How long does it take for a pomegranate tree to grow

How Long Does It Take for a Pomegranate Tree to Grow? | Home Guides

By Jann Seal Updated October 22, 2019

To hold a ruby red pomegranate (Punica granatum) in your hand is to hold living history that predates Biblical times. It’s also the only fruit that has symbolic meaning in most of the world’s religions and cultures. Native to Iran and its neighbor Afghanistan, the pomegranate made its journey across the Middle East to Spain, where it traveled with missionaries to Mexico, and ultimately to California in the 1500s. The pomegranate flourishes in warmer climates and grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7-10.

Peeling Back History

The outer skin of a pomegranate is thick and tough, but when peeled back, it reveals a jewel-box full of hundreds of tiny, vibrant red seeds known as arils. Religious tradition claims the number of seeds to be 613, representing abundance, but that belief tends to be more symbolic than factual.

What is factual, however, is that the pomegranate had powerful meaning throughout history. Believed to have grown in the Garden of Eden and mentioned in written word from the Bible through Shakespeare, the pomegranate and its symbolic hold on emerging civilization is powerful. They are one of the four holy trees mentioned in Islamic liturgy, and King Solomon adorned his palace columns with pomegranates as a tribute to their power.

Planting a Pomegranate Tree

Unless you have the patience to separate the arils (seeds) from their surrounding flesh and ready them for planting, purchase a pomegranate tree from a reputable nursery and plant it in fall or the early winter. This gives the tree time to adjust to its environment and to develop a stable root system.

The pomegranate needs a large hole to accommodate its roots’ spreading. Dig at least two to three times the circumference of the root ball, and after the plant is in the hole, fill it with mulch and fertilizer. Create a trough in the outer edges to act as a water-collection moat for its first round of water. You’ll still have to be patient, because the planted tree takes another two to three years to produce fruit.

Caring for a Pomegranate Tree

The pomegranate likes full sun. It can tolerate droughts but likes moist soil. It should be watered every seven to 10 days if rainfall is infrequent. Late summer and early fall are delicate seasons, and the tree needs water and fertilization as it pushes the fruit to maturity. Without it, the fruit splits. Since the tree is self-pollinating, it doesn’t need other trees for fruit to be produced. The more sun the tree gets, the more fruit it’ll create.

As the tree matures, small, thin limbs appear on its trunk. These are known as suckers. During the plant’s first year, don’t prune the suckers. In its second year, start pruning, leaving only the strong suckers to evolve into a sturdy base for a tree that grows up to 2 feet per year and reaches up to 20 feet in maturity.

Harvesting Pomegranates

Watch your tree for flowers. That means fruit is on its way and will appear in about six to seven months. September and October are prime harvesting seasons, but only the fruit can determine when it’s ready to leave its tree. Look for a brilliant color and then tap its bulb. If you hear a metallic sound, the pomegranate is ready to be harvested. Unlike the pear that ripens once picked, the pomegranate doesn’t continue to ripen after leaving its tree.

Don’t pull the fruit from the tree; instead, use pruners to cut it from the branch, leaving the stem attached to the fruit. Pomegranates can be stored for up to six months, but your patience has earned you a taste of ancient history.


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Writer Bio

A versatile writer, Jann enjoys research as well as doing the actual writing. A career in television writing, as a magazine editor and celebrity interviewer, Jann adapts to her environment, having traveled the world, living overseas and packing and unpacking her treasures for a new location over 30 times.

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree: The Complete Guide

One of the fruits growing in popularity across the country is the pomegranate. Lately it seems like there’s been a pomegranate explosion in the food world with the fruit appearing in more and more recipes and showing up in your grocery’s produce section. But as a gardener, have you ever wondered how to grow a pomegranate tree in your own garden? Is is tricky? What does it take? Can it even be done where you live?

Pomegranate trees are pretty resistant to disease and even pests, which makes them a more low-maintenance option for gardens. Some trees are dwarf in size, at around only three feet, while others can grow between 20 to 30 feet in height. In the warmest climates, pomegranate trees can be evergreens and will attract hummingbirds for miles around.

