Pomegranate trees, Punica granatum, are native to India and Iran and therefore thrive in the hot, semi-arid region similar to that of the Mediterranean. The needs for pomegranate trees are comparable to those for citrus trees, even though they are drought-hardy. They do, however, require occasional excellent, deep irrigation. In addition to the plant’s tasty fruit, primarily a berry, pomegranate trees are also grown for their magnificent, vivid red blooms.
Planting pomegranate trees at home can be gratifying when the best conditions are present. But it can also be concerning if your pomegranate doesn’t bear fruit despite all your efforts. We’ll examine several typical causes of fruitless pomegranates and discuss methods to induce fruit set in pomegranates.
Pomegranate Fruit- History
Punic granatum, which translates to “seedy apple” in French, is a common nickname for pomegranate fruit. Like apples, pomegranates have a lengthy shelf life and contain more than half of their weight in seeds.
The seed is encased in a sweet, acidic juice and pulp underneath its rich reddish, leathery covering.
A sturdy white skin known as the rag separates the seeds. The juice from the pomegranate seeds, frequently used in grenadine when combined or consumed on its own, can be extracted by pressing the seeds or devoured after they have been separated from the skin.
Given the recent revelation of the high levels of antioxidants in this historical fruit, pomegranates are enjoying a slight upsurge in popularity. There is Old Testament and the Babylonian Talmud. There are several references to the pomegranate, which has been widely grown for centuries in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Asia.
The pomegranate, a fertility emblem in ancient Egypt, thrives in these desert regions and resists humidity and too low temperatures. Pomegranates are currently planted for cultivation in the arid regions of Arizona, Texas, and California.
Fruiting of Pomegranates
Generally, the height and distribution of this evergreen bush range from 12 to 20 feet tall. Pomegranate trees demand some time to grow because the fruit doesn’t ripen until 2 to 3 years, and the tree doesn’t produce many fruits for the first few years. Even though specific cultivars can live for centuries, the pomegranate tree loses its strength after around 15 years. The pomegranate’s fruit is picked from October through January.
When Will A Pomegranate Tree Start Bearing Fruit?
It depends on how your pomegranate was cultivated – from a cutting, graft, or seed – you’ll have to watch it closely until it has fully matured and is healthy enough to bear fruit.
It usually takes a lot longer for trees planted from seeds to get entrenched, and it will likely take several seasons until your budding tree bears any fruit.
Although this technique may require less time for trees cultivated from cuttings, grafting plants on the root already a couple of years older will yield the best results and may even allow you to harvest its following several fruits within the initial or second year.
How Long Does a Pomegranate Tree Take To Produce Fruit?
As we mentioned above, how a pomegranate tree was raised can significantly impact how many seasons it takes to yield fruit. Other determining elements include the soil the plant is thriving in and the amount of readily available nutrition within the soil.
Another crucial element is water since too much and not enough can impact fruit yield.
Diseases or insect pests may not kill young trees, but they will undoubtedly have an impact on how successfully they fruit.
If your pomegranate tree has all it needs to grow, you can anticipate having to wait about four years for it to bear fruits and another few before heavy cropping.
Why Doesn’t My Pomegranate Tree Have Fruit?
A four-year-old tree grown from a seed is likely to bear fruit, provided it has excellent nourishment.
Most pomegranate species are self-pollinating, meaning they can produce fruit without the aid of pollen from another pomegranate species. The importance of having a companion tree or trees for cross-pollination should not be underestimated.
It improves the number of fruits growing and their quality and size.
Pomegranate trees come in two primary varieties: those that produce fruit and those that are aesthetic and solely have flowers. A flowering cultivar won’t produce much, if any, fruit.
Due to the enormous variety of pomegranate varieties, there are usually one or two varieties that will thrive where you live. A cultivar like Russian 26 is an excellent option if you live in a cold climate because it is particularly cold tolerant.
Wonderful is a well-liked commercial variety that produces an abundance of big, red fruits.
What are the Factors Determining the Production of Fruits On Pomegranate Trees?
Various issues could be the root of your fruiting variety’s difficulty if it is either not bearing fruits or falling off the branch when they ripe.
It makes no difference whether your tree is cross-pollinated or self-pollinated; there should be a pollen exchange between the female and male flowers. Hummingbirds or insects help with this. Pomegranates require many bees to disperse their seeds because wind alone is insufficient.
Fewer pollinators or other beneficial insects may be present if insecticide use is frequent in your vicinity. Alternatively, if your garden has few flowering plants to entice insects to hit up, it might only draw a small number of them. Planting more flowers that attract insects is the answer.
You can manually pollinate flowers with a soft brush or cotton swab if required. The pollen is transferred to a female flower in the same manner as a bee would by dipping it into male flowers.
Early-season pollination of trees has resulted in the best, highest fruit production.
The Health of The Tree
Several factors can impact your tree’s health, but if it’s not healthy, there wouldn’t be a lot of fruits.
- The Soil Type- Although pomegranates can grow in various soil types, they typically flourish in nutrient-rich, loamy soil with adequate drainage.
- pH – Pomegranate trees don’t require as much attention to pH as other fruit trees, but they should optimally be between 5.5 and 7.2 for ideal results. To make this better in any case, use green manure.
Checking the pH of the soil
It’s best to conduct a pH test in the planting area if you have doubts about the soil’s pH. The quickest way is to use a pH soil tester.
