Pomegranates are one of the so-called superfoods with all sorts of health benefits, most people don’t know it is possible to grow a dwarf pomegranate tree indoors that will actually produce fruits. I successfully grow my pomegranate tree in my conservatory, if you have a sunny south facing window it would definitely be possible to grow a thriving pomegranate tree.
Pomegranates are one of the best plants to grow if you don’t receive much light and if you want to boost the light your tree receives you can always use an LED grow light to top up the sunlight it gets.
Read on and I will tell you everything you need to know about growing a pomegranate tree inside as a houseplant and getting it to bear fruits.
To grow a dwarf pomegranate tree indoors simply position your tree somewhere that will get at least 4 hours light, the more the better. Use a pot that is approximately 12 inches in diameter, water it regularly to keep it moist but not soaking and fertilize it every 2 weeks during the growing season.
Check out this video on growing a dwarf pomegranate tree:
What variety of pomegranate tree is best for growing indoors?
Pomegranate trees grown outside can reach a height of 30 feet and that is obviously not ideal for a houseplant.
I always recommend you choose a dwarf pomegranate variety for growing indoors as a houseplant as they only grow to around 4 feet (with intense pruning you can even grow a standard tree and keep it small), be sure to select a variety that produces edible fruit if that is your goal.
There are even bonsai varieties of pomegranate trees available that do look kind of awesome as a houseplant but the fruits they produce are sour and not the best tasting.
Varieties I would recommend would be the Nana, State Fair or Provence variety as they only grow to around 1.5 meters tall. Have a read of my full pomegranate varieties article by Clicking Here.
Should I grow a pomegranate tree from seed or buy a seedling?
There are plentiful seeds inside these fruits so you might want to use to one of these to grow a pomegranate tree from, but the problem with this is you don’t know what variety it will grow into.
You definitely don’t want to grow a 30-foot tree in your house and it might take at least 3 years for your tree to become mature enough to produce fruits. If you are determined to grow pomegranates from seed, I would recommend you purchase seeds from a store so you know what variety you are growing.
Personally, I grow fruit trees for the fruit so I normally prefer to purchase a young tree from a store which means I skip the period when it isn’t mature enough to produce fruits.
How to germinate pomegranate seeds
Pomegranate seeds are easy enough to germinate and you do get plenty in every fruit.
What to do is scoop out some seeds then give them a rinse in cool water and dry them off by giving them a rub with a paper towel with the aim being to remove any fruit pulp from the seeds.
Leave the seeds to dry for a few days before you plant them in the soil.
Next, fill your pot with potting soil and leave about a ½ inch from the top with no soil and push your seeds down into the soil so they are below the level of the soil but not covered with soil (do this with 5 seeds in my pot then only keep the strongest one for my tree).
Now give your seeds a good misting with water and cover the pot with plastic wrap and place it on a windowsill. Give your seeds a misting with water whenever the top of the soil is dry.
It normally takes between 1-2 months for pomegranate seeds to germinate.
When a seedling starts to touch the plastic wrap that is the one to keep so remove the other seedlings at this point and add a thin layer of soil but make sure the leaves on your seedling are above the soil level, put your pot in its permanent position and with some love it will now flourish.
What sort of pot should I use for a pomegranate tree?
Pomegranate trees don’t have the largest root system so you don’t need a massive pot or container.
I use a pot that is approximately 12 inches in diameter and my dwarf pomegranate tree is 4 feet tall and doing just fine. You might want to choose a pot that is a size suitable for its position in your house and that is fine, you can always re-pot at a later date.
Whatever pot you use you should make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom as pomegranate trees do not like to be in standing water.
What sort of soil should I use for a pomegranate tree?
Pomegranate trees prefer a loamy soil that is loose yet rich in organic content.
It is a good idea to mix in some additional organic material like wood chip or hamster bedding as it added nutrients that will help your tree grow healthy.
Never use soil from your backyard as it will more than likely become easily tightly packed and not good for even watering or drainage.
How much light does a pomegranate Tree require?
Dwarf pomegranate trees don’t need that much light and that is the main reason I recommend them for growing indoors.
Pomegranate trees only require 4-5 hours of sunlight to survive so it’s easy enough to get that by placing it on a windowsill or in a sunny room.
Being a tree, the more light you get the better it will be for fruit production and if you can get 6-10 hours of sunlight your tree will absolutely thrive, a south facing window or conservatory would be ideal.
If you aren’t sure whether you can get enough natural light you could always use an LED grow light to top up the amount of light they receive and they are very affordable and cheap to run these days.
How often should I water my pomegranate tree?
Dwarf pomegranate trees like to be in moist soil so you should aim to keep your soil not soaking and not dried out but moist.
How often you water your tree will depend on your local climate, I normally water mines every second day during the summer months and once per week during the winter months.
To check if your tree needs watered you should stick your finger into the soil and if the top ½ inch is dried out it’s time to water, give it a deep water so that water starts to dribble out the drainage holes.
It’s best to get in a routine to keep it constantly moist, don’t let it dry out sometimes then keep it soaking at other times to make up, keep it constantly moist.
What temperature is best for indoor pomegranate trees?
There are so many different varieties of dwarf pomegranate trees that I am sure you will find one suitable for your local climate. The Provence variety will survive in temperatures of 5F (-15C) for example.
The ideal temperature for growing a pomegranate tree is 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit (10-21C), I grow mines in my house and don’t take much notice of the temperature and they do just fine in my standard household temperature.
