How Do Pomegranates Grow Best?

For pomegranate trees and shrubs (Punica granatum), producing one of Mother Nature’s most delicious and healthy fruits isn’t enough. Flame-orange flowers, arching branches of glossy green leaves and golden-yellow fall color also qualify them as ornamental standouts. Pomegranates grow best from cuttings and seedlings — and may have ripe fruit in two to three years! Keep reading to learn more.


Growing a Nursery Seedling

Successfully growing a pomegranate seedling begins with choosing the right one. Pomegranates vary widely in their cold tolerance. Most cultivars grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, with a few hardy to zone 6. Choose a seedling hardy in your area—and raised at a local nursery, if possible.

Expert gardener’s tip: Pomegranates also grow from seed, but seeds don’t always produce replicas of their parents. To grow a specific pomegranate cultivar, plant a nursery-raised seedling or take a cutting from the shrub or tree you want to clone.

Pick Your Planting Site

Pomegranates need three things in a planting site:

  • Well draining soil that’s never waterlogged. Pomegranates fruit best in sandy loam, but they’ll adapt to any soil except a wet one.
  • Six or more hours of daily sun. More is better.
  • In cold-winter climates, protection from direct wind.

Plant Your Seedling

When all danger of spring frost has passed, dig a hole measuring two feet wide and deep. Remove the seedling from its nursery pot and gently rinse the potting medium from the lower 1 inch of the root ball. This encourages the roots to penetrate the walls of the planting hole.

Refill the hole with soil, tamping lightly to eliminate air pockets as you work. Water the filled hole to settle the soil, then continue watering each day until you see new leaves emerging. They’re a sign that the pomegranate’s roots have established.

Growing a Pomegranate Cutting

Take your cutting in late winter, while the pomegranate you want to clone is dormant.

  • Choose a well-budded, 1-year-old branch, about as big around as a pencil.
  • Make your cut 10 to 20 inches from the branch tip.
  • Dip the cut end of the branch in rooting hormone.
  • Plant the cutting vertically in a rooting bed, deep enough that the soil covers all but one or two buds.
  • Let the cutting root for a year before moving it to its permanent planting site.

Expert gardener’s tip: Don’t have a rooting bed? Plant your cutting in a container for rooting in a greenhouse or cold frame.