Dwarf pomegranate tree care

Contents

Dwarf Pomegranate

Botanical Name: Punica granatum ‘Nana’

Give dwarf pomegranate tree a sunny window — and you’ll enjoy this petite charmer year-round. This is a compact cultivar that is easy to grow as a house plant.

An evergreen tree, you can expect pomegranates’ woody branches to be covered with 1-inch (2.5 cm) leaves year-round.

And in summer, you’ll enjoy the orange-red, tubular flowers followed by small fruits. Pomegranates may take several months to ripen, so don’t give up on it. Yes, they’re edible — but small. They’re also less sweet than those from the full-size pomegranate tree. Consider your dwarf plant purely decorative.

Given plenty of warm sunshine, fruits will decorate this ornamental tree. Photo: Albrecht Fietz

Buying Tips

You can buy dwarf pomegranate plants at some garden centers and online in spring and summer. Look for the Punica granatum ‘Nana’ name to be sure you’re getting this dwarf cultivar.

Dwarf Pomegranate Tree Care

Shed some light. Plants that don’t bloom aren’t getting enough light. Put your tree where it will get bright light with some direct sunlight every day. Moving it outdoors for the summer is ideal. Just be sure to bring it back before the temperature drops to 50° at night.

Got blooms, but no fruit? Some types of pomegranate trees are self-pollinating, but not all. Fruit trees grown outdoors are pollinated from the wind or insects that carry the pollen from flower to flower. If you’ve kept your plant indoors, it needs some help from you. Don’t worry — it’s easy to do. How to pollinate your pomegranate: Use a small, clean paintbrush to dab the stamens in the center of the flowers, moving from flower to flower to spread the pollen around.

Tiny fruits of the dwarf pomegranate tree are purely decorative. Photo: Alina Kuptsova

Prune your plant. Pruning pomegranate trees will keep them shapely — and compact. You’ll also encourage more flower buds to form. Prune in spring, removing old wood and long side branches. Once you get in the habit of yearly pruning, it’s hardly any work at all.

Repot in spring. Repot only when the roots have filled the pot. Move to a pot only 1 size larger. Use a pot with a drainage hole to prevent overwatering, which can cause root rot.

Something bugging your plants? Check your house plants regularly for aphids. They tend to hang out on flower buds and stems. If you find an infestation, treat your plant right away because these little pests can harm your plants.

Dwarf Pomegranate Care Tips

Origin: Mediterranean

Height: Up to 3 ft (90 cm). Pomegranate bonsai trees are kept shorter.

Light: Bright light to full sun

Water: Keep potting medium evenly moist, but not soggy which can lead to root rot. Fruit trees are thirsty during the growing season and need ample water, so check it often.

Humidity: Average room (around 40-50% relative humidity). Indoor humidity levels can drop drastically in a heated home in winter. If indoor air is dry, you can increase humidity for your houseplants.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C. Dwarf pomegranate will tolerate a minimum of 50°F/10°C in the winter.

Soil: Good-quality, all-purpose potting mix. Do not use garden soil because it will become too compact in a container.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a water-soluble fertilizer specially made for fruit trees.

Propagation: Take 3-4 in (7.5-10 cm) stem tip cuttings in spring. Sow seeds in spring. Soak seeds overnight in warm water before sowing in seed starting mix. Keep seeds warm and barely moist. Seeds will germinate in about 3-4 weeks.

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Dwarf pomegranate tree has been grown since prehistoric period. In ancient Israel and Egypt, it was regarded a holy plant. The dwarf pomegranate tree is an extremely admired and popular tree due to its flowering and fruiting qualities. If you want to gain the benefits of this tree, you need to know how to grow dwarf pomegranate tree.

How to Choose the Right Temperature?

This tree isn’t resilient so it should be grown after the last frost has passed. The dwarf pomegranate might be overwintered at relative warm temp or cool temp, 43°F- 50°F or above but not exceed 64 °F. This plant is suitable at 70°F temperature.

How to Choose the Right Lighting?

Make sure to put pomegranate plant in good sunlight as they love sunlight, however should be watered on a daily basis. This plant must be secure from frost.

Watering Dwarf Pomegranate Tree

Keep the soil wet all the times. Prior to midseason, slightly shade the tree to conserve humidity. Through keeping the plant a bit dry in middle to late springs, your pomegranate will begin to flower. After flowers emerge, water the plant generously for the rest of the period.

In winter when the leaves dropped, it requires a moderate watering. Pomegranate plants really like water, so don’t utilize pots which are too thin or low.

Fertilizing Dwarf Pomegranate Tree

Feed your plant once the leaves swell until the time of flowering, utilizing a good feed, exchanging with 0-10-10 every ten days. And after flowering, if you see some formation of fruit, recommence the cycle of feeding but also feed on a monthly basis until the start of autumn with fish emulsion. Don’t feed in winter in any way.

Pruning and Training Dwarf Pomegranate Tree

Your plant must be pruned prior to the emerging of new shoots, to give way the new growth. Older branches of tree must be trimmed in midseason. A new shoot is pinched from the start of summer; ensure to keep 2 and 5 leaves on every shoot. Mature trees could be trimmed at the early stage. At this stage flower buds are created, and earlier cutting can get rid of them.

Basically flowering shoots are shorter compared leaf shoots. Don’t prune flowering shoots once it is flowers you desire.

Insects and Pests

Dwarf Pomegranates tree may sometime be affected by pests like aphids. Pomegranates kept inside are often bothered by whitefly. Aphids are extremely hard to control and could be killed by spraying the tree with power pressure and then spray it with water and soap solution. Outdoors, this tree is vulnerable to greenfly invasion. Treat it using pyrethrum.

Repotting Dwarf Pomegranate Tree

Transfer the tree in mid-spring once the buds are developing. You tree is repotted yearly while the older one is repotted as pointed out by the production of root, meaning gently tap the root and check soil areas that is not yet infused with root. If there’s still soil accessible, repotting is postponed for another season.

Styling Dwarf Pomegranate Tree

This plant is best suited to various bonsai styles like informal upright, literati, forest, cascade, tree on rock, root over rock, windswept, win trunk, group as well as twisting trunk style.

Pomegranate Bonsai Tree Care Guide (Punica Granatum)

Introduction

The Pomegranate tree is very popular as a bonsai. It is a deciduous tree and drops most or all of its leaves in the winter, but does not produce bright, autumn colors. It has striking flowers that bear fruit and a thick trunk with attractive bark.

The trunk has a natural twist that gives a gnarled and ancient appearance which is very appreciated in bonsai. The Pomegranate reached Japan through the silk route and has been admired as a bonsai tree for centuries. There are many varieties with different color, shape and size of flowers and fruit.

The pomegranate, its scientific name Punica granatum, is a deciduous broadleaf bonsai tree that is renowned for its pomegranate fruit, and its flowers are beautiful in their own right. The tree trunks of a pomegranate are robust, and their barks are eye-catching.

It is native in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and today, the pomegranate tree grows in different countries worldwide. What makes pomegranate so popular among bonsai enthusiasts?

In winter, the Pomegranate tree drops almost all of its leaves, and it doesn’t produce autumn and bright colors. It’s beautiful flowers bear fruit and it has a thick trunk with a very attractive bark because of its natural twist, giving an ancient and gnarled appearance. This look, along with its stunning flowers and fruits, is very much appreciated and most-sought in the world of bonsai.

