For the ancient Egyptians, the pomegranate was the symbol of fertility and stood for eternal youth, attractiveness and femininity. If the pomegranate is cultivated as a tree, it is usually thorny and densely branched and can reach a height of three to five meters. But the ornamental shrub also cuts a fine figure as a container plant on the terrace, balcony or in the garden. As a shrub, it reaches a height of up to two meters. The warmth-loving plant is sensitive to frost and needs a cool location in winter.
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The exotic potted plant is adorned with five to eight centimeters long lanceolate leaves that shine bronze when they shoot, then turn green and turn a rich yellow in autumn. The filigree flowers are bell-shaped and appear bright red in their wild form. Cultivated plants shine with orange, white or yellow flowers that open in summer. In addition to the decorative leaves and flowers, it is above all the fruits that make the pomegranate tree so popular. They are the size of apples and have a yellow-brown to red-brown skin. The juicy, red pulp inside the fruit envelops the innumerable seeds and tastes aromatic and sweet. Unfortunately, it takes the pomegranate some time to show the flowers and fruits, around three years.
Different types / varieties
- Dwarf variety ‘Nana’ – The most interesting variety among the pomegranate trees is the dwarf variety ‘Nana’. The plant grows compact, is floriferous and is considered robust. As a potted plant, it is only about one meter tall, forms orange to garnet-red flowers that produce small fruits with germinable seeds.
- ‘Nana Plena’ – the blooming one – Among the dwarf forms, the double blooming form ‘Nana Plena’ unfolds a little weaker than the ‘Nana’. The shoots are stiff, thick and often very little branched. The plant becomes a little over a meter high, flowers from June to September and shows orange-red flowers during this time.
- ‘Flore Pleno’ – the fruitless one – Flore Pleno ‘is another type of pomegranate that translates as “double flower”. In summer, the variety presents itself with countless orange-red flowers that are densely filled. As a rule, fruits do not form from the flowers. The beauty can be cut back at will in late winter.
- ‘Legrellei’ – the extraordinary one – A well-known variety is the ‘Legrellei’. The special thing about this pomegranate variety are the extraordinary, densely filled flowers, which shine orange-red to salmon-colored and have a white border. Since the stamens are too short due to the double flowers, the ‘Legrellei’ does not bear any fruit and is therefore one of the ornamental varieties.
Caring for the exotic container plant
The pomegranate is quite robust, but it needs a lot of water and a high nutrient content. He is also sensitive to frost. With all these properties, it is one of the exotic plants that require intensive care. However, he would like to thank you with the right care with juicy fruits and an extraordinary display of flowers.
The plant loves sun, warmth and high humidity. She prefers to be outside from May to September. The older the plant, the more hungry it becomes for the sun. So that the precious pomegranate tree can thrive well and healthily, it is placed in a sunny spot.
- Place on the balcony or terrace from spring to autumn
- a place protected from wind and draft-free is ideal
- also thrives in partial shade
- then the number of flowers is lower and there is hardly any fruit formation
It is also possible to cultivate the pomegranate tree on the windowsill all year round. As a houseplant, however, it does not bloom as intensely as plants that are placed outdoors in the warm months. If you want to cultivate the pomegranate on the windowsill, choose a place that faces south.
The pomegranate tree does not place particularly high demands on the soil.
- loose and permeable
- is just as satisfied with normal potting soil as with sandy, poor soil that hardly contains any peat
- Plant pomegranate deeply
- higher pot more appropriate
- Garden soil should be made permeable with fillers for larger plants
During the vegetation phase, the pomegranate has a medium need for water. Therefore, it should be watered regularly. The substrate must be kept evenly moist. In addition, it must be ensured that the lowest roots are soaked with water.
It usually survives short periods of drought without any problems. In order to initiate the pause in growth, it is necessary to change the watering behavior from August. From that point on, the amount of water given and the amount of water should be significantly lower.
- Water regularly during the growth phase.
- There must be no waterlogging.
- Only pour when the top layer of soil is dry. Test by finger pressure.