If you are a fan of pomegranates or pomegranate tree and wonder if they’re right for your garden, then keep reading this guide on how to grow a pomegranate tree.

Where Do Pomegranates Like to Grow?

Pomegranates are thought to have originated in Iran (it was called Persia then). It quickly spread throughout the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, India, parts of Africa, and the drier parts of Asia. Pomegranates love it hot and dry.

In the US, pomegranates do best in hardiness zones 7-10. Click here for a map of those zones. If you live in one of those areas, congratulations — you can grow pomegranates!

Types of Pomegranate Trees

Before you begin your pomegranate growing adventure, you need to know which tree you will be planting and the purpose for planting the tree. Those who want to grow pomegranates for consumption or sale should not purchase just any pomegranate tree they see without knowing what kind it is first.

Here are three varieties to make you aware of.


The smallest of the pomegranate trees is the Nana Pomegranate tree. It is just over 3 feet and is the most adaptable in a colder growing zone at its tallest. This tree is often found in landscaping and used as border plants. While it does produce small fruit, the eating quality of them isn’t considered to be very good. So if you are looking to grow and harvest edible pomegranates, you should select a different variety. 


The Wonderful Pomegranate tree is the most commonly found pomegranate across the country and it’s meant for harvesting. The Wonderful variety makes up 95% of the US pomegranate consumer market so if you’ve ever eaten a pomegranate, chances are that it was a Wonderful pomegranate you enjoyed.

The climates this tree grows best in are usually moderate or dry and very warm. The Wonderful Pomegranate tree is meant to yield fruit (lots, in fact), so if you want pomegranates as a source of income or personal consumption, this might be the right tree for you.  


The Sweet Pomegranate tree produces fruit early in the season. These pomegranates are often much sweeter than the Wonderful tree variety.  You can expect to get a successful harvest from these pomegranate trees, but their taste may not be what you are expecting if you’re accustomed to the flavor of standard, tart pomegranates. 

But You’ll Need a Little Patience…

No matter which pomegranate trees you choose to plant, keep in mind that it will take at least two years before your first fruit harvest. After growing a pomegranate tree for a year and not getting anything the following season, you need not be discouraged. Sometimes it can take up to three years before the first pomegranate fruits start to form and ripen. 

How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree: Getting Started

So now that you’ve selected your pomegranate tree variety, you’ll want to carefully plan when and how to plant the new addition to your garden.

When to Plant

Before you plant your pomegranate tree, you need to ensure that the last frost has passed, especially for trees that are still really young. The soil around the tree should be loose so that the tree and its roots can become established. 

If your soil is too compact, take a hand or rake cultivator to the ground where you are planting the tree and break it up a bit. If you plan to plant a row of these trees, you may want to get an electric tiller to break up the soil in a row.

Either way, make sure that the ground is loose, and the temperature is starting to rise. You do not want to shock pomegranates by putting them in the ground and forcing them to go through an unexpected frost. This could leave your pomegranate tree vulnerable to diseases and pests. The shock could also stunt the growth of your trees for several weeks, even if they are able to survive the weather snap. 

Space Out Your Trees

If you are planning to plant multiple trees, you want at least 15-20 feet between each tree, especially if harvesting the fruit is the goal. If you have the smaller ornamental shrubs that you are using as a border, your spacing can be anywhere from six to nine feet apart. These trees need enough room to spread out above ground, but the roots also need space below the dirt so that each tree has its own space.

Sunlight is Best

If you are not sure where to plant your pomegranate, select the part of your yard or garden that has at least six hours of direct sunlight. This area can be partially shaded, but you do not want full shade since pomegranates enjoy sun and warmth.

If you can put them in a location that gets more than six hours, your pomegranates will do even better.

Watering the New Trees

Once your pomegranate tree is planted, you want to ensure that it has adequate water for the first couple of months. Keep in mind that these trees, in general, are pretty tolerant of dry spells. Once they mature and their roots are established in the soil, they can showcase their hardiness when rain is few and far between. To prevent shock and give them the best start, steady irrigation on these trees is necessary.  