Scientific/Botanical Name Punica Granatum
Description The pomegranate is a deciduous broadleaf tree. The tree is renowned for the pomegranate fruit, but the flowers are stunning in their own right. The tree trunks are robust, and the bark is eye-catching. Although it is indigenous to parts of the Middle East and Asia, the pomegranate tree now grows in many different parts of the world.
Position It can be grown outdoors all year round in any region that enjoys a Mediterranean-like climate. The pomegranate bonsai can also be grown indoors in a warm, sunny site during the summer months. The tree requires shadier conditions in the winter.
Watering The pomegranate tree requires regular watering to keep the soil slightly moist, but not overly wet. Watering should be reduced over the winter months. Misting the tree on a weekly basis is beneficial.
Feeding Fertilized the tree every other week once new growth begins in springtime. Either use a liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for bonsai trees or an all-purpose plant food given at half-strength. An additional feed consisting of pulverized organic fertilizer is recommended in mid-spring. Pomegranate plants should not be fertilized in the three months following re-potting.
Leaf and Branch Pruning Regular pinching-out of each first or third leaf will increase the plant’s foliage. It is better to allow young shoots to mature and lengthen before they are cut back to the desired length.
Re-potting & Growing Medium Pomegranate trees bloom more abundantly when the roots are pot-bound. As such, re-potting should only be carried out every three or four years, and it should be undertaken during the latter part of the winter season. A soil mixture that contains high levels of lime and sand is ideal for pomegranate trees.
Wiring Dwarf pomegranate trees should not be wired because they are likely to suffer die-back. It is much better to use the clip and grow method to shape them. Larger varieties tolerate wiring as long as care is taken. New growth tends to thicken very quickly, so wiring must be removed in a timely manner to prevent the formation of scars.
Notes The pomegranate tree needs a number of years in the ground for the trunk to become thick because the trunk will not thicken in a bonsai pot. The plant should receive excellent air circulation because wet conditions may cause the appearance of mold. If mold does develop, the use of a mild grade of fungicide will be effective in combating the mold.

In this tutorial, we will share with you a comprehensive guide about Pomegranate bonsai trees, so you will gain the right knowledge, skills, and attitude towards becoming a master gardener. We will touch the following topics:

  1. Facts About Pomegranate Bonsai Trees
  2. General Care
  3. Special Care
  4. Regular Care
  5. Placement and Growing
  6. Right Watering Technique
  7. Fertilizing Your Pomegranate Bonsai
  8. Re-potting Tips and Considerations
  9. How to Prune, Wire, and Shape Your Pomegranate Bonsai
  10. Common Pests and Diseases

Let’s start learning about Pomegranate Bonsai Trees!

1) Facts About Pomegranate Bonsai Trees

  • When it comes to buying a Pomegranate bonsai tree, it is best to buy one with a thick trunk. It takes several years for it to develop a thick trunk, but if it’s not thick enough, it needs to be thickened on the ground before potting. The trunk of a Pomegranate won’t thicken in a bonsai container.
  • Pomegranate trees are native to countries with alluvial soil. They need a well-draining potting mix, centered around a decomposed granite. Giving them organic nutrients is highly beneficial to produce beautiful flowers, broad leaves, and fruits.
  • Pomegranate is considered a fruit-bearing deciduous small tree or shrub that belongs to the family Lythraceae.
  • It is native to Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India. This tree is widely cultivated throughout the Caucasus region, Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia as well as other parts of the Mediterranean Basin, California, and Arizona.
  • The name “pomegranate” is derived from the medieval Latin “pōmum” or “apple” and “grānātum” or “seeded.”
  • A typical pomegranate tree grows 6 to 10 meters and has multiple spiny branches. It is long-lived as evidenced by some specimens in France that survived for 200 years.

2) General Care

Soil

Pomegranates are native to places with alluvial soil. They need a potting mix that is well draining and centered around decomposed granite. They also need organic nutrients to produce the broad leaves, flowers and fruit. A mix of 60 per cent aggregate and 40 per cent organic is good. It will also need supplements, either organic or an inorganic time release fertilizer that is specifically for plants that produce flowers and fruit.

Potting

Pomegranates are very resilient, but should be potted in early spring before they start growing leaves. They flourish in warm weather and like full sunlight during the summer but not so much during the winter. The roots are fibrous and coarse and respond well to root pruning. There are no special precautions required for root pruning as long as it is done at the right time of year.

Shaping

Pomegranates are excellent for bonsai style, but medium to large style is best because of the size of the fruit. Dwarf varieties do not need to be wired and should be shaped by clip and grow. Large varieties can be wired, but when the young growth starts to thicken, the wires need to be removed to avoid scarring.

Pomegranates work best as a single tree and not grouped because of the flowers and fruits. A formal, upright style won’t work. The natural style is semi-cascade, informal and multi-trunk styles such as twisting trunk style.

To increase foliage, the tender green shoots can be pinched by hand at the first or third leaves. New shoots should be allowed to mature longer than desired, then cut back to the desired length. Natural die-back will also affect the shape and style of the tree.

What To Buy

When buying a Pomegranate it is best to get one with a thick trunk. It takes several years for it to develop a thick trunk, and this is what is needed for a good bonsai. If the trunk is not thick enough, it should be thickened in the ground before potting, because it will not thicken in a bonsai pot.

3) Special Care

Root rot can happen if there is not sufficient drainage, and mold may appear during wet months. Keep sufficient air circulation to combat mold and use a mild fungicide.

Scale insects, aphids and the pomegranate butterfly caterpillar are pests to be removed. An insecticide with Resmethrin, Acephate or Triforine could be used in as weak a solution as possible to still be effective. Trees can be sprayed every couple of months with an insect spray that is non-toxic, but not when the soil is dry.

4) Regular Care

All bonsai trees need careful watering because their pots are small and may dry quickly. The tree should be thoroughly watered and kept damp but not wet. It is recommended to water less in the winter.

Water should be added slowly so that it doesn’t run out over the top of the pot. Weekly misting may also help the Pomegranate tree. If the tree has good drainage, it is almost impossible to over water.

One trick for bonsai trees is to submerge the pot into one or two inches of water and let it absorb the water through the holes in the bottom of the pot.

Bonsais need fertilizer because of the small area where they live. Once the new leaves begin to appear in the spring, it is all right to fertilize the tree.

Every two weeks from the beginning of spring to autumn a liquid bonsai fertilizer or half-strength general purpose plant food can be given. In mid-spring, give the Pomegranate pulverized organic fertilizer in addition to the regular food.

Do not give it any fertilizer for three months after it has been potted.

Bonsais should also not be wired just after repotting. When it is time to wire, use the thinnest wire possible that will hold the branch in position. Begin wiring at the base of the trunk and wind it around the trunk as an anchor.

When the branch is reached the wire should be wound around the branch in the direction it is bent, so the wire will not loosen. If the wire is wrapped too tightly, the branch will become scarred.

The tree needs to be carefully watched to make sure the wire is not cutting into the branch. If this begins to happen, the wire should be immediately removed. A new wire can then be put. Pomegranate branches are brittle, so care should be taken when wiring that they don’t break.

When repotting every three to four years, the roots should be reduced gradually. Only one third of the root ball should be removed at each repotting. A proportional number of old leaves can also be removed at this time.

Complete defoliation is recommended if drastic root pruning is needed.

The tree should be repot into soil high in lime and sand content for fast draining. The pot should be slightly deep and not too shallow. The plant flowers well when it is root-bound and has enough water. Repotting should be done in late winter.

Pomegranates do not like frost and should be brought inside if it gets too cold during the winter. If possible, a greenhouse is the best place for the tree if the climate is cold. If the tree is shaded and kept slightly dry before mid-season, it will produce flowering shoots. It needs good light, but needs protection from drying winds.

5) Placement and Growing

Placement

Pomegranate bonsai trees can be cultivated outdoors in any region having a Mediterranean-like climate all year round. You can also grow pomegranate bonsai trees indoors in a sunny site and warm weather during summer. These trees require shadier conditions during winter.

Temperature

This bonsai tree is subtropical and quite a hardy plant that can withstand low temperatures, reaching 14 degrees Fahrenheit. This tree loves the sun, but bring it inside once the air temperature hits 41 degrees Fahrenheit or so.

Climate

This is your best choice if you are living in a temperate climate. Just remember to keep your pomegranate bonsai tree outdoors during warm weather. Pomegranate bonsai trees love the full sun, so when they are indoors, make sure that they are given a good position in a sunny window or give them enough artificial light. Pomegranate bonsai tolerates a little less light during winter.

