Pomegranates

Two pomegranates

Pomegranates

Pomegranates

The pomegranate is one of the all time great plants of horticulture. It is native to the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, Afghanistan and Iran, where it has been grown since ancient times.

Plant details

Common name: Pomegranate

Botanic name: Punica granatum

Description: In its native habitat, Punica granatum is a small deciduous tree growing to about 8m (26′). In cultivation it is a large, multi-stemmed erect shrub to around 4m (12′) tall. In late spring to summer single scarlet/orange flowers with crepe-like petals appear. The fruit develops from late summer to early winter. It is yellow with heavy red shading, and has a thick rind surrounding many seeds in a reddish, jelly-like pulp. The bright, glossy green leaves turn yellow in autumn.

Varieties:

‘Nana’is a dwarf form growing to 1m (3′) or less. It has single scarlet flowers, smaller leaves than the species and yellow/scarlet fruit in abundance. ‘Nana Plena’is the double flowered form of ‘Nana’. It does not produce fruit. ‘Legrelliae’is an ornamental variety that does not produce fruit. The double flowers are salmon/scarlet with a white edge to each petal. As far as we know this variety is not available for sale in nurseries, but we are trying to get someone to propagate it and will let you know if we’re successful.

Best climate: Pomegranates are very hardy and can be grown anywhere in Australia. They are frost and drought tolerant.

Uses:

Hedges Borders Containers Bonsai Fruit

Good points:

Very hardy plant Attractive scarlet flowers Edible fruit Tall or dwarf varieties available Non-fruiting varieties available

Downside:

Fruiting varieties are susceptible to Queensland Fruit Fly. In areas where fruit fly is a problem a control program must be used.

Care:

Pomegranates like a position in full sun. They prefer a moderately fertile, well-drained soil enriched with organic material. Prune lightly in late winter to maintain bushiness.

Getting started:

Plants may be hard to find so you’ll need to shop around. Expect to pay $9.95 for 150mm (6″) pots, $12.50 for 200mm (8″) pots and $22.50 for plants in 300mm (12″) pots.

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