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Cut, core and plant the pomegranate properly

The botanical name "Punica" is more likely to be associated with a branded product of the beverage industry than with the pomegranate tree. The pomegranate is one of the oldest cultivated plants and has been cultivated for thousands of years. Its original home is believed to be in the Middle East, from the Caucasus to Yemen. Due to its tasty fruits, it spread to North Africa, Southern Europe and India in ancient times, so that it is difficult to trace its real home. Its influence was so strong even then that the cultivation affected entire regions and cultures. It is believed that Adam and Eve's apple in Paradise was a pomegranate. Traces of its importance can still be found in ancient China, ancient Egypt, Greek mythology and later cultures. The pomegranate is widely a symbol of fertility. A shelf life or shelf life of up to 6 months made the fruits a vitamin C-containing food of our prehistoric times.

The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a deciduous wood of the loosestrife family (Lythraceae). Only two species make up the genus Punica. The pomegranate tree grows into a dense, multi-branched, sometimes prickly shrub or smaller tree. In his home country or in warmer climes, heights of over 5 meters are not uncommon. Its lack of frost resistance has made it a popular container plant in our latitudes for 500 years, which spends the winter frost-free. Individual cultivars (e.g. 'Daru') are a bit harder. In mild wine-growing regions, the attempt to keep the pomegranate outdoors can be successful. The short-stalked leaves are light green, shiny and elongated. The 5-fold funnel-shaped flowers with their orange-red color offer a high ornamental value. After successful fertilization, round yellow-brown fruits with leathery skin and 10 cm in diameter develop from them. Harvesting pomegranates is a rare experience and only works in optimal locations. Cultivars differ in terms of their fruit sizes and colors.

Centuries ago, the pomegranate, along with citrus plants, was considered a valuable container plant that was standard in royal and princely orangeries. The bucket trees can still be found in palace parks and public gardens to this day. Pomegranates grown in pots grow up to 3 meters high. The dwarf pomegranate is recommended for the private garden or terrace (Punica granatum var. Nana). This variety is only 150 centimeters tall, has narrower leaves, smaller flowers and nutmeg-sized fruits. In the case of ornamental varieties, one particularly appreciates the flowers, which are red, white or cream-yellow in color and partially double.

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How is a pomegranate grown properly?

In our latitudes, pomegranates are predominantly container plants. Outdoor cultivation in front of a sunny house wall or in a sheltered courtyard is only possible with a combination of a cold-tolerant cultivar and a mild prevailing climate. A fully sunny and sheltered place on the terrace or in the winter garden is usually chosen. Cold winds are harmful in the transition periods. Shady places are a hindrance for blossoms and fruit formation, because both can only be developed with sufficient sunlight. Pomegranates require good permeability from the soil. Aeration can be achieved with a high mineral content, for example through sand, lava gravel or clay granules. For the tub culture, you use tub plant substrate and additionally enrich it with expanded clay.

Like most potted plants, pomegranates are given a substrate change at least every 5 years. The soil is changed in the spring, when growth begins again and the root ball is completely rooted. It is advisable to remove and replace the used substrate as completely as possible. The renewal of the topsoil, the upper soil layer, is recommended every year. In this way, new nutrients get to the roots. A larger ceramic pot can be used as a planter. On the one hand, clay pots have more flair and the weight of the plant makes it easier to stand. Good drainage holes on the bottom of the container are essential.

How is a pomegranate tree properly cared for?

The water requirement of the pomegranate is mediocre. The tub bush survives shorter dry periods, but with too much moisture it definitely has a problem. A lack of water drainage and high levels of moisture in the substrate lead to root rot, leaf loss and plant death. Experienced gardeners water the pomegranate so that the soil remains evenly moist.

Anything that grows separately from the topsoil in the bucket needs additional nutrients. Changing the topsoil is certainly a good start from the nutritional point of view, but not yet sufficient. During the growing season, pomegranates are given a liquid fertilizer from a container plant fertilizer every two to four weeks. If you don't want to worry about fertilization, you dig depot fertilizer into the upper soil layer for about 4 months. From mid-August, the deciduous trees will no longer receive any fertilizers and watering will also be reduced.

How do you cut the pomegranate correctly?

One suspects regular pruning measures in a wood. These are only necessary to a limited extent for pomegranates. Cutbacks are only made if the crowns are too large or branches grow in an interfering manner. Long or compacting shoots are cut back or thinned out in autumn before moving to winter quarters. The rest of the shape cuts are made in spring at the start of growth.

How do you properly overwinter the pomegranate tree?

In autumn the pomegranate only moves to winter quarters when the first light frost threatens. The container plant can withstand temperatures down to minus 5 ° C without being damaged. The plant signals the moment by shedding its leaves. In mild winters, the wrapped plant can be left outside for as long as possible; it should only be brought in when it is frosty. Without leaves, the shrub cannot photosynthesize and is therefore not allowed to stay in bright winter quarters. Winter temperatures of more than 10 ° C are not recommended. The dormant plants would only be stimulated to sprout unnecessarily. Watering is reduced to a minimum and fertilizers are completely avoided. When budding begins in March, pomegranates can already be cleared outside. They only receive protection if severe late frosts set in again.

Cuttings and cuttings are best for propagation. Cuttings are rooted in late spring and bare cuttings at least 10cm long in winter. Propagation by seeds is possible in the pure species, but also in the dwarf pomegranate. The seeds germinate after just a few weeks at 20 ° C. On the other hand, with seed-propagated plants it takes several years for the first fruit to form. You don't have to be afraid of diseases and pests. It is extremely rare for pomegranates to be bothered by pests. Root damage from overwatering when caring for plants is much more likely.

What is the use of the pomegranate?

As a cultivated plant, the pomegranate has been of great importance across many cultures for thousands of years. Its fruits have a very long shelf life and contain many healthy ingredients, e.g. minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. The red seeds sit in the pulp and can be eaten raw as fruit, as part of salads or desserts. Sauces, jellies or syrups are made from the fruit juice. Every cocktail lover is sure to be familiar with grenadine, which is also made from pomegranate juice.

What is the effect of the pomegranate?

Medically, pomegranates are recommended for diarrhea, parasites and inflammation. The root bark and fruit peels are used for this purpose.

As an ornamental plant, pomegranates inspire with their large flowers and subsequent fruits. Ornamental varieties have strikingly colored, sometimes double flowers. The plants are often found as ornaments on terraces.

When is a pomegranate ripe?

If the location is optimal and the weather conditions are right, the fruits will be ripe in autumn between September and October. In our latitudes, the pomegranate harvest is rather rare and can be expected most often in a well-ventilated winter garden.

How is a pomegranate pitted correctly?

To get to the several hundred, small ruby-red seed fruits, it takes some effort. Halving the fruit and knocking out the fruit over a bowl has proven useful. The work is made easier by scratching the skin down to the pulp.