What is the best fertilizer for a pomegranate tree in a pot?
You should fertilize your pomegranate tree regularly during the growing season, I fertilize my tree every 2 weeks with a liquid 8-8-8 liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer.
I also add a fresh layer of compost to add some extra nutrients every spring just before it starts growing.
Pomegranate trees grown in pots have been known to become deficient in zinc. The leaves on your tree will start to turn yellow and if this happens you should spray the leaves with a zinc solution to make it healthy again.
How to prune an indoor pomegranate tree in a pot
You should prune your pomegranate tree every year as it promotes fresh growth and enables you to keep it at a reasonable size and in the shape you want.
I prune my pomegranate tree in early spring just before it starts growing or just after it starts growing.
You should prune your dwarf pomegranate tree by shortening any branches to your desired length and clipping off any unwanted shoots just above the leaf nodes, you should aim to have 4 shoots per branch.
Remove any damaged or unhealthy branches and remove any sucker branches that grow up from the bottom of the trunk.
The below video shows a good example of a well-pruned young pomegranate tree:
How to pollinate a pomegranate tree indoors?
Pomegranate trees are self-pollinating so one tree will pollinate itself, unlike other trees that you need two to pollinate each other.
It is bees and wind that do the work and pollinate outdoor pomegranate trees and that is not an option when you are growing them indoors so you will have to pollinate them by hand.
To hand pollinate your pomegranate tree you should use a small paintbrush or a cotton bud and gently brush pollen from the male stamen onto the female ovary go round every flower and do this when they open up.
These pollinated flowers will eventually turn into pomegranates.
Should I thin out any heavy clusters of pomegranates?
Many varieties of fruit trees do require fruit to be thinned to increase the size and health of the remaining fruits.
Pomegranates do not require any manual thinning as any excess fruit will naturally drop off, just make sure you carry out an annual pruning regime to keep it all healthy and fresh.
When to pick pomegranates from a potted tree
The thing about pomegranates is you can’t really go by the color of the fruit as different varieties of pomegranates are slightly different colors.
Pomegranates will stop ripening when you take them off the tree, so how can you tell when the perfect time to harvest is?
Commercial pomegranate farmers go by the size of the fruits which should be between 2-5 inches across when fully ripe, they also use the finger tapping method, this is tapping your pomegranate with your finger and if it makes a metallic sound it is ripe.
You should never pull pomegranates off the tree you should always use a sharp tool to cut them off so you avoid damaging them.
How to store freshly picked pomegranates
You can store whole pomegranates on a countertop but the best way to extend the life of them is to keep them whole in the fridge, if you do this they should stay good for approximately 3 weeks.
If you have cut open a pomegranate or scooped out the seeds, you should put them in a sealed container in the fridge and they will keep good for around 1 week.
If you think you have too many pomegranates to eat and there is a risk of them going off you should scoop out the seeds and freeze them in a sealed container. Pomegranate seeds frozen this way will stay good for around 3-4 months.
What to do if your pomegranate tree stops producing fruit
If your pomegranate tree stops producing fruits there could be many basic reasons for this.
The first thing to check is your pomegranate tree getting enough water or are you over watering your tree as this could result in no or less fruit production.
Similarly, if you are over fertilizing or even using the wrong type of fertilizer you might end up with lots of foliage but no pomegranates.
If your pomegranate tree has been in frosty conditions if you moved it outside or your house got to near freezing during the winter months this could result in no fruit being produced the following growing season.
Finally, has your pomegranate tree been getting enough sunlight they require at least 4 hours to grow healthy and the more sunlight the more fruit will be produced, you could use an affordable to use LED light if that is the problem.
To grow a pomegranate tree outdoors
If you want to grow a pomegranate tree outside you should plant it in an area that has well-draining soil and receives plenty of sunshine as pomegranate trees don’t like to be in waterlogged soil and love the sun.
The best time to plant a pomegranate tree outdoors is in early spring after the last frost.
When planting you should loosen the bottom inch of the root ball as this will help it establish itself faster when you plant it and I would also add some rooting hormone so it settles in and starts growing more quickly.
When you have planted your pomegranate tree outdoors you should water it every day until you notice new growth starting to happen then you should water it once per week depending on the climate.
Common pomegranate tree problems and how to solve them
Pomegranate trees are simple to grow indoors and will likely be less susceptible to problems than outdoor trees, as long as you get them enough light. With indoor trees, you should wipe the foliage with a damp cloth to get rid of the dust occasionally as dust will attract bugs.
Here are a couple of problems that may affect your pomegranate tree:
Spider Mites – Spider mites are so small they are difficult to actually see it is easier to look for damage caused by an infestation. Look for rust colored specks and webs on the underside of the leaves, a generally sickly appearance and a yellowing of the leaves.
Hold a white piece of paper under the leaves and give them a whack, if you notice rust colored specks on the paper they are spider mites. To get rid of them take the plant outside and spray the foliage hard with water and it should wash most of them off, spray the plant with insecticidal soap to finish them off.
Whiteflies – Whiteflies are small insects that suck the sap out of plants, they look like tiny little moths. If you notice leaves wilting or turning yellow you should check the underside of leaves and if there is what looks like a white cloud that is whiteflies. To get rid of whiteflies you should use yellow sticky tape to trap them, hoover them off, cut off infested areas and finally you should spray your plant with insecticidal soap, horticultural oil or garlic soap to finish them off.
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