- If the pomegranate loses leaves while it is growing, it lacks water.
- Remove any accumulated water from the planter or saucer.
During the vegetation phase, the pomegranate tree is fertilized regularly. It is best to do this every two to four weeks. A phosphorus-based liquid fertilizer is used. A normal complete fertilizer (NPK fertilizer) with a concentration of three grams per liter can also be used. If too much fertilization is used, the plant reacts by not developing any flowers in the first place.
The pomegranate tree is a deciduous tree that practically worships the sun. Most species are sensitive to frost. The plant has developed a protective mechanism against low temperatures. It sheds its leaves and shuts down the metabolism. As with other cold house plants, there are only a few pomegranate tree varieties that can withstand really icy temperatures of more than minus ten degrees Celsius unscathed.
If the pomegranate is cultivated in a container, it must be cleared in autumn after it has been cut back. The best place to overwinter is the garage or a basement room. The temperatures in the winter quarters should not fall below three degrees Celsius. The upper limit of the optimal temperature is seven degrees Celsius. In addition, the leafless sapling should not have any direct exposure to light. The pomegranate hardly needs any water during the vegetation break. However, the plant should not dry out completely in winter. There is no need for fertilizer in the cold season.
In February the plant can already be moved back to a warm and bright location. Preferably on a window that faces south. If the first fully developed leaves appear, fertilizer can be applied again and more water can be given. When the ice saints (mid-May) are over, the pomegranate is put outside again and regularly watered and fertilized.
Who has throughout his baby all year outdoors, it must be protected against frost. It is advisable to coat the pomegranate tree with fleece, brushwood or straw mats to protect it from possible frost.
Before the precious container plant moves into its winter quarters, it should be thinned out. As a result, it retains its bushy character and, with its striking flowers and shiny leaves, will again be an eye-catcher on the terrace or balcony in the following year.
- cut weak shoots
- cut branches that are too long
- Cut young shoots back by a third
The pruning does not necessarily have to be done in late autumn. Early spring is also a good time for pruning. Then it should be done before budding.
Pomegranate trees don’t need to be repotted every year. When the flowering of the plant is waning or the soil is full of roots, then is the right time to repot the plant. It is best to repot in March before budding. Depending on its age, the baby needs a larger container every two to four years. If possible, this should be chosen so that it cannot tip over with large bushes.
- remove about two thirds of the earth
- Carry out a root cut
- Choose a water-permeable and airy substrate
The robust potted plants can be propagated in two ways, by cuttings and by seeds.
Propagation by seeds
- Separate the stones from the pulp and clean them
- in a glass with warm water, let the kernels soak for two days
- then place in potting soil
- Keep the soil moist at all times
- Temperatures must not fall below 20 degrees Celsius
- the first seedlings can be seen after two to three months
- the small plants are isolated
- choose a bright location
- no blazing sun
Propagation by cuttings
- best in February / March
- leafless side shoot must not be too soft
- Length about ten to 20 centimeters
- Put the shoot in loose, moist potting soil
- take root easily and quickly at an ambient temperature of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and high humidity
- roots form after four weeks
- Put young plants in small pots and place them in a place that is 16 degrees Celsius
- prune several times so that the plants branch out vigorously
Diseases, pests and other problems
The pomegranate tree is not exactly susceptible to pests and diseases. However, if it is cultivated in the winter garden or greenhouse, it can quickly become a victim of the whitefly.
- If the flowers fail to appear, it may be that too much has been watered and fertilized for too long. Another reason could be that the winter was too warm.
- If the winter place is too warm, aphids and mealybugs often appear.
- Aphids can be removed by showering.
- Mealybugs are fought with a soap and spirit solution.
With the right care and the right location conditions in summer and winter, the pomegranate tree can get very old. It is a popular container plant, loves the sun, is robust and can tolerate the cold quite well. It is also almost resistant to pests and diseases. If you like it, you can grow your pomegranate into a high stem by regularly cutting off the lower side shoots.