Too Much Water Can Be Dangerous

Because these trees have a high drought tolerance, too much water can be dangerous, especially while the trees are young. If you have had excessive rain over the last week and the ground is getting saturated, you need to try and drain the water from around the trees. While pomegranate trees are usually resistant to disease, overly wet soil can lead to fungal infections, which can be dangerous for a pomegranate tree.

How to Care for Your

Pomegranate Tree

Pomegranate tree care begins immediately once you plant your trees. You must take several steps weekly and even biannually to encourage the tree’s growth and a successful harvest of pomegranates when the time comes. 

Weekly Tree Care

Early in the first two months, you want to make sure that the pomegranate trees are getting the right amount of water to keep them hydrated but doing so without drowning them. If you planted your trees and experienced an unusual dry spell, you may want to water twice a day to the trees hydrated. Make sure when you water them, you do so at the base of the tree so that you do not create conditions for fungal infections on the leaves. 

As your pomegranate trees start to grow and develop strong roots, you want to cultivate around the base of the plant once a week to keep the soil loose early on. You do not need to keep this up after the first year, but while the tree is getting established, it is good to make sure the soil is well aerated.

Biannual Tree Care

Twice a year, you need to add fertilizer to your soil to give your pomegranate trees the nutrients they need. While they can survive in poor soil, they’ll thrive in soil that is amended. By adding fertilizer to the soil during these periods, you can replenish the nutrients that the pomegranate trees have absorbed and even change the pH of the soil to make it more acidic for the trees. 

This is only required until you get your first harvest of pomegranates. Once fruit comes in during the growing season, you can dial back the fertilizer to once a year after the season is over and winter is starting to roll into the area.

Too much fertilizer over time can burn a pomegranate tree and its roots. Like water, there is too much of a good thing in over-fertilizing, and the fact that a harvest is producing means the need for fertilizer is reduced.


The time to prune your pomegranate trees depends on how well they are growing. Once you cut back on your weekly maintenance for watering, you still should step outside once a week and examine your pomegranate tree. Make sure you immediately remove any suckers before they grow much. If they are not pruned properly, the shape of your tree will start to change. 

If you want to encourage a higher production yield when the time comes, prune away some of the branches. This lets the tree focus on the fruit and growth. As always, if you see any branches that look diseased or dying on the tree, remove them before infection spreads and causes severe damage to the tree. 

Reduce Pests and Diseases

While it is no secret that the pomegranate tree is pretty hardy when it comes to diseases and pests, there are some times when they get the best of the trees because of current conditions. Trees that are stressed are most susceptible so keeping your pomegranate tree healthy is the best defense against disease and pests.

Be on the lookout for common pests like scale, mealy bugs, whiteflies, and pomegranate butterflies that take advantage of shrubs and trees that have not been properly pruned. They feed on diseased branches and then get into the trees, causing disaster. 

When there is too much water, you can expect diseases like soft rot and fruit spots that are caused by fungal infections. Consider using an organic fungicide and insecticide on your pomegranate trees weekly to prevent either of these from taking over and destroying the trees that you have worked hard to grow. 

Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor:

Harvest Time

Now that the first two growing seasons have come and gone, it is year three, and you start to notice baby pomegranates growing on the branches. Make sure you stay on top of that preventative pomegranate tree care to keep the insects and fungus away. There are several signs to look for when it is time to harvest your pomegranates.

  • Color 
  • Shape
  • Sound

The first thing you notice about your pomegranates is that the color has gotten darker and more profound. They do not look shiny or glossy, but their color is so deep that it seems a bit flat and one-note.

If you think that the color has changed, you need to take a closer look at the shape of the fruit. Ripe pomegranates will be longer and look more like a hexagon with corners instead of fully round.

Finally, you want to tap your finger against the pomegranate and see if the sounds bounce back. It will sound tinny or even slightly metallic.

