Growing Pomegranates

The origins of the Pomegranate can be traced to the middle east. Most historians believe they originated in modern day Iran. Ancient farmers grew pomegranates in most of the middle east, which makes sense since they tend to do better in drier climates.

Both the ancient Romans and Greeks grew and ate pomegranates. Greek knew it as the fruit of the dead. Ancient Egyptians ascribed prosperity and ambition to the humble pomegranate.

Pomegranates are mentioned in Greek and Hebrew writing. Until recently they were only available seasonally in the US. Some farmers have been growing them in California with good success. Making them available in more stores for longer than in the past.

Pomegranates and Health

Pomegranates have been known as beneficial for a healthy life. This fruit according to many nutritional charts contain more than 5% of your daily needs for 9 different vitamins for every 3.5 ounces. With vitamin K registering the highest at 16%. Their fruits are also full of antioxidants. These nutritional benefits have many companies figuring out ways to add them to different types of foods and juices. The medical field has even chimed in by testing the effects of pomegranate juice on cancer, diabetes, lymphoma, heart disease, and many others.

While these may or may not actually prove to be attributable to drinking or eating a pomegranate, you should eat it because it is delicious. This is one of the more unique fruits I have ever eaten. It is both sweet and bitter at the same time, but the most notable aspect of eating a pomegranate is the texture. The fruit is a crunchy jelly mass when you bite into in. Just getting to it is a bit different, you have to scoop it out with a spoon.

Growing Pomegranates

I decided one day while at a nursery to buy a pomegranate tree and grow it. The tree is young, maybe a year and a half old. They don’t start to produce till about 3 years old and even then won’t really produce a decent harvest till about 5 years old. They don’t usually grow taller than 10 feet so you can easily maintain them. However, you must trim them or they look more like a shrub than a tree.

Pomegranates are drought resistant and don’t have many diseases that you need to be concerned with. Though of course providing water and fertilizer will, of course, make for a healthy tree that will produce more quickly. Mine recently got to a size where I could start trimming it to provide a tree-like shape.

You should only try growing on in zones 7-10 as that is their natural temperature zone. They also do better is loose soil. Both acidic loam soil and alkaline soils work well with this hardy plant.

Since they are not that large you can grow them in pots and their flowers are beautiful. I am excited to see how my pomegranate tree turns out and plan to grow new trees from its clipped trimming when it gets larger.

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