Propagation

One of the qualities of a Pomegranate bonsai trees is that they’re relatively easy to propagate using seeds. Just simply rinse the seeds, rubbing them in a paper towel to remove any pulpy coating, and allowing to dry for a few days. Plant your pomegranate in a starter soil so you can put the entire seedling pot into a plastic bag in order to increase humidity, thus keeping moist until they are germinated. Pomegranate bonsai trees can also be propagated by cuttings, division, and layering.

Watering

A pomegranate bonsai has a fairly average water needs requirement. Keep your pomegranate bonsai moist but not overly saturated because it is vulnerable to root rot. Don’t allow the compost soil to dry completely. Use a moisture meter to help you in regulating the bonsai tree’s watering schedule. Pomegranate bonsai still benefits from an occasional misting, like once a week, even if they are accustomed to a dry weather.

Fertilizing

Feed your Pomegranate bonsai twice a week from the time of a new growth appears during spring up to the end of summer. You can use a liquid bonsai fertilizer. You can also use an all-purpose plant fertilizer that is diluted to half-strength.

For a more vigorous bloom as well as fruit growth, you can use a blend with high amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Do not fertilize your pomegranate bonsai for 3 months after repotting.

6) Right Watering Technique Tips

Tip #1: Bonsai trees, like pomegranate, live in small containers or pots and they tend to dry out much faster than the plants in bigger pots or in the ground, so pay close attention when watering.

Tip #2: Strike a balance between insufficient water and excessive water. Water your pomegranate bonsai thoroughly, and keep it damp but not too wet. You need to reduce watering during winter. An old watering trick is placing the entire bonsai pot in a sink of water, about an inch or two deep, letting the water absorb water from the holes in the bottom part of the pot.

Tip #3: Your Pomegranate tree can benefit from weekly misting.

Tip #4: You can use an inexpensive moisture meter to avoid the guesswork when watering.

Tip #5: Water your pomegranate bonsai slowly so it is absorbed into the soil, otherwise the water will be running all over your table.

General Bonsai Watering Technique

We have prepared a general watering technique guide recommended for all bonsai trees according to the season. Just keep in mind that once the water coming out the pot’s drainage holes, it only means that the water is enough.

Summer

  • It is important to water your bonsai plants twice a day, once in the morning and second, in the evening.
  • Don’t water the leaves of your bonsai tree when the sun is very hot because it may cause burnt leaves.
  • Never water your bonsai trees when the weather is too hot because the water inside the pot may get too hot, spoiling the roots.
  • If you are planning to go on a long trip, and you won’t be able to water your bonsai plants every day, you need to abundantly water it before leaving. It is important to leave your bonsai tree in a place where it is cool without exposure to the sun. Put the bonsai container in a water bucket so your bonsai tree can obtain water from the bottom. This helps your bonsai tree to survive for around up to 3 days.

Winter

  • Watering your bonsai tree once or twice a week is very important.
  • Avoid watering your bonsai plants when the temperature is freezing or too cold, most especially during early mornings or at midnight. A soil that is frozen can kill your bonsai plant.
  • It is best to water bonsai trees at daytime
  • Don’t water bonsai trees at nighttime

Spring and Autumn

  • Watering your bonsai trees once a day n spring and autumn are highly recommended.
  • Watering your bonsai plants when the soil is slightly dry is the best.
  • Every day, you need to water your bonsai plants regularly at the same time.

The pomegranate bonsai tree needs watering on a regular basis for a slightly moist soil, but not excessively wet. Reduce watering during winter months. Misting your pomegranate bonsai tree on a weekly basis is proven to be highly beneficial.

7) Fertilizing Your Pomegranate Bonsai

You need to fertilize your pomegranate bonsai tree every other week when new growth starts in springtime. You can use a liquid fertilizer that is specifically formulated for pomegranate bonsai trees. It is also fine to use an all-purpose bonsai plant food given at 50% strength. The additional feed consists of pulverized organic fertilizer which is recommended during mid-spring. Remember that pomegranate bonsai trees shouldn’t be fertilized at least 3 months after re-potting.

Bonsai Fertilizer Facts and Tips

  1. Bonsai fertilizer is considered a regular plant fertilizer. They do not contain any secret or special ingredient that is meant specifically for growing bonsai with a balanced NPK ratio. You can purchase bonsai fertilizers online or a bonsai shop to get the right balance for specifically for your bonsai tree species, age, and time of year.
  2. You can purchase bonsai fertilizer in solid or liquid form. A solid fertilizer usually comes in a form of pellets, granules, or powder. It is planted on the top of the compost soil below the surface. It slowly dissolves over time as the bonsai tree is watered.
  3. For an outdoor bonsai tree, you need to use a fertilizer basket or cover to ensure that the granules or pellets stay in place. They should not be washed away or stolen by animals.
  4. Liquid bonsai fertilizer is usually available as a concentrate and it should be diluted prior to application. You’ll need to mix the liquid fertilizer with water, pouring it onto the moistened soil.
  5. Many bonsai growers like to use solid fertilizers as they provide your bonsai tree with a continual and steady supply of nutrients, that need to be replaced every a couple of months. However, liquid fertilizers have a tendency attracting maggots and other pests, and they may have an offensive odor, affecting the general aesthetic appeal of your bonsai tree because they are visible.
  6. Solid fertilizers give a better control when it comes to the number being added. On the other hand, liquid fertilizers can be difficult to dilute or mix, increasing the chance or risk of over fertilizing. Some bonsai growers choose liquid fertilizers because of their fast action. Even if the effects are short-lived and liquid fertilizers increase the need to fertilize more frequently, they can give your bonsai plants the immediate boost they need, most especially when the bonsai trees are just coming out of the dormancy stage.

Pomegranate bonsai trees, like any other plants, need to be fertilized. These general guidelines need to be followed, but there are exceptions. For instance, if you want to encourage your bonsai tree to bear fruit and flower, you’ll need to use an effective bonsai fertilizer, either a solid or liquid fertilizer, with a high potassium content.

8) Re-potting Tips and Considerations

Tip #1: Pomegranate bonsai trees bloom abundantly when the roots are not pot-bound, so re-potting should be carried out every 3 or 4 years, and it should be done during the latter part of the winter.

Tip #2: You can also re-pot your pomegranate bonsai in spring, just before new buds develop. Younger bonsai trees can be re-potted every 1 to 2 years, whereas older trees should be re-potted every 2 to 3 years or when the roots outgrow the soil.

Tip #3: Pomegranate flowers are best when there is slight root-bound, so don’t use a shallow container for this bonsai tree. Prune up to 1/3 third of the root ball but not more than 50% of the fine roots. Transplant your pomegranate bonsai tree into a well-draining soil like a Fujiyama soil mix.

Re-potting Step-by-Step Guide

Step #1: Determine the perfect time to re-pot your pomegranate bonsai tree. Re-potting your bonsai is done to avoid root bound. To determine if this is happening, carefully lift your bonsai tree from the container. If the roots of your bonsai encircle themselves and the pot, it’s time to re-pot your pomegranate bonsai. Otherwise, the roots will grow thick and may displace all of the soil within the roots or will starve.

Step #2: Choose the best time of year for re-potting your pomegranate bonsai tree. You need to re-pot your bonsai in early spring. At this time, the bonsai tree is not under the pressure of having a full foliage. It will be less subjected to stress and shock caused by re-potting.

Step #3: Remove the old soil as much as you can from the roots of the pomegranate bonsai tree. Knock as much soil as you can out of your bonsai tree’s root system using a bonsai root hook. Gently disentangling the roots should be performed if the roots have grown thickly.

Step #4: After untangling the roots of your bonsai, prune some longer roots to keep your pomegranate bonsai tree from outgrowing the pot. It is helpful to also remove any sick or rotting roots. Do not remove more than 25% of your bonsai tree’s total root mass to ensure that there are enough roots left for proper water and nutrient absorption.

