Growing Dwarf Pomegranate – From Seed, Winter Care

Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

Pomegranate fruit is one of the oldest known edible fruits and belongs to the family Lythraceae. In India, today Pomegranate cultivation is a highly lucrative and remunerative agriculture business. The Dwarf Pomegranate is one of the best compact and ornamental shrubs for small gardens. It produces breathtaking orange or red color trumpet-shaped flowers, followed by small 5 cm orange or red fruit. It is a dense, deciduous shrub with leaves that are dark with beautiful hues of bronze in the late autumn season. Its compact size makes it suitable for pots or containers. In regions with very cold winters, it can be brought indoors.

Regular Pomegranate trees can get tall, they are not ideal for indoors. This is why most people grow dwarf Pomegranate trees, which are smaller, and ideal for indoor spaces. This dwarf version will only reach 2 to 4 feet in height, therefore not taking up much space at all. In this article we also covered the below topics about dwarf Pomegranate tree;

  • Dwarf Pomegranate tree varieties
  • Do dwarf Pomegranate trees produce fruit
  • How do you grow a dwarf Pomegranate tree
  • Do dwarf Pomegranate trees need a lot of water
  • Do Pomegranates need full sun
  • Why dwarf Pomegranate leaves turning yellow
  • Dwarf Pomegranate growing tips
  • Dwarf Pomegranate tree care
  • Do Pomegranates need full sun
  • Dwarf Pomegranate edible
  • Where to buy dwarf Pomegranate trees

A Step by Step Guide to Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

Guide to Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees
Guide to Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees (Image credit: pixabay)

Normally, dwarf Pomegranate tree varieties are used as ornamental features in the home landscape and then produce edible fruit. Dwarf Pomegranates are ideal as a border or contrast planting for backyard space. The Dwarf Pomegranate tree is one of the most popular of all dwarf trees. Also, the dwarf Pomegranate tree is perfect for beginners as it stays naturally small.

The dwarf Pomegranate tree differs from the standard Pomegranate by its much smaller, glossy leaves about 1 inch/2.5 cm long, but especially dwarfs Pomegranate fruits, which are only the size of a golf ball. The shrub itself is not that dwarf though. It can easily reach 6 feet if left unpruned. Though, it responds well to pruning and so it kept between 2 to 3 feet in height. When growing a Pomegranate tree as houseplants by planting a dwarf Pomegranate tree, which reaches heights and widths of about 2 to 4 feet.

The flowers of dwarf Pomegranate trees are orange-red, with crinkled petals. The flower or fruit matures slowly, remaining on the Pomegranate plant for 6 months or more, it no longer looks as much like a flower, but has rounded out and is a fruit. The round fruits of Pomegranate trees are fully red a maturity, but they are not good to eat, without the sweet flavor of standard Pomegranate. Therefore, the fruits of the dwarf Pomegranate tree are essentially considered to be ornamental rather than edible.

Information about Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

  • Botanical Name – Punica granatum
  • Soil Requirements – Fertile, well-drained soil for growing outdoors. For container growing, use a soil-based potting mix and let it dry out in between watering. Any good potting soil with humus.
  • Season – spring
  • Sun/Shade – Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Height – 2 feet.
  • Spacing – 1 per pot. If planted directly in the ground space 3 feet apart.
  • Spread: 2 – 3 feet.
  • Color – Bright orange-red
  • Fruit – Needs hand pollination or insects to set fruit and up to 2-inch fruit.
  • Growth Rate – Moderate
  • Flower Color – Red
  • Watering requirement – Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
  • Pruning – Late fall season is best for pruning because it blooms on new growth. Dormant season
  • Flowers – Funnel-shaped.
  • Pollinator – Self-pollinating.

Find the Perfect Variety of Dwarf Pomegranate Tree

The first step is to find the perfect Pomegranate tree variety. A regular Pomegranate tree can grow up to 30 feet tall whereas a dwarf Pomegranate tree only reaches about 2 feet. You can grow a regular Pomegranate tree indoors and then transplant it outdoors.

Dwarf varieties are small enough to be considered large shrubs and are best suited for container gardening. Some varieties are ornamental, so make sure you buy a variety that will produce fruit. For example, the ‘Wonderful’ variety is extremely popular and available in many garden stores.

