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Pomegranate Farming, Planting, Care, Harvesting

Pomegranate Farming Guide For Beginners:

Today, we are discussing Pomegranate Farming Techniques, Planting Methods, and Varieties.

Pomegranate Farming
Pomegranate Farming.

Introduction of Pomegranate:

Pomegranate is one of the commercial fruit crops of India. It is native to Iran (Persia). Pomegranate is known as a drought-tolerant crop, yet regular irrigation is mandatory to commercial yield production. Water levels and optimal irrigation regime depend on a plurality of factors as soil type, tree size, physiological phase, and potential evaporation. As a rule, the tree needs little supplemental irrigation. The commonly used irrigation regime in pomegranate orchards relies mainly on the experience gained by growers and less on formal experiments.

Suitable Climate for Pomegranate Plantation:

Pomegranate prefers a dry climate. During fruit development, a prolonged hot and dry climate is required. The optimum temperature congenial for fruit development is 38°C. In a humid climate, the fruits are severely damaged by the pomegranate butterflies and do not develop sweetness. It is winter hardy and very drought tolerant. It can grow up to an elevation of 1850 meters.

Best Climate for Pomegranate.
Best Climate for Pomegranate.

Pomegranate grows well under semi-arid conditions and can be grown up to an altitude of 500 m. above m.s.l.. It thrives well under hot, dry summer and cold winter provided irrigation facilities are available. The tree requires a hot and dry climate especially during fruit development and ripening. The Pomegranate tree is deciduous in areas of low winter temperature and evergreen or partially deciduous in tropical and sub-tropical conditions. It can tolerate frost to a considerable extent in the dormant stage but is injured at a temperature below -11°C.

Suitable Soil type for Pomegranate Plantation:

It grows under a wide variety of soils and can tolerate even alkalinity and salinity to a certain extent.  However, the best results are obtained in deep heavy loam and well-drained soils.  It is sensitive to soil moisture fluctuations causing fruit cracking which is a serious problem of this crop. Well-drained, sandy loam to deep loamy or alluvial soils is suitable for Pomegranate Farming.

Suitable Soil.
Suitable Soil.

Varieties of Pomegranate:

In recent years, several new varieties have been developed and new orchards have come with well-known improved varieties.

Ganesh :

This is a selection from ‘Alandi’ developed by Dr. Cheema at Pune which has revolutionized the cultivation of pomegranate in Maharashtra state.  This has soft seeds and pinkish flesh with a juice of agreeable taste and bears heavily.

Dholka  :

The popular variety of Gujarat with fruits of large size, rind greenish-yellow, flesh aril pinkish-white seeds soft, juice acidic.  It is a medium cropper.

Jodhpur Local :

Medium-sized fruit with a hard rind, fleshy aril light pink, sweet, juicy, seed moderately hard.

Seedless (Bedana):

Fruit medium to large in size, rind brownish-green, fleshy aril light pink or whitish, very sweet, very juicy, soft seeded.  ‘Bassein seedless & KVK – 1’ are from Karnataka and ‘Jalore Selection’ are popular names in north India.  In South India, ‘Paper Shell’, ‘Spanish Ruby’, ‘Muscat Red’ & ‘Velladu’ have shown promise.

Other pomegranate varieties:

cultivated in India are Alandi or Vadki, Kandhari, Kabul, Muskati Red, Paper Shelled, Spanish Ruby, G 137, P 23, P 26, Mridula, Aarakta, Jyoti, Ruby, IIHR Selection, Yercaud 1 and Co 1.

Propagation of Pomegranate Plants:

Vegetative propagation is recommended in establishing pomegranate. Propagation by cuttings is common. Cuttings should be taken from suckers which spring from the base of the main stem and should be mature about 20 to 30 cm long and 6-12 mm thick. The rainy season is the best period to achieve maximum success.

Preparation of Land for Pomegranate Plantation:

The land is prepared by plowing, harrowing, levelling, and removing weeds.

Planting of Pomegranate :

Planting Material:

Pomegranate is propagated vegetatively by cuttings, air layering, or Gootee.

Best Planting Time for Pomegranate Crop:

Air layering is usually done during the rainy season and also in November-December.  Planting is usually done in spring (February-March) and July-August in sub-tropical and tropical regions respectively.

Best Planting Time of Pomegranate.
Best Planting Time of Pomegranate.
Pomegranate Plant Spacing:

High-density planting is adopted in temperate regions. A spacing of 5-6 m. in northern India and also in the plains of the Deccan plateau is usually followed.  High-density planting with a spacing gives 2 to 2.5 times more yield than that obtained when the normal planting distance of 5 x 5 m. is adopted. Farmers have adopted a spacing of 2.5 meters x 4.5 meters. Closer spacing increases disease and pest incidence.