Step #5: Reposition your pomegranate bonsai tree in its pot. If the roots are trimmed, you need to gently lower it back into its pot. Fill the pot with a potting mix up to the brim after. Prevent air pockets by working into the soil as well as the root structure in between the roots. The composition of a bonsai potting mix includes compost, gravel, and akadama with a 2-1-1 ratio.

Step #6: Water your pom bonsai trees after re-potting to help the compost soil in settling. Protect your pomegranate against a strong gust of winds for about a month or so after re-potting because they are not fully established in the soil.

Pomegranate bonsai trees, like any other bonsai species grown in containers, should be re-potted to keep it healthy and strong by replenishing the lost of nutrients from the soil. It also helps regulate root growth, and keep the compost soil from being compacted. Now, you have just learned how to re-pot your pomegranate bonsai tree, so you’re ready to apply and hone your bonsai gardening skills.

9) How to Prune, Wire, and Shape Your Pomegranate Bonsai

Wiring

Pomegranate bonsai trees are not recommended to be wired because they’re likely to suffer die-back. It is better to do the “clip and grow” technique to shape them. The larger varieties of pomegranate bonsai trees can tolerate wiring with great care given. Remember that they have a quick thickening of new growth, so the wiring should be removed in a timely manner, thus preventing scar formation.

Pruning and Training

When it comes to most flattering bonsai styles for a Pomegranate bonsai, the informal upright, slanting, semi-cascade, multi-trunks, and twisted trunk are the best. You can pinch new shoots to 1 to 3 leaf sets using your hands rather than using clippers. Allow the branches of your pomegranate bonsai to grow longer more than you want them to be for stimulating new growth, and then prune. If you want your pomegranate bonsai tree to flower and bear fruit, you need wait until blooming is finished before doing any pruning.

You can wire larger varieties of your Pomegranate bonsai trees can be with the use of a thin copper or aluminum wire for the bonsai branch. Be careful because wrapping too tightly or bending too drastically all at once tend to result to brittle branches. Dwarf Pomegranate bonsai trees can be shaped by the use of the clip and grow method only.

Regular pinch every first or third leaf to help in increasing the bonsai plant’s foliage. It is best to allow young shoots to fully mature and lengthen before you cut them back to your desired length.

When shaping pomegranate bonsai trees, it is best to use the “clip and grow” method than wiring because they may suffer dieback. Pomegranate bonsai are best when they are formed into informal upright and semi-cascade.

10) Pests and Diseases

Pomegranate bonsai trees may be attacked by whitefly, pomegranate butterfly caterpillars, or aphids. Whitefly is a problem with indoor bonsai trees. It can be controlled by spraying the bonsai tree with water, most especially underneath the leaves.

You need to provide a good ventilation to your pomegranate bonsai to keep nuisance whiteflies away. Aphids can be rinsed off using a jet of water.

Spraying your pomegranate bonsai tree every few months using non-toxic insecticide will help protect your pomegranate bonsai from pests. Inspection of your bonsai for the early signs of pests is crucial. Don’t spray your bonsai tree with an insecticide if the soil is dry.

Your pomegranate bonsai tree can be infested with mold most especially in the wet months. In order to control the mold problem, provide your bonsai a good ventilation and pest treatment using a fungicide.

Like any other bonsai trees, pomegranate bonsai can be infected with pests and diseases. But as long as you follow the right watering, fertilizing, re-potting, and other growing techniques, you’ll be able to grow your pomegranate bonsai without so much problem.

Final Thoughts

Pomegranate bonsai trees are famous for their fruit-bearing and flowering characteristics. They are both suitable for beginners and expert bonsai growers. They can be infested by pests and also experience diseases, but all of these can be prevented and treated.

We hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and learned a lot. You can share your learning on this guide to your friends and family through your social media account, like Facebook, and kindly comment below to share your insights and experiences with us! Happy bonsai growing!

A coffee plant (Coffea arabica) will produce it’s colorful “cherries” indoors.

Question: Are there any houseplants that are both edible and attractive?

Clecio Turgeon

Answer: There are many tropical plants that are both easy to grow indoors and give us something to nibble on or to add to our recipes… but you won’t find many among the most common houseplants we grow. Most “everyday houseplants” are either not considered edible or are even poisonous. The latter group includes such popular plants as philodendrons, dieffenbachias, oleanders and most euphorbias. You don’t want to eat those!

What follows is a description of some the more interesting edible houseplants.

Micro-greens aren’t really houseplants.

Plants Dropped From the List

I eliminated from the get-go certain plants that I just don’t consider to be houseplants. For example, I didn’t include most of the herbs brought indoors in the fall to grow over the winter, as in my opinion they are not really houseplants and in fact really struggle to survive indoors. You really couldn’t grow them indoors all year.

Nor did I include herbs and vegetables that are sown indoors with a view towards a quick harvest of fresh foliage: sprouts, micro-greens and baby vegetables, for example. Again, in my book, they may be indoor edibles, but they’re not really houseplants. Likewise rooted carrot tops, sprouted sweet potatoes or celery bases sitting in water. They just aren’t houseplants to me.

There are also a few poisonous plants that are edible only after they’re given some kind of special treatment, like cooking, soaking, pounding or being reduced into powder, such as taro (Calocasia esculenta) and variegated manioc (Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’). I didn’t think it was a good idea to include potentially dangerous plants in a list of edible houseplants, as some readers might skip the “fine print”.

Everyday Houseplants That Are Edible

Here are the few common houseplants, ones readily found in almost any garden center, that just happen to be edible.

Calamondin orange (X Citrofortunella microcarpa)

Calamondin Orange (X Citrofortunella microcarpa, syn. X C. mitis)
This is the only citrus commonly offered as a houseplant. It is inevitably already in fruit when you buy it and you just need to give it good conditions (especially, strong light) for it to continue it bloom and produce abundantly. The fruits are very bitter, but they can be used in cooking, especially in the preparation of marmalades. For suggestions of other less widely available indoor citruses, see Indoor Fruits below.

Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
The flowers are edible and often used in herbal tea. Here’s an article about this plant: The Secrets to Growing a Hibiscus Indoors.

Coffee (Coffea arabica)
Young coffee plants, usually scarcely more than seedlings, can easily be found on the market, but may be 2 or 3 years from blooming… and 5 to 6 years before producing enough beans to make a cup of coffee. Occasionally you find more mature plants already producing their highly perfumed white flowers.

You can actually eat the sweet flesh of the coffee “cherries” that follow or simply clean, roast and grind up the “beans” (seeds) to make a delicious drink.

False shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)

False Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis, syn. O. regnellii)
The leaves of this popular houseplant can be purple or green, with or without a silvery or pink marking… and they are quite edible, with a sweet/sour taste. This comes from the oxalic acid they contain. However, oxalic acid becomes toxic if eaten raw in large quantities, so moderate your use. Or cook the leaves before use. Just to reassure you, remember that spinach, which we routinely eat, also contains oxalic acid and is also toxic if eaten raw in excessive quantities. As they say, the poison is in the dose: eating a few leaves will not harm you.

Ornamental Pepper (Capiscum annuum and others)
All peppers are edible, even the ones sold as ornamental plants. Be forewarned though that ornamental peppers are hot peppers, indeed, very hot peppers, generally stronger then jalapeños.

You may sometimes see them bearing the label “unfit for human consumption”, though. Why is that? It’s not because the fruit itself is poisonous, but because it was treated with an insecticide that is potentially harmful to humans. Organic gardeners will consider the fruits spoiled for life; others can wait a few weeks, then rinse the fruits before eating them. Both can harvest the seeds and grow them to produce fruits totally safe to eat in the second generation.

Ornamental pineapple (Ananas comosus cv)

Pineapple (Ananas comosus)
There are several varieties of ornamental pineapple, for example with reddish foliage, variegated leaves, colored fruit, etc. And all produce fruits which, although they’re often smaller than commercially grown pineapples, are still edible.

Besides ornamental varieties of pineapple, you can also buy a fresh pineapple and root its crown. And yes, it will eventually produce an edible fruit.