Jyothi trees are dwarf and evergreen. Fruits remain small in size and the average fruit weight is 200 g. The rind develops a typical red color with pinkish-reddish colored arils.

The Nana dwarf variety of Pomegranate trees is one that’s known to have edible fruit. Some trees are more edible than others as some of the varieties have fruit that is meant to be more of an ornamental purpose. ‘Nana’ dwarf tree is an excellent choice for a container plant or in a mixed shrub or perennial border. Also, it is a nice choice to keep pruned as a bonsai specimen. This is easy to care for shrub is generally pest and disease-free.

The important dwarf pomegranate variety is ‘Nana.’ This tree grows compact, floriferous, and is considered robust and cold hardy. It grows in USDA Zones 7 to 11. The pomegranate tree grows up to about 1 meter tall as a container plant and forms orange to garnet red flowers that produce small fruits with viable seeds.

State Fair Pomegranate tree will grow to 5 feet tall and also produces many dwarf fruits (less than 2 inches in diameter). This selection is cold hardy and flowers profusely.

Provence – When most of the Pomegranate tree varieties are not much cold hardy, Provence variety is one you can look at. It can tolerate temperatures down to -15°C and can be grown in cold climate conditions.

Pomegranate Production in India

Pomegranate production in India is about 8.07 lacs MT from an area of 109.2 thousand hectares. The major Pomegranate growing states in India are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Orissa, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu.

Pomegranate can be grown under varied climatic conditions of the country and it performs better in semi-arid and arid regions.

Soil and Climate Requirement for Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

The pomegranate tree thrives well in semiarid conditions. Deep loam to sandy loam soils is considered ideal for Pomegranate trees. It can tolerate alkaline/saline soils with a 9.0 pH level having lower EC than 0.5 mm hos/cm. It can grow in light soils but with assured irrigation and it requires hot and dry summers with cool winters.

It is tolerant to frost and freezes fairly well high temperature in summers and too low in winters encourages fruit cracking. Pomegranate has both types of cultivars like some are deciduous in winter and others are evergreen. The Pomegranate tree requires a hot and dry climate for the production of high-quality Pomegranates. The evergreen tree cultivars do not shed leaves in very cold winters.

Pomegranate trees are cold hardy down to approximately -10°C and will bear miniature fruits if grown in areas with year-round temperatures that rarely fall below -4°C. Grown in full sun, they will bloom when they are about 25 cm tall. Where the dwarf Pomegranate fruits do ripen, they are no less edible than full-sized Pomegranates from large shrubs or small trees. A good-quality and all-purpose potting mix are good for dwarf Pomegranates. Do not use garden soil for dwarf Pomegranates because it will become too compact in a container.

Light Requirement for Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

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Light Requirement for Growing Dwarf Pomegranate (pic source : pixabay)

Pomegranate trees that don’t bloom aren’t getting enough light. Put your Pomegranate tree where it will get bright light with some direct sunlight every day. Moving it outdoors for the summer season is ideal. Just be sure to bring it back before the temperature drops to 10°C at night.

Pomegranate trees need plenty of suns to produce fruit and select a location that gets at least 6 hours of direct sun. Pomegranate trees need lots of sunshine every day to thrive, so make sure the tree’s container is in full sun. If necessary (though it isn’t ideal), the trees can tolerate partial shade.

Dwarf Pomegranate Tree Buying Tips

You can buy dwarf Pomegranate plants at some garden centers and online in the spring and summer seasons. For example, Punica granatum ‘Nana’ is a good dwarf Pomegranate cultivar.

Dwarf Pomegranate Spacing Requirements

Space individual Pomegranate plants 3 to 4 feet apart.

Propagating Dwarf Pomegranate

  • The fastest method of multiplying a dwarf Pomegranate is by tip cuttings about 3 to 4 inches long, taken in the spring season. Just apply a bit of rooting hormone to the wound, and then insert the slips into a pot of slightly moist soil, and placing the pot in a warm spot. Cover with a clear plastic bag or dome to keep the humidity up and rooting will only take a few weeks.
  • Take 3-4 inches stem tip cuttings in spring. Sow seeds in spring and soak seeds overnight in warm water before sowing in the seed starting mix. Keep seeds warm and barely moist. Then, Pomegranate seeds will germinate in about 3 to 4 weeks.
  • You can multiply dwarf Pomegranate by seed, ideally in the spring season, as it comes true to type. However, that only applies to P. granatum nana, and its various cultivars will not come true to type; you’ll need to propagate them by cuttings.

