With its shiny leaves, fleshy orange flowers, and bright red fruit, the pomegranate is one of the most beautiful fruiting plants. The leaves have a reddish tint in spring and are bright yellow in fall, providing a background that makes the fruit especially attractive.
Pomegranates are often thought of as a tropical or desert fruit, but in fact they withstand winter temperatures down to about 10° F. While they do ripen their fruit best in very hot, arid climates, you can harvest edible fruit in cooler areas. They are ideal plants for the desert Southwest because they tolerate drought, Rain or irrigation close to harvest can cause pomegranates to split.
The edible portion of a pomegranate is the juicy scarlet flesh around the abundant seeds. If you score the skin just down to these seeds in about six places, cutting from stem to flower, you can open the fruit and expose all the seeds at once. Pomegranates are good in fruit salads and make an excellent syrup when cooked with sugar and a little water. This syrup is sold commercially as grenadine.
You can grow pomegranates as fountain-shaped shrubs or single- or multiple-trunk trees. They reach about 10 to 12 feet tall under ideal conditions but often remain smaller. A shrub can spread from 6 to 8 feet across.
Blossoms form on the current year's growth, and as the fruit grows heavier it pulls down the slender new branches, making a decorative weeping effect. The plant stands drought well, but keep the moisture level even. Thin ning is not necessary. An excess crop is very decorative if left on the tree. The trees are self-fertile, so even a single specimen will bear fruit.
Normally pomegranates have no pest or disease problems, but the leaves can develop fungus diseases in humid climates.
'Wonderful' This is the most common pomegranate and the only one you're likely to see in nurseries.
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