If your pomegranate fruits meet all of these criteria, then it is time to harvest the fruit.

Carefully Remove The Fruit

When you start harvesting your pomegranate fruit, you cannot simply pluck it off the tree — doing so can damage both the tree and the fruit. Instead, use pruning shears and cut the stem close to the fruit.

Storing Pomegranates

A pomegranate that is fully intact and undamaged will keep at room temperature for 1-3 weeks. When refrigerated, pomegranates will last even longer — about two months.

If a pomegranate has split, it won’t keep and should be used right away. Pomegranate juice and arils can be frozen for up to a year.

Common Culinary Uses for Pomegranates

Pomegranate Molasses.

After you’ve waited patiently for your pomegranate harvest to come in, you may wonder “How am I going to eat all this fruit?” If you think pomegranates are just for juicing or sprinkling into salads, you’re in for a tasty surprise.

Pomegranates are a versatile fruit with all sorts of culinary uses. There are the well-known ones like salads (both in aril form and also as a salad vinaigrette), juicing, and smoothies. But pomegranates can also be made into beverages like tea or lemonade, be used for desserts, used in baking, and they even have a place in savory dishes.

For inspiration, visit this link to our blog article of 21 recipe ideas for pomegranates.

In Conclusion

If you live in the right planting zone, then we hope this guide has been helpful in providing what you need to know for how to grow a pomegranate tree in your garden. By taking steps to get your tree off to the right start, you’ll ensure that it’s healthy enough to fight off diseases and pests. Giving your tree the proper care it needs will result in a bountiful harvest of pomegranates that you can enjoy all winter long.

Excited to learn more about this magical fruit? Then check out our pomegranate trees page for information on pomegranate planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more!

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Where and how pomegranate grows at home and in nature + photo

Pomegranate is one of the main fruit species of the subtropical climate, introduced into cultivation since ancient times and since then has spread widely wherever there are soil and climatic conditions suitable for this plant. Pomegranates also successfully grow in the southern regions of Russia in open ground. In addition, this is one of the most popular indoor plants that does not require particularly complex care. There are also decorative varieties of pomegranate, including those with double flowers of different colors.


  • 1 Varieties of pomegranate, their main characteristics and biological features

  • 2 Origin of the pomegranate and main growing areas

    • 2.1 How a pomegranate grows in the wild

    • 2.2 Pomegranate cultivation in Europe

    • 2.3 Pomegranate cultivation in Central Asia

    • 2.4 Pomegranate cultivation in Transcaucasia

    • 2.5 Outdoor pomegranate cultivation in Russia and Ukraine

    • 2.6 Is it possible to grow a pomegranate in the suburbs

  • 3 How pomegranate grows at home

    • 3. 1 Room grenade (video)

Varieties of pomegranate, their main characteristics and biological features

In the modern botanical classification, the pomegranate belongs to the Derbennikov family, earlier it was often distinguished into a separate family of Pomegranates.

There are very few types of pomegranate:

  • wild Socotra pomegranate, which grows only in Yemen on the island of Socotra and is not cultivated in any way;
  • common pomegranate, widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean and Western Asia in gardens and in the wild, with many cultivated fruit and ornamental varieties;
  • dwarf pomegranate is a miniature variety of the common pomegranate, very popular as a houseplant around the world because of its compact size.

Pomegranate is a small multi-stemmed tree or shrub up to 5 meters high. Very often, its branches have sharp spines at the ends, especially in wild forms. The leaves are bright green, narrow, up to 8 centimeters long and up to 2 centimeters wide. In the tropics, pomegranate behaves like an evergreen, in the subtropical zone with relatively cold winters, its leaves fall off in autumn. In a room culture, pomegranate leaves can be preserved all year round or fall completely or partially in the winter, it depends on the light and temperature in the room.

Pomegranate is an important fruit crop in countries with a warm climate

The first flowers and fruits begin to appear on plants already at the age of three. Flowering is very long, in open ground it begins in spring and lasts almost all summer, and individual single flowers can appear even in early autumn.