Process of Growing Dwarf Pomegranate from Seed

Sowing Pomegranate Seeds – Sow Pomegranate seeds at any time of year. Sow the seeds at a depth of 12 mm using well-draining soil or compost mix. Do not cover the Pomegranate seed as they need light to germinate. Then, place in a warm position in bright light and only slightly moist. Use a propagator if possible so that the temperature level fluctuates between 20°C at night 30°C during the day. Pomegranate seeds usually germinate in 3 to 4 weeks at 20 to 22°C.

After that, keep the Pomegranate slightly damp at all times. Locate in a position of good light, but where it is sheltered from frost and not exposed to drying winds. Don’t plant the pot in a shallow container. It likes water and flowers well when it is slightly root-bound, so select a pot that is a bit deeper than usual.

Growing Pomegranate from seed is a great way to start gardening. Firstly, start with a mixture of agro peat, organic manure, and soil in 20:20:60 ratios. Agro peat helps to increase the water-holding capacity of the growing medium and also in easy penetration of plant roots. Now carefully open the seed packet on a white sheet of paper, to avoid them from falling out. After that, insert the Pomegranate seeds into the prepared mixture and moisten the newly planted seeds only by sprinkling water. It is advisable not to directly pour water over the saplings because the force of water might damage them. Please note that all seedlings need a considerable amount of light and warmth to germinate. Germination may take place within 3 to 4 weeks, depending upon different varieties. Once the seeds grow into seedlings around 3 inches, they can be transplanted to pots or desired areas. A diluted amount of organic pesticide can be used to control weeds or pests.

The dwarf Pomegranate is deciduous but can be an evergreen tree with sufficient warmth. The orange-red color flowers are produced in July and August in the first year and from June to August in subsequent years. The plants will grow to a height of approximately 45 cm with a spread of 100 cm. Germination will take 3-4 weeks. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle transfer them individually into pots, multipurpose compost is suitable.

During the summer months, the Pomegranate plants can be stood on a sunny patio. Pomegranate plants that are growing well but not flowering are receiving insufficient light. Keep the Pomegranate plants well-watered and apply a balanced liquid feed once a month between May and September. Move the plants under cover before temperatures start to fall in autumn maintaining a temperature of about 16-24°C. When repotting in the spring use a pot one size larger, ultimately a pot of about 45 cm diameter will be required.

Growing Dwarf Pomegranate in Containers or Pots

In cooler climate regions, the dwarf Pomegranate is grown as a container plant or houseplant.

The dwarf Pomegranate is fairly easy to grow in containers. Full summer sun and extreme heat are not a problem, but it does appreciate a cooler winter season. Dwarf Pomegranate can be grown indoors all year, but normally it’s put outside for the summer on a patio or balcony. Then it’s brought back indoors when nights start to get distinctly chilly in the fall season.

The great advantage of placing it outdoors in the summer season is that it will be visited by insects that ensure pollination. For growing dwarf Pomegranate indoors all year-round, you’ll have to pollinate the flowers manually if you want fruits to form. Pomegranate plants in containers dry much more quickly than plants grown in the ground and may even need daily watering in hot weather. Fertilize from spring through the early fall season with an all-purpose fertilizer diluted to half the recommended dosage.

Growing Dwarf Pomegranates in Outdoors

In case if you miss this: Vegetable Farming Tips.

Growing Dwarf Pomegranates in Outdoors
Growing Dwarf Pomegranates in Outdoors (pic credit: pixabay)

Growing dwarf Pomegranates outdoors all year-long will be limited to mild climates, and select a protected spot for growing dwarf Pomegranates. Ideally, you’d select a spot where there is no frost, although it will take temperatures down to below -10°C if they don’t last long.

The Pomegranate plant is easier to grow in the ground than in pots, once it’s been in place for a year or so, its extensive root system makes it very drought resistant. It will require little care at all, other than pruning.

