The pomegranate It is one of the deciduous fruit trees most loved by all those who live in hot and dry climates, as it easily withstands high temperatures and drought. In fact, once established it can survive even fruiting with as little as 350 liters of water per year.
Its growth rate is quite fast, but it is not invasive. As if that were not enough, it can be pruned to keep it under control, or to give it the shape that we like the most: either as a tree or as a shrub. In this special I am going to tell you, not only how you can do it, but also its characteristics, its care, and much more.
Characteristics of the Granado
The pomegranate is a tree native to the Mediterranean Region that grows up to 5 meters tall, and whose scientific name is Pink garnet. It has small leaves, about 2cm long, dark green; and some red flowers that sprout in spring which measure around 1,5 or 2cm. The fruit, the pomegranate, measures up to 12cm, and has a spherical shape, red or reddish-yellow in color; Inside are numerous pinkish-red seeds.
In a natural way, it grows from sea level to 1100 meters. In Spain we can find it in the east and south of the country, also in the two archipelagos (the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands).
Care to have a healthy pomegranate tree
Would you like to have a tree or several of this species? Take note of these tips:
Our protagonist must be placed outside in an area where it is directly exposed to sunlight. Withstands frosts up to -12 degrees Celsius, so we will not have to worry about the cold, unless we live in an area where temperatures drop clearer.
It resists drought very, very well. As I mentioned at the beginning, once it has been planted in the garden for one or two years, it can grow even if days and even weeks go by without rain. Still, if you want it to bear fruit and give an excellent harvest, it is important water it twice a week, three in summer.
It is not very necessary, but, as with irrigation, so that the pomegranates can develop wonderfully well, the fertilizer does not hurt. Therefore, I advise you fertilize it in spring and summer with organic fertilizerssuch as animal manure, or with seaweed extract; yes, do not abuse the latter because it is very alkaline.
Whether you want to move to the garden or to a larger pot, it must be done in springafter the risk of frost has passed.
It supports pruning very well, so much so that it is often used as bonsai (more on this topic below). To prune it, you have to wait for spring to arrive, or fall if you live in a mild climate.
The following must be removed / trimmed:
- It removes the basal suckers that come out around the trunk.
- If you want to make it a tree, remove the lower branches, so that the trunk is almost clean; If, on the other hand, you want to make it a bush, cut the main branch so that secondary twigs come out, and give the crown a ball shape.
- Trim those branches that have grown excessively, and remove those that are weak or diseased.
Use pruning shears or a small hand saw previously disinfected with alcohol from a pharmacy, and put healing paste on the wounds to avoid infection.
Reproduction of the pomegranate
You can reproduce your pomegranate either by seeds, by cuttings or by suckers. Let’s see how to proceed in each case:
In spring, the seeds should be cleaned with water and sow directly into seedling trays or potsputting a maximum of 2 in each one. We will use a porous substrate for this, but it will not be necessary to complicate much: with a universal culture substrate mixed with 20% perlite we can be sure that they will germinate without problems.
We will fill the seedbed with the substrate, almost completely, we will place the seeds, and finally we will cover them with a thin layer of soil, enough so that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Then it only remains to water, place it in full sun, and wait about 2 months, which is how long it will take to germinate if we keep the substrate moist but not flooded.
Towards the end of winter they cut off semi-woody stems that are 0,50cm thick and about 25cm long. Afterwards, they are planted in pots with universal cultivation substrate mixed with 30-40% perlite, it is watered, and in the following spring we will have a new tree.
The pomegranate produces many shoots, which can be removed in spring or summer making trenches around them with a depth of 30cm, and making a little lever with a laya (kind of straight shovel).
Then are planted in pots with universal growing substrate and are kept there for, at least, all that year.
Pests and diseases of the pomegranate
Despite being a very resistant tree, it can be affected by different pests and diseases, which are:
- Mealybugs: treat with paraffin oil.
- Aphids: can be fought with Neem oil.
- Borer: 40% dimethoate is used, but it is not a natural insecticide, so the product label must be read carefully.
- Botrytis fruit rot: treat with systemic fungicides.
- Screening: treat with copper.
In addition to what we have seen so far, our plant may also have other problems which are:
- Open grenades: it occurs when you water a lot when the fruit is growing and little when it is ripening. It also tends to occur in dry climates, where it can go weeks without rain.
The best solution is to install drip irrigation.
- Sunny pomegranates: It occurs when the fruits receive a strong insolation. Thus, black spots appear and the pomegranate is no longer edible.
Uses of pomegranate
This is a tree that is used as an ornamental, medicinal and culinary plant.
- Ornamental plant: both in gardens and orchards, for its delicious fruit. Also as bonsai.
- Medicinal: reduces fever, stops diarrhea, relieves colic symptoms, and also has diuretic and antihypertensive properties.
- Cookery: grains are used from the pomegranate, which can be eaten fresh or used to make drinks, sorbets or grenadine syrup.
The pomegranate as bonsai
According to the Classical School of Bonsai, a plant must be woody and have small leaves so that it can become bonsai, characteristics that the pomegranate fulfills. But how do you take care of it?
- Location: outside, in full sun.
- Style: informal vertical.
- Irrigation: frequent in summer, and somewhat scarcer the rest of the year.
- Subscriber: every 20 days in spring and autumn it is recommended to fertilize with specific fertilizers for bonsai, or with liquid organic fertilizers such as guano.
- Pruning: at the beginning of spring the branches should be pinched, allowing 4-5 pairs of leaves to grow and cutting 2-3.
Towards the end of summer or the beginning of autumn we have to cut or remove those branches that we do not need.
And, of course, you have to remove the shoots that come out of the base of the trunk.
- Wiring: in spring or autumn.
- Transplant: every 2 or 3 years in early spring, trimming the healthy roots a little, and removing those that are rotten.
And with this we end this your special. What did you think of the pomegranate?