There are a lot of good reasons to think about growing a pomegranate tree. Whether you decide to grow it from a seed or buy a sapling, the pomegranate is a relatively easy tree to care for as long as you live in the right climate. The stunning flowers attract hummingbirds, the fruit is packed with health benefits, and it tastes like paradise.
The pomegranate tree is native to the area that is now Iran and was popular throughout the Mideast and Mediterranean. This means semi-arid regions are ideal for growing a pomegranate tree. That also means I have some bad news. Pomegranate trees need a lot of sunshine and warmth. They like temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit for at least three months of the year. And though they are cold hardy, you probably need a hardiness zone 7 or higher for any success in growing a pomegranate tree.
The upside is that, unlike most fruit trees which you need to graft or buy as a sapling, the pomegranate tree will grow from seed.
Growing a pomegranate tree from a seed: The 5 tips you need to know
1. Start in the winter. Your seeds will need time to germinate, and you’ll need to harden off your seedlings before you can plant them.
2. Clean your seeds. Wash your seeds, then let them dry for a day or two before planting them.
3. Use a seed starting mix. Plant your pomegranate seeds in a loose, dry starting mix, about half of an inch down. Put the seed in a warm, sunny spot and keep the starting mix moist. They will need about three to four weeks to germinate, though it’s not unheard of for them to sprout in a shorter period of time.
4. Harden off your plants. Once any chance of frost has passed, begin moving your seedlings outdoors for a few hours each day. Keep them in a warm, protected, and sunny location. And be sure to bring them in at night.
5. Choose a sunny spot. Full sun is ideal for growing a pomegranate tree, but they will be okay with a little bit of shade. Just remember that pomegranate trees are from semi-arid climates, so bear that in mind when you determine where to plant your sapling.
There’s not a lot more to it. Make sure your young sapling gets evenly watered, but don’t overdo it. If you want to shape your tree, you can prune it once it gets established and starts growing. They can get pretty big – anywhere from 12 to 20-feet tall. And they can spread out that same distance.
Expect to wait about five years for your tree to mature and start bearing fruit. And then? You will have the fruit of the (Ancient Greek) gods!
Have you tried growing a pomegranate tree from a seed? I’d love to read your story in the comments.