Table of contents:
The pomegranate family. Homeland - the Mediterranean, Asia and the Caucasus.
There are only two types in nature:
- The common pomegranate Punica granatum is a deciduous tree with erect, highly branching shoots covered with grayish-brown bark. Leaves sessile or on short petioles, lanceolate, blunt from the end, up to 7 cm long. Flowers are solitary, formed at the ends of the shoots. The flower has a six-petal corolla, about 5 cm in diameter, bright pink (sometimes yellowish or white). The flowers of the pomegranate are of two types - sterile, do not produce fruits with short columns, fruiting - with long columns, form pomegranate - a multi-seeded berry.
- Socotran pomegranate Punica protopunica - rarely found in culture, this species grows in nature exclusively on Socotra Island. It differs in that it has pink flowers, and the fruits, although large enough, are not too sweet.
On the basis of common pomegranate, a miniature variation was bred - dwarf pomegranate Punica granatum var. nana. It differs from the original species only in size and can reach 80-100 cm in height (at the age of 8-10 years). The plant is well suited for indoor cultivation, has a long flowering and sets miniature sour fruits. This variation has several varieties. The pomegranate is considered a deciduous plant, but this is not entirely true. At home, very often it remains an evergreen tree, and loses its leaves partially or completely in the event of a cold snap in the fall.
By the way, the pomegranate is beautifully formed by pruning, therefore it is often grown as a Potensai in order to form various styles of bonsai. There is a peculiarity here: pomegranate branches are fragile, they are easy to break when winding the wire, so it can only be used on young branches. The formation of a miniature tree in a certain style should be started as early as possible; old stems are formed using tensioning devices. Below is a photo of Lenochka:
Temperature: In general, the pomegranate tree prefers moderate temperatures all year round. Optimal for growth is 20-22 ° С, but it perfectly tolerates above 25 ° С, if it is not in direct sun, but in the fresh air. For a pomegranate, there is nothing worse than a stuffy room, so if you have a balcony, a pomegranate is the place from late May to autumn. If the balcony is insulated, then you can keep the pomegranate there almost all year round. In winter, it is advisable to arrange a period of rest for the pomegranate in the coolness of about 10-12 ° C. The minimum to be guided by is + 5 ° C, while watering is very rare.
Lighting: Bright diffused light with some sunlight, it is not bad if the direct sun reaches the pomegranate leaves 4-6 hours a day in the morning or in the evening. That is, shading is necessary only on the south or southwest window, until about 4 pm. In nature, the pomegranate grows in full sun, but since there is not good air movement at home (unless you have your windows open all day), the plant on the south window may lose its decorative appeal, and if it grows like a bonsai in a small pot, then the soil dries out too quickly on a hot windowsill, and this already threatens the death of the plant.
Watering: Sufficiently plentiful in the warm season - after the top of the potted soil has dried, wait another 1-2 days before watering. If it's cool, the intervals when the soil remains dry should be increased. At temperatures below 15 ° C, it is necessary to wait until the soil is completely dry. If the pomegranate dries up, it begins to lower the branches. As long as only the tips of the shoots are slightly lowered - an acceptable rate. But don't get it to the point where the branches are completely wilted. Pomegranate leaves dry out very quickly, especially if it's hot. Sometimes on sunny days in June-July, it is required to water the tree every day - the earth dries up so quickly, and it happens that in August there are prolonged rains, cold nights, the earth dries slowly and watering has to be done once a week or even less often. When in doubt whether it's time to water - touch the soil in the back of the pot,it doesn't have to be constantly wet.
Fertilization: Top dressing is necessary during the period of intensive growth, from April to August. Use complex fertilizers for decorative flowering plants every two weeks. It is important that this fertilizer of your choice contains not only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, but also a set of trace elements such as boron, iron, copper, magnesium, etc.