Pomegranate Orchard wih Drip System.
Pomegranate Orchard with Drip System.
  • The Square system of planting is mostly adopted. Planting distance is decided on the basis of soil type and climate. A spacing of 4 meters-5 meters. on marginal and very light soils is recommended.
  • Pits of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm. size is dug (at a spacing of 5 cm. in the square system) about a month prior to planting and kept open under the sun for a fortnight. About 50 grams. of 5% BHC or carbaryl dust is dusted on the bottom and sides of the pits as a precaution against termites. The pits are filled with topsoil mixed with 20 kg. farmyard manure and 1 kg. superphosphate. After filling the pit, watering is done to allow the soil to settle down. Cuttings/air layers are then planted and staked. Irrigation is provided immediately after planting.
Manures and Fertilizers in Pomegranate Farming:
  • The recommended fertilizer dose is 600-700 g. N, 200-250 g. P2O5 and 200-250 g. K2O /tree/year. Application of 10 kg. farmyard manure and 75 grams ammonium sulfate to 5-year-old tree annually is adequate, whereas application of 50 kg. farmyard manure and 3.5 kg. oil cake or 1 kg. sulfate of ammonia prior to flowering is ideal for healthy growth and fruiting.  The time of application is December/January for ambe bahar, May/June for Mrig bahar, and October/November for hasthe bahar.
  • The basal dose of farmyard manure @ 25-40 cart-loads /ha. besides the recommended doses of N, P and K should be applied to non-bearing trees in 3 split doses coinciding with the growth of flushes during January, June, and September. Fruiting should be encouraged from the fourth year onwards. Nitrogenous fertilizer is applied in two split doses starting at the time of first irrigation after bahar treatment and next at 3 weeks interval, whereas a full dose of P and K should be applied at one time. These should be applied in a shallow circular trench below the tree canopy not beyond a depth of 8-10 cm. After application, fertilizers are covered with topsoil and irrigated.

Care, Pests, and Disease Management in Pomegranate Orchard:

Pomegranate Plant Care.
Pomegranate Plant Care.

In Pomegranate Farming, Pomegranate butterfly and bark-eating caterpillar are the common pests of Pomegranate.

The fruits are susceptible to fruit fly which needs to be controlled from flowering to button stage.  At this stage spray of Sevin (carbaryl) 0.2% (200 gm/100 liters or endosulfan 0.05% at 10 days interval alternatively, must be given.

Fruit spot and fruit rot are the common fungal diseases for which proper and regular spraying is made.

Read this: Growing Pomegranate In Containers

Physiological disorder:

Fruit cracking is a most serious physiological disorder in pomegranate which limits its cultivation.  In young fruits, it could be due to boron deficiency but fully grown fruits crack due to moisture imbalances as there are very sensitive to variations in soil moisture and humidity.  Prolonged drought causes hardening of peel and if this is followed by heavy irrigation or downpour then the pulp grows and the peel cracks.  This problem can be overcome by

  1. Maintaining soil moisture and not allowing wide variations in soil moisture depletion,
  2. Cultivation of tolerant varieties,
  3. Early harvesting not allowing the fruits to crack and
  4. A spray of calcium hydroxide on leaves and on fruit set.

Irrigation Supply for Pomegranate Plants:

Irrigation maybe given depending on soil, climate, and availability of water. First irrigation is provided in case of mrig bahar crop in the middle of May followed by regular irrigation till the monsoon sets in. Weekly irrigation in summers and that during winters at fortnightly intervals is recommended. The check basin system of irrigation is usually followed. The average annual water requirement through drip irrigation is 20 cm. Drip irrigation helps to save 44% on irrigation and 64% when sugarcane trash mulch is used. It also helps to increase the yield by 30-35%.

Read about How To Perform Cleft Grafting.

Training and Pruning of Pomegranate Plants:

  • In Pomegranate Farming, Plants are trained on a single stem or in a multi-step system. Since the crops trained on a single stem training system are more susceptible to pests viz. stem borer and shoot hole borer, the other system is more prevalent in the country.
  • Pruning is not much required except for the removal of ground suckers, water shoots, cross branches, dead and diseased twigs, and also to give shape to the tree. A little thinning and pruning of old spurs is done to encourage the growth of new ones.

Inter-cultivation of Pomegranate Crop:

Inter-cropping with low-growing vegetables, pulses, or green manure crops is beneficial. In arid regions, inter-cropping is possible only during the rainy season, whereas winter vegetables are feasible in irrigated areas.

Regulation of flower-bearing:

Pomegranate Flowering
Pomegranate Flowering.