Lemony rose scented geranium (Pelargonium graveolens ‘Lady Plymouth’)

Scented Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens and others)
There are a multitude of varieties of scented geranium with an incredible array of scents: lemon, rose, coconut, apple. peach, strawberry, cloves, etc. In addition to rubbing the foliage to release their scent, you can use their leaves in cooking to impart a delicious aroma to your meal. Richters (Canada) offers an especially wide choice: more than 70 varieties of these highly perfumed plants!

Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa)

Swiss Cheese Plant or Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)
Often mistaken for a philodendron (which is a close relative), the monstera, with its huge, deeply-cut leaves, certainly makes an impressive houseplant. When it reaches maturity, which can take many years, it will flower indoors, producing a white inflorescence recalling a calla lily. And the flower is followed by a sweet-tasting fruit, which is the reason for the botanical epithet deliciosa. The fruit can take 11 to 12 months to mature, and doesn’t change color too visibly at maturity. So how do you know it’s ripe? When the green scales that cover it begin to drop off, it’s ready to eat.

Note that the entire plant, from its roots to its leaves to its immature fruits, is toxic. Only the mature fruit is edible.

Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis)
Yes, tea plants. although not yet as common as the other everyday houseplants presented here, are found more and more often in garden centers. Here is an article about how to grow one: Homegrown Tea in Your Teapot.

Indoor Fruits

There are hundreds of different tropical fruit trees, all of which could theoretically be grown indoors, but most won’t produce for decades, will become too large to make good houseplants or require really extreme growing conditions. Since they are unlikely to ever produce fruit in your home, I excluded them from my list.

In this group of “forbidden fruits”, you’ll find most of the tropical fruits that can be grown from seeds or pits harvested from the fruits you buy, such as avocados (Persea americana), mangos (Mangifera indica), and papayas (Papaya carica). Of course, if you look hard enough, you may be able to find dwarf varieties of these plants that will produce fruits indoors, but otherwise its best to consider most tropical fruits you grow from seed simply as foliage plants!

What follows are a few fruiting plants that are more suitable for growing in our homes and that really do make good edible houseplants.

Barbados cherry (Malphigia glabra)

Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra)
Pretty pink flowers, bright red cherrylike fruits on a small shrub that fits neatly into most home decors. What’s not to like?

Cacao Tree (Theobroma cacao)

A challenge to grow and not readily found on the market, a cacao tree can still produce cacao beans at home… if you turn your home into a hot and humid jungle year round.

Key lime (Citrus x aurantiifolia) makes an easy-to-grow indoor citrus.

Citrus (Citrus spp., Microcitrus australasica and Fortunella spp.)
As mentioned in the article A Lemon or Orange Tree From Seed?, real lemon trees, orange trees, grapefruit trees, etc. are simply too large and too slow to produce to make good indoor fruit trees, unless you can find grafted dwarf varieties.

Other lesser-known citrus fruits, faster in growth and of a naturally smaller size, make much better indoor plants. This is particularly the case for the Meyer lemon (Citrus x meyeri) which, despite its name, is not a real lemon, the Key lime (C. x aurantiifolia) and the Australian finger lime (Microcitrus australasica). You can sow any one of these and have fruit 2 years later!

Kumquats (Fortunella spp.) too make excellent indoor fruit trees.

Common Fig (Ficus carica)
It prefers to pass its summer outdoors… and has the bad habit of losing most of its leaves during the winter, leading to a rather stark appearance, but the fig tree still quite readily produces figs indoors. Moreover, its foliage is edible too.

Dwarf banana

Dwarf Banana (Musa spp.)
Even a dwarf banana tree takes up a lot of space indoors (among the smallest cultivars are ‘Super Dwarf Cavendish’ and ‘Truly Tiny’) and also require a lot of heat, humidity and sun to produce fruit. Plus they may take years to produce bananas, but still, most will eventually do so if your conditions are right.

The pink banana (Musa velutina), with pink flowers and fruits, is another small-size edible banana you might like to try, but you’ll have to eat around its large seeds.

Dwarf pomegranate (Punica granatum ‘Nana’)

Dwarf Pomegranate (Punica granatum ‘Nana’)
This is a miniature version of the rather large pomegranate tree whose fruits are found in the supermarket. It forms a small to medium-sized shrub with orange flowers that will readily produce small but nevertheless edible fruits indoors. Even if you grow it from seed (it comes true to type), it will bear blooms and fruits in only a few years.

Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa)

This small thorny shrub with shiny leaves makes a good houseplant and readily produces white flowers and edible red fruits. It is sometimes used as bonsai. Both the stem and leaves, and even the sap, are poisonous. Only the ripe fruit is edible.

Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis)

Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis)
This vigorous climber will need a good trellis, but can produce its white flowers with a purple halo and its purple or yellow fruits (the color depends on the cultivar chosen) in a sunny spot indoors. There are plenty of other species of passionfruit that do well indoors, but only a few produce edible fruit.

Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undatus, H. polyrhizus, H. megalanthus and others)
These climbing cacti take up a lot of space, but bloom fairly easily when they reach maturity (after 5 or 6 years), producing enormous white fragrant nocturnal flowers followed by large red or yellow fruits with white flesh that is dotted with tiny black seeds. This is a good example of a plant you can grow to fruiting size from seeds harvested from fruit purchased in the supermarket. You just have to be patient!

Fishbone cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger)

I grow a smaller and closely related cactus, the fishbone cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger), with hanging flattened zigzag stems whose very fragrant nocturnal white flowers often give small edible green fruits… but it’s difficult to judge when they are ripe. It too takes years to begin to bloom, but once it starts, it will faithfully continue to do so.

Pixie Grape (Vitis x Pixie® Pinot Meunier)

A dwarf mutation of the Pinot Meunier grape vine which produces fruit all year on a small plant… and its leaves are edible too. It can be grown as a houseplant, but is also hardy outdoors.

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

Roselle (Hibiscus sabadariffa)
This shrub with small yellow hibiscus flowers grows quickly from seed. In fact, you can treat is an annual if you wish. It produces red fruits often used in drinks and jellies.

Indoor Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices flavor our meals and often have medicinal uses as well. I limited the choice here to varieties that really make decent houseplants.

Bayleaf (Laurus nobilis)
In my opinion, this is the only “classic” herb that grows well enough indoors to make a good houseplant. It will grow indoors for years, eventually forming a tall shrub if you don’t prune it. The leaves can simply be plucked and used fresh as needed.

Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
This climbing plant produces smooth shiny leaves and long spikes of green berries that turn red at maturity and is not difficult to grow indoors if you can offer good humidity. The berries give black, white or red pepper, depending on the treatment you give them.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
You can readily grow ginger from rhizomes purchased locally. Beware though that the rhizomes offered in many supermarkets were treated chemically or irradiated in order prevent them from sprouting. There is no use planting those! You need live rhizomes, with buds indicating they are ready to sprout. An Asian supermarket should have some.

Just push a section of rhizome into a pot of growing mix and water: a green rather bamboolike plant will soon start to sprout. Over time, the rhizome will spread and you can then harvest and eat any surplus. Don’t expect this plant to flower indoors, though: it almost never does.

Other spices in the ginger family also produce edible rhizomes and likewise make excellent houseplants: galanga (Alpinia galanga), turmeric (Cucurma longa) and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) are only a few examples.

Society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)

Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)
This is a bulbous plant with grasslike leaves and small pink trumpet flowers. The whole plant smells like garlic. If you use the edible leaves and flowers in your cooking, they’ll give the meal a garlicky scent, but without the bad breath that follows eating real garlic. The name society garlic come from the idea that you could safely eat it before attending polite society functions.

The variegated forme of Spanish thyme (Plectranthus amboinicus ‘Variegatus’) is probably more popular than the species.

Spanish Thyme or Cuban oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus)
This plant is neither a thyme (Thymus spp.) nor an oregano (Origanum spp.), but rather a tropical plant closely related to the coleus (Plectranthus scutellaroides, syn Solenostemon scutellarioides and Coleus blumei). It’s a very popular herb in tropical countries where its thick leaves lend taste of oregano to cooked dishes. It’s very easy to grow.

