May Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Pomegranate

Pomegranate Blooms
One of the showiest plants in my garden today is the Pomegranate Tree. As you can see, the large, fluffy many-petaled flowers resemble carnations. This cultivar is the very popular 'Wonderful.'

Exotic as it may seem, Pomegranates are very easy to grow in your own garden here in Georgia and Alabama. Pomegranates enjoy a hot dry summer even when planted in poor soil. In fact, Pomegranate just might be the easiest fruit tree to grow! 

Punica granatum, or as we know it, Pomegranate, loves hot sunny summers and dry, well-drained soil. It’s perfect for Georgia gardens, as long as we amend the soil for drainage. Pomegranate trees, or actually the growth habit is more like that of a shrub, require a cold winter to set fruit. That’s us—hot summers and a cold winter—at least cold enough for Pomegranates, because winter temperatures down into the 40’s is cold enough.

Pomegranate is a rapid growing plant that will ultimately be 10-20 feet tall. This large shrub can be somewhat prickly, so situate it where that won't be a problem. The large fruits are heavy, weighing down the branches.  It's best to prune the plant to keep it 10 feet or under, making it easier to pick the fruit and also to keep the branches from breaking with the weight of the fruit. 

The large fluffy bright orange blossoms appear in early summer. The fruit develops in late summer and matures into fall.  The foliage is attractive as well--new growth is red-tinged, and the leaves turn a golden yellow in fall.

With all the news lately regarding the health benefits of Pomegranate juice, we should all consider growing our own pomegranates!

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