Dwarf Pomegranate Tree Care

  • Generally, dwarf Pomegranate tree thrives in hot, dry summer weather conditions. At maturity, it will reach about 3 feet tall as wide in a rounded shape. Then, apply a balanced fertilizer monthly during the growing season as directed on the package.
  • No blooms – Give dwarf Pomegranate tree some sun year-round. It won’t bloom without sunlight and don’t be in a hurry to pot up it blooms best when slightly pot-bound.
  • Got blooms, but no fruit – Some types of Pomegranate trees are self-pollinating, but not all trees are self-pollinators. Outdoor Pomegranate trees are pollinated from the wind or insects that carry the pollen from flower to flower. If you’ve kept the plant indoors, it needs some help from you.
  • Repot in spring – Repot only when the roots have filled the pot and move to a pot only 1-2 inches larger. This small tree blooms best when pot-bound and uses a pot with a drainage hole to prevent overwatering, which can cause root rot.
  • Check your Pomegranate plants regularly for aphids. They are attracted to soft, new growth and tend to hang out on flower buds and young stems. If you find an infestation, treat the plant right away because these little pests multiply quickly and can harm your plants.

Dwarf Pomegranate Winter Care

In the winter season, you can expect most, if not all, the leaves to fall off your Pomegranate tree. Give it a winter rest by reducing water levels, but don’t allow the potting medium to dry out completely. Stop fertilizing till the spring season. Keep your Pomegranate plant in a bright, slightly cooler location.

Dwarf Pomegranate always gives us a bright show from spring right into winter because it is evergreen in warmer years, deciduous in colder years, dying back to the ground in the coldest year. Dwarf Pomegranate will tolerate a minimum of 10°C in the winter season.

Fertilizer Requirement for Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

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

The Dwarf Pomegranate does not need fertilizer, but a little bit of slow-release once a year in spring is beneficial for plant growth. It should be repotted every 2 years and can be very easily propagated and group plantings quickly created from quite thick branches taken from a parent plant.

Tips of Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Tree

  • Dwarf Pomegranate is an ideal plant for growing indoors or in the greenhouse. The Pomegranate plants can be stood on a sunny patio during the summer months.
  • In warm temperate climate conditions, the dwarf Pomegranate is deciduous and its leaves turn a yellow color and then drop off in late fall.
  • Apply water carefully 1 to 2 times a week during the summer to keep the soil evenly moist during prime growing months.
  • Apply tree fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 in early spring at a rate of 1 pound for every 3 feet of height to promote fruit growth. Repeat the fertilizer application in midsummer.

Water Requirement for Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

Firstly, keep potting medium evenly moist, but not soggy which can lead to root rot. Water sparingly in the winter when growth is very slow. The most common reason that leaves turn yellow on Pomegranates is that overwater them. It’s natural to want to cultivate fruit plants, but Pomegranates are native to dry, arid regions and don’t do well with a lot of water. When the flowers open and during the summer the Pomegranate trees need more water than usual. In winter keep the soil slightly moist and avoid watering with calcareous water.

Pruning Requirement in Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

Generally, pruning Pomegranate trees will keep them shapely and compact. Also, you’ll encourage more flower buds to form. Prune in the spring season, removing old wood and long side branches.

Prune the dwarf Pomegranate tree in the late winter season with clean pruning clippers to remove dead or damaged branches. Clip off any suckers growing around the base of the Pomegranate tree as they appear.

Weed Control in Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

Pomegranate is closely planted and hence use of a tractor to inter-cultivate is not desirable. Weeds must be manually removed by hoeing the basins once in December at the time of fertilization and then again in May. The left-out places can have some weeds/grass growing. If need be spray Grammoxone with 6 ml/L of water during July.

Pests and Diseases Control in Growing Dwarf Pomegranate Trees

Generally, vigorous Pomegranate trees are hardly attacked by pests and diseases. Aphids, scale, whitefly, and mealybugs can affect the Pomegranate trees. Then use a specific pesticide and improve the growing conditions for your Pomegranate tree. Root rot can occur when the Pomegranate tree is overwatered. Frequent watering with calcareous water can cause chlorosis.

Thinning must be done occasionally to ensure good aeration and interception of sunlight. Then, periodical spraying with 2 g mancozeb/liter of water is enough. Fruit cracking damage due to severe drought and boron deficiency is a serious problem tackled by irrigation and then spraying 0.25% Boron solution. Plants must be protected from browsers. The fruit borer is mainly controlled by the removal of affected fruits and the use of insecticides. Most pests in Pomegranate trees are managed by hygienic orchard management and insecticides.


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