Stevia or Sweetleaf (Stevia rebaudiana)
Increasingly popular for its sweet leaves that give dishes a sugary flavor without adding calories… and it makes a decent houseplant.

Indoor Vegetables

There aren’t many plants you could call vegetables that also make good houseplants. I could only think of the following two:

Malabar spinach (Basel alba ‘Rubra’)

Malabar Spinach (Basella alba)
An ornamental climber with mucilaginous leaves used to replace spinach, Malabar spinach is often grown in hot climates where real spinach doesn’t grow well. The species itself produces green stems and white flowers, but B. alba ‘Rubra’, perhaps even more commonly grown, has reddish stems and pink flowers. Both are very easy to grow.

Spineless nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica ‘Burbank Spineless’)

Nopal or Barbary Fig (Opuntia ficus-indica and others)
Many different opuntias are used as nopals, but Barbary fig is the most common one. This cactus with flattened pads does produce edible fruits called Barbary figs when grown outdoors in a hot, dry climate, but indoors it rarely blooms, let alone produces fruit. It made it onto my “edible houseplant list” by virtue of its edible pads.

Nopal is the name commonly used in Mexico for the pads treated as a vegetable. You’ll probably need several plants if you want to start harvest nopals, as the plant is very slow growing. You have to singe off the spines before you eat the pads… or use spineless (or nearly spineless) cultivars like ‘Burbank Spineless’.

This plant will need full sun to do well indoors. And yes, you can root a pad from the grocery store to start a new plant.

Where to Find Edible Houseplants?

Many of the plants above are not found in just any garden center, so here are few places where you might want to look for them on the Web.

For herbs and species, try Richters, a Canadian company that ships to the US and probably offers more choices of herbs than any other.

For unusual fruits and vegetables, try Flora Exotica, also a Canadian company that ships to the US, while Top Tropicals is an American company that ships to Canada and many other countries worldwide. Logee’s, in the US, is a good source for American readers, but no longer ships to Canada.

For European readers, try AlsaPlants. If you know of any other good mail-order sources of indoor edibles in Europe, let me know and I’ll add them to this text.

Bon appétit!

Pomegranate Houseplants – How To Grow Pomegranates Inside

If you think that pomegranate trees are exotic specimens that require a specialized environment and an expert’s touch, you may be surprised that growing pomegranate trees indoors is actually relatively easy. In fact, indoor pomegranate trees actually make great houseplants. Some gardeners enjoy growing pomegranate bonsai, which are simply miniature forms of natural trees. Read on to learn more about how to grow pomegranates inside, and specifics about indoor pomegranate care.

How to Grow Pomegranates Inside

Pomegranate trees reach mature heights of up to 30 feet, which makes them too tall for most home environments. You can get around the size problem when growing pomegranate houseplants by planting a dwarf pomegranate tree, which reaches heights and widths of 2 to 4 feet. Many people grow dwarf pomegranates strictly as ornamental trees because the small, sour fruits are

loaded with seeds.

Plant your pomegranate tree in a sturdy pot with a diameter of about 12 to 14 inches. Fill the pot with a lightweight commercial potting mix.

Place the tree in a sunny spot; pomegranate needs as much sunlight as possible. Normal room temperatures are fine.

Indoor Pomegranate Care

Water your pomegranate tree frequently enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water deeply until water drips through the drainage hole, then let the soil dry slightly before watering again. Never allow the soil to become bone dry.

Feed your pomegranate tree every other week during spring and summer, using an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.

Repot the pomegranate to a pot just one size larger when the plant becomes slightly rootbound, but not before.

Prune your pomegranate tree in early spring. Remove any dead growth and trim just enough to remove wayward growth and maintain the desired shape. Pinch the tips of new growth occasionally to encourage a full, compact plant.

Indoor Pomegranate Trees in Winter

Pomegranate houseplants need at least four to six hours of bright light every day. If you can’t provide this naturally, you may need to supplement available light with grow lights or fluorescent bulbs.

If the winter air in your home is dry, place the pot on a tray of wet pebbles, but be sure the bottom of the pot isn’t actually standing in the water. Keep the soil slightly on the dry side and be careful not to overwater the plant during the winter months.

Dwarf Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

Originally from the Mediterranean and Asia, the Dwarf Pomegranate is a popular choice for growing Bonsai. Pomegranates have opposite leaves and grow oval shaped flowers, later on followed with yellow/red fruits. The trunk twists naturally, making it an attractive tree to grow.

If you need help identifying your tree, try our Bonsai tree identification guide.

Specific Bonsai care guidelines for the Pomegranate

Position: Place the tree outside; the tree does well in full sun. Once temperatures drop to around 5 degrees C (or 41F) place the tree indoors, on a bright position.

Watering: Keep the tree damp, as drought seriously harms the tree.

Feeding: If you want the tree to grow healthy flowers and fruits, use a fertilizer with high phosphorous and high potassium from spring to late summer. If you opt for fast growth remove flowers and use a normal fertilizer.

Pruning: Prune back to one or two sets of leaves. If you want the tree to flower wait with any pruning until after blooming.

Repotting: Repot Pomegranate Bonsai every two years in spring.

Propagation: By sowing in spring or by using cuttings in summer.

For more detailed information on these techniques, try our Bonsai tree care section.

The flowers and fruit of the dwarf pomegranate are very colorful. Source: articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar

The pomegranate (Punica granatum), in the Lythraceae family, is a shrub or small tree from the Mediterranean and Middle East, widely grown in subtropical and warm temperate regions (zone 8 and above) throughout the world. In North America, it’s essentially a plant of the South, but in Europe, specimens have been known to grow and thrive, although often with winter damage, as far north as London and Paris.

The name pomegranate derives from Old French (pome grenata) and means apple with many seeds.. Source: www.organicfacts.net

In colder climates (prolonged exposure to temperatures below 14 ° F/-10 ° C can kill it), the standard-sized pomegranate is rarely grown. Instead, the dwarf pomegranate (P. granatum nana) is the more popular subject … but either as a houseplant or a patio plant that has to be brought indoors over the winter. The dwarf variety is widely grown in warmer climes too, but as ornamental, not a fruit tree

Big Things, Small Package

The small fruits of the dwarf pomegranate decorate the shrub like a Christmas tree. Source: kauaiseascapesnursery.com.

The dwarf pomegranate is natural variant of the species, discovered in the wild over 200 years ago. It differs from the standard pomegranate by its much smaller, lanceolate, glossy leaves (about 1 inch/2.5 cm long), but especially its fruits, which are only the size of a golf ball rather than the size of a really big apple. The shrub itself is not that dwarf though. It can easily reach 6 feet (2 m) if left unpruned. However, it responds well to pruning and so it generally kept between 2 and 3 feet (60 and 90 cm) in height.

The dwarf pomegranate makes an excellent bonsai. Source: bonsaibeginnings.blogspot.ca

In warm temperate climates, the dwarf pomegranate is deciduous: its leaves turn yellow, then drop off in late fall. Indoors and in the tropics, it usually keeps its foliage year round or, if it drops off, it regrows within a few weeks.

The flowers are orange-red, with crinkled petals. The petals only last a few days, but the flower seems to go on and on, because the calyx (the star-shaped crown of thick “leaves” behind the flower) and ovary are almost the same color as the flower, so you get the impression it is still in bloom long after the flowering has stopped. The flower/fruit matures slowly, remaining on the plant for six months or more, although by the end, it no longer looks as much like a flower, but has rounded out and is quite clearly a fruit. Theoretically, this plant blooms in summer, but in fact, indoor plants kept under warm conditions may bloom at just about any time of the year.

The round fruits are fully red a maturity, but they’re not terribly good to eat, without the sweet flavor of standard pomegranate. Besides, to be honest, there is very little to munch on! As a result, the fruits of the dwarf pomegranate are essentially considered to be ornamental rather than edible.