Many indoor varieties of pomegranate with good care can bloom almost all year round.

Pomegranate flowers are of two types:

  • campanulate without ovary, fruitless and falling shortly after flowering;
  • pitcher-shaped with a clearly visible ovary of the future fruit, it is from these flowers that the fruit crop is formed after pollination.

Pomegranate fruits grow from flowers with a clearly visible ovary

The wild pomegranate and most of its fruit varieties have bright red flowers. The flowers of its ornamental varieties are red, white or variegated white-red. In wild plants and in fruit varieties, the flowers are simple, in decorative forms they are simple or double.

As a rule, double pomegranate flowers do not form fruits.

Pomegranate is a self-pollinating plant. It takes about 4–5 months from flowering to fruit ripening; for normal ripening, high air temperatures of at least +25°C are required.

Pomegranates take several months to ripen

The fruit of the pomegranate is completely unique in its structure and in scientific botanical terminology it is called “pomegranate”. These fruits are spherical in shape with a crown-like corolla on the opposite side from the stem. Beneath the rough and inedible brownish-red or dark red skin are the pomegranate's many edible "seeds", each surrounded by a layer of tasty juicy pulp. These "grains" are most often dark red, in some varieties light red or pink. The fruits of cultivated forms of pomegranate taste sour, sweet and sweet and sour. They ripen very late, depending on the variety and region, from September to November. Ripe fruits very often crack right on the tree, especially with a lack of moisture.

Pomegranates often crack right on the tree

The average weight of pomegranate fruits in cultivated forms is about 200–250 grams, while in the best large-fruited varieties, fruits reach a weight of 500–800 grams and a diameter of 15–18 centimeters. In industrial culture, the harvest reaches 30-60 kilograms of fruits from one tree or bush. Pomegranate is very durable and in good conditions bears fruit for up to 100 years or more. Harvested ripe fruits can be stored for up to several months at a low positive temperature in a dry room with good ventilation.

Origin of the pomegranate and its main areas of cultivation

Homeland pomegranate - Turkey, Transcaucasia, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. This plant has been cultivated since ancient times and spread throughout the Mediterranean. Feral specimens are found in Southern Europe and North Africa. Now pomegranate is grown in almost all countries with a subtropical climate.

In Mediterranean countries, the pomegranate grows in gardens and often runs wild

For a subtropical plant, the pomegranate is quite hardy, some of its varieties withstand short-term frosts down to -15°C almost without damage. But already at -18°C, the entire above-ground part freezes up to the root collar, and at more severe frosts, the plants die completely.

Pomegranate is very photophilous and very drought-resistant, but it requires sufficient moisture to obtain high yields of high-quality fruits. In an arid zone without watering, the plants themselves will not die, but their fruits will be small and crack.

Pomegranate can grow on poor soils, but does not tolerate saline soils, high groundwater levels and waterlogging.

How a pomegranate grows in the wild

In the zone of its natural growth, garnet is found mainly in the lower part of the mountain belt, on stony slopes, and especially on sandy and pebbly alluvial soils along the banks of mountain rivers. In the most favorable conditions, the pomegranate grows into a tree, higher in the mountains it takes the form of a bush.

Pomegranate cultivation in Europe

Pomegranate is widely grown in all Mediterranean countries of Europe as a fruit and ornamental garden plant. There are a lot of pomegranate trees in Spain, Italy, Greece. In addition to traditional fruit varieties, various decorative forms of pomegranate with red, white or variegated red-white flowers, often double, are very popular here.

Ornamental varieties of pomegranate have double flowers

During my trip to Northern Italy, I was very surprised by the appearance of the pomegranate bushes in the village gardens there. They were planted purely for beauty in almost every area, but for most owners, pomegranate bushes growing without any care had a very miserable appearance: disheveled, pale, with single random flowers. Only in some especially well-kept gardens did I see truly spectacular pomegranate specimens, neatly formed and blooming profusely.