To make the soil more alkaline, use pelleted limestone. For a lower pH, you can use aluminum sulfate, soil sulfur, or chelated iron. Using natural manure as mulch can improve acidity and sustain acid soil quality.
- Fertilizer – In sandy soil, your tree isn’t getting enough nutrients. Or, if you’re nourishing your tree, there’s probably an oversupply of nitrogen, which might multiply the growth of gorgeous green foliage, but decreases the number of fruit it produces.
- When pomegranate trees are young, you shouldn’t fertilize them at all. Pomegranate trees can be supplemented with organic or inorganic fertilizers, preferably from the second year, as specified on the product label. As an alternative, you can feed pomegranates by covering them with organic manure.
- Water – Fruit trees frequently lose their blooms or fruit before they are ready because of water deficit. Ensure that your tree receives adequate deep irrigation a few times per week. In dry spells, providing additional water should help avoid this.
- Disease and Pests – A diseased tree may be too weak to bear fruit. The production of fruit may also be affected by an infestation of pests. Make sure to use low-impact treatments to eradicate diseases and pests quickly.
- Sunlight – Your fruit won’t ripen if there isn’t enough sunlight. Pomegranates enjoy the sun and need at least six hours a day of direct sunlight.
Pomegranate trees need good enough pruning for good shape and growth, but trimming off too much has the opposite effect.
Fruit from pomegranates is typically produced on wood grown a few seasons ago. There won’t be any fruits if you remove all of that wood.
Pomegranate bushes bloom on rotting wood. During the first three or four years, yearly pruning encourages a lot of new development, which results in a bushier tree with more blooms and fruits.
You can prune your pomegranate tree in the first few weeks of spring, right as fresh leaves start to appear around the branches. If your tree did not expand much the year before, you might want to prune all the branch tips off by just 6 inches.
Trim off one or two feet of the branches from a healthy tree that has grown significantly. The tree’s new growth will be stimulated with this technique.
Which Pomegranate Crop Should I Pick?
Select a kind that will thrive in your region’s climate, and if you wish to relocate the plants into safe settings for the wintertime, opt for smaller versions for pots.
Here are some options to consider:
- Balegal: Large fruits with pinkish-white exterior and sweet-tasting flesh are resistant to zone 7.
- Crab: Fruits between medium and large with bronze skin that is abundant and sour.
- Early Wonderful: Big tart-tasting fruits with thin, crimson skin grow prolifically.
- Granada: Resistant to zone 7, moderate fruit with red skin, slightly sweet, and have a quick maturation phase.
- Sweet: Medium-sized fruit with pinkish or green skin, a crimson flush, and a delicious taste; it is also fruitful and produces young.
- Sweet Utah: Fruit of average size with light pinkish skin, softer seeds, and a pleasant taste. Pink blossoms surround the fruit.
- Wonderful: Enormous red fruits with scarlet skin and soft, sour seeds are produced along with large red blooms. Arizona’s low desert is a good place for this species to flourish.
How Are Pomegranate Trees Planted?
Springtime or fall are the optimum times to grow trees in warm climates like Arizona.
- For maximum growth and fruit production, pomegranates require lots of sunlight. Choose a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
- Pomegranate trees need well-drained soil to grow, but they can grow in practically any soil, perhaps one that is alkaline or deficient in nutrients.
- Pomegranates should be planted in a pit twice as broad and as deeper as the seedling pot.
- Pomegranates should be grown in colder climates close to a south-facing side or in a big pot that can be relocated indoors during the winter.
How Do You Take Care Of Pomegranate Trees?
Once sown, pomegranate plants are usually simple to maintain and require little care.
- Trees that have just been planted require extra water until they are developed. During the sweltering summer, heavily water pomegranates.
- Pomegranates should be fertilized just as they start to leaf out (mid-winter) either with a thick layer of compost or with any organic fertilizer at least twice or thrice every year.
- Pruning shoots for the first three years are advised to promote a healthy, resilient plant.
- Pomegranate trees are best pruned after they have lost all of their leaves and right before they start to bloom in the springtime.
- Pomegranate fruit should be pruned to about one fruit per 6 inches. Fruit thinning encourages bigger fruit and reduces limb strain from heavier fruit.
When Is a Pomegranate Ready To Be Picked?
From August to November, many pomegranate types start to ripen.
Here are the signs to look out for:
- When pomegranates are fully ripe, the skin and arils should be a bright red colour.
- The shape of the pomegranate varies as it ripens, going from it being flawlessly round to becoming more polygonal as its seeds develop.
- Fruit flattens at its stem and bloom ends.
- The fruit’s skin transitions from having a gloss to having a more dull or gritty texture.
- Ripe fruit’s stems are simple to snap off.
- When the fruit starts to split, it’s ready to harvest!
- Tap it and pay attention to a metal sound to tell if the fruit is ready.
The Wrap Up
The most frequent causes of pomegranate trees failing to flower include their mature age, poor health, environmental stress, immature plant, over-nutrition, nutrient deficiency, and inadequate water supply. Fruit is not possible without flowers.
Pollination is likely your biggest issue, and self-pollination is the only solution if you have blooms but no fruit grows from them.
A shortage of water or freezing weather is probably to blame if fruits begin to grow but stop before they are fully mature.