Container Culture

In cooler climates, the dwarf pomegranate is grown as a container plant or houseplant. Source: http://www.amazon.ca

The dwarf pomegranate is fairly easy to grow. Not a beginner’s plant exactly, but one a moderately experienced gardener can easily handle. Think “Mediterranean climate” and you’ll get the picture. Full summer sun and extreme heat are not a problem, but it does appreciate a cooler winter.

It can be grown indoors all year, but normally it’s put outside for the summer on a patio or balcony where it can truly profit from full sunlight, then it’s brought back indoors when nights start to get distinctly chilly in the fall.

Outdoor plantes are readily pollinated by insects. Source: www.gardensalive.com

The great advantage of placing it outdoors in summer is that it will be visited by insects (and, in the New World, by hummingbirds!) that ensure pollination. If you grow it indoors all year-round, you’ll have to pollinate the flowers manually if you want fruits to form. That’s easy enough to do. Soon after the flowers open, when stamens are visible, just lightly dab the flowers with a small paintbrush or a cotton swab, moving from flower to flower.

Water as necessary so the soil never dries out entirely, but don’t leave the plant soaking in water either. Remember that plants in containers dry much more quickly than plants grown in the ground and may even need daily watering in hot, dry weather.

Fertilize from spring through early fall with an all-purpose fertilizer diluted to half the recommended dosage.

Decisions, Decisions!

Decision time comes at the end of summer. Do you prefer keeping it growing or do you want to force it into dormancy?

If you want it to keep growing, which means it will keep its leaves and its fruits will have time to mature, plus you might well see the plant rebloom sporadically, bring it in fairly early, certainly before nights drop below 50 ° F (10 ° C), and keep it warm, brightly lit and well watered throughout the fall and winter. Reasonable air humidity (40% and more) is also wise.

If you want it to go dormant, leave it outside until temperatures drop substantially and the leaves fall off. Bye-bye fruits (they might hang on, but as shells), but at least winter care will be minimal. Once dormant, the plant needs no light and you can “store it” in a cold, but frost-free spot, perhaps a barely heated garage, at between 33 and 40˚ F (0.5 and 4˚ C). Check monthly and add water if the soil is becoming overly dry.

The Spring Hair Cut

In both cases, spring, just as new growth starts to appear, is time to prune. You can shorten branches and remove weak or damaged ones. This is also a good time to repot it, something you’ll probably need to do every 3 or 4 years (more frequently with young plants). Pretty much any houseplant or container garden potting soil will be well suited for this purpose.

Growing It Outdoors Year Round

This outdoor specimen is starting to turn yellow and go dormant. Soon the leaves will turn fully yellow and drop off. Source: delange.org

Of course, growing dwarf pomegranates outdoors all year-long will be limited to mild climates, essentially zones 8 to 11, perhaps zone 7 in a protected spot. Ideally, you’d choose a spot where there is no frost, although, as mentioned, it will take temperatures down to below 14 ° F/-10 ° C if they don’t last long. Be forewarned that temperatures only a bit below freezing can kill the plant to the ground, forcing it to resprout from its base.

This plant is easier to grow in the ground than in pots, especially since, once it’s been in place for a year or so, it’s extensive root system makes it very drought resistant. In fact, it will need little care at all, other than pruning. Almost any well-drained soil, even poor or rocky, will do. In general, just plant it in the sun and let it take care of itself.

Propagation

The fastest way of multiplying a dwarf pomegranate is by tip cuttings about 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 cm) long, taken in the spring. Just apply a bit of rooting hormone to the wound, then insert the slips into a pot of slightly moist soil, placing the pot in a warm spot. Cover with a clear plastic bag or dome to keep humidity up. Rooting will only take a few weeks.

You can multiply dwarf pomegranate by seed, ideally in the spring, as it comes true to type. However, that only applies to P. granatum nana. Its various cultivars will not come true to type; you’ll need to propagate them by cuttings.

Where to Find a Plant?

If you can find plants on sale, you ought to be able to find seed. Source: www.seeds-gallery

First things first: seed of this plant is widely available. Just enter the name dwarf pomegranate seed in a search engine and you’re off to the races. The neat thing about seeds is that you can order seeds from foreign countries if you can’t find anything local.

In the US, many mail order sources offer dwarf pomegranate plants, including Direct Gardening and Logee’s. If you live in the southern half of the country, you’ll find plants in most garden centers, sometimes even a few of the cultivars.

In Canada, I know of only Flora Exotica and Richters Herbs that sell plants by mail order, but I’ll update this if you have other suggestions. If your local garden center has a bonsai department, it may well carry dwarf pomegranates as pre-bonsais.

In Europe and in Australia, dwarf pomegranates are widely available: you should no problem finding plants locally.

The dwarf pomegranate: a striking, fairly easy-to-grow plant that just isn’t well enough known among gardeners. Try one and see!

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  • Pomegranates are one of the so-called superfoods with all sorts of health benefits, most people don’t know it is possible to grow a dwarf pomegranate tree indoors that will actually produce fruits. I successfully grow my pomegranate tree in my conservatory, if you have a sunny south facing window it would definitely be possible to grow a thriving pomegranate tree.

    Pomegranates are one of the best plants to grow if you don’t receive much light and if you want to boost the light your tree receives you can always use an LED grow light to top up the sunlight it gets.

    Read on and I will tell you everything you need to know about growing a pomegranate tree inside as a houseplant and getting it to bear fruits.

    To grow a dwarf pomegranate tree indoors simply position your tree somewhere that will get at least 4 hours light, the more the better. Use a pot that is approximately 12 inches in diameter, water it regularly to keep it moist but not soaking and fertilize it every 2 weeks during the growing season.

    Check out this video on growing a dwarf pomegranate tree:

    What variety of pomegranate tree is best for growing indoors?

    Pomegranate trees grown outside can reach a height of 30 feet and that is obviously not ideal for a houseplant.

    I always recommend you choose a dwarf pomegranate variety for growing indoors as a houseplant as they only grow to around 4 feet (with intense pruning you can even grow a standard tree and keep it small), be sure to select a variety that produces edible fruit if that is your goal.

    There are even bonsai varieties of pomegranate trees available that do look kind of awesome as a houseplant but the fruits they produce are sour and not the best tasting.

    Varieties I would recommend would be the Nana, State Fair or Provence variety as they only grow to around 1.5 meters tall. Have a read of my full pomegranate varieties article by Clicking Here.

    Should I grow a pomegranate tree from seed or buy a seedling?

    There are plentiful seeds inside these fruits so you might want to use to one of these to grow a pomegranate tree from, but the problem with this is you don’t know what variety it will grow into.

    You definitely don’t want to grow a 30-foot tree in your house and it might take at least 3 years for your tree to become mature enough to produce fruits. If you are determined to grow pomegranates from seed, I would recommend you purchase seeds from a store so you know what variety you are growing.

    Personally, I grow fruit trees for the fruit so I normally prefer to purchase a young tree from a store which means I skip the period when it isn’t mature enough to produce fruits.

    How to germinate pomegranate seeds

    Pomegranate seeds are easy enough to germinate and you do get plenty in every fruit.

    What to do is scoop out some seeds then give them a rinse in cool water and dry them off by giving them a rub with a paper towel with the aim being to remove any fruit pulp from the seeds.

    Leave the seeds to dry for a few days before you plant them in the soil.

    Next, fill your pot with potting soil and leave about a ½ inch from the top with no soil and push your seeds down into the soil so they are below the level of the soil but not covered with soil (do this with 5 seeds in my pot then only keep the strongest one for my tree).

    Now give your seeds a good misting with water and cover the pot with plastic wrap and place it on a windowsill. Give your seeds a misting with water whenever the top of the soil is dry.

    It normally takes between 1-2 months for pomegranate seeds to germinate.

    When a seedling starts to touch the plastic wrap that is the one to keep so remove the other seedlings at this point and add a thin layer of soil but make sure the leaves on your seedling are above the soil level, put your pot in its permanent position and with some love it will now flourish.