Pomegranate plants to flower and provides fruits throughout the year in central and southern India.  Depending on patterns of precipitation, flowering can be induced during June-July (mrig bahar), September-October (hasta bahar), and January-February (ambe bahar). In areas having assured rainfall where precipitation is normally received in June and continues up to September, flowering in June is advantageous; where monsoon normally starts in August, flowering during August is beneficial. Areas having assured irrigation potential during April-May, flowering during January can be taken and where monsoon starts early and withdraws by September induction of flowering in October is possible. Considering comparable yields, prices and irrigation needs it is recommended that October cropping could be substituted for January flowering.

Techniques of Harvesting and Yield of Pomegranates:

Pomegranate flowers take 5 to 6 months to be ready as mature fruits.  They should be harvested mature which can be judged by the change in skin color to slightly yellow and metallic sound when tapped.  A grown-up well-kept tree should give about 100 to 150 fruits per year.  A high-density system with ‘Ganesh’ 1000 plant/ha (5x2m) has been found very profitable giving a crop of 50 fruits/tree of good quality.

Yield of Pomegranates.
Yield of Pomegranates.

After harvesting, fruits can be cured in shade for about a week so that the skin becomes hard and fruits can stand transportation better.  Thereafter, the fruits can be graded according to weight

  •             ‘A’ grade         –             350 g & above
  •             ‘B’ grade          –           200 to 350 g & above
  •             ‘C’ grade         –            Less than 200 g.

Cured fruits have good keeping quality which can further be prolonged through cold storage.  When stored at 00C to 4.50C with 80%.  Relative Humidity fruit remains safe even for seven months.

Post-harvest management of Pomegranates:

a) Grading and Storage:
  • Fruits are graded based on their weight, size, and color. The various grades are super, king, queen, and prince-sized. Besides that, pomegranates are also graded into two grades- 12A and 12 B. Fruits of 12-A grade are generally preferred in the southern and northern regions.
  • Fruits can be stored in cold storage for up to 2 months or 10 weeks at a temperature of 50 C. Longer storage should be at 100 C and 95% RH to avoid chilling injury and weight loss.
b) Packing and Transportation :
  • The size of packages varies according to the grade of the fruits. Corrugated fibreboard boxes are mostly used. In a single box, 4-5 queen-sized fruits, 12 princes sized and some of 12-A and 12-B grades may be packed. The white-colored boxes having 5 plies are generally used for export purposes, whereas red-colored ones having 3 plies are used for domestic markets. The red-colored boxes are cheaper than the white-colored ones. The cut pieces of waste paper are generally used as cushioning material.
  •  Road transport by trucks/lorries is the most convenient mode of transport due to the easy approach from orchards to the market.

Marketing of Fruits:

The majority of the producers sell their produce either through trade agents at the village level or commission agents at the market.

That’s all folks about the farming of pomegranate fruit techniques, ideas, and tips. Keep growing fruits!.

Read this: How to Grow Cauliflower in Containers.


  1. Dear Sir,

    I would like to ask a question,-

    How cum pomegranates are available throughout the year in India compared to only a few months in a year as before?

    I remember when I was a boy of 11 years during 1961 pomegranates were seen in the market during July, August, September.
    But the rest of the year, not so much we could see in the market.
    I am talking about city in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Surat Gujarat.

    Is the agricultural Technique changed in recent years to make it available almost thru out the year?
    Please advise.

    Thanking you!.

  2. One of the most effective fertiliser management techniques for Pomegranate and similar crops is to aid the inputs along with cattle slurry/Jeevamrut. This slurry is a great source of friendly bacteria which enables/speeds up the mineralisation process by the virtue of which various macro, micro and Nano elements required for the crops are released. Jeevamrut application will not only help utilise already present elements in the soil but also create a self supporting ecosystem. It by default makes The soil more fertile and the fertiliser residues left over years of farming start getting utilised. It results into more porous soil, high fertility and hence better and higher yield. Due to increased porosity the water retaining capacity of the soil improves too. Jeevamrut is simple to prepare. It requires ingredients locally available. Cattle Dung and Urine, gram flour and jaggery are basic ingredients. These can be evenly mixed with water, stirred regularly and fermented for 4-5 days. This preparation needs to reach each plant’s root zone. The application process can get cumbersome and laborious if done manually. So one can also try to filter Jeevamrut and then send the filtered liquid through drip irrigation. While filtration of cow dung based liquid isn’t easy, product like “Pruthviraj Slurry Filter” can help. Once sided with this product the application process can become completely automatic. It will enable higher quantities given at higher intervals. You can visit to know more

  3. Yes pomegranate are available throughout the year cose they can be stored in bookstores for up to six months with good higeine practices.

  4. Any thoughts on “Bhagawa” variety? Apparently the yield is twice that of “Ganesh” variety. Can anyone share experience with this variety?


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