Air humidity: Pomegranate responds well to occasional spraying in spring and summer. As long as the air humidity does not drop below 50%, and the temperature does not exceed 26 ° C, spraying is not required. But if it's hot, or the humidity drops below 45%, start spraying the plant 2-3 times a day. Cover the radiators with a damp terry towel if necessary. It is unacceptable to leave a pomegranate tree on the windowsill if the leaves are located above the stream of hot air during the heating season.
Transplant: Pomegranate requires an annual transplant, and if the top layer of the earth is covered with salt, then an unplanned replacement of the top layer of the earth. Soil for pomegranates needs nutritious and well-drained, porous. Approximate earthen mixture: 1 part greenhouse (or sod) land, 1 part leafy land, 1 part humus, 1 part sand, 1 part perlite (or vermiculite). The pomegranate does not like too spacious and deep pots, this delays flowering. But pomegranate is not very picky about the acidity of the soil, it is known that under natural conditions it grows both on alkaline calcareous soils and on deep, acidic loam. Don't forget about the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot and a small layer of expanded clay or foam.
Although the pomegranate is considered a self-pollinating plant, some growers complain about the lack of fruit formation or lack thereof. It is known that cross-pollination can increase fruit production by 60%, and the size and abundance of pollen is different for different varieties, and also depends on the season. Use a soft watercolor brush for pollination.
Pomegranate propagates by cuttings and seeds. The season does not matter, since you can compensate for the lack of sunlight with fluorescent or LED lamps. You can grow a pomegranate from a seed from the eaten fruit, and it will be an ordinary pomegranate, it will grow into a rather large tree. You can buy Nana pomegranate seeds from the seed store. It grows more slowly, but also thrives well at normal room temperature and evenly moist soil.
One of the options for germinating pomegranate seeds is in wet moss. First, the seeds need to be soaked for a day or two, cleaned of the pulp by rubbing them with your fingers. Then put sphagnum moss on a saucer, seeds in it. It is not necessary to file, but it will not be superfluous (the main thing is to thin the shell slightly). Then moss the moss. The seeds should be lightly covered with moss rather than completely covered. Do not let the seeds and moss dry out, or at the other extreme, so that the seeds float in the water. Moisten with boiled water only.
The seeds germinate in a week or two, the sharp tip cracks and a sprout appears. Do not disturb them until the sprout is about 5 mm. Then prepare pots with light, porous earth, be sure to sterilize in the oven or microwave. The pomegranate sprout does not need to be removed from the moss in which it sprouted. Just cut each with nail scissors along with a patch of moss. And transfer to a pot. Keep moisturizing.
Important: all the time the seeds should be in the light, and from the moment the seed is pecked and the beginning of growth, the lighting should be very good.
First, at the seedlings, two wide, like a fan of cotyledonous leaves unfold, then it begins to stretch upwards, real leaves grow - they are narrow and long. Observe: if the stem slopes towards the light source, then there is not enough light. You can germinate pomegranate seeds all year round with additional lighting. LED and fluorescent lamps can be placed at a distance of 5 cm or more from the leaves.
Tips for growing pomegranate
Alex advises: Pomegranate flowers are of two types: jug-shaped with long pistils (fruitful) and bell-shaped with short underdeveloped pistils (90-95%), which do not form fruit, which means we conclude that 5-10 fruits are formed per 100 flowers. Flowers have a lot of stamens. The plant does not require additional pollination.
To increase the number of ovaries, a cool wintering with a dormant period is necessary, the temperature during flowering should be no more than 20 ° C warm, the dishes are not quite spacious - the plant fattens in large volumes and grows tops with bell-shaped flowers. Nutrition during flowering should be normal, while the proportion of nitrogen should not exceed phosphorus and potassium. And they also say that there is one reason - during flowering, you do not need to water the pomegranate abundantly, keep moisture in short supply. The request is more careful with this item, let it bloom better and set a little less fruit than die of thirst.
Another tip: In early spring (in February) you need to spray the plant with "Bud" or "Ovary", this procedure will stimulate the development of full flowers.