    What sort of pot should I use for a pomegranate tree?

    Pomegranate trees don’t have the largest root system so you don’t need a massive pot or container.

    I use a pot that is approximately 12 inches in diameter and my dwarf pomegranate tree is 4 feet tall and doing just fine. You might want to choose a pot that is a size suitable for its position in your house and that is fine, you can always re-pot at a later date.

    Whatever pot you use you should make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom as pomegranate trees do not like to be in standing water.

    What sort of soil should I use for a pomegranate tree?

    Pomegranate trees prefer a loamy soil that is loose yet rich in organic content.

    It is a good idea to mix in some additional organic material like wood chip or hamster bedding as it added nutrients that will help your tree grow healthy.

    Never use soil from your backyard as it will more than likely become easily tightly packed and not good for even watering or drainage.

    How much light does a pomegranate Tree require?

    Dwarf pomegranate trees don’t need that much light and that is the main reason I recommend them for growing indoors.

    Pomegranate trees only require 4-5 hours of sunlight to survive so it’s easy enough to get that by placing it on a windowsill or in a sunny room.

    Being a tree, the more light you get the better it will be for fruit production and if you can get 6-10 hours of sunlight your tree will absolutely thrive, a south facing window or conservatory would be ideal.

    If you aren’t sure whether you can get enough natural light you could always use an LED grow light to top up the amount of light they receive and they are very affordable and cheap to run these days.

    Check out my articles on the best Led grow light strips and cheap Led lights that actually work for more info.

    How often should I water my pomegranate tree?

    Dwarf pomegranate trees like to be in moist soil so you should aim to keep your soil not soaking and not dried out but moist.

    How often you water your tree will depend on your local climate, I normally water mines every second day during the summer months and once per week during the winter months.

    To check if your tree needs watered you should stick your finger into the soil and if the top ½ inch is dried out it’s time to water, give it a deep water so that water starts to dribble out the drainage holes.

    It’s best to get in a routine to keep it constantly moist, don’t let it dry out sometimes then keep it soaking at other times to make up, keep it constantly moist.

    What temperature is best for indoor pomegranate trees?

    There are so many different varieties of dwarf pomegranate trees that I am sure you will find one suitable for your local climate. The Provence variety will survive in temperatures of 5F (-15C) for example.

    The ideal temperature for growing a pomegranate tree is 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit (10-21C), I grow mines in my house and don’t take much notice of the temperature and they do just fine in my standard household temperature.

    What is the best fertilizer for a pomegranate tree in a pot?

    You should fertilize your pomegranate tree regularly during the growing season, I fertilize my tree every 2 weeks with a liquid 8-8-8 liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer.

    I also add a fresh layer of compost to add some extra nutrients every spring just before it starts growing.

    Pomegranate trees grown in pots have been known to become deficient in zinc. The leaves on your tree will start to turn yellow and if this happens you should spray the leaves with a zinc solution to make it healthy again.

    How to prune an indoor pomegranate tree in a pot

    You should prune your pomegranate tree every year as it promotes fresh growth and enables you to keep it at a reasonable size and in the shape you want.

    I prune my pomegranate tree in early spring just before it starts growing or just after it starts growing.

    You should prune your dwarf pomegranate tree by shortening any branches to your desired length and clipping off any unwanted shoots just above the leaf nodes, you should aim to have 4 shoots per branch.

    Remove any damaged or unhealthy branches and remove any sucker branches that grow up from the bottom of the trunk.

    The below video shows a good example of a well-pruned young pomegranate tree:

    How to pollinate a pomegranate tree indoors?

    Pomegranate trees are self-pollinating so one tree will pollinate itself, unlike other trees that you need two to pollinate each other.

    It is bees and wind that do the work and pollinate outdoor pomegranate trees and that is not an option when you are growing them indoors so you will have to pollinate them by hand.

    To hand pollinate your pomegranate tree you should use a small paintbrush or a cotton bud and gently brush pollen from the male stamen onto the female ovary go round every flower and do this when they open up.

    These pollinated flowers will eventually turn into pomegranates.

    Should I thin out any heavy clusters of pomegranates?

    Many varieties of fruit trees do require fruit to be thinned to increase the size and health of the remaining fruits.

    Pomegranates do not require any manual thinning as any excess fruit will naturally drop off, just make sure you carry out an annual pruning regime to keep it all healthy and fresh.

    When to pick pomegranates from a potted tree

    The thing about pomegranates is you can’t really go by the color of the fruit as different varieties of pomegranates are slightly different colors.

    Pomegranates will stop ripening when you take them off the tree, so how can you tell when the perfect time to harvest is?

    Commercial pomegranate farmers go by the size of the fruits which should be between 2-5 inches across when fully ripe, they also use the finger tapping method, this is tapping your pomegranate with your finger and if it makes a metallic sound it is ripe.

    You should never pull pomegranates off the tree you should always use a sharp tool to cut them off so you avoid damaging them.

    How to store freshly picked pomegranates

    You can store whole pomegranates on a countertop but the best way to extend the life of them is to keep them whole in the fridge, if you do this they should stay good for approximately 3 weeks.

    If you have cut open a pomegranate or scooped out the seeds, you should put them in a sealed container in the fridge and they will keep good for around 1 week.

    If you think you have too many pomegranates to eat and there is a risk of them going off you should scoop out the seeds and freeze them in a sealed container. Pomegranate seeds frozen this way will stay good for around 3-4 months.

    What to do if your pomegranate tree stops producing fruit

    If your pomegranate tree stops producing fruits there could be many basic reasons for this.

    The first thing to check is your pomegranate tree getting enough water or are you over watering your tree as this could result in no or less fruit production.

    Similarly, if you are over fertilizing or even using the wrong type of fertilizer you might end up with lots of foliage but no pomegranates.

    If your pomegranate tree has been in frosty conditions if you moved it outside or your house got to near freezing during the winter months this could result in no fruit being produced the following growing season.

    Finally, has your pomegranate tree been getting enough sunlight they require at least 4 hours to grow healthy and the more sunlight the more fruit will be produced, you could use an affordable to use LED light if that is the problem.

    To grow a pomegranate tree outdoors

    If you want to grow a pomegranate tree outside you should plant it in an area that has well-draining soil and receives plenty of sunshine as pomegranate trees don’t like to be in waterlogged soil and love the sun.

    The best time to plant a pomegranate tree outdoors is in early spring after the last frost.

    When planting you should loosen the bottom inch of the root ball as this will help it establish itself faster when you plant it and I would also add some rooting hormone so it settles in and starts growing more quickly.

    When you have planted your pomegranate tree outdoors you should water it every day until you notice new growth starting to happen then you should water it once per week depending on the climate.

    Common pomegranate tree problems and how to solve them

    Pomegranate trees are simple to grow indoors and will likely be less susceptible to problems than outdoor trees, as long as you get them enough light. With indoor trees, you should wipe the foliage with a damp cloth to get rid of the dust occasionally as dust will attract bugs.

    Here are a couple of problems that may affect your pomegranate tree:

    Spider Mites – Spider mites are so small they are difficult to actually see it is easier to look for damage caused by an infestation. Look for rust colored specks and webs on the underside of the leaves, a generally sickly appearance and a yellowing of the leaves.

    Hold a white piece of paper under the leaves and give them a whack, if you notice rust colored specks on the paper they are spider mites. To get rid of them take the plant outside and spray the foliage hard with water and it should wash most of them off, spray the plant with insecticidal soap to finish them off.

    Whiteflies – Whiteflies are small insects that suck the sap out of plants, they look like tiny little moths. If you notice leaves wilting or turning yellow you should check the underside of leaves and if there is what looks like a white cloud that is whiteflies. To get rid of whiteflies you should use yellow sticky tape to trap them, hoover them off, cut off infested areas and finally you should spray your plant with insecticidal soap, horticultural oil or garlic soap to finish them off.

    Dwarf Pomegranate

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