Pomegranate cultivation in Central Asia

Pomegranate is often found in the countries of Central Asia, especially in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Here it is one of the most beloved horticultural crops, grown since ancient times. There are many local varieties with large fruits of excellent taste. In the lower part of the mountain slopes, there are also wild garnets, usually taking a bushy shape. Fruit ripening and harvesting takes place from mid-September to mid-October. Without shelter, pomegranates can grow here only in the warmest places. In most Central Asian gardens, pomegranate bushes are bent to the ground for the winter, covered with straw and a layer of earth 20-30 centimeters thick.

In nature, wild pomegranate often grows in the form of a bush

Pomegranate cultivation in Transcaucasia

Pomegranate is very popular and has been grown for a long time in all countries of the Transcaucasian region - Georgia, Abkhazia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Many local varieties with fruits of excellent quality have been created here, Armenian and Azerbaijani pomegranates are especially famous. Harvest is in October. In places, wild pomegranate trees still come across. In the subtropical coastal zone with very mild winters, the pomegranate grows into a tree and winters beautifully without any shelter; in the gardens of the foothill zone, where winters are colder, pomegranate bushes are bent to the ground in late autumn and covered.

Outdoor pomegranate cultivation in Russia and Ukraine

In Russia, pomegranate successfully grows and bears fruit in open ground only in a few southern regions with fairly long hot summers and mild short winters:

  • in the southern part of Dagestan;
  • in the subtropics of the Krasnodar Territory;
  • in the Crimea.

Pomegranates are also grown in the gardens of the Black Sea zone of Ukraine.

Pomegranate grows well and bears fruit in the Crimea

In the Crimea and the Krasnodar Territory, pomegranate blooms in May, the fruits ripen in October.

Is it possible to grow a pomegranate in the suburbs

Pomegranate is a southern plant, and in central Russia it is grown only in a room or greenhouse culture.

However, on one of the garden forums on the Internet there is information from an amateur gardener from the Moscow region, in which a small pomegranate bush successfully survived several winters in the garden with careful winter shelter. In autumn, he builds a “house” over the plant from several automobile tires laid on top of each other, closes it with spruce branches on top and additionally warms it with snow. But the owner himself admits that his pomegranate has never bloomed and is unlikely to ever, because the plant lacks summer heat for full development.

How to grow pomegranate at home

A dwarf variety of pomegranate is grown indoors. These miniature trees rarely grow above one meter, their usual height is about 70 centimeters in adult plants. The leaves are small, with good lighting in warm rooms can be preserved year-round. At low temperatures or with a lack of light, the leaves begin to fall off.

If the indoor pomegranate has completely shed its leaves for the winter, it is better to rearrange it until spring in a cool room with a temperature of about + 6 ° C (non-freezing basement or cellar with sufficient ventilation) and hardly water it until spring.

During cold wintering in a leafless state, indoor pomegranate wakes up in March-April. First, the leaves unfold, and about a month after that, the first flowers appear. Flowering lasts until September - October.

In summer, it is very useful to expose the indoor pomegranate in the open air, in a bright place protected from the winds on a balcony or in a garden.

Fruits of indoor pomegranate do not exceed 2-3 centimeters in diameter. They are edible, but their taste is very mediocre, especially compared to the fruits of garden varieties. These fruitlets can remain on the branches for months, very decorating the pomegranate tree.

My neighbors in their old apartment had a beautiful specimen of a potted pomegranate on their windowsill. It was a beautiful adult tree almost a meter high, growing in a relatively small pot with a volume of about three liters. It stood on the windowsill of a large bright window in a warm room and was decorated with flowers and fruits all year round. In autumn and winter, some of the leaves still fell off, but at the same time there were quite a lot of them on the branches, and the tree retained a very attractive appearance all winter.

Room grenade (video)

Pomegranate is a very beautiful plant and not too demanding to care for. In those regions where winter frosts do not allow growing pomegranate trees in the garden in the open field, there is always the opportunity to acquire a dwarf indoor pomegranate that grows well in an ordinary flower pot on the windowsill.

  • Author: werakulik