing the Harvest
Pomegranates are typically harvested in early fall when the fruit is fully ripe. The fruit should be deep red in color and the skin should be firm but slightly flexible.
Harvesting the Fruit
Cut the fruit off the tree using pruning shears or scissors, leaving a small stem attached to the fruit. Avoid pulling the fruit off the tree, as this can damage the branch.
Storing the Fruit
Pomegranates can be stored at room temperature for up to a month, or in the refrigerator for up to three months. Alternatively, you can remove the seeds from the fruit and freeze them for up to six months.
- Q: Can pomegranate trees be grown in containers?
- A: Yes, pomegranate trees can be grown in large containers, provided they have adequate drainage and enough room to grow.
- Q: How long does it take for a pomegranate tree to produce fruit?
- A: Pomegranate trees typically start producing fruit after about three years.
- Q: Do pomegranate trees require pruning?
- A: Yes, pomegranate trees should be pruned annually to remove dead or diseased wood and encourage healthy growth.
- Q: Are pomegranates difficult to grow?
- A: Pomegranates are relatively easy to grow as long as the growing conditions are suitable and the tree is cared for properly.
“Pomegranate Seed Germination – Tips On Growing Pomegranates From Seed,” Gardening Know How
“How To Plant A Pomegranate Seed,” wikiHow
“Pomegranates,” University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources